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SUSTAINATOPIA 2012

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The Impact Conference – Global Urban Sustainability Models – The Haiti Conference

http://sustainatopia.com 

With hundreds of leaders from dozens of countries, this year’s Sustainatopia in Miami is a great opportunity to meet leading representatives from multiple fields of sustainability, the sciences, technology, design, social and cultural entrepreneurship, and entertainment.

Join the Revolution for GOOD! Meet and network with sustainability leaders from around the world, and learn about their amazing efforts in changing the world.

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Sustainability: Realizing it’s not just about Science

It’s encouraging to see the growing acknowledgement by scientists that sustainability is impossible to achieve unless we focus on consciousness development.

“Contrary to popular belief, humans have failed to address the earth’s worsening emergencies of climate change, species’ extinction and resource overconsumption not because of a lack of information, but because of a lack of imagination, social scientists and artists say.At a conference for the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) here in Vancouver, British Columbia, experts argued that the path to a truly sustainable future is through the muddy waters of emotions, values, ethics, and most importantly, imagination” (Stephen Leahy)

See more at http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/building-sustainable-future-needs-more-than-science-experts-say

Army to Congress: LEED Doesn’t Cost More

The Army is still going for Gold and Platinum despite recent legislation calling a halt to LEED spending.

The federal government has been one of the biggest supporters of LEED certification in the last few years, with the General Services Administration (GSA) requiring basic LEED certification for all federal buildings starting in 2003 and then upping that requirement to LEED Gold in 2010.

See http://www.buildinggreen.com/live/index.cfm/2012/2/2/Army-to-Congress-LEED-Doesnt-Cost-More

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) new Sustainable Communities Resource Center

The objective of the Sustainable Communities Initiative is to stimulate more integrated and sophisticated regional planning to guide state, metropolitan, and local investments in land use, transportation and housing. The Initiative also helps localities in their efforts to address regulatory barriers to economic revitalization and expand housing options for residents of all ages, incomes, and abilities. The Office does this through the Sustainable Communities Resource Center, the Sustainable Communities Research program, and its two planning grant programs: the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program and the Community Challenge Planning Grant Program

For more information, go to http://www.huduser.org/portal/sustainability/home.html

Sustainability: The Business Case

There is growing evidence that sustainability is no longer just the good thing to do, but smart business.

However, a common challenge for sustainability leadership consultants is how to respond to the question, ‘There are those of us who are still skeptical about the economic viability of implementing a sustainability plan.’

The best response to this outdated perspective is to take a look at the numbers. Sustainable business development and investing worldwide since 2004 has suprassed 1 trillion US dollars. In 2011 alone, green investments in the U.S. have been estimated at 28 billion dollars, up from 20 billion in 2009, and this figure is projected to reach 35 billion in 2014 despite the recession (See Sustainability: The Next 3 to 5 years [Enviance]).

One of the companies we work with in south Florida, Dirt Pros EVS, is currently ranked as the 6th fastest growing company in Florida, and 232nd in the U.S. (Inc. 500/5000). Central to their success is their comprehensive Sustainability Plan coupled to unparalleled Corporate Social Responsibility in a highly competitive industry  (see http://dirtpros.com).

Having the real facts at our fingertips can set the tone for traditionally resistant boardrooms to sit up and listen.

Leading for Regeneration now available in the U.S.

Leading for Regeneration: Going beyond sustainability in business, education, and community (Routledge), can now be purchased in the US.

