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- Tuesday, 04 December 2012 | Submitted by Pong Leung
There are two recent developments that may be appealing for those who are interested in buildings, sustainability and how we interact with them.
B.C. Housing is British Columbia’s largest developer and a provincial crown agency that develops, manages, and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options. A few years ago, they developed the livegreen Sustainability Plan guided by the four socio-ecological principles of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. Some achievements to date include:
- Tuesday, 27 November 2012 | Submitted by Karl-Henrik Robert
These are truly exciting times. After more than 20 years of developing the TNS Framework as a uniquely rigorous and unifying approach to sustainable development, our growing community is embarking on a new, thoughtful and well-planned expedition. I believe the time is right for this journey. TNS has established an impeccable reputation for “sticking to our story,” and the increasing import of our work (shown in case studies, role models, international prizes, educational and research programs and other achievements) now lends us the daring to open the Framework up, to be a bit out of control.
- Monday, 26 November 2012 | Submitted by Kirstin Piirtoniemi
(DISCLAIMER: The work portrayed in this document was undertaken with the former Alcan, prior to its acquisition by Rio Tinto in 2007. Rio Tinto Alcan remains committed to sustainable development. As such, the work begun with The Natural Step as described below was folded into larger efforts centrally directed by Rio Tinto in London, UK. The specific partnership between The Natural Step and the former Alcan’s Bauxite & Alumina division was halted in 2007 within the above-mentioned context.)
- Thursday, 22 November 2012 | Submitted by Chad Park
Did you know that November is financial literacy month? My trusted friend Wikipedia tells me that financial literacy is “the ability to understand finance.” More specifically, it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions through their understanding of finances. Clearly, this is an important capacity to cultivate.
I think we need a sustainability literacy month – or perhaps more realistically a sustainability literacy decade. As hard as it is for those of us who work in this field to believe, many more people need to realize the seriousness of the sustainability crisis we face, the integrated nature of our social, environmental and economic challenges, and the fundamentals of sustainability science. Sustainability professionals still operate in a relatively small bubble of like-minded individuals and/or face major challenges in engaging their colleagues, customers, employees, investors and others who are often not as sustainability literate.
- Thursday, 22 November 2012 | Submitted by Neil McCallum
Every year since 2005 a town called Karlskrona in Sweden has welcomed a new class of students focused on learning the skills and knowledge to become sustainability leaders and to equip others to become such leaders too. So far over 400 people from over 60 countries have made the journey and whilst there have traveled many other journeys of learning, developing lifelong friendships along the way.
The Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability was envisioned by Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt and Prof. Göran Broman, in part, to solve a global challenge: "The question of reaching sustainability is not about if we will have enough energy, enough food, or other tangible resources - those we have. The question is: will there be enough leaders in time?"
- Wednesday, 21 November 2012 | Submitted by Kirstin Piirtoniemi
The Natural Step Canada would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest board members: Toby Heaps (left), Director, Co-founder and President of Corporate Knights Inc.; David Hughes (middle), Director, President and CEO of Pathways to Education Canada; and Bart Robinson (right), Communications Director for the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation. We are delighted to have these experienced individuals on our team as we move into what will certainly be an exciting year ahead.
- Monday, 19 November 2012 | Submitted by Peter Price-Thomas
‘So what’s been going on at The Natural Step International (TNSI)?’ is a question that is likely on your lips. A great deal, I am pleased to report. As we outlined in the last Stepping Stones we were in the process of transitioning to a more inclusive networked organization. This has not been without its challenges and has taken rather longer than we initially anticipated (hence the sizable gap between issues of Stepping Stones) but as I write today, I am pleased to say that we’ve completed the transition: - we have created a new organization, have a new team and strategy in place, and are actively focused on accelerating change towards sustainability.
So, just what have we done?
- Saturday, 17 November 2012 | Submitted by Scott Perret
In August of this year, nine people met outside the tiny village of Tarm, Denmark at an old, rambling farmhouse with a straw roof and dusty beds. Many colors of the FSSD practitioner rainbow were represented there. After three days of shared meals and intense process beneath the heavy beams of the centuries-old house, what emerged were the seeds of a vision for a more open, inclusive and intentional community of change-makers around the FSSD. Even more foundationally, we had stumbled upon the soil for those seeds: trust in one another.
- Friday, 16 November 2012 | Submitted by Berend Aanraad
No, we’re not talking about the prioritizing questions from the D-step in backcasting, but the name of one of the new offices of The Natural Step and to be more specific; the one in The Netherlands. It was exactly three years ago that Freek van der Pluijm (MSLS’08) and I first met in the City of Eindhoven during the opening of one of my new projects to build the business case for sustainability. We immediately started sharing our passion for this wonderful Framework from Sweden and discussing what the future could hold, if a whole country (The Netherlands is about 1/230th the size of the US, with 17 million inhabitants) would adopt a unifying framework for sustainability? How could we be more strategic about strategic sustainable development in The Netherlands. After teaming up a couple of times with Jonas Oldmark (TNS Sweden) and Karl-Henrik Robert to find some funding opportunities for the Real Change program (forerunner of the Alliance for Strategic Sustainable Development) in The Netherlands, Freek and I decided to go ahead and start up a Dutch NGO called The Flexible Platform.
- Friday, 16 November 2012 | Submitted by Brendan Seale
All of us at The Natural Step Canada are very pleased to have been recognized recently for our approaches to addressing complex social and environmental challenges. Last week, we received a 2012 Corporate & Community Social Responsibility (CCSR) Award in the "Social Innovation Enterprise" category as an entrepreneurial charitable organization that deploys creative social processes to drive innovation toward sustainable outcomes.
The term "social innovation" refers to both social processes that are innovative, but also to innovations that serve a social purpose. Our colleagues at Social Innovation Generation are a collaborative partnership that does pioneering work in this space in Canada, fostering a wide variety of initiatives to address social and ecological challenges.