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A Framework for Sustainability

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Presentation on theme: "A Framework for Sustainability"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Framework for Sustainability
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center March 19, 2007

2 JERRY HEMBD Northern Center for Community and Economic Development
University of Wisconsin-Superior University of Wisconsin-Extension

3 Beginning Notes A work in progress Indicative rather than definitive
Questions and discussion at the end

4 Four Challenges Posed by the Transition to Sustainability
We need more accurate models, metaphors, and measures to describe the human enterprise relative to the biosphere. It will require a marked improvement and creativity in the arts of citizenship and governance. The public’s discretion will need to be informed through greatly improved education. It will require learning how to recognize and solve divergent problems, which is to say a higher level of spiritual awareness. Source: David Orr. The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2004.

5 The Three Waves of Community Economic Development
Plus One Three Waves Portion Derived from: Blakely, Edward J., and Bradshaw, Ted K. Planning Local Economic Development: Theory and Practice. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002. Drabenstott, Mark. “Rethinking Federal Policy for Regional Economic Development.” Economic Review, Vol. 91, No. 1 (First Quarter 2006). Eberts, Randall W. “Overview of State and Local Economic Development Policies and Practice in the United States.” In Local Governance for Promoting Employment—Comparing the Performance of Japan and Seven Countries, pp Edited by Sylvain Giguere, Yoshio Higuchi, and the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training. Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, 2005. Shaffer, Ron; Deller, Steve; and Marcouiller, Dave. “Rethinking Community Economic Development.” Economic Development Quarterly, February 2006.

6 First Wave Industrial Recruiting 1950s to early 1980s
Driver Export base Goal Attract outside firms Strategies Financial incentives Industrial parks Keys to success Government funds for subsidies and tax breaks Industrial infrastructure

7 Second Wave Cost Competition Early 1980s to early 1990s
Driver Efficiency and scale economies Goal Retention and expansion of existing firms Strategies Reduce taxes Deregulation Industry consolidation and cost cutting Keys to success Health of existing firms Training programs Social and physical resources

8 Third Wave Regional Competitiveness Early 1990s to present
Driver Innovation and entrepreneurship Goal Enhance regional resources to promote industrial clusters Strategies Entrepreneurship Clusters Building regional collaboration Keys to success Distinct regional assets such as Human capital Higher education Amenities Creative economy Leadership and development of quality environment Bridging economic and community development

9 Paradigm Change Death by a thousand cuts Let a thousand flowers bloom
Linear thinking Reductionism Economic growth Let a thousand flowers bloom Systems thinking Sustainability Emergent properties

10 Fourth or “New” Wave Sustainability Revolution and Paradigm Change Early 1980s and still evolving
Drivers Sustainable development and systems thinking Goal Sustainability Emerging Strategies Eco-municipality movement (The Natural Step) Localization Valuing ecosystem services (e.g., Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) Sustainable agriculture and local food systems Sustainable tourism The “triple bottom line” of business Eco-industrial development (industrial ecology)

11 “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Intergenerational equity Source: World Commission on Environment and Development. Our Common Future. The Brundtland Report. Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 43.

12 “It contains two key concepts: the concept of “needs,” in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.” Intragenerational equity Limits

13 Community Views and Contexts
From Circles to Systems

14 View of Community as Three Unconnected Circles  “Silos” View

15 View of Community As Three Interconnected Circles  “Linkages” View

16 Community Capitals Model
Financial Capital Built Capital Natural Capital Political Capital Healthy Ecosystem Vital Economy Social Well-Being Cultural Capital Social Capital Human Capital Source: Cornelia Butler Flora, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, 2004

17 View of Community as Three Concentric Circles  “Systems” View

18 Systems Views and Contexts
From Empty to Full

19 What is a system?

20 Types of Systems – A Beginning
Closed system Imports and exports energy only; matter circulates within the system  the Earth approximates such a system energy flows through, material cycles within finite, nongrowing Open system Takes in and gives out both matter and energy  the economy is such a system it can change in size

21 The natural world is “the envelope that contains, sustains and provisions the economy.”
Herman Daly

22 Finite Global Ecosystem Growing Economic Subsystem
Solar Energy Energy Source Functions Sink Functions Resources Finite Global Ecosystem Waste Heat Recycled Matter Natural Capital (Ecosystem) Manmade Capital (Economy) Growing Economic Subsystem Welfare Economic service Ecosystem service Empty World Source: Daly, Herman. Ecological Economics. Island Press, 2004

23 Major Categories of Ecosystem Services
Provisioning Regulating Cultural Supporting Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Washington, DC: Island Press.

