The American architect and designer William McDonough gave a lecture last Tuesday (March 19) at the Green Days in the University of Iceland through remote assistance live from San Francisco. McDonough, who is truly a star of the sustainability sciences, discussed his Cradle to Cradle concept with students and teachers and his new book the Upcycle. According to his concept, manufacturers and companies should change their industrial processes and choice of materials and eliminate the use of harmful substances in their manufacturing and products. It is therefore possible to manufacture products that have a positive effect on the environment when their lifetime is over instead of producing waste that ends up in landfills.
McDonough discussed also Iceland‘s unique opportunities in the field of environmental issues and environmentally-friendly design. He recommends that Iceland should be the first country to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, due to active research on hydrogen fuels. He urged attendees to be creative in their thinking and emphasized that any future decisions made should be based on careful and well-founded reasoning. McDonough wants Iceland to be a global leader in environmental issues and suggested that Iceland could become the first country in the world to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. He believes that Iceland is in a unique position to do so because of its renewable natural resources, the technological achievements in the world and the fact that Iceland has a small population. Due to these factors, Iceland has the potential to be a forerunner for those nations that want to change the way they use their natural resources, treat the natural environment and return it to future generations.
In his lecture McDonough also said that he has been coming to Iceland every year for the last 42 years to go fishing. He was 20 years old the first time he came to Iceland and was working at the time as chauffeur for the jazz and swing musician Benny Goodman. Since then he has been coming every year and is a great admirer of Icelandic nature and culture. The lecture was recorded and will be available on the internet in the next few days.
Green days at the University of Iceland will continue throughout the week and they will be finishing with a concert at the Student Bar with the bands Boogie Trouble, 1860 and Kanilsnældur.
Admittance to all the events during Green Days is free and everybody is welcome. The full schedule for Green Days can be found on the webpage of Gaia the student organization for the master‘s programme in Environment and Natural Resources. Gaia is the organizer of Green Days event each year.