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Tuuli Kaskinen and Roope Mokka, researchers at Demos Helsinki, argue in an essay that we need more than mere sustainable versions of everyday products: we need new products and services based on behaviour change.

“Most companies are dismally bad at creating successful sustainable consumption. Today’s eco-attempts remain above all clumsy and expensive eco-versions of mainstream products. However real success lies in changing consumer behavior and creating new markets by designing unique products and services. Just like McDonald’s did with restaurants, Apple did with mobile computing, Yellow Tail with wine and Airbnb with hotels. Finding gatekeepers is key to creating new markets by behaviour change.”

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Demos is a think tank aimed at developing democracy to suit the needs and capabilities of the people of the 21st century.

The essay was published on the newly relaunched Low2No website, which provides background and thinking related to the “low to no carbon” city block in Helsinki that ARUP engineering, Sauerbruch-Hutton architects and Experientia are developing for Sitra. The latest post is on the recent Italian award that was given to Experientia for its work on the project.