Carlos A.M. Duarte, 2023.

Professor at IADE - European University

Founding Partner AASO

Over the last hundred years, the strategies used by economic agents to create competitive products have led to the evolution and diversity of the offer available to the final consumer. It was a time characterized by the systematic application of scientific knowledge to the resolution of economic problems, aiming at the sustained growth of the population's standard of living.

On the other hand, the new materials and new technologies at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century have become an immense challenge, both for designers and for engineers, knowing that the evolution in engineering and technology has progressed along two axes:

1. Increased complexity;

2. Ease of use.

Today, we thus have at our disposal a diversity of solutions, immeasurably more complex, and which induce great ease of use in our daily activities.

Therefore, this is the right time and moment to reflect on these opportunities and the challenges they pose to us, given the incredible pace of change driven by technology and the profound impact that it will have on models and consequent emerging behaviors associated with digital transformation.

The next step in the digitization of the economy will allow for more efficient processes, reduction in energy consumption, minimization of waste, with highly customized products adapted to the customer. Factories will be increasingly automated, with systems linked together.

However, we also know that the rarer an event is, the greater disturbance it causes in all human structures. No wonder, therefore, that the structures that our society has created for the various systems are too influenced by events out of context or unlikely to occur.

For this reason, the impact of the pandemic resulting from COVID-19 and subsequently the uncertainty created by the ongoing conflict in Europe, forced us to rethink strategies, change directions and make the necessary changes that, in the case of most companies, were forced to adapt to new realities.

It is in this scenario that, in September 2022, the AASO - Associação de Apoio à Sustentabilidade da Óptica was created, with the purpose of bringing together organizations from the optics ecosystem in Portugal and individuals from different sectors of society, so that this sector can evolve in cooperation and thus adopt sustainability principles in their management structures, in full alignment with the 2030 Agenda, promoted by the United Nations.

As this is a universal agenda, remember here, it is structured around 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 goals to be implemented by all countries, and which presupposes the integration of the SDGs into policies, processes and actions developed at the national, regional and global levels, in order to eradicate extreme poverty, combat inequalities and injustice, in addition to containing climate change.

Portugal materializes in SDGs 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 10 (reduction of inequalities), 13 (action against global climate change) and 14 (protecting the marine life), its strategic priorities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We are sure that the community associated with the optics sector has already found the way to be able to evolve in cooperation for the sake of sustainability.

Carlos A. M. Duarte, graduated in Design, in the option of Industrial Design, by IADE - Escola Superior de Design, PhD in Production Engineering, by the University of Beira Interior, with a thesis entitled “Relativistic Analysis of the Quantity of Information for the Evaluation of Emerging Behaviors in Design” and holder of the title of aggregate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, by the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, where he presented a lesson entitled “Simplicity, a parameter of Engineering and Design”. He also holds a certification in Advanced Training in Innovation Policies and Management, under the PROINOV-Integrated Innovation Support Program, promoted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the XIV Constitutional Government of Portugal. Since 2014, he has been a full professor at IADE-European University and a member of UNIDCOM / IADE – Research Unit in Design and Communication, an R&D unit accredited by the Foundation for Science and Technology with the classification of “Very Good”.

First and only rector of the Institute of Art, Design and Business – University (IADE-U), until its integration into the European University in 2016. Vice-rector of the European University between 2019 and 2022.

Domain of specialization: industrial/product design and its relationship with belief systems for establishing a measure

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