Filling a Smart Phone App Gap - How do we get people to think more sustainably by asking the right questions?

After 12 years of management and innovation consulting in the online business and telecom industries, as my son reached an age where we started having more intellectual discussions, I began listening more and more to all of the scientific evidence that, if we continue business-as-usual in the way we work and live, then we are certain to leave a destroyed planet for future generations.  I began to do research and then in 2011, I became involved with TS2 Sustainability Strategies (The Natural Step) in Switzerland, and started helping companies and product developers strategically integrate sustainability into their core business and product development. Now, I have have developed the smartphone app - Sustainability Compass.
Over the years, I have realized that, the best way to approach change and innovation is by asking the right questions of executives, product innovators, and even friends and family and letting these smart people come up with their own enlightened answers.  That is the basis for my new smart phone app - for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. I looked at what sustainability apps were out there already -  there are some really cool sustainability data apps that that have been highlighted in a article by Joel Makower. What I did not find was an app that helps people think about their own projects from a broader sustainability perspective. So, I decided to create one - filled with some basic information and provocative questions to help people think smarter so they can act smarter - and help them look at sustainability with the whole system in mind - that is, the planet. For example, when someone is looking for a new place to live and wants to think about more than location and price, the app gives some ideas about what other aspects to consider that can provoke deeper thought and inspiring dialogue. I also realized that the app is a great tool that can be used in meetings and workshops in a professional or educational setting, so I have also included a deck of downloadable cards that are available to anyone who downloads the app. We have had some great responses so far about how consultants are using the app to generate important discussion - and we are encouraging them to share their experience on our Guestbook page on our web site.  The Sustainability Compass app is available in both English and in German and we are looking to expand the app into many other languages through a unique profit-sharing programme for interested translators.

For more information, go to: (links to You Tube Channel and the Guestbook there!). Download the app at iTunes und Google Play.

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Thanks for this information. I like the idea that the app doesn't tell you what to do but asks you the right questions so that you can think by yourself. I can imagine that interesting discussions will result by using this app. I also like the card desk. I'm studying environmental sciences and i'll definitely give it a try to use  it in a seminar to discuss environmental issues. 

Thanks a lot

Best wishes


Hello Matthias,

Thank you very much for this.
We also have our own set of cards, but focused on eco-design (o:eco,
I think ours may be complemented with yours in a very interesting way, looking for a more holistic way of approaching a total solution for sustainable design, for example.

That's fantastic, looks good - thanks for the info! Please write me an email on In the new year there will be somebody in Mexico promoting the Sustainability Compass and the Sustainability Cards deck. I think you could have a discussion.

Hi Lucas - I added a link to your card set on this page:

Hi Matthias!

I am very sorry for my late reply. I wrote you an email.


PS: Thank you very much for sharing!

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