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the future

Your guide to a sustainable tomorrow

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Repaint the future ! Your guide to a sustainable tomorrow


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Project Director Erik Rasmussen Lead writers Anders Nolting Magelund & Erik Rasmussen Illustrations Andreas Bogh Design and layout Ángel Herrera Research and coordination Solveig Pétursdóttir Madsen Copy Editor Adrian Mackinder Proofread Justin Gerdes Reach us here: Bredgade 34, 1st floor 1260 Copenhagen K, Denmark +45 33 70 71 71 sustainia@sustainia.me www.sustainia.me www.goexplorer.org twitter.com/sustainia facebook.com/sustainia linkedin.com/company/-sustainiainstagram.com/sustainia

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This book belongs to

Give, lend or share this book and

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Repaint the future ! â˜ş


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It is right now…

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Foreword

This small book is as much a message of hope, as a final call to action. TURNING A SCREAM INTO A CHEER!

When Sustainia was founded in 2011, it came from the staunch belief that it is possible to turn global risks into global opportunities for everyone. We have demonstrated this philosophy for many years with businesses, politicians, and cities. Now it’s time to include more. People like you and me. The book you hold in your hands is an invitation for everybody to go take things further. We have broadened our opportunity philosophy to apply to all of society, illustrating how we can get there. Our philosophy is encapsulated by the book’s front cover. As we’re sure you can see, we have taken a cheeky twist on The Scream, the famous painting by Nor(9)


Foreword

wegian artist Edvard Munch. Painted around 1900, with its iconic face of sadness and desperation, the original reflected an era of despair, fear, and distrust in the future: feelings that highly resonate for a lot of us today. However, when faced with the global challenges of our time, we must turn that hopelessness into a cheer of jubilation. Because it IS possible. It’s NOT hopeless. But also because there is NO alternative. "The Cheer" is our symbol of a promising future. It’s our role model to follow. Let’s act together towards something lasting, sustainable, desirable, exciting, prosperous, and adventurous. That is what we hope to prove is possible in the following pages. In other words, this is our guide to repaint the future together!

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Foreword

We propose 10 new mindsets to be infused into our daily and professional routines. Taken as a whole, we believe these mindsets form a consistent and all-encompassing vision for a sustainable tomorrow. They are the basis from which we all must make choices and decisions – whether as a business leader, a policymaker, a civil actor, consumer, or a student. These are 10 journeys we have to make to arrive at the world of tomorrow. If you will permit us, we would be honoured to be your “tour guide” along the way. A MINDSET REVOLUTION

The time to make real change, create a global community, and launch a mindset revolution has never been better. Right now there’s an enormous demand for change, combined with the opportunities of new social media and technologies to spread (11)


Foreword

awareness, help us connect, and cascade new mindsets far and wide. Now is the time to shake our perceptions of what is actually possible. First and foremost, we need to change our mindsets. Why? Take this example: we may have all the technological solutions to transition our energy system from fossil fuels to renewables, but for this transformation to unfold requires a much greater level of involvement, interdisciplinary collaboration, and authentic political and corporate leadership that cares about a sustainable future. A daring leap into a new post-carbon era requires a degree of indomitable faith and vigour only a mindset revolution can trigger. We need every innovator, business leader, legislator, engineer, civil actor, scientist and more to become fully immersed and committed to this agenda. (12)


Foreword

Regretfully, it’s an indisputable fact that we have to speed up. Time is running out. Reading through most recent authoritative reports and scientific studies, it becomes crystal clear that already by 2020 – that’s only in about 1,000 days by the way – we need to have made the most important and decisive moves to address and avoid a warming global climate and environmental catastrophe, otherwise the battle is already lost 1. We have already exceeded crucial planetary boundaries and are dangerously close to passing critical tipping points. The risks and challenges are, in many cases, progressing much faster than any political action able to address them. But here’s the good news. We insist that we can change so much within those 1,000 days.

