Part two in our series "Age of Transition" this video explores the rise of the concept of sustainability as it has gone from the fringes to the mainstream within just a few short decades, driven by an environmental crisis on a global scale
Inclusivity is an inherent part of achieving sustainability. To be sustainable a system has to be open to and harness all of the resources available to it. To effectively manage a complex system requires harnessing the distributed capabilities of its members.
Full cost accounting refers to accounting for the complete cost or benefit of some product or service in terms of its social, economic and environmental impacts. It represents an expansion of our traditional accounting systems to incorporate the full set of impacts relating to a given economic activity. Our traditional accounting systems are designed to account for what economists call utility. But utility and monetary value only account for what something is worth to an individual, it does not account for its cost or value to the whole of society or ecosystem.
This is part one in a five-part series of papers on the rise of the paradigm of sustainability. In this paper, we look at what sustainability is and how our economies will be shaped along a number of dimensions as it grows in significance in the coming decades.
The 20th Century, driven by scientific and technological advances, was a time of remarkable change for human civilization. But it was also a century when the extraction of many natural resources began for the first time in history to follow an essentially exponential growth path.