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Regenerative Development: Examining Opportunities Beyond Sustainability Edward Quevedo Associate Professor of Sustainable Enterprise Research Fellow, Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Regenerative Development: Examining Opportunities Beyond Sustainability Edward Quevedo Associate Professor of Sustainable Enterprise Research Fellow, Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regenerative Development: Examining Opportunities Beyond Sustainability Edward Quevedo Associate Professor of Sustainable Enterprise Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Business Lokey Graduate School of Business Mills College

2 Our conversation time for a rethink? strategy is dead…. strategic sustainability and CSR? not so much… terrain for new learning –ecosystems services model –complex adaptive systems the players a new framework – regenerative development

3 The Earth Charter (UNEP/UNDP 1999) Build democratic societies that are just, sustainable, participative, and peaceful; Secure the natural bounty and beauty for present and future generations Protect and restore the integrity of ecosystems, especially the natural processes that sustain life Use prevention as the best environmental protection device and when knowledge is limited, apply the precautionary principle Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that protect the ecosystem’s regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being The Global Compact (Ratified at Davos, 1999)

4 What is Sustainability and why are our organizations pursuing it? What are the motivating factors? How did this become a priority? How has this served the core purposes of our enterprises?

5 Confronting a rethink of Sustainability…. Current context… Overused, poorly defined, largely non- strategic (core) to the enterprise’s functioning The macro-level systems we aim to sustain are continuing to weaken Kyoto, Rio II, and other international accords continue to elude or disappoint us And….

6 strategy is dead

7 “We have found that strategic planning is no longer of value. It leaves us without the flexibility to act with acuity, does not link up with day to day activities, and wastes valuable time generating paperweight documents.” Hans Straberg CEO, Electrolux AG March 2013

8 “Strategy is not now a core function for Sony. Our goal is instead to align our business trajectory with conditions in our ecosystem. To do this, we must first understand our ecosystem. Then we must think like expert biologists.” Bert Nordberg CEO, Sony Ericsson August, 2012

9 “We are in search of a fundamentally new approach to modeling our future. Strategy offers nothing anymore as a viable tool for us. Too much effort for too little return…..” Paul Todd VP Strategy, eBay Marketplaces October 2012

10 What Does Applied Sustainable Development Look Like? What does it create in the world? What do its artifacts look like? What is left behind, as evidence of our principles?

11 The Players

12 Design for social impact Declaration of human potential Value chain principles

13 Partnership with Nature Tools for social innovation Virtuous supply chain

14 Eco systems modeling of supply chain Design innovation and “being indigenous” Futuring and complex adaptive systems

15 a new framework emerges

16 Apparent rules of the new framework There is no “expertise” for the categories of problems that we face Rapid prototyping, based on Nature’s model, looks an apparently sound tool Pursuit of effective understanding of the future requires re-consideration of the fundamentals of our approach to the stakeholder concept

17 Apparent rules of the new framework Complex adaptive systems theory (CAST) seems to hold promise for our needs –Local interaction amongst diverse agents creates energy as they seek to understand each other and the world around them –The goal is to sustain and enhance relationships, and when this is pursued, energy is released into the system –This keeps the system alive and vibrant

18 Complex Adaptive Systems Theory There is no control of the system, no understanding of the future, and no directed action for the participants Flexible, experimental interaction is the best available tool Over time, the borders between agents within the system (various stakeholders), “melt,” and these agents co- evolve in order to flourish and optimize themselves in the changing environment….

19 Under these conditions… Disruption of the system creates nutritive energy Control or perfect understanding is an illusion Planning is best done by virtue of potent inquiry, not description of alternate concrete futures What is durable is not the external attributes of the system, but the broad conditions of the agents: shared purpose, values, rituals, and relations

20 The goal then shifts From predicting the future…. To continually co-creating the future in league with each other Or, understanding how to nurture the effectiveness of those aspects of our organization that are valued by internal agents and produce value for external agents

21 Potent Inquiry Replace strategic planning exercises with key potent questions to explore on a regular basis Shift, pivot, elaborate, and creatively co-evolve on the basis of this inquiry

22 Potent Questions How can we be clear about our purpose and values? How can these shape modes of communication that support interconnectedness among stakeholders? How can we optimize and design relationships in the system to foster resiliency, self-organizing, and construct a shared future?

23 Potent Questions How can we encourage resiliency? Flexibility, durability, openness to learning… How can we find unique, alternative outcomes, expressive of our purpose and values, already contained in the current system and its history?

24 Potent Questions – the core issue of trust How do we create sufficient trust and relationship well-functioning to support honest feedback and discussion How do we set the conditions for learning and creating together? How can we build shared criteria for decision-making?

25 The Grammar of Regenerative Development The enterprise and its leaders shall consider all undertakings and projects for approval by first determining How the undertaking or project will measurably, Over the medium and long term, Measurably improve the social, economic, and ecological well being of affected stakeholders.

26 Reconsidering the Spectrum of Organizational Performance Time Performance Regenerative Development Sustainable Development

27 regenerative development?

28 The Emergent Models Enterprises that give back more to Nature and Community than they take Communities that measurably build character, and measurably increase quality of life

29 In other words…. The shared pursuit of well-being A natural systems, or eco-systems, notion Each step in the chain contributes to greater well-being (vibrancy, resiliency, adaptability, thriving…)

30 Proposed: The domain we formerly referred to as strategic planning And the domain of sustainable development …. Are at bottom expressions of a common pursuit, a core human aspiration: –To identify and seek conditions of thriving in the face of an uncertain future

31 Proposed: The core gesture of Sustainability or CSR is … Futuring… Examining the appropriateness, or fitness, of the enterprise’s purpose and positioning the enterprise to deal with potential future challenges In the context of a long term perspective taking into account limits to resources

32 Legislating Regenerative Development

33 The Congress, recognizing the profound impact of man's activity on the interrelations of all components of the natural environment, particularly the profound influences of population growth, high-density urbanization, industrial expansion, resource exploitation, and new and expanding technological advances Declares that it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, To use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, To create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, ecological, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans. In order to carry out the policy set forth in this Act, it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable means, in order to…. Imagine the Impact if ISSP were to advocate for, and the Obama Administration were to support enactment of, the following

34 Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations; Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences; Preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity, and variety of individual choice; Achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; and Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources. The Congress recognizes that each person should enjoy a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

35 35 Discussion Lokey Graduate School of Business Mills College T:


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