Wednesday, April 15, 2009
INNOVATE TO INVIGORATE
Sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line, must be a part of development, of which there are three modes:
- new development;
- maintenance/conservation; and
- restorative development (the longest-lasting mode);
A gargantuan new category of business opportunities is opening up in the domain of restorative development . . . where focus is placed on the restoration of both natural and built environments.
We can’t afford to focus solely on new development; and though (perhaps) not as expensive as new development, maintenance/conservation development is still costly.
Both ignore what already exists, but has been allowed to degrade, pricipally due to the triple crises of corrosion, contamination, and constraint (not enough land).
Restorative development is the opposite of the one-way developmental path taken by the other two modes. The wastage in one-way development is evident when we see its passage from:
forest into farm, wetland into factory, clean air and water into toxicity, living soil into lifeless dirt, the consumption and depletion of non-renewable resources, and so on.
These paths of wastage have never had any counterbalancing activity...until now.
As Storm Cunnigham declares: “We are witnessing the birth of the global Restoration Economy.”
This is critical, before so much of our planet deteriorates, disappears, or dies. In 'The Sleepwalkers', Arthur Koestler describes the development of scientific thought, how the great thinkers of the past, such as Kepler, Galileo and Newton, seem to have wandered around and around the concepts they were seeking until they eventually stumbled upon them.
Robert Frost deftly generalises this intellectual process in a two-line poem: “We dance around in a ring and suppose. The secret sits in the middle and knows.”
In 'Non Zero', Robert Wright addresses how human culture has developed by finding non zero-sum games to play; he writes: “In highly non-zero-sum games, the players’ interests overlap entirely. In 1970, when the three Apollo 13 astronauts were trying to figure out how to get their stranded spaceship back to earth, they were playing an utterly non-zero-sum game, because the outcome would be either equally good for all of them or utterly bad. (It was equally good.)”
May the choices we make about our businesses be such that they are equally good for our planet!
We must Innovate to Invigorate!
Other than the three crises imaged above, we could equally consider the escalation in oil prices, the growth of international debt, and alarming climate change. But these too are connected to the triple crises of constraint, corrosion, and contamination.
[Excerpted from the 'Igniting Innovation' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]