What Sustainability Means to Me.

This weekend, I gave my first keynote speech entitled What Sustainability Means to Me at the ecodesign fair.

It was a speech that required a lot out of me, more than most, because I had to not only boil down several years of ranting into 30 minutes.  I had to do it in front of people who were in the know.  People who are respected members of the community.  People would call me out.

… and so I toiled to put together the presentation that I have embedded.

A subject that is at the core of nearly every conversation I have, my goal was to simply show others how I frame sustainability, and then how I take the steps I do. I tend to look past the environmental and investment focuses that have come to define sustainability towards systems and program, and it was through this lens that I really looked to focus the 30 or so who were in attendance.

As it is through this lens that I have developed my own platforms and solutions.

It is not that the environmentalists, the investors, and the politicians are wrong per se.  In fact, I would say that many have done an excellent job at driving the conversations forward and into the public psyche, and for that they have my full support.  It is that many of the current discussions surrounding sustainability are driven by definitions and solutions that are meant to isolate average citizens, and my personal view is that in doing this the goals of sustainability are changing from creating balances to creating economic, investment, and political opportunities.

Which, in my mind, should not be the goal of sustainability.

Goals that will require far more than solar panels, hybrid cars, and carbon trading to achieve.

… but that is just me.  How about you?

What is your definition of sustainability?
What do you see as the core issues?
What are the solutions you see?

Check out my presentation, and then leave a comment on the questions above.

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3 Responses to What Sustainability Means to Me.

  1. Hi Rich,

    The so-so part about accessing a presentation post-event is that a) I don’t get the benefit of hearing your speech inflections and humourous asides (unless there’s an audio version I don’t know about, hehe) and b) I miss all of the repartee after the fact and the wonderful dialogues which follow the slideshow. Sure, there’s always the webinar…what complex webs we weave…

    I noticed the wickedly good reading list on Slide #18, and regrettably I couldn’t make out the middle title of the section “Books on sustainability.”

    I’ve jotted the rest of them down. 🙂

    –ADM

  2. pity that i couldnt make it to hear you speak, but now i finally understood your approaches to this issue. kudos!

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