Stellar Speakers lined up for Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Super-Forum

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 10:10.

 From August 12-14, Mayor Frank G. Jackson will host a three-day summit, bringing together a diverse group of people vested in and dedicated to Cleveland to use their vast knowledge and imagination to create an action plan for building a green economy for Cleveland’s future. This summit will be facilitated by Dr. David Cooperrider of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value (my teacher, advisor, mentor and friend) at Case Western Reserve University, my alma mater (x2). The goal is to create an action plan for economic sustainability that will support business growth; protect the environment; and, create opportunities for individuals to prosper.  Prosperity for all stakeholders.  We've seen great models to facilitate positive change , via smart six-sphere framework design, or via organic local foods innovation, or via visionary future models that include and prosper all while transcending barriers like racism and prejudice.  All of them were first proposed over the past years right here on realneo - transformative innovations that WILL make a big difference for all of us!

 The Mayor is inviting people from every sector of Cleveland’s community – blue collar workers, civic leaders, corporate executives, artists, neighborhood residents, students, retirees, elected officials and regional stakeholders – to participate in this three-day summit using the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) method. AI is a collaborative, interactive, and cumulative process for creating change. At the end of the three days, the Summit and its participants will have generated an action plan for Cleveland’s economic future, guiding our efforts for ten years, to 2019.

As I reported yesterday we have a historic and transformational forum to envision, design, and implement core strategies to transform Cleveland into a global sustainability leader.   Just taking a look at the speaker list reveals the import and significance of this globally recognized and represented event.   Rumor has it the great Van Jones is in the works as well !

SummitSpeakerListandBios.pdf94.94 KB

**attention this is Dave

**attention this is Dave Nash's super party.   Sustainable Cleveland is the E4S of Ohio's largest polluters.  Lubrizol, Sherwin, Etc.   Not to say this freeking party wont be good...just look at the new school at CSU that is behind the whole thing, drill down to the Corp Sustainability Roundtable, and look how much you have to drop to play in that ball game.

Who is Dave Nash?

  Unfortunately, we have a lot of greenwashing here in NEO.  ZM, who is Dave Nash and why should I not trust him?

I see he is an attorney who represents Mittal Steel.  How is he related to this Sustainability Conference?  He makes some good points in the linked in video. 

I do think we have to stop thinking in black and white.  We can't just hate industry and feel good about ourselves for hating industry.  We need to stop feeding our own behaviors that drive industry to produce the products at the low prices we demand.

I highly recommend

 this reading:

As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial 
by Derrick Jensen (Author), Stephanie McMillan (Illustrator)
Turned my head around... corporations drive the destruction of our planet.

I read it
 People run corporations...

profit and only profit

corporations are run for profit and only profit.

CEOs are subject to prosecution and penalty if they place anything above the earnings of their shareholders.

As such, they will never make decisions that benefit human beings over profit; and they don't.

They do not belong in organizations trying to overcome the ill effects of corporate pollution. As Zebra Mussell wrote: "Sustainable Cleveland is the E4S of Ohio's largest polluters.  Lubrizol, Sherwin, Etc." Its called co-opt. We can all play "nice" and we will get no where, Laura.

Want to see how "nice" corporations can be? Check out this Rolling Stone story about Big Pharma and Zyprexa. "Nice" is not a term we can afford when playing with Big Corp.

I was asked by a friend to participate in Sustain2019...

Here was my response:

As you know, my whole heart has been broken by this community... my whole brain exploited. Nothing more to give here.

In mid-August, I fully expect my family to still be living through hell, and I do not expect to be in any state for appreciation of leadership here.

I do recommend the entire summit be dedicated to doing one thing well, this year, that WILL make a difference - lead poisoning eradication. Do that, and set a longer term goal of reducing industrial pollution here, and "Cleveland" will be far more "vibrant" and sustainable... less unhealthy and ignorant.

Summit planner David Nash, lobbyist for Mittal, may not agree. Other sustainability leaders funded by industry, like your Editor David Beach, may also not like a focus on the actual environment... perhaps even edit that out. As they are in charge of Sustainable Cleveland 2009, now through 2019, I expect the result of this summit will be ten more years of them and their practices, and that has not been good for our environment or children to date.

