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Beyond Sustainability Manifesto by John Ehrenfeld

by Mel Starrs on August 7, 2006

in Manifestos

The Change This Project has been on my radar (i.e. in my RSS feeds) for a few months now via the marketing guru Seth Godin. It’s hard to explain what Change This is (an ideas lab?) but the FAQ’s describe it as:

ChangeThis is a new kind of media. It’s calm and thoughtful and direct and transparent. And unlike almost every other form of media, it reaches people through community. If an idea is a good one, it’ll spread, because people like you will send it to their friends.Unlike a broadcaster, we’re not using FCC frequencies to send our ideas to people who don’t want to hear them. Unlike a book or a newspaper, it’s free. And there are no ads. Unlike a web site, we’re not a place you go to. You’re more likely to get a manifesto from a friend or find one on a blog.

Sounds a bit touchy feely, but there are occasionally gems in there. This month I found the manifesto from John Ehrenfeld on sustainability. Like all good manifesto’s it is intended to make you think. His key message is that reducing unsustainability is not the same as creating sustainability. The definition of sustainable development which is inclusive of economic factors may have to be radically revised. The manifesto shares some principles with Mayer Hillman’srather apocalyptic view of the state of the world. It’s not a view which is likely to be embraced by the construction industry, but it’s interesting to think about the impact of such an idea if it takes off and enters the mainstream.

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