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  • Writer's pictureJarratt Ong

3 Steps to Green Innovation and Fighting Climate Change

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

What is Green Innovation? Is it just another buzz word for impact-making early-stage founders and/or talent to momentarily embrace before the next hot term drops in?

This is where Irsyad comes in as he shares with audiences, at NUS Enterprise, why Green Innovation is the key to innovating ourselves out of climate challenges and help to creating sustainable cities and communities:

Green Innovation adapts from the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world. We want to tackle problems such as greenhouse emissions, pollution, and resource depletion that inevitably touches on goals such as "Life on Land", "Climate Action", "Zero Hunger" etc.

Ultimately, an eco-system driven and systems innovation approach (we are all in this together!) is what will help us stand a chance. Let's unpack green innovation together!

PS. This talk is a collaboration with the amazing peeps at NUS Enterprise-BoP Hub Joint Initiative on Social System Innovation (JISSI) x N-House! Thank you for making this happen with us and guiding us on this process.

#1 Learning what does Green Innovation entail

Don't be afraid we will innovate our way out of this mess

Back to basics: what does green innovation entail?

  • It is a techno-optimistic point of view embracing the idea that we can innovate our way out of problems and actually make an impact to drive positive environmental outcomes

  • Green Innovation is a process of narrowing down the scope in order to provide focus, especially for people who are newer players within this space

  • It is Product Innovation + Business Model Innovation = potential SUCCESS

  • Innovation can come in three waves and opportunities: core, adjacent, and transformational (thank you Nagji, B., & Tuff, G. (2012). Harvard Business Review)

#2 Key Players in the field to build an ecosystem

There are many startups doing great work such as Miniwiz, Reebelo, Apeel, and IFIXIT. We did a deep dive into IFIXT and Apeel with our sustainable business breakdown which you can check out in order to understand why and how they're doing great work in the sustainability scene.

They are an amazing part of the sustainability community that we can't help but look up to as they help create sustainability opportunities for many.

Although these solutions are great, we need to come together as a community and ecosystem that brings impact-making founders, and talent to make sustainable long-term impact together in a thriving sustainable society!

#3 Getting started as an individual

We all have opportunities to fill roles and tackle green innovation while pushing for positive environmental outcomes.

In the sustainability scenes, we have opportunities for:

  • Analysts and writers

  • Innovators and builders

  • Organizational representatives

Also, there are three phases which your impact journey can possibly look like:

  • Phase 1: understanding the system more deeply

  • Phase 2: doing something beyond individual means

  • Phase 3: taking a bet on yourself so others can take a bet on you!

What role do you want to fit yourself into? Don't fret. Founders and talent can take up many forms as to whichever they see fit. That makes the human capacity so incredible. We do not have to fit into a box and we can not only innovate our ideas... but also ourselves!

What is an environmentally sustainable society without the opportunity to thrive?

We just need a place to settle down and grow:

#4 Our ecosystem over here at

Taking and making an individual step and effort may seem daunting. The sustainability scene may feel overwhelming but it doesn't have to be this way!

Here are some ways can help you!

  • Our platform that aims to help early-stage impact-making founders be fund-ready and find talent so we can accelerate the pace of green innovation.

  • Our publication empowers you with the building blocks you need to make an impactful change and tackle the three pressing environmental issues such as carbon emissions, pollution, and resource depletion.

  • Our landscape resource portal lets talent express their vision on how to tackle problems and aid founders in their journey in analysing with a systems thinking and ecosystem perspective.

Are you making your mark in green innovation today? Sign up at our landing page today.

Check out the full video from the event here!


9:45 the main parts of the talk today: overview, what does Green Innovation entail, key playing fields, and getting started as an individual

10:35 Irsyad's background

13:50 #1 Sustainability: An Overview:

13:55 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs),

14:50 Metrics for a sustainable company (ESG),

15:40 Environmental sustainability is a substantial challenge in itself as it is super wide

16:00 Pressing issue of Greenhouse Gases and carbon budget

16:50 World Economic Forum Global Risks Perception Survey 2020: Likelihood and Impact

18:35 We have the tool to navigate profit and purpose in the early stage with 2 schools of thoughts: degrowth or techno-optimism (innovate more!)

19:40 Degrowth

21:10 Techo-optimism

23:10 #2 What does Green Innovation entail?

23:50 Narrowing down scope to provide focus

24:55 the Innovation side to Green Innovation by creating value with product and business

26:00 the three waves of Innovation

26:50 four main metrics and opportunity areas to address

28:40 #3 Key playing fields

29:70 the premise of Young Sustainable Impact SEA (YSI SEA)'s innovation program's ideas output and approaches

34:00 Green Innovation in Singapore

35:35 Green Innovation globally

37:05 Startups incubated by Interseed and YSI SEA

37:20 Problems and solutions do not exist in isolation

38:10 #4 Getting started as an individual

38:13 Your place in organisations

38:25 There's a place for everyone to push green innovation forward

39:25 Founders can be found in many places and be a founder in your own right especially if you can analyse systems

40:30 Three phases of the impact journey

42:55 Interseed's mission and platform

44:50 Interseed's landscape studies

45:25 Interseed's publication

47:35 Q&A

47:40 What is the biggest challenge for green innovation?

48:20 What drives you to want to help other start-ups?

51:50 What is the difference between frugal innovation and lean innovation?

53:35 How do you measure the metrics of sustainability?

Want to be a part of a sustainability community for founders and talents? Check out our platform for founders and talents!


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