This is the 25th chapter of the 32-part video series “The Montana Ethic Project.” This chapter features Jakki Mohr, the Regents Professor of Marketing and the Gallagher Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Montana. She discusses the subject of “The Corporate Model for the 21st Century.” You can watch the whole video below. Here is an edited transcript of how it begins:
“Technological innovations have played an important role in the development of human society. The application of technology can either solve problems for society’s benefit, or it can cause harm. And even when used for society’s benefit, unintended consequences can still occur.
“For example fertilizers can be used to enhance the productivity of crops, but can also pollute the environment. Similarly the promise of battery-powered vehicles sounds exciting, but toxicity in battery manufacturing and disposal issues must be considered.
“In exploring the intersection of innovation, environmental sustainability, and business strategy I’d like to do three things. First, I’d like to dispel myths about business strategy and environmental concerns. Second, I will talk about differences between companies leading the way in sustainability and creativity compared to the rest of the pack. And finally, I will talk about new protocols these industry leaders are using to generate new insights and innovations for sustainability.”
Here is another, edited excerpt from Mohr’s presentation:
“An example of a company looking at an old problem through a sustainable-innovation lens is Sharklet Technologies. Sharklet is revolutionizing the way hospitals and health care workers think about infection and cleanliness. Until recently hospitals were the most likely area to find the MRSA bacteria. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, community associated MRSA has become the most frequent cause of skin and soft tissue infections in emergency departments throughout the United States.
“Let’s face it, we go to the hospital to get well. But we frequently come out of the hospital with new infections. Rather than escalating the war on bacteria with harsh chemicals, Sharklet found a new innovation on the underlying properties on the skin of a shark. The unique pattern of denticles on the shark skin, its physical structure, is arrayed in distinctive hills and valleys. This makes it very difficult for bacteria to adhere to and grow on the shark’s skin. Sharklet’s technology mimics the micro-resistant properties of this skin by putting the distinctive pattern into films, a surface coating. These films are then applied to high-contact surfaces in health care settings: nurse work stations, counters, medical cards, bed rails, bedside tables, etc.
“This is an example of creativity and sustainability that is offering a new way to solve existing problems in a compelling fashion.”
PERC—the Property & Environment Research Center—is a proud sponsor of the Montana Ethic Project. To learn how PERC’s ideas can help us honor one another’s rights to land, water, and wildlife,visit perc.org.
First week: Project introduction.
Third week: Mike Gear on “The Value of Athletics.”
Fourth week: Franke Wilmer on “Gender Equity.”
Fifth week: Gordon Brittan on “The Founding Fathers.”
Eighth week: Chuck Tooley on “The Montana Character.”
Ninth week: Steve Bullock on “Citizens United v. Montana.”
11th week: Bob Rowe on Technological Development.”
13th week: Bruce Smith on “Montana’s Food Economy.”
21st week: Pat Barkey on “The Montana Wage Disparity.”
23rd week: Larry Simkins on “The Culture of Safety.”
24th week: James Shanley on “Education Reform.”
25th week: Greg Gianforte on “High Tech in Montana.”
Next week: Timothy James LeCain on “An Ethical Nature?”