We have held three GCLAC Annual Meetings at David Beach's base of operations, The Natural History Museum, which I arranged, yet I do not recall a single presence at any of our sessions by anyone from the lofty Green City Blue Lake Institute - I believe they hide under their desks when the lead people are in the house. E4S openly refuses to support GCLAC. I certainly personally asked for their support for lead poisoned children and they do not care! Therefore, they do not care about making Cleveland sustainable. They are frauds.

I've done enough analysis of other regions to declare this region is so far behind the world in so many environment-related ways, including health, learning and "being green", that our leaders should be ashamed... they do not deserve appreciation in any way or form. We need major, systematic change, starting with reorganization of our supposed sustainability movement. I realize many sustainability leaders are your personal friends, so I will leave the personal commentary on them there, and count the years until we have any appreciable wind energy generation in the region, and lead poisoning rates on par with other civilized places.

Between now and this summit, I will be busy launching a global call for action for local foods and information systems innovations that the sustainability leadership here does not support, so I appear to be conflicted with them. With "them" against my efforts, they cause me and my family harm. I must thus fight for my intellectual property, and rebuild my family, quite possibly meaning relocating my family from Northeast Ohio. None of this is good for the sustainability of Cleveland.

My experience trying to make this even a livable place has been that my innovative ideas have been stolen, my entrepreneurial spirit crushed, and my commitment to our community disrespected and abused. I feel my family has been raped.

I guess somehow we deserved to be raped... must have asked for it.

Clearly. I'm not worthy to attend this important leadership summit. The gods are crazy, and I am but a simple, sane human.

Have a Coke - I must attempt to save my family from Sustainable Cleveland 2009.

Disrupt IT

Sceptic outpouring

Dear Norm and all:

After tumbling in the non-profit world for a decade I don't want to be bruised again by "well meaning" bullies. My experience is that the people who operate organizations such as Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, Green City Blue Lake, the Ohio Sierra Club chapter (the NEO Sierra Club group is pretty good), and the more recent leaders of the Cleveland Green Building Coalition (now a chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council) can be welcoming and supportive of volunteers, to a point. Then these leaders somehow forget they are dealing with people who deserve respect. I try to forgive them. This is best done by walking away. Apparently it is their city, not mine.

Lee Batdorff

Well, surely Norm, I am not

Well, surely Norm, I am not as experienced, educated or worldly as you but I am here to say,  I don't think I have ever agreed with anyone more. 

In Cleveland, our children and grandchildren have no future.  Shit, they don't even want to see kids out playing unless they fit in some type of square peg hole or act like shadows and stay in the cracks and crevices.


If you have issues then come air them !

It would be silly to simply and cynically criticize rather than see if you can come be a part of the solutions that can evolve from this work.  Noone is being programmed here, and simply bashing a great positive change opportunity has no merit or value for me.

On the other hand, attending and meeting Van Jones, Peter Senge, Ray Anderson and the world's best thought leaders, and challenging the very people you  bash are all possible here.  So instead of whining and crying come and make a difference.  Don't say it here, or do - but say it to whom you want to say it.  In person.   This is a free and open forum.   Be part of it.   I'm not being paid by anyone involved , I'm going to make a difference and achieve respect and awesome outcomes for all our city and region's stakeholders.   That's my goal.   Watch it happen.

REAL COOP is Sustainable Cleveland 2019, Sudhir

Mr. Appreciative Inquiry strikes again.

Okay, Sudhir, let's approach all this in a REALNEO/REAL COOP-appreciative way, as should be.

As you know, a core layer of REALNEO's taxonomy is your categories of "Sustainability". Therefore, most content on REALNEO in some way or other relates to making this a "Sustainable" place in 2019, and every year before and after.

In fact, we have broad categories - tags - for each of the six sustainability categories, and many related subcategory tags, so the related content is well organized, to the extent members have used this feature.

REALNEO/REAL COOP is a community of active individuals who drive many sustainability initiatives forward from within and beyond REALNEO, and REAL COOP - innovating as an organization in the process. Sustainable Cleveland 2019 is an appropriate time to appreciate our role in the sustainability planning processes and community, for the future.

