A Good Society--A New Model of Collaboration

One of the wonderful benefits of collaboration and partnerships is the wealth of diverse information and multiple perspectives that are shared. One of the themes of my chair is diversity and as many know I am deeply committed to sustaining biodiversity in our modern world. I have been experimenting over the last five years with new ways of doing research in collaboration with community practitioners, and have been working with dear colleagues at Sustainability Solutions Group.

Their latest newsletter highlighted this website, a visual map of the 255 conceptual diagrams of sustainability that now exist. I have two questions. One, most of them do not show that all systems are contained within a finite biosphere, another theme of my Chair, that of limits. My second question is with this wealth of knowledge and experience in defining sustainability, why aren’t we seeing more action on the ground?

Collaboration is inherent to social innovation, you don’t have one without the other, something governments may want to think about in looking at their role in modern society in the 21st century. When we were creating the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, we looked at our role as an honest convenor of the stakeholders who needed to be at the table, a critical role for governments to play—connecting the dots of the wide diversity of innovators.