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Robin Harrison

An idea for a rapid, market-led, transition to our sustainable future

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15 Apr 2011

Location: global

The last 50 years have seen unprecedented change and one of the prime movers of that change has been the universal growth of environmental concern; a remarkable event for our species. In just a couple of generations we’ve literally changed the way we see the world around us and, consequently, the way we respond to it.

Growing even faster than environmental concern has been the response to that concern; the incredibly diverse and disparate sustainability movement, and there’s been a major discovery. Wherever we can integrate sustainable practice into any system, that system will be more abundant and prosperous. Sustainable practice, co-operation between each other and our earth, makes better economic sense. The sustainability movement is adding to that knowledge exponentially and very rapidly and there is a huge market opportunity.

Suburbia is a profoundly unsustainable development model and it’s the only development model on offer. We now have the knowledge to create an alternative development model; an alternative that deals with the core concern for our species; how we live with each other and our earth. Here’s what would be on offer.

An energy efficient home with more, and better, facilities than a McMansion, that not only doesn’t cost the earth to run, it pays you to be there and is affordable to everyone. Set in a permaculture food forest that not only greatly increases agricultural yield, it also provides automatic, seasonally adjusted, climate control. A prosperous, educated, creative and vibrant community. Being fully aware their prosperity is derived from sustainable practice, they will inevitably become more skilled at it and, therefore, even more prosperous. We know how to do this and the carrot was always mightier than the stick.

If this were offered as an alternative to suburbia, the intelligent consumer, globally, would have a much more attractive and affordable option. These communities, therefore, will be full of intelligent, creative people where individual enterprise is highly valued and rewarded. The growth of enterprise, locally and globally, based on a proven recipe for prosperity; sustainable practice, will be significant and there is already a large resource base. It could well become the fastest growing and biggest corporate organism ever because it makes much better economic sense. A rapid, market-led, social, economic and environmental repair kit.

There are people with corporate entrepreneurial skills who are environmentally concerned. Link those skills with available sustainable practice knowledge and it could kick-start the major growth industry of the 21st century, sustainable living and the only competition is suburbia. It’s the germ of an idea that needs engagement, development, communication etc and there’s a start at www.livingsystems.com.au

It only took 50 years for our species to change the way we perceive the world around us. With the even faster growth of the response to that knowledge we could well see a complete transition to our sustainable future within the next 50 years. Our species, universally prosperous, universally empowered, living in co-operation with each other and our garden planet.

Make it attractive and available, the key to mass marketing our sustainable product, and we can rapidly accelerate the inevitable.

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