Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sanctuary Sunday - Sustainability Economics

I hope all of you are enjoying a relaxing Sunday.

I have been blogging more on the topic of sustainability lately, perhaps because of recent environmental disasters such as our Gulf Oil Spill here in the US and the news that 2010 is going into the record books as the hottest in recorded history.

At the risk of creating some dissonance in your delightfully serene sanctuary, I want to give you some "mind candy" to contemplate.

The concept is not that complex, so please pardon me if I paraphrase a line from a popular song which states, "'we've got the whole world in our hands".

Few understand the economics that have provided the underpinnings for the changes that have occurred over centuries, not just decades, in our environment. This is the more complex part of the discussion, and a full treatment of this topic cannot be given justice in one blog post. When we get together face-to-face at an upcoming WWRG Summit, I will cover this in detail.

I had the honor of being accepted for post-graduate work at the Harvard Business School where I received a certificate in Private Equity and Corporate Governance. This area of study is a subset of economics, and the forms of Capitalism that dominate our world economic system.

At the risk of oversimplification, there are basically two forms of Capitalism currently in practice today in the free world.

The first is Anglo/US capitalism and stems from the USA and focuses on short-term maximization of shareholder value.

The second is less widely publicized. It is based on concepts of social justice and recognizes the interdependence of businesses and their local communities. For a full treatment on this topic may I suggest a book that my friend Therese Necio-Ortega, Executive for the Peninsula Hotel group was a contributing expert on entitled Leadership for Sustainable Futures: Achieving Success in a Competitive World by author Gayle C. Avery.

Regardless of whether you believe in one form of capitalism or another, we are still living on the same planet, one that was created long before either existed, or humans for that matter. Without an understanding of what drives the decisions our leaders make, and the honesty with which they make them, a clear picture of how we have arrived where are today cannot be brought into view.

Please consider joining a global initiative such as the Awakening the Dreamer movement I mentioned in an earlier Sanctuary Sunday post. This group, and others, will help educate you on the severity of the problem and suggest ways that you may help solve these pressing issues, and hold our world leadership accountable for their actions.

Why? Because the sanctuary we call Planet Earth is in danger of quickly becoming a cesspool instead.


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