What we as a community offer to the organizers of Sustainable Cleveland 2019 is one of the greatest forums in the world on sustainability, complete with engaged membership from within this community and worldwide, that has assembled 1,000s of articles on making this a more sustainable place. 1,000,000s of people have viewed these articles and many have posted comments - these are well articulated and discussed concepts developed in an open, appreciative and technologically sophisticated and inclusive way.

And we go back to 2004.

And, in fact, I proposed just that for Voices and Choices, and Green City Blue Lake, and Jump Start, and to David Nash and the other organizers of the Wind Advisory Task Force, for developing our wind cluster and economy as an open community.

Between now and the conference, we as a community may organize our content in a way that is useful to the objectives and structure of Sustainable Cleveland 2019 - elevate this to the level of "Office of the Citizen" - and we may develop insight to address specific needs and strategies of the organizers of Sustainable Cleveland.

We may also integrate insight developed through the process into the REALNEO community, by being the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 community... there is no sense in Sustainable Cleveland 2019 wasting money on yet another virtual community.

Everyone involved with Sustainable Cleveland 2019 is welcome to set up an account on REALNEO to participate in all of this, for free.

I'll see if the sponsors of the REAL COOP INFO FOOD initiatives believe this is a good focus area for our roll-out efforts, in which case there may be some funds available to make some quick enhancements to REALNEO in time to better support this collaboration, if of interest to the other members of REAL COOP.

I'll post about this more, on REALNEO, and touch base on this with the people who have invited me to Sustainable Cleveland 2019, and you are welcome to explore this with your contacts as well. Post your thoughts.

Disrupt IT

Are some advocacy organizations stunted by their leaders?

Dear Sudhir:

Someone like you needs to be around when the old boys cry in their drinks.  
Each organization has its own interpersonal dynamics. Their leaders have a vision and sometimes they are so focused on their vision that it can block out the nuances of their interpersonal relations with people who've volunteered to work with them. It can be a slight or gross insult of the volunteer that leads a volunteer to walk. And the leader who made it probably has no idea what happened.
Another issue is the politics that occur within organizations. Often the worst offenders here are people on the second or third rung of an organization though I've seen it in leaders too. They feel uncertain with their position within the organization (even if they are leading it) and see threat in volunteers and employees with good ideas and energy. 
An example of a leader making an unknown gaff: The leader of one organization did much to make me feel welcome and took an interest in what I wanted to do and I tried to reciprocate by writing stories for Crain's Cleveland Business about members of that organization. This person really did try hard. Then something happened that made me realize that the leader was much more interested in the status of their organization than how they dealt with people. I also realized that there was no way I could broach this with the leader, so I walked. I was very sad about what happened.
Example of politics in play by someone uncertain in their position:  A leader of an organization did much to encourage me to write about members of their organization. These were published in Properties Magazine. The leader was very gracious and would introduce me to people as if I meant something. 
Then this leader was hired for a position out of town and left the organization they started. I wanted to do something to help send them off and the leader suggested to write a story about a notable event the organization held. Because this person was no longer leading the organization and out of town (they returned for the event) they introduced me to someone in the organization and asked them to follow up on placing the story I was to write on the organization's Web site. 
I interviewed several members of the organization who were leaders in their field. After working hard on the story I sent it to the person given the responsibility to place the story on the Web page. After two weeks of not seeing it posted I called this person and they told me they would do it soon. It never happened. Because the story wasn't posted I wasted the time of people who had something to say.
A year or so later I met the new leader of the organization and told the new leader what happened. They said "he doesn't work here any more," refering to the guy who was to post my story. I was so intimidated by the new leader I did not ask if they could post the story and they didn't volunteer to do so.
I know several people who have told me that they've been treated poorly by environmental and other organizations they've worked or volunteered for. It is sad to hear their bitter stories and how they stopped volunteering. A lot of good ideas and energy is being lost. Good people are walking away from activist organizations. 
Before I walked away from the non-profit sector I volunteered or worked for several non-profit organizations over two decades. The ante is upped when one is paid to work for an organization. Then the stilletos come out. From what I can tell eventually many folks who are working in advocacy spend more time trying to maintain cover from hostility from above and the sides than they are doing the work they intended to do.
I've had close relations with two organizations that appear to be sucessful in maintaining good relations with volunteers. These are the North East Ohio Sierra Club and I-Open (Institute for Open Economic Networks).
How are these organizations different from organizations I found lacking?
Somehow their leaders don't stress how "elite," they are.  This might be because the leaders of these organizations had experiences in life that made it more possible for them to relate well with volunteers and employees.
Bob Greenbaum, the former long time leader of the NEO Sierra Club, knows what it looks like from the ground up. He wasn't paid to lead. Now retired, he worked as a handyman for homeowners to make a living. He is not protected by an ivory tower while dedicating his life to environmental advocacy. This is a very tough way to go. He is approachable and listens. And he knows what it is like to be kicked around by the national Sierra Club. 
Ed Morrison, leader of I-Open, and his staff are all doing advocacy for a living. This apparently hasn't tainted them. They do know something about being kicked around too. Mr. Morrison managed to rebuild his organization after a higher up at Case Western Reserve University removed Morrison from leading the university's Center for Regional Economic Opportunity.
He formed I-Open and became involved with other universities and colleges and is well on his way to being a nationally known expert in open economic networks. This is Case's loss. Even though the organization is working at that level, I-Open staffer Betsey Merkel will take time to encourage people like me, little guys who've become discouraged with organizations I've worked with in the past.
The leaders of organizations that I've become unhappy with, Green City Blue Lake, Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, the Ohio Sierra Club and the Cleveland Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council do valuable work. Even so, I think they may be stunted by interpersonal relations their leaders do not understand. 
I'm sure there are many good books on leading people. One I found is Leadershp A to Z: A Guide for the Appropriately Ambitious by James O'Toole.
There is hope for these organizations yet.
Sincerely, Lee Batdorff



