bringing it home

Since joining The Natural Step Canada in August 2011, some of my writing has been published on the organization’s website. Below are excerpts from a handful of blog posts that live over on, posted here for easy access. Click on the “Read more” links to see the full post.

Supporting Collective Impact through Backcasting
October 17, 2012

At The Natural Step Canada, we are increasingly hearing calls for “more innovation” and “more collaboration” to facilitate progress on sustainability challenges. Many organizations – including many of our own clients and partners – have recognized that there is only so much that they can achieve on their own, and that there are plenty of obstacles to overcome in partnership with suppliers, customers, regulators, and yes, even their competitors.

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Raising the bar: Nike backcasting from a bold vision of success
September 11, 2011

In May of 2012, hallmark company Nike published its Sustainable Business Report for 2010/11, demonstrating that it is increasingly reaping the benefits of integrating sustainability into its core business through a world-class vision and strategy.

Nike has contextualized all of its sustainability efforts relative to a bold, aspirational vision:

“Our vision is to build a sustainable business and create value for Nike and our stakeholders by decoupling profitable growth from constrained resources.”

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The Reality of Ecological Debt
August 27, 2012

Wednesday, August 22nd was “Earth Overshoot Day”, the date on which humanity exceeded the bio-capacity of our planet for the entire year of 2012. In essence, we have now utilized all of the resources that our planet can provide in a calendar year in a sustainable scenario, and for the rest of 2012, we will continue to deplete the planet’s ability to provide the resources we need to sustain our society in the future.

The concept of Earth Overshoot Day was developed by Global Footprint Network and the new economics foundation as a way to express the increasing stress placed on the natural environment by human activity. In the 1970s, humanity’s consumption of natural resources began to overstep what the planet could replenish. In 1992, Earth Overshoot Day fell on October 21. In 2002, it was October 3. Not only is the trend moving in the wrong direction, but it is accelerating.

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You can be a sustainability leader – Applications now open for innovative MSLS program
December 7, 2011

There are signs all around us that our society is out of balance. Our institutions are failing us, we are riddled with debt, we are lacking social cohesion and trust, and we are consuming at an ever-increasing rate – all the while becoming less happy. These patterns are wreaking havoc on the habitat that sustains us – the Earth – and the social systems on which we rely. If we draw these patterns out to their logical conclusion, the story does not unfold happily.

To address a series of massive and interconnected challenges that includes poverty, pollution and toxicity, species extinction, and climate change, we require a) a unifying strategic planning approach that will allow us to thrive within the planet’s limits, and b) leadership that inspires systemic change across sectors, borders and disciplines. The Master’s programme in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) offers these two things in spades.

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Alberta Sustainability Champions Gear up for Success
November 2, 2011

On October 13 and 14, nineteen professionals gathered in Edmonton to build their capacity as sustainability practitioners by participating in The Natural Step Canada’s Sustainability for Leaders Course – Level 1: Foundations (join us at the next session coming up in Vancouver).

Participants included professionals from Enermodal EngineeringWorley ParsonsEdmonton AirportsStantec,Bullfrog PowerAIMCOLandmark Group of BuildersEIDOS ConsultantsServus Credit Unionand Earth Legacy, municipal leaders from the City of Red Deer and the Town of Stony Plain, and educators from Bow Valley CollegeGrant McEwan University, and NAIT. I had the pleasure of facilitating the course with my colleagues Sarah Brooks and Colin Baril.

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Please support Masters level education in Strategic Sustainable Development
September 18, 2011

In the small town of Karlskrona, Sweden, young leaders from around the world gather every September to begin a Masters program in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) at the Blekinge Institute of Technology. The course is based aroundThe Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, and it turns passionate students into empowered change agents for a better world.

Over the past few years, alumni and friends of this unique program have contributed to StratLeade Sustainability Education, a non-profit whose mandate is to support the MSLS program.

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One Response to bringing it home

  1. How is this work of THE NATURAL STEP “connected” with the work of the Swedish biologist SVANTE PÄÄBO? I know that some of your “participants” believe that SVANTE’S work can labelled as just human “scientifism.” But in terms of using your work more effectively and efficiently to support our fellow human beings and ourselves in this super transitional step in our logical human development and to fairly present SVANTE’S work departing from your point of view. Please, I am not labeling your opinion as an ideological “tent of miracles” or political scheme in any direction as in LEFT VS. RIGHT OR ANY other “LAMBADA” COPYCAT POLITICAL POPULIST SCHEME. I am sorry, if I sound “ACTIVISTUS AGITATUS” ( SOUTH BRONX LATIN), this just a curious question from a cybernetic educated human person.

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