Trade-Offs and Externalities

While doing a bit of research on externalities and trade-offs this afternoon, I came across this graphic representation of sustainable development, and the forces that are in play.

For me, it was a nice and clean graphic about how one can think about / present the forces that are occurring in today’s market, environment, and society, and offers a starting place for framing the recalibration that is occur. Some may say is already occurring.

A couple of points that I would like to make that are relevant to discussions that have been ongoing about the balance between the environment and social needs.  The space between those and the economy, labeled eco-efficiency and ethics/ social productivity/ markets, represent the externalities themselves.

These are the gaps where trade-offs exist.

I’ll have more on externalities later, where I will highlight the role of externalities, areas in which I see the greatest externalities, and likely scenarios going forward as governance works to find a balance between the economy, environment, and society.

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