Ben Gleisner | How to shape the built environment by better understanding social & ethical preferences


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Can technology help the built environment better reflect people’s changing social and ethical consumption choices?

Ben is an economist, environmentalist and social entrepreneur. He has founded several businesses and charities, and worked for 6 years at the New Zealand Treasury - where he led the development of the Living Standards Framework. He co-founded CoGo while working at the New Zealand Treasury, and has grown the social enterprise to a thriving New Zealand movement with over 20,000 consumer members and 500 business customers.

Ben’s vision is a world where consumers and businesses work together for the good of people and the planet. Ben has recently moved to London with his wife and two children, to launch the platform in the UK.

In this podcast:

  • How does CoGo work?
  • Will people be happy to share banking data if it leads to social change?
  • How can retail be changed by understanding the customer’s ethical prerogatives?
  • How deep-rooted is the trend of conscious consumerism - what are people prepared to do to uphold these beliefs?
  • Will a kite mark emerge for bench-marking & assessing the social values of buildings?

For his favourite building, Ben selects his self-build, straw-bale eco-house in New Zealand.

Ben prefers listening to podcasts than reading books so rather than adding to the Building Our Future reading list, his recommended podcast is The Environmental Economist.

Ben’s innovative technology to watch out for is the data collection and collation. Data is the building blocks of insight and those who are best at gathering it, will have access to the best analysis and ability to change things.

34 episodes