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The theme of The Natural Step’s upcoming Accelerate conference is “Collaborating for Sustainability.” Over the past two years, we at The Natural Step have dedicated ourselves to better understanding what it takes to collaborate more effectively across organizations to bring about the kind of breakthrough results that can shift systems toward sustainability. Accelerate will be another chance to learn together on this topic.
One thing we’ve learned is that systems change is unlikely to happen if we only collaborate with our natural allies. Instead, transformative change really does require understanding and working with those whose interests and perspectives are different than our own.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the hyper-polarized debates about Canada’s energy system and response to climate change, arguably our most important sustainability challenge. My observation has been that while many people tend to lament the polarization, we also tend to go back to mostly working in the realms in which we are most comfortable, mostly engaging with people who share our views. What do we miss when we follow these patterns?
A powerful group of sustainability thought leaders and collaborators are mobilizing to meet in Toronto at the 2nd annual Accelerate: Collaborating for Sustainability Conference on June 5-6. Make sure to register now to secure your participation in this distinct gathering.
Written by Simon Goldsmith
Karlskrona, Sweden town square
(photo by Shutterstock)
Applications are open until 15th January 2014, with the 10-month program beginning in late August.
Successful applicants will learn and apply the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD, originally developed by The Natural Step), plus learn and develop key leadership and other core skills and knowledge to enable them to apply strategic sustainability and leadership approaches in almost every area of society.
Written by Dr. Edwin Routledge and Scott Perret
TNS Founder Karl-Henrik Robèrt with some of
the staff and students of the new Masters programme.
This ground-breaking course will select the world’s brightest, most entrepreneurial-minded graduates and equip them with two essential ingredients: firstly, the mind-set and ability to play a key role in building a sustainable world – one that is not only prosperous, but also environmentally stable and socially inclusive; and secondly, hands-on experience, such that they can become entrepreneurial business leaders and inventors.
Like all nations, India is a land of rich cultural
heritage and complex sustainability challenges
(photo by Shutterstock)
In this broad-ranging conversation, Dr. Robèrt shares his perspectives on historical paradigm shifts, what it was that helped Natural Step clients like IKEA, Nike and Interface make radical shifts towards sustainability, the gap between what science knows about sustainability and what the popular media, public and many governments perceive to be true, and the responsibility of highly industrialized nations towards the emerging economies of the world.
Written by Freek van der Pluijm and Scott Perret
Ray Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc.
(photo courtesy of Interface, Inc.)
But why and how has the company managed to be so successful at not just incorporating sustainability, but using it as a platform to drive transformational innovation and profits?
Portions of the text below were taken from the GISR website.
Since the beginning of this year, The Natural Step has been participating alongside many other stakeholders in a global initiative to create a set of sustainability ratings that will become the standard used by big businesses and relied upon by the capital markets as they analyze those businesses.
The ‘green’ or sustainability ratings industry is relatively young. So far there is no clear, single ratings standard that has emerged as the ‘go-to’ standard for businesses to measure themselves against, ratings agencies to use, and capital markets to rely upon as they consider which businesses are most likely to be aligned for success in the future. The Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) seeks to remedy that.
Written by Pong Leung and Scott Perret
The Natural Step’s Canada office is spearheading an exciting initiative to define a set of benchmarks that would allow anyone to determine what a sustainable business looks like.
This would give businesses everywhere clear parameters to wrap around their individual visions of success, allowing them to orient profitable innovations, products, services, operations and business models towards creating greater value for society in ways that are ecologically and socially sustainable.
It would also give rating and ranking agencies a way to evaluate businesses more transparently, in line with a rigorous, science-based set of guidelines. This, in turn, would improve the ability of capital markets as well as consumers and regulatory agencies to see clearly how businesses are doing on their sustainability journeys.
Cities where the 1-day course will be available include:
Written by Itzel Orozco
On June 27, 2013, the first TNS Level 1 Workshop was hosted in Mexico. This workshop was organized and hosted by Itzel Orozco, Strategy & Sustainability Consultant, and led by Pong Leung, Senior Associate at The Natural Step Canada. The course was delivered in Spanish and had a great turn out with 20 enthusiastic attendees. The group represented the for-profit, non-profit and education sectors. All of the course participants had a deep interest for social and environmental issues, which set the stage for wonderful conversations, as well as great networking.