Cara Hopkins' Blog

Is sustainability the wrong message?

In an interview with “MIT Sloan Management Review” Senge, who just released a new book titled “The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World,” says that to frame our goals in terms of what we don’t want is a mistake.

It’s technically what we would call a ‘negative vision.’ We don’t want the unsustainable, we don’t want civilization to collapse; we don’t want the human species to fail. Well, of course we don’t want that, but those images don’t move people. ‘Survival’ is not the most inspiring vision. It motivates out of fear, but it only motivates for as long as people feel the issues are pressing on them. Soon as the fear recedes, so does the motivation.

Instead, Senge suggests envisioning the world we want our children and grandchildren to live in. He asks us to imagine what it would look if the diverse cultures of the world worked together in a way that supported the earth and all its inhabitants.

It may be a little “Kumbaya,” but then again, maybe we could all use a little “Kumbaya” right now.

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