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Topic: Events People

Making things better & making better things. Eco Innovation

The Mark Shayler interview

Mark Shayler from This is Ape is hosting our break out sessions at our up coming workshops.

Mark is an Eco innovator & author (Book here), who works on making things better & making better things.

He is the founding partner of The Do Lectures, which is like Ted Talks but way better and way cooler and more down to earth.

He also produces a great podcast if you are into delivering quality. 

Mark's Ted Talk is right here.

He is an engaging speaker. He has 4 kids, 11 chicks, 10 ducks and 2 dogs!

I first met Mark a few years ago at an event. I was exhibiting and across the hall could hear outbursts of laughter. This is rare for the types of exhibition we go to. i walked over to see what it was all about and the vibe was more like a comedy club than a boring Expo.  Mark was talking about Eco Innovation and reducing and circulating assets, materials and resources.

Mark is going to be speaking at our forthcoming events!

Save your seat!


Mark is hard to pin down,  so I texted him (while he was on the way to Atlanta) some questions for this interview and he generously replied. 

Mark I can hardly believe we have managed to book you for our events! 

Pulling together these large organisation who are up for increasing reuse, making a change, improving things- that is excting for me.

I see the impact that Warp It customers are having and I want to help to magnify it.

If we have  large customers with lots of staff across the public and private sector... This offers an opportunity to have a big impact. If we can create something of value that improves processes and makes these organisation more sustainable, we are winning. 

Want to attend?

Save your seat!

Mark how did you get into eco innovation?

I wanted to get into sustainability work since i was a kid. I came across the North American quote;

"When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realise That You Cannot Eat Money." 

This struck a chord with me and I began my interest in the environment.

This led to a career in sustainability, in the public and private sector. I learned a lot at this time about how to get things done, but it was not for me. 

For the last nearly 20 year I've worked for myself and focused on how design can make things better. I have always been curious about how things are put together and how they could be improved.

I spent time with designers and engineers, I am self-taught, but I have a blend of analytical and creativity skills and enjoy solving problems and looking at things from a new angle.

At This is Ape,  we believe that you can do the things that you do better. We believe that you can do better things. We work with companies to help develop new business models, new products and services, and new sustainable brand stories. We help you grow through innovation. We have saved our clients over £125 million, launched new products, increased sales by over 6,000%, increased retail footfall by 300%, and hopefully made the world a better place. We measure ourselves on the impact that we make.

Who have you fixed problems for in the past?

We have over 20 years experience of leading organisations towards innovation and creativity. We’ve worked with companies including Unilever, GAP, Samsung, Nike, P&G, Mars, Costa, Amazon, NHS, Arsenal FC and Lego. 


What is the purpose of the workshops?

To innovate and come up with some better ways of doing things!

Innovation in this context is about changing what an organisation does, and trying to grow that business for better. We can use  all the powers that we have and create products and services that make the organisation and the world a better place.

That is what I think innovation can be. It’s making things better, as well as delivering new products and services.

The break out sessions will be exploring the resource issues (materials, time, goods etc)  attendees have at work and their pain points with 1 aim. Seek to improve how resources are used in organisations.


Where does sustainability fit in?

The word ‘eco’ is Greek: it comes from the word ‘oikos’, which means ‘home’. So, economy and ecology have the same root, which is about keeping your house in order; making home strong.

Sustainability is environmental, social and economic. There is nothing else. It’s like three horses on a trap. If one of them is too strong, it takes you off-course. If you can harness all three of them, so that they’re pulling together, then you get them working with each other, rather than against each other.


What can attendees expect from your sessions?

In these sessions we will be working with the big players in the city and region to identify issues and problems in their work processes that cause them to waste resources in some way, and seek to come up with some solutions. The solutions might be improvements to Warp It or even new services all together!

We know the problems that large organisations face. We know how to fix them. So we will be taking our methods and applying them to the problems that your attendees face at work everyday.  For the innovation session attendees are encouraged, compelled even, to look outside and to think differently.  We want to get them drilling into the issues which cost the most money, waste the most time, have duplication...to come up with some solutions they can all say they were part of developing.



It's gonna be fun but challenging. We will identify areas where there's waste of time or resources, we will identify the players,  we will define the problems.. and the ideas will bubble up! By the end we will have some working ideas on how to improve Warp it and also come up with new service ideas- if these ideas make it to the market all attendees will get heavily discounted access.


Why should people attend the workshops?

Sounds great! Why should people attend the innovation workshops?

If you want to maximise reuse of surplus assets and get better at using resources in your organisation then you will like this.

If you want to be part of creating new parts of Warp it and even new services around resource use- then these workshops are for you. 

If you are always saying "I don't have enough time. I have too much on". Then these workshops are for you.

If you are always saying "Why doesnt somebody just invent X to sort out this problem" Then these workshops are for you.

If you have one item on your to do list that is there every week and it is just too challenging to tackle. Then these workshops are for you.

Who should not attend your workshops?

If you are happy with the status quo. If you think there is no room for improvement. If you do not want to improve. If you are happy with the processes in your organisation, then you will probably be a bit bored in these sessions. 

Save your seat! 

Can you summarise?

Yes! If you want to listen how others have overcome challenges around organisational reuse OR if you want to be involved in creating a service which solves a problem you are having around maximising resource use.... get yourself to the events!

I could not have said that better!! Mark thankyou for your time and good luck in Atlanta!

We are looking forward to our first workshop in Leeds on the 14th March. If you want to boo on any of our regional workshops please see more info here.


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Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

I use my time and experience to contribute to the transition to a regenerative sustainable society for all.

Topics: Events People

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