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The Sustainability Revolution -- A Revolution of Interconnections
February 15, 2012
What is the nature of the revolution that is unfolding in 2012? It is a revolution of understanding how we, as individuals, armed with a deeper understanding of what’s broken about the systems and institutions we currently support, have the power to rethink what matters to us as humans on both an individual and societal level. It’s about a shift in what we expect from the social contracts we entertain – with each other, and with the brands, businesses and institutions we support and engage with. And it’s about how we define, create, pursue and measure success in a world where the definition of value has shifted. It’s about 1000 small movements, each seeking to realign a system – all rolled up into one big effort to redirect us back toward a flourishing future.
Like the 3 blind men who were led to various parts of an elephant and then asked to describe it, we may not all define the revolution in exactly the same way. McDonough and Braungart call it Cradle-to-Cradle. Jeremy Rifkin calls it our move toward An Empathic Civilization. The Middle Eastern population, rising up to demand democracy calls it the Arab Spring. Tens of thousands around the world call it Occupy Wallstreet. One calls it Occupy Love. But whether green, or slow food or the Economics of Happiness or fair trade or collaborative consumption – each of these revolutions in their own right are reflections of the same thing: a growing realization that the social and economic systems which have served us for the past century are no longer creating or ensuring conditions for the on-going well-being of humanity. Bottom line? We seek betterness -- and we are ready to take action to find, or even redesign it for ourselves.
Since we began our journey at Sustainable Brands we have believed that the better future we seek is impacted by an inextricably interconnected set of economic, social, environmental, and ultimately philosophic assumptions we hold about the world which need updating. The fact is, our 20th century siloed way of thinking about and doing business optimizes well for efficiency, but doesn’t give us insight into the full impact of our activities, nor support our ability to redesign old systems which no longer serve us. We believe that to have a productive conversation about the needs and corresponding opportunities of our time requires a shift in the way we see, and work to solve the challenges we face --and that navigating this shift offers enormous opportunity to those who stand willing to tackle the challenge successfully. We launched Sustainable Brands with the mission to help shepherd this shift forward.
The growing community that has gathered with us around this shared vision over the past six years is indeed leading the way to a future we can all be proud to leave to our children. We are grateful stewards of this community, and of the conversation that is taking place here. We wholeheartedly welcome you to participate, and lend your voice in helping us reshape the future together. Won't you join us and see what all the excitement is about?
We look forward to having you!
KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyiniarz
SustainableBrands.com and the Sustainable Brands Conference
PS Next week I'd like to share a piece I found recently on Interdisciplinary Thinking. I think you'll like it.