24 “Life Support” Functions of Ecosystem Services
Food Water Pest control Flood control Climate regulation Recreation

25 Ehrlich-Holdren “IPAT” Equation
I = environmental impact of the economy P = population  growing A = average material standard of living  growing rapidly (consumption) T = throughput (resource consumption, pollution, and ecosystem impacts) per unit of output  technology term to compensate for P and A Original Source: Ehrlich, P., and Holdren, J “Impact of Population Growth.” Science 171:

26 World Population Since AD 1
Billion People

27 Trillion Dollars 2003 Dollars
Gross World Product Trillion Dollars 2003 Dollars



30 US Energy Consumption 1635 - 2000
Quadrilion BTU

31 Growth Trends Summary: 1950 to 2000
Population  more than 2X Economy  7X Food consumption  3X Water use Energy use  4X

32 Finite Global Ecosystem Growing Economic Subsystem
Solar Energy Full World Energy Energy Growing Economic Subsystem Source Functions Sink Functions Resources Resources Economic service Recycled Matter Welfare Ecosystem service Natural Capital (Ecosystem) Manmade Capital (Economy) Source: Daly, Herman. Ecological Economics. Island Press, 2004 Waste Heat

33 Finite Global Ecosystem
Empty World Full World Finite Global Ecosystem Natural Capital (Ecosystem) Source: Daly, Herman. Ecological Economics. Island Press, 2004 Manmade Capital (Economy)

34 World’s Ecological Footprint 1961 - 2001 Number of Earths Required
Source: WWF, UNEP, Global Footprint Network





39 The Natural Step Resource Funnel
Resource Availability and Ecosystem Ability to Provide Vital Services Raw materials, ecosystem services, declining integrity and capacity of natural systems Margin for Action Sustainability Societal Demand for Resources Growth in population, resource requirements as affluence increases, increased demands as technology spreads. Source: Nattrass, Brian, and Altomare, Mary. The Natural Step for Business. New Society Publishers, 1999.

40 The Four System Conditions for Sustainability
In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing… concentrations of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust; concentrations of substances produced by society; degradation by physical means; and, in that society, 4. human needs are met worldwide.

41 The PP4SD Distinction Sustainability is a goal. It is the capacity for continuance into the long-term future. Sustainable development is the process of moving towards this ideal end-state. It is controversial because there is often disagreement on the best way to make progress - or even if we should try.

42 Sustainability

43 Sustainable Development

44 Business Model Global Environment Risk and Opportunity Supply Chain
Organization Customer Chain Inputs Supplies Outputs Product Risk and Opportunity

45 Sustainable Business Model
Global Environment Supply Chain Organization Customer Chain Inputs Supplies Outputs Products Reduction in material and energy flows Sustainable Sourcing 100% Consumable Renewable sources Biodiversity Factor reduction World Business Council for Sustainable Development Safe edible outputs Design for reuse Reliable quality sources

46 Systems Thinking

47 Spheres of Concern and Influence
Sphere of concern Sphere of influence

48 Freshwater Ecosystems Provide:
Water supplies for irrigation, industries, cities, and homes; Fish, waterfowl, mussels and other foods for people and wildlife; Water purification and filtration of pollutants; Flood mitigation; Drought mitigation; Groundwater recharge; Water storage; Provision of wildlife habitat and nursery grounds

49 Freshwater Ecosystems Provide:
Soil fertility maintenance; Nutrient delivery to deltas and estuaries Delivery of freshwater flows to maintain estuaries salinity balances; Aesthetic, cultural and spiritual values; Recreational opportunities; and Conservation of biodiversity, which preserves resilience and options for the future SOURCE: S. Postel, Liquid Assets: The Critical Need to Safeguard Freshwater Ecosystems (Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2005).

50 Some Underlying Questions
Time frame Scale and throughput Growth – development Population – consumption Equity

51 More and/or Better MORE  Economic growth/development BETTER
 Community development DIFFERENT  Sustainable development

52 Concluding Notes Context matters
The force (of a paradigm change) is with us Education as a responsibility Transformational education Education for sustainability and not education about the environment Content and process

53 Some things have to be believed to be seen.

54 ‘Education as usual’ is no longer an option.
Livelihood is about quality of life; living standard is about quantity of material possessions. Education aimed solely at raising living standards relates to concepts of employment, jobs and careers based on individualism and personal success. Education for livelihood is just the opposite. It is about relationships, mutuality, reciprocity, community, coherence, wholeness, and ecology. Most schools and universities are dominated by materialist and consumerist goals. They have taken on the mission of literacy instead of meaning, information instead of transformation, and training instead of learning. Modern-day educators have become servants of the economy and they are oblivious to the catastrophic consequences for the people and the planet. ‘Education as usual’ is no longer an option. Quoted from: Satish Kumar, “Education for Sustainability.” Resurgence 226 (September/October 2004): 3.

55 Northern Center for Community and Economic Development
Jerry Hembd, Director University of Wisconsin-Superior Belknap & Catlin, PO Box 2000 Superior, Wisconsin Phone: Fax: Website:

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