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Our Challenge

As Stewart Brand said in the introduction to the Whole Earth Catalogs,

"If we are going to act like gods, we might as well get good at it."

And Biomimicry is one key, and in a sense, one of the legacy's of the Whole Earth movement. Like Buckminster Fuller's comprehensive antipatory design science, Biomimicry is (1) the exploration and understanding of nature, i.e., the environment, as the technology and economy of an exquisitely evolved and designed regenerative life support system (living machine) that has been tested and developed over 4.8 billion years of evolution, and then (2) applying those battle-hardened principles to all aspects of human activity--designing, creating, and managing of society, from industrial products, to urban and regional systems, to public policy, business, the economy, etc.

Key Questions

Sustainability 2030's (S2030) research/practice program addresses the following key questions:

1. How can you/we become effective, powerful, even transformational forces for sustainability?

2. What is the program required for ultimate sustainability success--the end game?

3. Who has part of the answer now (current sustainability champions), how far do they take us, and how can we harness the state-of-the-art leading edge sustainability to an innovative research/practice program that gets us to ultimate success in the limited time remaining?  (more)


Advance, accelerate, and amplify an accurate understanding of the sustainability challenge and how to harness the power and potential of sustainability for an effective response before time runs out. The Strategic Sustainability2030 Institute  (S2030I) is a web-based think/do tank (more).

International Society of Sustainability Professionals


April 2013, Chicago, APA National Conference.

May 13-15, 2013, Seattle, Living Future unConference.

PAST (2012):

October 23-26, Portland, EcoDistrict Summit 2012.

July 31-Aug. 4, Portland, Ecosystem Services Conference.

May 2-4, Portland, The Living Future Unconference for deep green professionals.

June 15-18, Brazil, Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

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Our Challenge

as Buckminster Fuller observed, is

"to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

This goal is the essence of sustainable development! The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) provides access to Bucky's legacy, including his comprehensive anticipatory design science revolution. Check out their website, their programs, and engage.

Problem & Way Out


Caption: "Sadly, the only proven way to achieve global GHG reductions so far has been economic recession." Comment: Fortunately, shifting to 100% renewables would catalyze the global transition to durable prosperity and community well-being in a way that would eliminate GHG production AND grow the economy <<continued>>. (See also: strategic sustainabilitynatural capitalismits four strategies, and RMI's Reinventing Fire [energy] Program.) 

APA Links

Green Urbanism - Formulating a series of holistic principles

Green Growth - Recent Developments (OECD)

Foundation Earth - Rethinking Society from the Ground Up

Reinventing Fire - A key transformational initiative of RMI worth knowing/watching.

A Quick-Start Guide to Strategic Sustainability Planning

NEW Report: Embedding sustainability into government culture.

New STARS LEED-like sustainable transportation tool for plans, projects, cities, corridors, regions.

Strategic Community Sustainability Planning workshop resources.

Leveraging Leading-Edge Sustainability report.

Winning or losing the future is our choice NOW!

How Possible is Sustainable Development, by Edward Jepson, PhD.

Legacy sustainability articles -- the Naphtali Knox collection.


TNS Transition to Global Sustainability Network

EcoDistricts -- NextGen Urban Sustainability

Darin Dinsmore: Community & Regional Sustainability Strategies and Planning

Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design

APA-SCP (Sustainable Community Planning) Interest Group

Sustainability Learning Center

New path breaking Solutions Journal

Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Strategic Sustainability -- distance learning at BHT

Q4 Consulting - Mindfulness, Sustainability, and Leadership

RealClimate--Climate Science by Real Scientists

World Cafe--Designed Conversation for Group Intelligence

Real Change--Research Program for Global Sustainability Decision Making

RMI Conference, SF, 10-1/3-2009

Real Time Carbon Counter

Global Climate Change - Implications for US

Agenda for a Sustainable America 2009

ALIA Institute Sustainability Leadership

Frontiers in Ecological Economics

Herman Daly -- Failed Growth to Sustainable Steady State?

