About the blog
Every century is known for something big. In the 17th century it was the Renaissance; in the 18th and 19th, the Industrial Revolution; in the 20th, it was Technology & Globalization. The 21st will be known as the Sustainability Century, or will be, if we manage to survive it.
It is not news that we are running short of arable land, water, minerals all the while putting impossible pressures on vital and ever shrinking ecologies, leading to resource conflicts, food insecurity, health risks, etc., etc. This alarm bell has been rung so many times it has become itself a great big scary cliché.
The Sustainable Century by Design or Disaster doesn’t ring this bell much. Nor does it engage in polarizing ideologically-based or emotional opposition to whatever side of the status quo one might be on. Rather, it sets its stubborn eye on the realities facing companies and what they can, can’t, and should do to participate in and profit from efforts big and small, subtle and radical to divert the economy from humming along down its oh-so unsustainable path.
It’s a common turn of phrase in sustainability circles to participate in and profit from, one many accept at face value or vilify as hypocritical or somehow evil. In The Sustainable Century there are reasons for singing this tune, seven, in fact, each supporting, guiding and uniting the thinking within and between chapters; they are:
Our Future – Going to Hell in a Hand Basket;
No Time for a Revolution: Capitalism is What We Got & That’s not Necessarily a Bad Thing;
Sustainability Values Market Signals: Weak but Growing;
Production Habits Have to Change: aka Companies Have a Huge Role in Sustainability;
Companies! Don’t Just Measure KPIs, Measure Sustainability Contribution Value;
Government: Be Sharp, Be Light-Handed, and Amplify Sustainability Market Signals; and
Consumers & Government: Vigorously Support (Sustainability Values) Freedom of Speech and Assembly.
Marc de Sousa-Shields is co-founder of the Social Investment Organization (SIO), UN and the World Bank advisor, and contributor to on-line corporate sustainability magazines including Triple Pundit and Sustainable Brands. He’s worked in 80 countries, blogs at TheSustainableCentury.net, and when not on the road he lives in Mexico.