Order online at http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415692458
For a 20% discount online, use discount code ERJ78

This book presents the Regenerative Leadership Framework that has emerged from the author’s doctoral research and consulting work with corporate executives, leaders of NGOs, government officials, and researchers and innovators in higher education, all of whom were identified as successful sustainability leaders in their respective fields. The framework synthesizes the levels of awareness, the leadership styles and behaviors, and the organizational arrangements that correlate most significantly across these domains in the pursuit of what Bill McDonough, among others, have called the triple top line: “How can we grow prosperity, celebrate community, and enhance the health of all species for all time?” The theory of change behind the framework is grounded in two core premises:

§ Behaviors may drive change, but they can only be as effective as the level of consciousness that initiates them, and of the capacity to work effectively with the complex systems in which they operate. Therefore,

§ We need to focus as much attention at the causal level of our consciousness as we do on the effects produced by our behaviors (e.g. our contribution to climate change originates in a flaw in human consciousness, not in a rational [or irrational] decision to self-destruct). This is where authentic regenerative change and sustainability can take place.

This requires a mindset willing to radically redesign itself before it can attempt to redesign a more sustainable, just, and prosperous future.

Among its major findings, the book shows how the more evolved sustainability leaders work to promote a profound cultural shift towards regenerative human systems in their organizations. In these transformed cultures, people develop a strong collective sense of purpose driven by a powerful, realizable shared vision, and leadership is exercised horizontally and collaboratively. Leaders and followers engage multiple internal and external stakeholders in generative conversations conducive to designing economically viable, desirable futures which are then ‘backcasted’ into sustainable solutions that possess the smallest possible unanticipated consequences. Throughout the transformation process, examples abound of the critically important “inner work” practiced by leaders that has led to real, lasting, and increasingly regenerative change.

New book coming in October: Leading for Regeneration: Going beyond Sustainability in Business, Education, and Community

Available for online purchase at a 20% discount from Routledge at http://www.routledge.com (use code ERJ78).

This book presents the Regenerative Leadership Framework that has emerged from doctoral research and consulting work with successful sustainability leaders and their organizations in a range of industries, in higher education, in grassroots community organizations, and government agencies. The framework synthesizes the levels of awareness, the leadership styles and behaviors, and the organizational arrangements that correlate most significantly across these domains.

The theory of change behind the framework is grounded in two core premises:

– Behaviors may drive change, but they can only be as effective as our awareness, understanding, and skill in working with the systems in which they operate. Therefore,
– We need to focus as much attention on the causal level of our consciousness as we do on the effects produced by our behaviors. This is where truly regenerative change is made possible.

This requires a mindset willing to radically redesign itself before it can truly restore the present or redesign the future.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of the leaders in this work confirm that individual and collective consciousness development has become critical to transforming the culture of their organizations for sustainability and beyond. This underpins the choice of the term regenerative as an alternative to the notion of sustainability, which many of the leaders featured here indicate has become insufficient to describe what needs to be done, economically, socially, and environmentally, if we are to ensure a flourishing world for present and future generations.

This in turn has led to the development of the Regenerative Capacity Index (RCI), a tool designed to assess an organization’s readiness to engage in regenerative practice. From this evaluation, it becomes possible to design a strategy for regeneration that considers all levels of its environmental, social, and economic impact both internally and externally, and in the local and global community.

Among its major findings, the book shows how the more evolved sustainability leaders work to promote a profound cultural shift towards regenerative human systems in their organizations. Regenerative organizations are driven by a sense of a shared higher purpose, and leadership is exercised horizontally and collaboratively. Leaders and followers engage multiple stakeolders in generative conversations in order to create economically viable, long-term desirable futures which are then ‘backcasted’ to eliminate unanticipated consequences.

Participating leaders came from the following private enterprises, NGOs, and government agencies:
Nike Foundation
Seventh Generation
Michael Singer Studio
Melaver Inc.
Strata-Gems LLC
Dirt Pros, EVS
Greenopolis (Waste Management)
Simply Sustain LLC
Second Nature
Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
United Nations High Commission for Refugees
Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County
Guatemalan Project
The Honey Project
City of Tallahassee Project Management
Florida Energy and Climate Change Commission
Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida
Volans Ventures
Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, Florida Atlantic University
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida Atlantic University
Florida Center of Environmental Studies
Evergreen State College, Washington State
Unity College, Maine

Routledge Leadership for Regeneration Flyer