EOF - Macroeconomics and Ecological Sustainability

Gil Friend - Truth About Green Business

Sustainable Transpo SF

Google Earth-Day KMLs

AIA Sustainability 2030 Toolkit

Donella Meadows - Which Future?

Urban Mobility System wins Bucky Challenge 2009

Renewable Economy Cheaper than Systems Collapse

Population Growth-Earth Forum

Breakthrough Ideas-Bucky Challenge

Urban & Regional Planning-Cities at a Turning Point

John P. Holdren-Meeting the Climate Change Challenge

Stephen Cohen's Weekly Column in the New York Observer


The Sustainability Challenge 2009

The Window of Opportunity is Closing. There are a few short years ahead of us within which we can act to substantially alter or reverse the course of accelerating demographic, environmental, and economic trends that will, within 20 years or so, destabilize our planets biospheric life support system, most likely beyond recovery. After that, effective responses may be possible, but all bets are off.

Reversing Course Hampered by Insufficient Understanding. Reversing course, charting a new direction, and making substantial and sufficient progress in the transition to sustainability is the historic challenge we face. Fortunately, the pace of the sustainability response has quickened, widened, and deepened dramatically in 2008. Unfortunately, the challenge and the required response are still being (mis)understood from the same limited perspective that created the sustainability crisis in the first place, and that misunderstanding is compromising the required response.

Inventing a New Response Capacity. Conservation and mitigation (doing less damage or reducing the pace of damage)--first and second generation environmentalism--are no longer sufficient responses. They are part of the problem because they masquerade as solutions. To paraphrase Einstein, the same perspective that created a problem cannot be used to solve the problem. So, the first problem becomes, generating the new, more powerful, accurate, and effective framework of understanding and action.

The Problem is the Economy, NOT the Environment. The source of the accelerating collapse of the world environmental system (natural capital infrastructure and services) is the cumulative effect of the growing population in combination with standards of living, current economic processes, and efficiency. Sustainability is about stabilizing the human population and creating a human economy whose every effect enhances the ecological integrity of nature's economy--the basis for human economic wealth (life support capacity), and moreover, that discovers and uses the principles of nature's economy to create an ecologically sustainable economy that is more durable, has more economic security, and more prosperous than our present increasingly resource-scarce, carbon-based economy.

Watershed 2009--Sustainability as the New Engine of a New Economy. With the renewal of the next-generation Kyoto Protocol to address global warming (the front line of the sustainability crisis) in Copenhagen, 2009 portends to be a potential watershed year for sustainability. However, the potential will not be reached without breakthroughs in understanding that global warming is not fundamentally an environmental problem, but an economic problem. Concomitantly, the solutions must remedy the economic sources of global warming and create a more prosperous economy in the process. Doing so could begin to resolve the financial crisis, global warming, and the sustainability crisis simultaneously. This is one of our challenges in 2009.  

A Whole-Systems Critical-Path Response? Forging the new perspective and capacity that can lead to an accurate understanding of the sustainability challenge and required response is the first step in beginning to resolve the sustainability crisis. To that end, Sustainability 2030 is looking forward to accelerating its whole systems and critical path work program in 2009, invites you to engage and advance the transition to sustainability within your sphere of action, and wishes you the best in your efforts.

Highlights of new year's initiatives include the following:

  • World Watch's Two-Year Initiative combined with their State of the World 2009 "Into a Warming World:"
  • Union of Concerned Scientists s focused on Restoring Integrity to Federal Science.
  • Obama's Scientific Dream Team will turn things around:  "John Holdren, Jane Lubchenco and Steven Chu are, by any measure, a science dream team for the new administration," said Peter Frumhoff, UCS director of science and policy. "They all are among the top in their fields and understand the critical role that science must play in informing policy decisions." See AAAS 2007 Plenary Address and Bio. for Holdren's summary of the sustainability challenge and his expertise.
  • Under the leadership of Frances Beinecke, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)has launched a new strategic campaign that sharply focuses NRDC's efforts on curbing global warming, moving America beyond oil, saving wild places…Read More
  • Al Gore's continuing efforts:, climate and security