Es ist Zeit, den öffentlichen Raum neu zu denken.

London möchte die erste National Park City der Welt werden. Wieso hat Zürich eigentlich keine ähnlich ambitionierte Vision? (Animation von WATG)

Auf öffentlichem Grund in der Stadt Zürich stehen rund 62’000 Bäume, etwa ein Drittel davon an Strassen, der Rest in Grünanlagen. Gleichzeitig gibt es ungefähr 70’000 öffentlich zugängliche Parkplätze.

Diese Zahlen stehen symbolisch für eine veraltete Vorstellung von Raumnutzung. Wie die meisten Städte ist auch Zürich um die Bedürfnisse des Autoverkehrs geplant. Wollen wir das noch, in einer Zukunft von Klimawandel, autonomem Fahren und Home Office?

Seit Oktober 2014 wohne ich an der Eidmattstrasse. Eine klassische Zürcher Quartierstrasse — Wohnzone, einbahnig, langweilig. Entlang der rund 500 Meter ihrer West-Ost-Achse gibt es 83 Parkplätze, vier Kreisel, drei Hydranten, und sonst nichts.


Why we need to move beyond projects and platforms and add a new model for organising work to our systems change toolbox

This is the third article in a multi-part series that argues for greater appreciation of conceptual work in addressing climate change and other wicked societal problems. You can read Part I here and Part II here. The other parts are forthcoming.

Project /ˈprɒdʒ.ekt/
an endeavour that is carefully planned and proceeds in a linear, sequential fashion (from the Latin
proicere, meaning “to throw forward”)

Platform /ˈplæt.fɔːm/
a two-dimensional place of convention aimed at facilitating transactions, often with rigid architecture (from the French
plateforme, meaning “flat shape”)

Space /speɪs/ a multi-dimensional place of collaboration, with multiple purposes, porous boundaries, and evolving…


If your innovation appeals to the mainstream, you’re not pushing hard enough

Running a stand in a covered market is a real-time experiment in achieving product/market fit, with instantaneous customer feedback on quality, price, and service.

This is the second article in a multi-part series that argues for greater appreciation of conceptual work in addressing climate change and other wicked societal problems. You can read Part I here and Part III here. The other parts are forthcoming.

In 2007, two flatmates named Brian and Joe hosted guests at their San Francisco home. They would go on to disrupt the market for privately-owned vacation rentals with a company today known as Airbnb. A couple of years later, a similar story started to unfold in the market for ride-hailing. …


Cartoon by Wiley Miller

This is the first article in a multi-part series that argues for greater appreciation of conceptual work in addressing climate change and other wicked societal problems. You can read Part II here and Part III here. The other parts are forthcoming.

The 2020s are the decisive decade of humankind. A climate crisis is raging, and world leaders must act now if they are to stave off civilizational collapse. Time is of the essence. We must stop the debate, the theorizing, the philosophizing. The only thing that counts is real-world action.

We can all agree with that, right?

Well, hold on…


What does it mean to stand in the messy middle?

Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

When I recently presented my work on systemic investing to one of the world’s largest multilateral financial institutions, they didn’t get it. It was frustrating.

Then I was told by a colleague that my work was too abstract and that the value proposition was unclear. This was frustrating, too.

A few days later we received an email from the team at a public sector organization involved in one of Climate-KIC’s Deep Demonstrations. They misunderstood what we had put forward in a proposal and wanted us to adopt a much more traditional approach. This felt like going back to square one.


transformation (phenomenon)
deep, structural, and irreversible change

Transformation Capital (logic)
a systemic investment approach for catalysing mission-driven sustainability transitions in the real economy

Transformation Capital Initiative (space)
1:
a multi-year open innovation initiative to develop,demonstrate, and scale systemic investing
2: a do-tank for the sustainable finance movement

The science is clear, and the world’s top economic authorities agree: To safeguard human civilisation as we know it, we must fundamentally change the way our societies and economies operate.


Der Klimaschutz macht Zwangspause. Doch der Kampf um die besten politischen Narrative beginnt bereits heute.

Ein Sonnenblumenfeld in der Schweiz während des Hitzesommers 2018.

Am 27. Februar 2020 kam mein Sohn Hanno zur Welt. Es war die Woche, in der die Hamsterkäufe begannen. Am Tag des Spitalaustritts waren Desinfektionsmittel vergriffen. Die kurzzeitig aufflammende Panik trieb mich dazu, ein angebrochenes Fläschchen aus der Maternité zu stehlen.

Hanno ist ein Corona-Kind — direkt in die Quarantäne hineingeboren. Die Familie und Freunde seiner Eltern kennt er bislang nur aus der sozialen Distanz. Er macht dennoch einen glücklichen Eindruck, auch wenn er oft das macht, was alle Kinder tun: er quengelt, wenn ihm etwas nicht passt.

Beim Versuch, meinen Sohn durch gutes Zureden und praktische Handlungen zu beruhigen…


Why managing the Bezos Earth Fund will be more challenging than it seems

A snapshot taken at Climate-KIC’s recent organizational blueprinting workshop. Designing an organization capable of catalyzing climate action is difficult, even when building on 10 years of experience.

This is the second article in a two-part series on Jeff Bezos’s announcement to pledge $10 billion toward safeguarding the Earth’s climate. Part I offers an opinion about what the Bezos Earth Fund should spend its money on.

How do you spend $10 billion to address climate change? Many have weighed in on this question in the wake of Jeff Bezos’s gargantuan climate pledge. Most comments focused on the issue of what to spend that money on, mine included. Yet there is another, equally important, issue:

How, exactly, should the Bezos Earth Fund go about deploying its endowment?

In structuring…


How an announcement by the world’s richest person kick-starts the ultimate search for leverage

This is the first article in a two-part series on Jeff Bezos’s announcement to pledge $10 billion toward safeguarding the Earth’s climate. Part II offers an opinion about how the Bezos Earth Fund should be structured and managed.

Last week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced his intention to donate $10 billion to address climate change. Commentators have been quick to suggest what to spend that money on, including the usual suspects such as moonshot technology projects (e.g. space-based solar power), a massive global tree-planting campaign, or efforts to reduce his company’s carbon footprint.

Bezos’ climate pledge creates an interesting conundrum…


Trees have value — they clean the air, provide shading, and sequester carbon. Being able to account for and capture that value could unlock massive amounts of funding, creating a new market for assets with positive externalities and transforming the socio-technical system we call “city”. This is the purpose of Dark Matter’s Trees as Infrastructure initiative — a prototype of a (potentially) transformative entrepreneurial initiative. (Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash)

This article is part of the Redesigning Venture Capital series. Read Part I (“The Challenge”) here and Part II (“A Blueprint”) here.

I recently published two articles about the challenge of redesigning venture capital. In Part I (“The Challenge”), I argue that the traditional venture capital model is severely limited in its ability to leverage the power of entrepreneurship to address the complex societal challenges of the 21st century. In Part II (“A Blueprint”), I outline how to develop a selection framework for a new asset class: the transformative entrepreneurship investment programme (TEIP).

In this article, I present my own…

Dominic Hofstetter

I write to inform, inspire, and trigger new strategies for tackling climate change.

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