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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)

Mission

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).

Affiliations
International Society of Sustainability Professionals
Announcements

UPCOMING:

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
FEATURES1

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.

FEATURES2

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

« Managing Complexity Effectively | Main | Environment California Research and Policy Center »
Saturday
Aug272011

Winning or Losing the Future, Now--Our Choice!

Do we want to be the generation that lost the future for humanity or won it? 

That is the sustainability challenge we face. It is our choice; one we can and need to make in the affirmative.

This is the thesis underlying the work of Lester Brown, his Earth Policy Institute, and his most recent book, World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse (see links below), as he describes it in a flyer and letter to readers (see link).

In the opening of his flyer on the book, he captures the essence of the situation humanity faces as follows:

"Ecological and economic DEFICITS  are now shaping NOT ONLY our future, BUT OUR PRESENT. The future is here [NOW; emphases added]."

"We are facing environmental and economic issues of near-overwhelming complexity and unprecedented urgency. Our challenge is to think globally and develop policies that will enable us to chagne direction. Teh quesition is: Can we do so before we go over the edge?"

Mr. Brown's key points in his letter to his readers are as follows:

1. Earth is having a Heart Attack. We as individuals are fine, but the earth' the biospheric life-support system is itself in intensive care and at risk of crashing, permanently.

2. Perfect Storm 2030. A "perfect storm" of food shortages, water scarcity, and costly oil is on the horizon for 2030, or could it be sooner, say 2020? It will be the ultimate, as in last, fatal, recession.

3. Hard-to-Grasp Dynamics. The dynamics of this perfect storm (exponential growth in a finite environment), or even a lower grade imperfect one, are hard to grasp because they lie beyond our immediate senses, and what's worse, beyond our collective experience. Those of us who have had the experience at different points in the past did not live to tell.

4. Perfect-Storm Triggers. A combination of the following will trigger the ultimate storm: (i) massive harvest shortfall from crop-withering heat waves and water shortages from depleted aquifers; (ii) off-the-chart grain price spikes leading to export-country bans on exports; (iii) under-mining of confidence in the market as a reliable mechanism and the associated eroding of trust upon which the international financial system depends.

5. Hope-Reversing Course. Reversing course from environmental trends that are undermining the world economy and restructuring a regenerative global economy/society is possible, but it will take a massive mobilization at wartime speed. This is Lester Brown's Plan B.

6. Culture of Financial/Ecological Deficit Finance. The same values underlying the ecological deficits that are pushing humanity past the brink of recovery are the same ones that lead to the fiscal crisis that precipitated the global crash and depression of 2007 and that we are still experiencing. The crisis is accelerating. We used to think it would be our children, and theirs, who would inherit this mess if left unreversed. Now we can see it is us and our children and theirs, now.

7. Difficult Topic of Social Collapse. Facing and discussing this prospect of social collapse is hard enough because it is difficult to imagine things that we have yet to experience and therefore do not have the concepts and vocabulary with which to discuss. But it is also difficult because the subject is not simply humanity in the abstract, but our famines, our friends, ourselves!

8. The Two Policy Cornerstones underlying a successful bid for Plan B are as follows:

  • Restructure taxes by lowering income taxes and raising taxes on carbon emissions sufficiently to redirect capital flow of the capitalist economy based on the full costs of carbon inputs, thereby stimulating the innovation to reduce use/emissions and development/shift to new technology.
  • Redefining securing in the 21st century in terms of the real ecological, not aggression, threats; no longer armed aggression, but rather climate change, population growth, water shortages, poverty, rising food prices, and failing states.

The shift in flows and revenue raised in policy cornerstone "a" will fund the $200B investment (1/8th of $1.6T global military budget) needed in reforestation, soil conservation/restoration, fishery restoration, universal primary school education, and reproductive health cares and family planning services for women everywhere.

  • Watch the 1.5 hr. documentary here.

Start making your personal adjustments, including political action from letter writing on up to move the system for regenerative success.

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