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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

Sharpening Community Sustainability Planning with a Strategic Approach -- Workshop (October 14, 2011) HOME Page

Co-Hosted (APA Northern Section):  South Bay RAC & Sustainability Committee

This home page summarizes the workshop (Description) and provides Resources for follow-up use by participants and for initial use by those who did not take the workshop but are interested in a strategic approach (see below).


The workshop introduced a strategic sustainability planning framework and method. They were applied in a group exercise to see how developing a strategic action plan might enhance community sustainability planning.

The workshop was free for members, $10 for non-members. It was held from 8 AM – 12:30 PM at HMH (1570 Oakland Road, San Jose). HMH Consultants have served the Bay Area with planning, engineering, and design services for 35 years. The APA provided a light breakfast and HMH provided lunch--thank you HMH!

Click the link To log your CM credits (3.0).  

The workshop presenters, Scott Edmondson, AICP and Katja Irvin, AICP ( or, appreciated the enthusiasm and creativity of the 40+ planning professionals who attended the workshop and made it a success.

A strategic approach to community sustainability planning increases creativity, sharpens focus, and amplifies effective action. Such an approach integrates current initiatives into a longer-term strategic framework and an on-going process of stakeholder engagement and innovation. A strategic approach does not dictate a particular path nor exclude the use of other approaches and tools, but it does harness them for greater effectiveness and ultimate success.

Follow up information and resources are listed below. In addition, post observations, comments or questions for wider response in the Discussion Forum.


Workshop Follow Up Resources Document, provides links and short discussion of a range of next-step resources, mostly no-cost. See also the list of references in the Resources Section at the end of the Presentation, Part 1 (see link below), pages 92-93.

Mock South Bay Community Strategic Sustainability Plan, refines and extends the results of the workshop exercise into a partial mock plan to illustrate how a strategic approach begins to differ from a traditional approach.

Bonus Resource: 30-minute recorded webinar on Planning for Sustainable Development--Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, (you sign on as a guest adding your name but don’t use the name "Guest," use your own - (No password is needed) and click the play arrow in the middle of the screen and it will play for you.) Go here for details.

Workshop Discussion Forum

Workshop Presentation:

Scott's Part 1 Documents:

Katja's Part 2 Exercise PDFs:

Questions/Feedback: or