Insightful and Illuminating Insights

Lee, thanks so much for sharing so intimately your personal story as it relates to civic organizations who may not have treated volunteers with appropriate respect or acted in an ideal and civilized way within the civic space.   I empathize with your plight, we have all, at times been victimized by such inappropriate actions by less progressive or open minded folks and their networks.  I am a staunch believer in the power of the Present Moment - after all, it is all that really matters now.

We have so much work to do on so many tracks to facilitate a truly collaborative and sustainable way of being and doing here in NEO.  As much as past transgressions, biases, and inappropriate conduct have hurt many of us, it will only create more discord and anger to attack those who transgressed at this juncture in time. 

One of the greatest things we can do, on any system level - is demonstrate that we need not stoop to the level of anyone who has fundamentally hurt us.  It can be extremely difficult, but forgiveness is a tremendous trait and speaks to the great character of those who can do it authentically and genuinely, in the interest of the greater Good.

Historically one of the biggest problems here in Cleveland has been destructive competition, bred mistrust, and still-prevalent segregation and dysyfunction.   However, many opportunities for positive change have presented themselves, when observing the 'big picture' systemic evolution of our city and region that have, in my opinion created unprecedented opportunity to facilitate positive change, and perhaps lasting cultural change that embraces a new level of transparency, authenticity, and constructive and co-creative collaboration.

Let's stop living in the past and live in the Now.   Let's hold transgressors liable and accountable for inappropriate actions - Now.

But let's also forgive past actions we cannot do anything about.   Let's do this in the earnest interest of our great city, our great region, and all of its vital, vibrant, and great stakeholders.

Let's evolve.

And these are the organizations that "get it"


The four organizations I'm critical of basically "get it" as far as what to do about the problems and potential opportunities facing our community. What their leaders miss at times is how to do it. Sometimes it seems the leaders don't recognize the ground beneath them when it comes to motivating others to their cause.

Their problems pale in comparison however to the distructive competition, ingrown ways of doing things, turf fighting, corruption and elitism of the major powers in Cleveland. There seems to be no coherent alternative to this chaos offered by the many advocacy groups.

The advocacy groups seems like study groups, not leaders to a better reality here. Once and a while they make a hit in the dark for the better. The best that can be said for their efforts is that they are laying elements which are in waiting for some force to come along and enlistment them in a bigger picture of positive change.

In some lucky towns there is a mayor or another highly recognized leader who somehow positions the magnetic poles of most of the the advocacy and business groups to all line up in the same direction. Then major improvements are accomplished.

