Posts Tagged environment

Updated description of thrivability

I contend that thrivability is sustainability+vision to flourish+ways of being. And by ways of being, I mean working in open distributed networks, heightened levels of collaboration, and certain quality of something that tends to fall into spirituality now. That last one has to do with how we compose ourselves and our work with others, honoring the both the whole and the individual in a delicate balance, so we move beyond what spiral dynamics calls the green meme. I haven’t got this totally figured out yet, and I am eager for conversations that will help clarify this distinction.

I also contend that thrivability goes beyond sustainability by including social justice. It is not enough to find ways to sustain life and human life on the planet. Real thrivability means no one gets left behind in poverty, exposed unfairly to disaster, or suffers at the hand of corrupt governments.

Thus thrivability requires a massive shift both in consciousness and in action: incorporating social justice work, environmental efforts, and process arts. We must include all these efforts and also transcend them through our growing understanding of complex adaptive systems and flow patterns.

Thank you for the work you and others do to move us all forward. I am eager to learn from and with you.

I intend to participate in the Open Sustainability Network Unconference mid-October in San Francisco to move this work forward. Join me!


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Thrivability as a business objective

Whether or not thrivability is just a word game or something larger and more inclusive than sustainability…it is still a stronger term for what businesses aim for. What business seeks only to sustain itself? No, businesses want to thrive! Even nonprofits want to thrive. I believe thrivability is a compelling business objective where sustainability may not be.

Thrivability speaks to the yearning to both make profit in order to perpetuate an organization (and its members/employees) as well as function in productive symbiosis with its environment. Far too many organizations are currently parasitic in their approach to our culture–and it is killing off the host–our culture and our world.

How do  we help organizations develop symbiotic relationships with their environment and allies? How do we help them perceive, understand, and benefit from the flow of the ecosystems in which they live and can thrive?

A core question that comes to mind revolves around businesses meeting the “needs” of clients. Where has artificial need been created? What are real and enduring needs? What will the needs be in the future as we shift into thrivable systems?

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