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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).



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

International Society of Sustainability Professionals
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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

« 1% for the Planet | Main | Himalyan Glaciers Won't Melt by 2035? »

Strategic Sustainability Distance Learning

Blekinge Institute of Technology (BHT), Karlskrona Sweden
Sustainability at BHT:

The BHT offers a variety of residence and distance-learning educational opportunities. One of them is the first class of the resdence Master's Programme in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability  (MSLS). I took the Fall of 2009 distance class--Introduction to Strategic Sustainable Development--and found it exceptional. However, it is real school, repleat with reading, lectures, assignments, and a final exam delivered via web technology. It requires 10-20 hours per week to get the full benefit. The class consisted of about 50 students spanning the four corners of the globe and ranging from recent college grads through senior professionals. They were engaged and the experience was inspiring.

The class provides training in a unique and robust whole systems strategic planning methodology focused on achieving global sustainability. It is based on the content and method developed by Karl-Henrick Robert and The Natural Step over the past 20 years. The integration of multiple disciplines and practces is truly one of humanity's important, but as yet, under appreciated innovations. It holds the potential to develop the strategic focus, alignment, and context required for the myriad of tactical sustainbility impulses exploding onto the world stage recenlty to lead to global sustainability successs. My prognostication is that if humanity is successful, we will look back on the invention as a miraculous phenomonenon of just-in-time social innvoation. If we fail, it will still be the same phenomenon, it's just that there may not be as many of us looking back. Powerful. Valuable. Well worth your time if you're interested in the larger challenge of sustainability and the requirements for an effective response.

The BHT describes their sustainbility efforts as follows.

Sustainable development - striving for human progress and well-being within ecological limits - is a global pursuit of the utmost importance. By necessity it is a transdisciplinary field that calls for input, interpretation and application from and within all disciplines. At BTH, sustainable development is part of our profile Applied IT and Sustainable Development of Industry and Society. We are striving to integrate it seamlessly in everything we do. There are various specialized programmes where sustainability education and research are studied directly. Other programmes study the consequences of unsustainability and look for mitigation strategies and new and better ways of meeting society's needs. Many of our programmes also specialize on the enabling technologies that can be developed and harnessed in support of sustainable development objectives.

Distance learning Options

Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (Master's Level)


Module 1: Core Concepts of Strategic Sustainable Development (SSD). Today's environmental problems from a systems perspective. The cyclical processes in nature vs. the traditional linear use of materials in today's society. How to use a systems view and strategic planning for sustainable development. Principles of sustainability stemming from basic science: thermodynamics, energy, biological systems and social systems

Module 2: Applications of SSD understanding. Various tools and concepts currently in use for sustainable development, and their individual strengths and limitations.

On completion of the course the student will:   

  • Be able to discuss key sustainability challenges facing today's society, including some of the causes of both environmental and society problems.
  • Be able to describe the major components of a framework for strategic sustainable development.
  • Be able to independently apply the strategic planning tool (the ABCD analysis) to an organization.
  • Be able to describe different tools and concepts relevant to sustainable development and demonstrate the ability to apply the SSD framework to describe how these tools and concepts are best utilised.

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