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Sustainability Sidewalk

Much like the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" but for businesses who exhibit exemplary, inspirational movements in the area of sustainability. Specific to large cities, specific blocks on the walk representing a company's ideas and concepts.

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Make it visual. Make it something that can be seen by everyone, not just businesses who are involved. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is for stars who have "made it." It is a huge deal for actors and actresses, athletes and the like. So why not give companies the chance to "Make it?" To show themselves off to the world, but more importantly to the community in their given metropolitan areas. The Sustainability Walk would be a way to acknowledge, celebrate, and market the ground-breaking ideas that companies use to better our planet for future generations. For example, Denver would have their own walk, NYC would have theirs, San Francisco, LA, etc...The idea is to not just take blocks of concrete that have a company's name in it and say "congrats!", but instead, make this sidewalk a completely interactive exciting way to see what these companies have done to foster change. 

So, a company who did something innovative with energy and lighting might be chosen to exhibit themselves in a neat way with lights and electricity under a plexiglass "block" in the walkway. Another company who has done something to create fuel made from corn might earn a "block" that has an ethanol-powered matchbox car on a track underneath the surface that people could walk on. 

The possibilities are endlessly creative for what the "sidewalk" could look like. And the $40 million that will hopefully be raised will allow this to get kickstarted in multiple places. After that, once people recognize how cool the concept can become if thought is really put into how to represent each company and their contributions individually, the hope would be to receive millions more in donations. This would continually allow the sidewalk to grow larger and more unique as more and more companies are recognized for their revolutionary ideas in the world of sustainability. Not only that, but what company wouldn't like a little free marketing by having their name out there in public for all to see, as well as being named a recipient of their very own "block" on the Sustainability Walk?

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

It celebrates companies by putting their achievements in the public eye, and giving them a physical space for a long long time (much the same way as stars handprints are left in the hollywood sidewalk for years and years after they are gone). It could identify concepts that have been done before giving others the chance to duplicate and/or innovate further. And it would inspire others by allowing them to see what is being done on the forefront of sustainable business, and hopefully making them want to reach farther and deeper for new initiatives and ideas. Not only to help the world, but also to get themselves a block in what will eventually become the who's who of sustainable businesses.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

I keep bringing it back to the walk of fame, but it is much the same way. Every handprint on the Hollywood sidewalk, as well as every boot and shoe that steps on it tells a story. A story of struggle, overcoming extraordinary odds, excitement, distress, pain, happiness, destiny...they ALL have a story. Let these blocks in the walk tell a story. And let each sidewalk in each city provide a link to another city that eventually starts to explain just exactly how far America is going to achieve sustainability and world benefit.

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

It will obviously take money. But it will also take people who want to participate. And much like the sidewalk in Hollywood is the moment when many stars realize they've "made it", so too can this be the same for businesses with regard to sustainability. Depending on how creative companies want to be, allowing them to come up with the concept for their own block can give plenty of unique, awesome ideas to make the sidewalk a place for tourists to come and visit. No two blocks would be alike. I remember when Cleveland did a celebration of the Rock and Roll hall of fame, tying together art and music by delegating 50 or so massive guitar sculptures to various groups around the city and telling them to decorate the guitars in ways they thought best identified with Cleveland. The guitars came out incredibly awesome, and no two are even remotely similar. They could be seen all around town, and because they were placed strategically, to my knowledge vandalism and destruction of the guitars was never an issue. Getting the ball rolling by choosing various companies to be the inaugural block in their city's sidewalk will allow Open IDEO to quickly get this idea spreading like wildfire across the country. Then, perhaps taking it globally will give other countries the chance to exhibit their contributions, and eventually, people and companies will want to travel all over to see the different concepts and creative uses of sustainability and design in the sidewalks. As interest grows, as innovations grow, and as companies continue to better themselves in relation to the world and making it last, so too will donations and financial interest in building these sidewalks and telling the grand story of everything businesses are planning to do for the long term.

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DeletedUser

I think it is really good idea. Dan your idea is great, not only stars should have their avenues :)

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