One Planet Living Principles

Ways to Create a Vision of Sustainability - 1


There are a variety of ways to go about creating a vision. They may depend on whether your orientation is to be right-brain creative or left-brain analytical or a combination of both. They may depend on whether you are inclined toward pessimism or optimism; or whether you are most comfortable focusing on the past, on the future or on the present. They may depend on whether you are inclined toward the cognitive or the emotional.

If you are developing a personal vision, how you approach it will be unique to you. If you are collaborating with others, then the vision will reflect the collective aspects of all of you.

Visions ideally should have some descriptive detail. One might even say that they should be evocative; they should enable others to see your future world as you see it. I find that achieving such artistic detail in painting a picture is a bit challenging for me and is something that I have to consciously work at, whereas for others it might be very natural.

Whatever your approach, your vision should reflect a world that you really, really want to live in. It should be highly desirable to you. It should be within the realm of the attainable even if at the moment it appears to be out of reach. Your vision may require the support and assistance of others. Visions ultimately translate into plans - formal, conscious ones or less formal ones and hopefully then into being implemented.

One way of approaching a vision on sustainability is to have a framework of things you could be thinking about on the path of identifying what is most meaningful to you.

This post presents two frameworks that you could utilize for this purpose. These are the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) and the One Planet Living Principles.

Reviewing these will help you to identify the areas most relevant to your life, your work, your business or your community.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)

Here are the UN SDG's:


There are a variety of resources on the Internet that provide descriptions of these as well as ideas about how to go about attaining these goals in your life. One place to start is with this UNDP resource.   A resource for the SDG's particularly focused on businesses is the "Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDG's."

One Planet Living Principles

The other framework that you can use is the One Planet Living Principles. These are being used globally by many who are developing plans for sustainability. A description of the Living Principles can be found at this Oneplanet site and are set out below.

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You may find the One Planet Living Principles to be a bit more accessible while the SDG's provide more of a global context. Both are in use globally and reflect common areas of focus.

Suggested Application

My suggestion is to review one or both frameworks and see what you connect with, resonate with. See what describes dilemmas you find in your own life and world that you feel strongly about. See where you immediately see a disconnect between where things are now and what to you would be a desirable, ideal state. These might be good starting points as you start reflecting on your own vision for a sustainable world. The One Planet Living Principles are particularly helpful as a template. Remember to share your ideas with others as you continue to think about this.