Visions

Purpose of This Site

The purpose of this site is to support the creation of visions of sustainability by visitors to this site. In the process of doing so, the hope is to help facilitate conversations among visitors to this site and their friends, family, co-workers or members of their communities. This site will provide some helpful guidance as to how to go about creating a powerful vision of sustainability.

If you submit your vision to this Earth Project blog in the form of a comment, I will post it on this blog.

 

 


The Earth Project Evolving Vision

THE GOAL

To change the landscape of our individual and collective lives and of our various communities to one in which we are flourishing because of our increasing eco-consciousness and actions.

THE EVOLVING VISION

Imagine sitting in a pleasant room or a garden under a tree or visiting a welcoming place on the Internet where friends - old and new pull up a chair or a cushion and join in a conversation. Our conversation will sometimes be painful as we share what we see happening to our Earthly environment and sometimes joyful as we reach out to one another in compassion and friendship seeking a collective path forward. We have found a way to join with one another in this conversation whether in person or on the Internet.

We are talking about important issues, sharing insights, welcoming the perspective of others. We reach out to bring others into our circle, people with whom we have much in common and people with whom we have little in common beyond a desire to respond to the Climate Emergency facing all of us.

We can smell the aromas from the diversity of foods that we bring from our different cultures to share with others in the room. As we drink different types of coffees and teas, we learn about the cultures they are from.

We each experience the thrill of learning from one another from our vast collective knowledge and from the ideas that only diverse perspectives can produce. Our satisfaction is obvious as we reach a new, deeper understanding of the economic and political forces, of old habits, of media enticements that hinder us from leading the kind of flourishing lives we deeply desire.

We celebrate when each of us finds their voice of passion and commitment and begins to share it with us and with others in our many communities. With these voices we express a vision for a flourishing life that we aspire to in a world of reduced carbon-based energy and waste.

There is a sense of exaltation and satisfaction as we begin reporting back on changes from our personal lives, from our workplaces and from our communities that we have helped implement as a response to the Climate Emergency. We speak of the new changes in the economic, political and media landscape that have resulted from our actions. We celebrate the actions that have been taken to safeguard and regenerate our environment and its many species. We are enthusiastic about creating a world where all can flourish.

We have much work yet to do together as we enlist others to preserve a flourishing life for human kind and other species on this Planet Earth.

 


Ways to Create a Vision of Sustainability - 3

Read Some Visions of Others

A helpful step on your path to creating your own vision of sustainability is to read some visions of others. You will immediately gain the sense that each vision is unique. The issues dealt with will differ. Some visions will be short, others more detailed. Some will be very cognitive while others will be more emotional. There will be visions that deal with individuals, projects, businesses, schools or communities. You will gain a sense of what is important to the individual or collective authors of each vision.

Here are some excerpts from different visions.

Bionova (Finland) Vision: Our vision is a carbon neutral construction industry where all agents cooperate to design greener and better buildings and where every decision is taken with the long-term effects in mind...Our goal is to allow all players in the construction industry to calculate carbon footprint, Life-Cycle Assessment, Life-Cycle Costing and other environmental impacts in the easiest and fastest way possible, enabling better decision-making in the design phase and leading to a more streamlined and effective approach to green building design. Source: Oneplanet.com

Dr. Glenn Barry, Vision: We need to build circular economies that sustain and regenerate natural capital. We can live in a manner where advancement is equated with maximizing the well-being of all humans, indeed all life, where there are guarantees that there will be more tomorrow than there is today. Imagine an economy concerned primarily with broad-based community advancement that also focused upon efficiency, conservation, equitable sharing, and increasing natural capital; rather than simply always more economic throughput regardless of waste streams and diminishment of future development potential. Source: Ecointernet.org

Mt. Douglas Secondary School (Canada). Our vision is simple- Create a Net Zero Water, Waste and Energy campus that functions like a living tree by completely recycling its waste, drawing all of its energy from the sun, and collecting all of its own water from rain. Only by meeting these goals will we be functioning sustainably and fully in harmony with our natural surroundings. Source: Oneplanet.com

Vision of Jem Bendell: I envision people feeling grateful they suddenly found there is time in their lives to sing, dance, and connect with nature and each other. I envision this connection also supporting ways of production, sharing, consumption, and caring, that means people are able to live happily with fewer resources and less certainty. Source: Jembendell.com

Credo School (California, U.S.) Lessons that help us learn how best to take care of each other and our planet should be the foundation of every educational system, no matter where you are in the world. This should be at the heart of every school to set the example for youth of how communities can function in harmony and within the boundaries of what this planet can naturally provide. Our vision at Credo High is to inspire other school communities to bring the One Planet principles into their own school community, into the way their campus operates and into the lessons given to their students. In doing so, we hope that the next generation will graduate with a deep understanding of themselves, how they are connected to one another, their community and how they can make a positive difference in the world. Source: Oneplanet.com

I hope that you have found some inspiration through reading these visions as well as ideas for how you might approach your own vision.


Assemble in a Workshop to Develop a Vision

Developing a vision on your own is always a challenge. However, you may find the effort to be a rewarding experience. It requires making the time to do some research and reading and above all finding time to do some reflection and writing. A long walk in a quiet setting can be a helpful aid to reflection. It may help to share ideas with friends. The process of articulating your ideas to others helps you clarify your own thinking. I believe that engaging in conversations with others about what is important to you will lead you on a path to your own vision.

Joining with others in a facilitated, safe space at a workshop can be a great help. Though you may be working on an individual vision, having others around you to have conversations with can be a great stimulus to generating ideas. If you are joining with others in order to create a collective vision, then being at a collaborative workshop with them will make the work much easier to accomplish and certainly create a more enriching experience. It will foster the kind of collaboration and network that will be needed later on to plan for and implement the vision. If you have not already done so, this is an opportunity to invite in the stakeholders who you will need with you to be successful.

I have run visioning workshops using a variety of different approaches tailored to the needs of the particular group. A one-day workshop held in a pleasant setting ideally out in Nature away from one's usual busy life can be a significant step in achieving a vision. A two-day workshop with an overnight will allow for some soak time for reflection and will also provide the opportunity for some team or network building. Currently, the Innovation Lab or Hackathon approach has appeal to people. It allows for making progress on an issue in a shorter span of time while allowing for interaction. I have developed a design for an Innovation Lab which helps participants move through the necessary steps to arriving at a vision.

In developing a vision, it helps to be clear on what you want to change - individually or as a group. The group SITRA from Finland suggests offering categories for people to think about: Clean Water and Air, Sustainable Food System, Future Cities, Material Cycle, Transportation and Industry; and then within these to think of both small and large challenges to solve. You could also use the Oneplanet Living Principles for this. Using the Oneplanet Principes will enable you to post your plan on that site.

Whatever the approach, a vision workshop will place you further on the path to implementing your sustainable future.