The process of integrating the AccLab team into the CO initially required a comprehensive understanding of the current efforts within the existing portfolios. Our first encounter was with the Climate Change and Environment (CCE) Portfolio team working on waste management. In collaboration with them, we identified the gaps and areas that we can support. It seems there is an urgent need for ‘responsible consumption’ applications in Turkey. Current efforts focus on recycling alone, but responsible consumption lies at the heart of the problem and without tackling it the issue of waste will continue to increase in size and cost. Mapping the potential partners in the sense of “who is doing what with who?” provided us with a better understanding of our potential partners:
Zero Waste is a government-led campaign at the national level which aims to raise awareness on waste and consumption. At regional and city level, municipalities are currently tackling this issue mostly on the waste management side which illustrates the gap that we can utilize with a responsible consumption approach.
There are plenty of academic studies focusing on consumption from the effect of urban morphology on waste collection to upcycling of plastic bottles as construction material. We discovered some interdisciplinary student groups and clubs who test reusing parts of electronic instruments with the support of NGOs.
We looked up techno parks in universities and independent entrepreneurs who designed innovative solutions to reduce use of single-use plastics.
First, we concentrated on ecology-oriented approaches for sustainable practices and reducing plastic consumption, we have found many initiatives and collective movements which raise awareness and prompt action by practicing eco-living. For instance, Kokopelli in the City is one of them; as a pilot implementation in Istanbul it provides training and workshops for children and adults to enable sharing know-how for permaculture and co-production.
It is also important to understand that responsible consumption needs to start with the production side of the process which can directly affect behavioural tendencies and habits of people. Production is a crucial area of intervention in terms of market dynamics and economic incentives. Biolive, for example, is a biotechnology enterprise that designs and develops the production process of bio-based plastics from olive seeds, it also produces bio-based granules.
In this sense, the portfolio of ideas and actors that we have created during this process enabled us to map various solutions by different aspects which can lead us to various hypotheses and experiments. So, we mapped local and national level solutions regarding waste management into 3 categories: (i) Up-cycle recycle, mostly consists of NGOs and research institutions; (ii) Waste pickers: local & informal related with governmental bodies and associations; (iii) we mapped cleantech innovations in Turkey.
And, we would like to introduce you a tool with a simple interface for mapping complex datasets: GraphCommons. The platform allows you to reveal the connected nature of your data, see the bigger picture, gain insight. It enables ecosystem and solutions mapping while supporting collective intelligence. You can apply network analysis to discover patterns, create stories with your data and publish and track your graph’s engagement. We have been using this platform to cluster solutions in relation with the actors. Therefore, we can select a cloud of solutions in a specific category and track the related actor such as NGO, collective or governmental body while we can keep track of definition and the current situation of the solution.
If you have a mind map, you can make it functional for every contributor within systems thinking. You can create filters and sort your data to search and edit your graph. For every ‘node’ in the graph you can create a profile to be updated.
For the 100-days challenge, we evaluated possible frameworks to proceed in terms of feasibility, understanding the knowns and unknowns, obstacles and opportunities as well. We prioritized the current solutions of potential areas to intervene and we have realized that many coffee shops currently change their marketing strategy by aligning themselves with eco-friendly solutions. The use of disposable coffee cups (for takeaway) is a widely spread habit in Turkey and most people are not aware that these products are not easily recyclable and, in most cases, end up in landfill. To reduce the consumption of coffee-cups we have to start with raising awareness and encouraging people and coffee shops to use alternatives. The experimentation process might lead to a ‘no plastic movement’ with the support of social media campaigns.
Currently, we are in the phase of designing the experiment which is very exciting because these small-scale experiments with the right partners can lead to mind-shifting practices which will ultimately reduce production of single-use plastics.