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William McDonough

17 Podcast Episodes

Latest 23 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Joy of Design with William McDonough

The Future We Want

William McDonough is recognized around the world for developing Cradle-to-Cradle design, launching the green building movement, and designing some of the most iconic, beautiful, and sustainable solutions in history – from buildings that function like forests to consumer products that are pure enough to eat.  In this episode, William shares the joy and the human side of sustainable design with personal stories from what it was like to grow up in post WWII Japan to the inspiration of his mentor, the legendary photographer Walker Evans, to a call to imagination for a new generation to design a future we all might want to be part of.  Learn more about his work at McDonough.com and follow William on Twitter at @billmcdonough


15 Jan 2021

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The Godfather of the Circular Economy: A Sit-Down With William McDonough

The Town Haul

William McDonough's resume reads like a thick phone book. He's an architect, a designer, an author, a professor, and an established thought leader in the Circular Economy space. He also sat down with host Amy Koonin at Rubicon HQ to walk listeners through his professional timeline, personal passion for sustainability, and how he sees the future for closing the loop and upcycling. Known as "The Godfather" of the Circular Economy, McDonough makes our planet an offer we shouldn't refuse.


27 Mar 2019

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Cradle to Cradle's William McDonough - Fashion is a Verb

WARDROBE CRISIS with Clare Press

Meet legendary thinker, innovator, disruptor and Cradle to Cradle hero, William McDonough. Architect, designer, thought leader, and author – his vision for a future of abundance for all is helping companies and communities think differently. He was the inaugural chair of the World Economic Forum's Meta-Council on the Circular Economy and currently serves on the Forum's Global Future Council on the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security. For more than 40 years, he has defined the principles of the sustainability movement.This interview is a must for anyone who is interested in the circular economy, or indeed just cares about the future of our planet. We discuss why we should we view waste as a resource, and how we can transition to doing that. We talk about sustainable development, about look at how we measure society's success now, and how we might change that in future.As Bill and his co-writer Michael Braungart write in Cradle to Cradle, “In the race for economic progress, social activity, ecological impact, cultural activity, and long-term effects can be overlooked.”We also dig into emptiness vs. abundance. Unpick the idea of fashion as a verb. Look at how weaving and mathematics are linked. And talk about clothes and Diana Vreeland, beauty and the impotrtance of language. Bill can talk about any subject in a completely delightful way. Buckle up for a wild conversational ride.https://thewardrobecrisis.com/podcast See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


13 Oct 2018

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William McDonough - Father of the Circular Economy and Cradle-to-Cradle Design

Sustainable Nation

William McDonough is one of the most influential sustainability thought-leaders and practitioners in the world. McDonough joins the Sustainable Nation Podcast to discuss: Cradle-to-Cradle design principles and examples of the Cradle-to-Cradle work he is leading. Cradle-to-Cradle in the apparel industry and Fashion for Good. Moving beyond sustainability to a regenerative and restorative future. A new language for carbon. Advice for sustainability professionals. McDonough's Final Five Questions: What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers? I would say one would be to pull back on the of resources and pull into the notion of relationships. So if we're talking about is economic resources or economic capital, we forget society and we forgot the environment. For sustainability people, we think about economic and social and environmental things, but as long as we keep calling it "resources" or "natural capital" or "social capital" or "human resources", we end up seeing everything as a fungible asset that we can apply statistical significance. And if we do that, we find ourselves with a kind of artificial intelligence based on statistical significance. Not a bad thing per se, but I wonder if we can bring back the whole notion of natural intelligence and do the things we know are right. Not just the things we know are less or more. What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development? All the building's I'm designing and the products I'm designing, the systems we're designing and whatever I'm working on at the moment. We're just real busy and excited about it. That's my favorite part of it. Just doing the work, building the buildings, making the products and designing the package. It's fun. Absolutely. I agree. What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read? Cradle to Cradle What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do? Could be anything from websites or associations, technology, software, programs, guidebooks, any type of tools. Well, again, if a tool is something that we can use to everyone's benefit, then in a kind of a strange way, the things that I rely on the most, to make it possible for me to do what I do, are actually other people. And I don't see them as tools, as much as relationships. I don't see them as much as being resources as being people who I can rely on in a sense to be transparent, to be truthful and to be full of good ideas. I think that's the key thing, is the sharing of ideas, and that is hard to do. So I think being connected to people is the privilege that I've had for so long that I have a lot of people, and when I have an idea, I can go see another person and idea to go with it. And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your work? I think hopefully McDonough.com will evolve into something useful for people. It is showing the sort of diversity of the things we do. If it is possible, therefore it exists. That's the world I live in, cause I guess I'm a professional visionary in a certain way. And so my job is to look out into the future, and then speak of the future perfect in the present tense. So I try to make examples that are hopefully helpful to people as they try to imagine it themselves and try to make it exist. So therefore it is possible for other people. So I'd say look at the work, read the books.


