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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Sustainability

Not too long ago, I sat with a small group of sustainability science “backcasters” at an international sustainability conference at the University of Utrecht in Holland. Forecasters look at trends related to sustainability to predict the future. Backcasters envision the idealized sustainable global future and research ways to get us...
Every two years, we are fascinated by the athleticism, level of competition, and the human stories in the Olympics. The latest installment of the games did not disappoint. The opening ceremony in London was spectacular and, during the last two weeks, we witnessed and celebrated the accomplishments of so many athletes. If you have been watching the...
The notion of the third industrial revolution originated with Jeremy Rifkin, the economist and prolific author of more than 20 books, including his latest The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World. Rifkin posits that our greatest economic developments arrive when a new form of energy...
Last week, I had the opportunity to fly for the first time in my life—and maybe the only one—in a hot air balloon with my daughter, Kahlia. I got the tickets last year at her school’s auction. The combination of planning a special outing while helping our beloved charter school made sense. We have tried to schedule this trip on...
Image courtesy of Pam Hubbard
There are events in your life that mark you—moments when you realize that you have learned a lesson and are ready for a new challenge. I have been working as change agent linking education, business, and sustainability together for the last 15 years. I have dedicated much of my work to creating learning communities, facilitating dialogue and...
I was recently asked what I was currently working on to support sustainable life on the planet. Over the years, I have been doing my part by recycling, reducing my consumption, reducing carbon usage, and bringing sustainability conversations into my university and other groups in which I participate; however, when I reflected on this question,...
When I started thinking of a topic to write about for this post, the theme that immediately came to my mind was "shared ownership." It has been a theme that keeps coming up as I reflect on some of the challenges and opportunities I see in the organizational contexts where I work. Shared ownership can involve the real material common...
Photo courtesy of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference's Facebook page
On May 11th, I attended the Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Rohnert Park, California. This conference has become a vibrant event in Sonoma County that fosters innovation and cultural change toward sustainability. Businesses, government and nonprofits are represented in this conference which presents both the best practices as well as the...
Spring is turning to summer here in the high desert and the restless energies of the changing seasons are moving through me. I've been cleaning out my office little-by-little lately, going through old mail and the like. The idea of shredding documents impacted me surprisingly deeply this time. When I've worked as an internal consultant,...
When we look at change, we can easily distinguish between planned and unplanned change. In simple terms, planned change is change that we seek. Conversely, unplanned change is the type of change we are forced to accept and integrate. This latter type of change may have been planned by others and we are just the unsuspecting recipients of it; or...
We have come to appreciate diversity as an asset in organizations. Diversity of gender, age, ethnicity, or any other manifestation of the ways we, as human beings, express our uniqueness. But beyond affirmative action, which creates a legal platform for equal employment opportunity, why should we care about organizational cultures that foster...
Image courtesy of Barry-Overstreet.com
It is inspiring to see more and more social enterprises been created. Social entrepreneurs are innovating new structures to integrate business knowledge with a socio-ecological purpose, expanding what traditionally has been considered profit. At the same time, the experimentation with new structures and processes also means that social...