Sustainable Development Network


Sustainable Development Network

Members: 56
Latest Activity: Feb 9

Our network is for people interested in using organisational development, change and learning to build a sustainable society. Please join in!

Photo of grape harvest by Isolino, from flikr.


Discussion Forum

Imagining A Day in 2030 via Rob Hopkins 1 Reply

Started by Julie Allan. Last reply by Bob MacKenzie Sep 3, 2021.

Robin Wall Kimmerer and other interesting reads

Started by Julie Allan Jun 5, 2021.

Creative Climate Conversations- with Bridget McKenzie, Climate Museum UK - 19/2/21 2 Replies

Started by AMED Admin. Last reply by AMED Admin Mar 24, 2021.

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Comment by Andy Middleton on February 1, 2010 at 12:22
I've found that a good start point is to back-cast from the outcome that the individuals / group say that they want to achieve, taking wherever possible, a 'walk-in-stupid' approach along the lines of "this looks trickier than I had reckoned to work out - what do you think that we need to do within the next six months (for instance) to ensure that all councils in the UK will be in carbon descent by 2012?". It seems that it's only by focussing on the goals as well as the present do we have a chance of connecting the two.
Comment by Penny Walker on February 1, 2010 at 6:00
Simon Zadek blogged about Copenhagen, and he now sends this from Davos.

He sees the world's most powerful people unable to find solutions.

On your very best day, as a coach / facilitator, what would your intervention be to help them?


Comment by Bruce Cornock Nixon on January 27, 2010 at 10:21
Dear Everyone,
I was looking forward to coming.

But it became clear to me that I had to put my time and energy into getting a publisher for my new book. I spent about a month trying to get an agent and I don't want to hang about. It is not easy to get a general readers' publisher in a very crowded book market unless one is an established authority, journalist or celebrity. So I have 30 publishers to contact with all my self-belief and good energy. My previous book, Living System got lovely endorsements including Anita Roddick's but it was the wrong publisher for such a book.

Today, my first call resulted in an invitation to submit a synopsis.

It will be wonderful when I have achieved this goal and can indulge myself in such things as meeting with all you lovely people!

Locally, I am quite busy helping our Berkhamsted transition town and the getting together of neighbouring transtion towns.

I felt Copenhagen did represent progress in many ways, on which the world can build. I agree that there has been a change in awareness since say a year or two ago. I think it is noticeable. The only thing is we are rather slow to change, us humans, especially collectively, and we need to act decisively very soon now. I am hopeful and doing my little bit. I think being anything but hopeful and constructive is too dismal to consider.

I hope to meet you all next time.

PS On March 4th we have Keith Joseph coming to talk about better transport - see our TTB website.

Best wishes for 2010!
Comment by Penny Walker on January 26, 2010 at 9:16
Some notes from our 26th January Cafe Conversation on Copenhagen here.
Comment by Caroline Coyle on January 11, 2010 at 5:37
I've come across this before but always good to run through it again, tho' Prof Bartlett's pace of explanation reminds me of some of my past lecturers!
Comment by David F McAra on January 10, 2010 at 15:03
Anyone listen to More or Less on BBC Radio 4? Seems to me they are doing important work highlighting our general ingnorance about numbers although the tone tends to be rather flippant. No point being angry, I suppose.

Anyway, there's a very interesting piece 9 minutes in with Dr Albert Bartlett on exponential growth. The More or Less podcast will be available until Friday (15 Jan 10) and a lecture by Professor Bartlett on YouTube.
Comment by Penny Walker on December 3, 2009 at 11:08
There's some activity around Dec 3rd's meeting - see here.
Comment by Penny Walker on September 28, 2009 at 2:17
Please note the biomimicry event on 30th September has been postponed - watch this space for the new date.
Comment by Penny Walker on September 7, 2009 at 2:55
A couple of things from the SDN Update which I've just sent around to those on the list who haven't yet joined this group...

UNICEF's Children Climate Forum, Copenhagen - facilitators wanted

Received via contacts at the International Association of Facilitators, this is a great opportunity which I wanted to share with SDN members and friends:

We are currently seeking climate change facilitators to lead the facilitation team at and before UNICEF’s Children Climate Forum – Copenhagen 2009. If you can recommend individuals with climate change facilitation experience or if you are interested in facilitating our team, please let me know.

Kerry Constabile
Specialist, Environment and Young People
Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP)
Division of Policy and Practice
UNICEF Headquarters
3 United Nations Plaza
New York 10017, U.S.A.

For more on this, see the original blog entry here.

The Psychology of Climate Change - new report from the American Association of Psychologists, featured in New Scientist.

I'm grateful to Roy Tindle who sent this around to various lists a couple of weeks ago. Roy introduces the New Scientist's editorial...

The first editorial in this week's New Scientist, headed "Positive thinking for a cooler world" should be read by all who seek behaviour change relating to climate change:

"THE threat posed by climate change is all too real, but some of the solutions are all in the mind. That's the message from work in the field known as conservation psychology, which is beginning to show how people can be encouraged to change their lifestyles to cut greenhouse gas emissions (see "How psychology can curb climate change").

As well as showing what does work, this research also tells us what does not. And in that regard, groups trying to promote action to fight global warming could pay closer attention to what the psychologists are saying. Environmental groups have already learned some obvious lessons: no one likes to be hectored, and preachiness is not a winning tactic. Positive campaigns like "We can solve the climate crisis", run by Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, are a better idea. Meanwhile, other research suggests that human nature need not be as rapacious and short-sighted as it sometimes appears: we are surprisingly ready to act in the interests of others and the natural world (see "Triumph of the commons").

But other tricks are still being missed. The website of the "We can solve the climate crisis" campaign features a video by of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas. As a backdrop to his song Take Our Planet Back, it shows images of environmental degradation coupled with statements like "Every American generates 2000 pounds of trash each year".

Approaches like this can be counterproductive, reinforcing the idea that heavy consumption is the societal norm and promoting a sense of helplessness in the face of an apparently insurmountable problem. Like it or not, most of us go with the herd. Show people this video and they will find little motivation not to carry on generating trash and burning oil like there's no tomorrow. But tell them about the steps their peers are taking to make things better, and they may just follow suit.

Tell people about the steps their peers are taking to make things better, and they may follow suit

Over at the Earth Day Network site, it gets worse. There you can find out how many planets it would take to support your lifestyle if everyone on Earth lived the same way. It's hard to find any positive messages: a vegan who doesn't own a car, never flies, takes public transport to work and shares a tiny apartment in a US city would still be told that their lifestyle requires 3.3 Earths. It is hard to see what this is going to achieve, other than disillusioning people who are already doing their bit and telling everyone else that it isn't worth the bother.

Psychology, often denigrated as a "soft science", has a vital role to play as humankind grapples with a truly vexing problem. Better to employ its findings now than to turn to psychologists only when we need help in dealing with the distress of occupying a world that has passed some dangerous climate tipping points."

See the full article here and the APA's report here (pdf link).
Comment by Penny Walker on September 2, 2009 at 14:04
See also the discussion thread 'sustainability' in the forum...

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