12 Mar 2018

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Episode 41: Interview with William McDonough on the Cradle to Cradle economy

The Sustainability Agenda

William McDonough is a globally recognised leader in sustainable development. His books Cradle to Cradle: Rethinking the Way we Make Things, co-authored with chemist Michael Braungart and followed up in 2013 by The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance, are seminal texts in the circular economy movement. Originally trained as an architect, McDonough firmly believes that design signals human intentions and is thus crucial to shaping a sustainable and inclusive future. Through biomimicry, McDonough believes we can design products as services and emulate closed loop material cycles, so that materials, buildings, companies and communities continuously improve over time. McDonough brings his vision of a sustainable future characterised by abundance to commercial and government leaders worldwide through his consultancy McDonough Innovation. He remains active with his architectural practice William McDonough + Partners, as well as MBDC, the Cradle to Cradle consulting firm. He also co-founded two not-for-profit organizations to allow public accessibility to Cradle to Cradle thinking: GreenBlue and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. He has previously served as the Inaugural Chair of the World Economic Forum’s MetaCouncil on the Circular Economy and currently serves on the Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security.In this inspiring interview, McDonough discusses the concept of Cradle-to-Cradle, notably how reusable and durable cycles benefit the biosphere and future generations. Successful examples of circular economies already exist and McDonough outlines how Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, generates 85 percent of their revenue from by cradle-to-cradle products. The benefits in savings coupled with new forms of customer engagement demonstrate that such circular economies are financially viable and of interest to companies around the world. McDonough also outlines the certification schemes that underpin Cradle-to-Cradle and the importance of expanding consumer awareness. We see flashes of his creative brilliance, such as his views on the ocean plastic crisis and vision of restorative solar farms. He also touches on the path ahead by discussing how finance is limited by its dependence on destructive industries, such as fossil fuels, and the role of government in driving change by benchmarking best practice. He finishes by sharing his optimism for the future, stating he primarily designs for eight year olds, as children have a natural grasp of the wonder of nature and desirability of sustainable design.The post Episode 41: Interview with William McDonough on the Cradle to Cradle economy appeared first on The Sustainability Agenda.


10 Mar 2018

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Principled Design Based On The Laws Of Nature - William McDonough - ND3455

New Dimensions

McDonough describes what is meant by the idea of “Cradle to Cradle,” and says “Things are designed to either go back to biology or back to technology without contaminating each other.” He tells us that we can and must design things to go back into an intelligent material pool for human benefit without contaminating the environment. Tags: bionutrients, cold fusion, Cradle to Cradle, e=mc2, ecology, effective, efficiency, environment, environmentalism, environmentalist, human rights, Make it Right project, nature, Pacific garbage patch, population, sewage plants, social equity, technology, technonutrients, triple top line, William McDonough, Business, Ecology, Nature, Environment, Personal Growth, Science, Self-Help, Social Change, Politics, Technology

5 Oct 2017

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Changing the Conversation Around Carbon with William McDonough

Dollars and Change Podcast

William McDonough, Sustainable Architect, Designer, and Author, joins hosts Katherine Klein and Sandi Hunt to discuss how new dialogue around product production and design can shift the conversation from “how companies can do less harm” to how businesses can actually begin to do more good on Dollars and Change. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


14 Jun 2017

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Episode 4 - William McDonough

Regen360: Creating a Green Legacy

David is joined by William McDonough, an American designer, advisor, author of three books including Cradle to Cradle, thought leader and the Presidential Award winner for Sustainable Development. Join as we discuss his latest book “Upcycle”.


15 Nov 2016

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William McDonough & the 'Carbon Positive City'

Deceleration Podcast

SXSW Eco: 'Cradle to Cradle' author William McDonough introduces his vision of the Carbon Positive City at SXSW Eco 2016. The concept integrates urban and agricultural development as a unified, productive and restorative system, thereby recognizing beneficial uses of carbon for short and long-term ecological, economic and social value.


12 Oct 2016

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Architect William McDonough on cradle-to-cradle design

Massive Change Radio Archive

Fractal tiles, eco-effectiveness, and The Next Industrial Revolution. --> If you dig these interviews from the archives, please subscribe and review in iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. My other show lives at brandnewways.com Find me on Twitter: @jenleonard_


15 Jun 2015