River deep, mountain high

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Deep is a word increasingly used in our times. You see it in “deep learning”, “deep tech” and “deep adaptation”, to name just a few. Deep is not a shallow word, but offers something more profound.

This trend around the word “deep” originates from the concept of Deep Ecology, coined by Arne Naess since the 1950’s. Contrasting with “Shallow Ecology”, which is anthropocentric, where the environment (that what surrounds you) is seen as instrumental to serve man, Deep Ecology looks further. It is a philosophy “promoting the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, plus a restructuring of modern human societies in accordance with such ideas.” (link Wikipedia) Note, Wikipedia adds here to clarify : “Not to be confused with ecology” 😉

Arne Naess (source:https://www.britannica.com/explore/savingearth/arne-naess)


Unfortunately, deep tech & deep learning have chosen to use this term ‘deep’ differently, using advanced technology and AI as we know best, in an anthropocentric way. Deep adaptation, created by Jem Bendell however, does connect entirely to this profound quest and connection with what surrounds us and with ourselves. Building on Naess’s oeuvre and taking it to our current times, in a world that is in deep transformation (climate, social, health, financial…)

In 2011 Gunter Pauli (Founder of ZERI) writes the article : “From Deep Ecology to The Blue Economy, A review of the main concepts related to environmental, social and ethical business that contributed to the creation of The Blue Economy”. Rendering homage to Arne Naess and many others who have contributed in the research and the initiatives such as the works of the Club of Rome, Permaculture, Biomimicry, Cradle to cradle, Industrial Metabolism and Circular Economy….


Systemic Innovation, by Innov’Blue

Systemic Innovation best denotes what we do at Innov’Blue. Deep innovation is our ambition for how to do what we do, building on the legacy of Naess and many others since.

A big ambition indeed. And a necessary one, because I am convinced that this direction is the only way forward for us to develop a society and therefore an economy that will indeed be sustainable. Considering the current level of criticallity many of us are now aware of, the society we need to develop is a regenerative one. How, you may ask?

What is needed is not another method or tool. There are plenty of them and if well applied they are very useful. We are experts in developing methods with convincing propositions. It is the execution that is as important today and it is here we have the most to learn: Not just focus on WHAT we do, how can we learn about HOW we do what we do? When we act, we do this with what intention, what conviction? (I invite you back to the swamp with Yoga and our friend Luke (Yoda) 🙂).


Beyond tools and methods

For us, Systemic Innovation is the continuous bringing together of the vision for an economy and organisations that are sustainable in today’s global reality with the reality of our current economic system and organisational structures, our business cultures and the increasing challenges and uncertainties we face.

Our deep understanding for both these aspects allows us focus on HOW to best apply the tools available (ex. tools on collective intelligence, organisational learning, agile management or design thinking). We hereby offer our customer the possiblity to innovate and adapt better to today’s reality.



Having co-founded Bridging Foundation for a Liveable Future has allowed me to share with you the minds and hearts that are most exemplary today, the people who are most influencial to our work on Systemic Innovation. The acts and the writings of speakers such as Peter Senge, Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, Mohammad Yunus, Gunter Pauli and more remind me of a sentence often presented by prof. Pauli. It is a feeling that I invite others to tap into as well – “standing on the shoulder of giants”

Camila Amaya-Castro, founder of Innov’Blue, co-founder of @liveablefuture, vice-chair of Global SoL

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