IYWTo has collected more than 6000 innovative sustainable solutions ranging from mobility to energy food and consumption. This is the largest existing directory of green services and it has been built collectively with contributions from around the world. This treasure of global innovation and creativity needs to be presented in a way that is both compelling and accessible in order to promote the services and projects and sustain the adoption of more sustainable practices. Our approach is to organize and editorialize the discoveries that have been made over the last two years and that are being updated daily, with articles that are centered on cities. We will initially focus on some of the main cities in Europe to present our city by city features of services to live more sustainably: to reduce plastic, to switch to renewable energy, to buy products made with recycled materials, etc. The local guides will leverage our rich database, will employ local contributors and will foster discussion. The digital nature of the platform, as of most of the innovative services that are emerging in the field, will be an essential characteristic of the project. Therefore, the guides will not focus on local physical commerce but online services that have a strong local origin and reach, as we have discovered in these years of collecting the best green innovations. The platform will promote exchanges between cities and citizens and showcase the best local cases while maintaining a global benchmark to enable the transfer of knowledge and exploration.

Objectives and beneficiaries

Most large cities in the world have hubs of creativity and innovation that are developing interesting and effective new solutions for a sustainable life. Services for alternative forms of energy, mobility, food, and consumption are rife and increasingly offer mature and solid solutions to the requirements of urban daily life. Some of these services are being adopted rapidly, others more slowly, but the traditional commercial and media outlets are rarely displaying them prominently. We propose to support the diffusion of a culture and vision of sustainability by promoting the innovations that are happening in different cities across the world. City-by-city analysis and guides of innovative green digital services are a simple way of presenting solutions that are locally relevant. Our audiences are citizens of the major cities in Europe, US, and Australia who are aware of the challenges of climate change and are searching for ways to change their own practices.

Strong points of the solution

After 2 years of a global collective community effort of collecting more than 6300 innovative solutions, services, and products for a sustainable life, the project will leverage the largest existing database of green innovation. IYWTo is visited and enriched daily by contributors with new services found across the world. It provides the backbone for a more editorialized presentation of the solutions. The directory allows us to produce articles and analyses of most topics related to sustainable lifestyles which are up to date, localized. Solutions can be grouped by city or region to provide local guides but can also be compared across regions to offer a more analytical outlook. Best cases and practices can inspire other localities to imitate or modify their offer. Cities are proving to be the new centers of power and transformation and there are abundant projects that are linking cities to create new alliances and to share best practices (100 Resilient Cities, C40, etc).

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Since we started IYWTo in 2016 we wanted to promote the wide range of innovations that we were seeing emerging in a growing range of fields from mobility, to energy, food, and consumption. One of the characteristics that particularly interested us was the digital component of these innovations. Sustainable services that integrate the internet in a significant way seem to be taking advantage of all the features that this medium brings with it, from collaboration to outreach, from openness to commerce, to enable the adoption of new practices and behaviors that reduce individual and household footprint. The importance of the widespread adoption of alternative systems of transportation, nutrition, consumption, and energy does not need to be advocated again. However, there is a definite sense of urgency to create a visible and appealing outlet for the numerous and mature solutions that exist and are being constantly developed or improved.

Scalability potential of the solution

The project was started in London and the first few hundreds of services identified were in the UK or in London. It rapidly became global as solutions were added from all over the globe. Currently, the platform will allow us to produce editorial contents for the main cities in Europe and in Australia, plus some cities in the USA. We plan to start with sustainable service guides for 12 European cities but expect to scale to most cities in Europe, USA, and Australia in 2 years. This will require to identify regular editorial contributors and foster online communities to participate in conversations and experiences.

[Editor's Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made for length and clarity.]