THE “MULTI-PRESSURE” PERSPECTIVE

Imagine if we came together in a movement that made the sustainability agenda (13)


Foreword

the driver for everything we did, from the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed? For the present crisis, there’s no silver bullet. But one thing is certain – we need a collective effort to pressure governments, businesses, and world leaders integrate sustainability into the core of their work. As individuals, it’s easy to feel insignificant, however, the truth is that it’s pressure from people like you and me that is the most essential – but also the most neglected – driving force for change. We need all people to take part in this movement. We need you! This book is a wake-up call for all of us to demand this pressure, to allow us to understand we aren’t part of the problem, but part of the solution! (14)


Foreword

Our endeavor is born out of the questions we share with so many other people today; why can’t we change? Why isn’t enough happening? How can we actually change? What’s required to build a sustainable culture or a new social movement? A PLATFORM OF HOPE

We all want to change and act – but act towards what exactly? This guide unfolds what Sustainia is acting towards, and we want to share our story with you and, most importantly, invite you to be part of it too. We need guiding stars more than ever and it’s our modest hope that our book will spark debate, give room for reflection, catalyse empowerment, ignite excitement, and empower you to believe in your enormous potential for making change happen. (15)


Foreword

And it’s not tomorrow we need to do this. It’s right now…

Erik Rasmussen Founder & CEO of Sustainia

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Table of contents

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Fear

Table of contents

• • • (56)

Risk • (7)

Foreword (21)

Change the story, change the world • • • • •

Let’s rewrite this disaster movie – together We need you! Igniting new excitement, hope, and awareness What is the 18th Sustainable Development Goal? A “possibilist’s” guide

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10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow • •

Our sources of inspiration An ongoing learning process

Trust

Fear of the future Distrust in leaders Trust is the X factor

• •

Opportunity

Turning the downsides of human progress into opportunities A solution economy revolution Introducing the opportunity leader!

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Apathy Empowerment • • •

Inner sustainability “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Why we are underestimating ourselves

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Alienation Inclusion • • •

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A good globalisation A new ethics The Nordic model


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Fragmentation Engaging stories

Profit for profit Profit for life

• • •

The narrative of the twenty-first century? The 18th Sustainable Development Goal Making sustainability seductive and irresistible!

• • •

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Restlessness Commitment

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• •

Post-truth New enlightenment • • •

A new age of transparency Intellectual relativism Not only sympathy with suffering, but also with thought

Mindless needs Mindful needs • •

Your choice, our future It is right now

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Explore Sustainia (197)

Linear innovation Exponential innovation • A new logic for the use of

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Cool stuff we like

Need for some extra planets… The beauty of consumption What is a need?

resources? Dematerialisation, accessibility… and sustainability! Building a “Silicon Value”

Commitment is scarce today An organisation of belonging? From loveless power to powerful love

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Why do we create profit? New green deal Investing in ourselves

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (201)

Notes and references


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Change the story, change the world

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Change the story, change the world

LET’S

REWRITE

THIS

DISASTER

Every day the list of global challenges seems to grow longer. Environmental crisis. Resource shortages. Involuntary migration. Water shortage. Pandemics. Extreme flooding. Terrorism. Cyber attacks. Wars and armed conflicts. Job loss. Economic and gender inequality… it’s no wonder an increasing number of people grow deeply worried. The mounting downsides of globalisation, bad decision-making, and lack of real global leadership paint a dark and gloomy picture of our common future2. All of this contributes to anxiety, anger, and a general fear of the road ahead. And things are escalating. MOVIE — TOGETHER

It makes us feel defenseless and powerless, as if we’re all halfway through a disaster movie, waiting helplessly for the horrendous, apocalyptic climax… (23)


Change the story, change the world

At its core, this book aims to rewrite that screenplay. We want everyone to realise all the things we can do – every one of us – to avoid that frightening final act. That we truly have the power to turn risks into opportunities that will benefit us all. We may already have most of the technological solutions needed to address the world’s problems, but all this tech know-how is useless unless we change our mindsets. By doing so, we may release and unlock all the energy, the synergies, and the potential that resides everywhere in the world. We need to start a new revolution. A revolution of new mindsets. And we need to make you part of that. Maybe together, we can rewrite the disaster movie, giving it a truly happy ending…?

