An excellent blog post on sustainability.com suggests what a reinvigorated agenda for change may look like.
We could learn a lot from this, for new and reinvigorated leadership in sustainability within the Built Environment sector, particularly in the UK as we move into a new era of green deals, PAS 2030’s and a renewed focus on improving our existing building stock:
Simple: For most, the discussion remains new, the lexicon confusing. We need to quickly and clearly cut through that to reach new audiences.
Fresh: People are jaded. They haven’t given up, but need to be convinced that the next change effort will be different, more meaningful.
Connect: Too many experience sustainability as intellectual, abstract, not very well connected to the here and now. (We need to revisit our understanding and connection to natural cycles of the earth, seasons, solar and lunar, the core purpose of sustainability)
Systemic: Progress to date has been limited because it is too often a single company or other actor leading only within a narrow scope. Solutions must now begin to cross traditional boundaries, create new coalitions and value networks and drive change to scale.
Adaptive: Uncertainty abounds, and yet cannot remain an excuse for further delay or loss of momentum . We must anticipate and react quickly to setbacks, sharp curves and emerging issues, and above all, keep moving.
Collaborative: Even with the explosion of supporting technology, collaboration remains a messy and difficult affair, but if new coalitions are to propagate and succeed, the agents involved must embrace and practice vastly more of it.
Distributed: Globalization and the democratization of communications run counter to the old “cult of the elite.” Leadership is perhaps now far more likely to be bottom-up than top-down, but even if not, the crowd will have the final word.
Policy-Independent: There is consensus (and frustration) that government remains either unwilling or unable to respond. We need a pathway to success that welcomes government if they will play a role, but is not in any way dependent on political leadership.
Re-Generative: While we can – and should – start by revisiting and distilling the wisdom of those who pioneered the sustainability movement, we must also invite present-day and future leaders to augment, refresh and build upon it. In this way, we may create a virtuous cycle of innovation and insight needed to propel us forward.
And I would add:
Visibility, Let’s make use of the explosion and ubiquity of the communication and dialogue tools that social media provides, to increase visibility of best practice, to learn and to share.