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Intellectual property rights for sustainability


What do sheep have to do with intellectual property rights for sustainability? In this episode, we explore the ‘tragedy of the commons’, which often justifies the introduction of property rights to support conservation and reduced environmental impact. However, when it comes to ‘innovations of the mind’, do property rights help or hinder the transition towards more sustainable economies? We sit down with IIIEE researchers Nancy Bocken and Roberto Hernandez to discuss the sustainability implications of closed, semi-open, and open intellectual property models. A fully closed model prevents the diffusion of sustainable solutions while a fully open model disincentivises innovation. So, what can be done to encourage innovation as well as advance sustainable solutions? Find out in our new episode on intellectual property rights for sustainability! 

Show notes

In this month's episode, we discuss the following:

1:40 – introduction to the topic
2:00 – background to tragedy of the commons
5:28 – Privatization and property rights as a means to manage tragedy of the commons
7:45 – Intellectual property rights for sustainability?
8:40 – defining intellectual property – formal and informal types
12:05 – Sustainability scoop: Colgate and the new toothpaste tube
15:00 – The IPACST project: Research and IIIEE about intellectual property
16:35 – 22:45 – Interview with Professor Nancy Bocken
25:30 - 40:53  – Interview with Roberto Hernández, post-doc in IPACST project
41:00 – closing and key take-aways

The Sustainability Scoop

In this month's sustainability scoop, we discuss the newly shared intellectual property by Colgate Palmolive, on how to produce recyclabe toothpaste tubes. Traditional toothpaste tubes are notoriously difficult to recycle, but with this new innovation more companies are invited to support new packaging types that prevent waste!

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