The best example of such a leader in Northeast Ohio is Don Plusquellic the long time mayor of Akron.

I'd go further with that Lee

"What their leaders miss at times is how to do it. Sometimes it seems the leaders don't recognize the ground beneath them when it comes to motivating others to their cause."

These folks have placed themselves in positions of authority and will fight to the end to retain their job security and their white collars and comfortable desk chairs, conferences, soirees. Take their ideas to scale? Let the people help out? Pshaw! No it is better to stand around in meetings whining or remaining silent and whining to insiders later about "the public's" inability to act. GCBL and E4S and CGBC have created their own little fiefdoms, and in the case of the first two, installed themselves among the blueblood changeslowers/changestoppers headquartered at UCI and controlled by Cleveland and Gund and all their lackey follow along local foundations.

Sudhir - you have to take someone's past actions into account when you make decisions about further engaging with them. If you want to waste time defending yourself against that rapist who raped you before, well then, by all means - rush to that rapist's banquet table when you see an available seat there. I tend to avoid these folks once they have wronged me or others I know. There are many fish in the sea and some I prefer to swim with some over others.

Do you recall that I and many others here at realneo have been advocating downspout disconnection for some time now? But this would be taking a good idea to scale. It would mean letting every Joe and Jane in the region participate in making Cleveland a greener city on a bluer lake. But it would reduce the need to advocate for cleaner water and would reduce the amount of funding needed for "daddy to fix it". There is a veiled attempt to engage the public and it is veiled because if it actually worked, these organizations would have nothing to do in, say, 100 years. I don't know what they're worried about. There is plenty for them to move on to when one thing gets handed off to the public.

Side note - did you know?

Downspout Disconnect and Permeable Pavement Policy

216.664.2444 – Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm Permit

Rain Barrel Brochure
Application Form

The City of Cleveland changed its ordinances to give property owners onsite property management of stormwater. These ordinance changes allow residents to connect rain barrels to downspouts and apply for permits to permanently connect downspouts to rain gardens or acceptable devices. The City also changed its paving policy to allow for new types of permeable pavement systems. Property owners may apply for permits to use these new types of permeable systems.

Still not there - we don't yet have the guts to allow folks to simply cut them off, install an elbow and direct this stuff onto their yards. Jane who does find out (how I wonder?) that she can take the rain barrel or rain garden approach does not get a savings on her sewer bill - in fact, she faces an increase in her bill to build more gray infrastructure. So why should she help out? Oh, yes and we need to have a permit. How much money can be made from those?

As I have stated before, every nonprofit should have planned obsolescence in their missions. (Here's one smart example: Love Makes a Family is closing our doors in November 2009.) There will always be work for these folks. They have a big job to do. Would it not be prudent for them to stop kowtowing to foundation pressures and actually check some things off their lists? They might have to actually push and pull to get these things done, but with an educated public holding their end of the rope or stick some of these issues could be behind us.

Toronto is moving forward, so are Seattle, NYC, Chicago, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and many other cities. The problems are gigantic. Everyone working in this field will have to remain at it until their dying days. There is no need to circle around and around these simple issues. Let's get busy. It can be done.

Look... I grew up in a time when it was routine to see people lobbing fast food trash from their moving car windows. It is not totally solved, but we did dial back littering from its outrageousness in the 50s and 60s. Governments can with the aid of education from NPOs provide a series of carrots and sticks. NPOs will need their constituencies to help them fight the multinational corporate interests. If you don't listen to your constituents, as any politician knows, the road toward your goal eventually becomes a lonely road. Stay connected to the grassroots don't rise too far above them. Remember, NPO directors - the higher climbs the ape, the more he shows his bum.


People start pollution, people can stop it.

Susan: I want to think it's better

You have a point on the insular nature of some sustainablity organizations. The natural tendency is to want to think things are better than they really are. A leader of one of the organizations that I portrayed above had the guts to write me on Sunday and ask what happened. I told them the details and they wrote back saying they are sorry. I forgave them and wished their effort well. Even so, I can't be involved with these groups again. No longer can I think it's better. Not until I see something substantially different happening on their front.

