System-thinking for Climate innovations is hot!

During our first Jury Event, we thoroughly discussed the boundaries of the Climate theme. Learn more about the topics that dominate the climate landscape!

On October 10, our jury kicked off their Blue Tulip Awards journey! The jury members from each of the eight themes gathered to discuss the winning criteria of the innovations and to get to know each other a little better. In this article by the Climate theme, some discussion points during the jury event are shared and deliberated upon.

When we say Climate, what do you think of? Which innovations will have the biggest impact when taking on climate issues? Which sub-themes are related to Climate and are important to consider for this year’s Blue Tulip Awards? Is it climate change due to the dramatic rise of CO2 particles in the air? Is it the devastating fires in the tropical rainforest? The plastic soup perhaps? Or even refugees, or global birth rates? What are the most urgent matters for this theme? Where is innovation needed the most?

Defining the Climate boundaries

This was the interesting discussion we had during the first Jury Event of this year’s Blue Tulip Awards. Between two high teas, we played the ‘hot-or-not’ game, focusing on several themes within the Climate domain, such as circular economy, human behavioral change, and other related themes.

When discussing the boundaries of the Climate theme among the jury members, we realized that there really are none – it’s all connected. Moreover, environmental issues like waste, plastics, and impactful emissions – like bonded nitrogen – do not have a natural home in other themes of the Blue Tulip Awards and will, therefore, be considered to be part of the Climate theme.

That’s when we decided that, in fact, system-thinking for Climate innovations is hot! To innovate system-wide, we need to start thinking beyond and across the value chain. When innovating, our thinking should change from ‘I and Power’ to ’We and Industries’. As climate-related matters are of such a substantial size, we are only able to tackle them through genuine collaboration.

Key Climate themes

Here are some key take-aways from our discussions around the different themes:

Energy transition

The focus on energy efficiency is hot! And actually, it should be even hotter. Here again, the importance of linking our ecosystems was highlighted. What were some of the hottest innovations? “Hydrogen for the chemical industry” and ”Innovations that will deliver renewable energy at the right place on the right time!”

Human behavioral change

In this theme we see a shift from: ”How can a family act more sustainably?” to ”How can we work in communities to have a better impact on climate?” To get people moving in the right direction, we see two ways moving forward: a need for obligation, but also a need to make it more attractive! 

Finally, to get innovations going, we agreed that there is need for more transparency on companies that block innovation when lobbying for their own business model. All companies should be on board to get things going!

Circular economy

A shout out from our jury members: ”Please make recycling hip and hot again!” Moreover, enable consumers to repair their broken products themselves. Therefore, we see a need for modular innovations. On the production side, we emphasized the need for solutions that help in recycling sustainable solutions such as wind turbines and solar panels to close the loop.

Next-gen environment

This theme came quite out of the blue for some of our jury members, but it triggered an interesting discussion. The location of our Jury Event ‘The Green House’ in Utrecht, which is both a restaurant, urban farm and green hub, directed our thoughts toward the need for innovations that enhance nature-based solutions, smart cities with urban and vertical farming, or alternative sources of protein like seaweed or insects. 

Finally, we highlighted the importance of innovations that focus on balancing the nitrogen cycle to keep our planet healthy for the next generation.

Change Climate change

Where in 2018 the focus was just on climate and energy, i's now also on other environmental issues as nitrogen, waste and the plastic soup. We shifted from renewable energy to how to adjust the grid so we can handle renewable energy – from promising innovations to industrial scaling and real circularity – from a main focus on mitigation to the combination of mitigation and adaptation. 

We, the Climate jury, are very excited to proceed with our journey in finding the most powerful innovations that help tackle these important issues that impact us all!


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