Singing praise to Don Plusquellic

It figures after I sing praise to Akron mayor Don Plusquellic he has a run in with the Akron Police. Here is Akron Beacon Journal coverage of the encounter including a surveillance video of bouncers milling around near a late night street fight:

Unlike Mr. Gates was busted in Cambridge Mass. the Akron Police didn't bust the mayor for disorderly conduct. Was this because the mayor is white or is it because he is mayor?



coming back, Sudhir...

This is an example

This discourse:  informative give and take, thoughtful, is what realneo should be.    Discussion!     No rants, no attacks, no wandering  waaay off topic.  Facts and opinions presented with respect.  Thanks all.  Kate Dupuis  ps:  excuse me for being off-topic just this once.

A discussion long overdue - what is sustainability for real NEO?

When I moved back to NEO, five years ago, I found the interpretation of "Sustainability" here, and the "Sustainability Movement" and community, to be very controlled and confining, and not open to discussion... much like I've found with the "social computing" movements and community here. 

As an environmentalist, I find this situation disturbing. I believe the starting place for any appreciative brainstorming on what may a "sustainable" Cleveland be, in 2019, must begin with development of understanding of what is sustainability, to which stakeholders, by stakeholder - an appreciative inquiry into the state of the sustainability vision and community in real NEO, and what we want that to be in 2019.

This is not a concern isolated to NEO - this is a global issue, at the definitional level. 

From Wikipedia:

Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.

Sustainability has become a wide-ranging term that can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, from a local to a global scale and over various time periods. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. Invisible chemical cycles redistribute water, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon through the world's living and non-living systems, and have sustained life for millions of years. As the earth’s human population has increased, natural ecosystems have declined and changes in the balance of natural cycles has had a negative impact on both humans and other living systems.

There is now abundant scientific evidence that humanity is living unsustainably. Returning human use of natural resources to within sustainable limits will require a major collective effort. Since the 1980s, human sustainability has implied the integration of economic, social and environmental spheres to: “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[2]

Efforts to live more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy), to adjustments in individual lifestyles.


The three pillars of sustainability.[3]

Although the definition of sustainable development (above), given by the Brundtland Commission, is frequently quoted,[4] it is not universally accepted and has undergone various interpretations.[5][6] Definitions of sustainability may be expressed as statements of fact, intent, or value with sustainability treated as either a "journey" or "destination."[7] Where we are now, where we need to be going, and how we are to get there are all open to interpretation[8] and will depend on the particular context under consideration.[9] What can meaningfully be described as sustainable will depend on the scale of space and time that is appropriate to the item under consideration. For example, if time criteria have not been met, then assertions of sustainability are more like predictions than definitions.[10] This difficult mix has been described as a dialogue of values that defies consensual definition.[11] Sustainability has been regarded as both an important but unfocused concept like "liberty" or "justice"[12][13] and as a feel-good buzzword with little meaning or substance.[14][15] The idea of sustainable development is sometimes viewed as an oxymoron because development inevitably depletes and degrades the environment.[16] Consequently some definitions either avoid the word development and use the term sustainability exclusively, or emphasise the environmental component, as in "environmentally sustainable development."[17]

Another representation showing economy and society bounded by the environment.[18]

The dimensions of sustainability are often taken to be: environmental, social and economic, known as the "three pillars".[19] These can be depicted as three overlapping circles (or ellipses), to show that they are not mutually exclusive and can be mutually reinforcing.[20] While this model initially improved the standing of environmental concerns,[21] it has since been criticised for not adequately showing that societies and economies are fundamentally reliant on the natural world. According to English environmentalist and author Jonathon Porritt, "The economy is, in the first instance, a subsystem of human society ... which is itself, in the second instance, a subsystem of the totality of life on Earth (the biosphere). And no subsystem can expand beyond the capacity of the total system of which it is a part."[22] For this reason a second diagram shows economy as a component of society, both bounded by, and dependent upon, the environment. As the American World Bank ecological economist Herman Daly famously asked, "what use is a sawmill without a forest?"[23] The concept of living within environmental constraints underpins the IUCN, UNEP and WWF definition of sustainability: "improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems."[24]

The Earth Charter goes beyond defining what sustainability is, and seeks to establish the values and direction needed to achieve it: "We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations."[25]

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