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Change the story, change the world

This isn’t just a report asking to change corporate values. This isn’t just a wake-up call for politicians to take action. This isn’t even just a handy guide for the concerned consumer. This book is for everybody. We’re about to share with you Sustainia’s vision for a sustainable tomorrow, presented here in 10 new mindsets.

WE NEED YOU!

Changing mindsets that quickly won’t be easy. If it was, we would have already done it. To create a new social movement around the shared belief that we can turn crises into opportunities, we need to build a community and disperse ideas as fast as possible. This is why we need a global community of committed pioneers to help tell this story. We hope this small book will become more than just an opinion piece or another report. We invite you to be a co-writer. The blank pages provided (25)


Change the story, change the world

at the end of each mindset journey are for you, we encourage you to use them in joining us in writing the next chapter of our story about the society of tomorrow. IGNITING

NEW

EXCITEMENT,

HOPE,

To make change happen fast, we must engage and include as many as possible. Yes, this sounds like a broken record, but it’s also true. And difficult. Engaging people has been high on world leaders’ agenda for so many years, and we have come a long way, but now we need to do more. Let’s scale up our ambition – because there is no alternative. It’s time to get more people on board. AND AWARENESS

Often people feel they have no real voice, choices, no common point of direction. By sharing what we believe within these pages, our ambition is to set up some (26)


Change the story, change the world

guiding stars everyone can follow. Coincidentally, 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the seminal Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report3, named after the thenPrime Minister of Norway who chaired the report. The Brundtland Report highlighted new challenges, generated hope, and coined the phrase “sustainable development” – defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The report set forth a new agenda and sparked the search for new sustainable pathways. Its timing was perfect, and ensured for many people that awareness of sustainability was here to stay. Now, 30 years later, conferences, summits, and working groups have increased (27)


Change the story, change the world

in scale and number, all filled with competent and well-intentioned business leaders, scientists, and policy-makers trying to speed up change. But the question remains, how do we invite everyone else in on these activities and agendas? What could our role be on a daily basis? What can you and I actually do? Our hope is that with our guide’s simplicity and optimism, we can create even more awareness, not only about the challenges we face, but most importantly the immense opportunities ahead of us, thereby igniting renewed hope, trust, excitement, engagement, and commitment everywhere. The sustainability revolution isn’t only a technological or political revolution, but also a communication revolution. We need to reach more people than ever, tell (28)


Change the story, change the world

them what we can do together and what their role might be. WHAT

IS

THE

18TH

SUSTAINABLE

On the 25th of September 2015, a historical event took place that most people barely noticed. World leaders came together for a joint mission: to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and create a blueprint for a sustainable future. The sincere and admirable outcome – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (see page 198) – set a new direction for a sustainable future, and opened new opportunities for businesses and governments4. Here businesses and policymakers were given the framework that should, for a start, be reflected in all of their decisions. DEVELOPMENT GOAL?

At the adoption of the SDGs, the former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, (29)


Change the story, change the world

urged all nation states to make the SDGs “a people’s agenda”. And how right he was. To achieve this, the SDGs must become personal goals – goals for me and you. But in drafting the SDGs, world leaders left out the most essential prerequisite for successful implementation of the agenda: individuals. The challenge is to communicate how the 17 goals relate to our everyday lives. This must be done in an easy and engaging language, which everyone can relate to, thereby more easily prompting behavioural changes. This is what we at Sustainia call the “18th Sustainable Development Goal”, and our work has this ambition at its very heart. If we don’t understand these goals and become “fluent” in them, we’ll never change behaviour accordingly, making (30)


Change the story, change the world

it unlikely to achieve the 17 goals before it’s too late. It is great to have global goals for governments, business and the like, but what about the global goals of the individual? Here the 17 SDGs reveal themselves as a slightly elitist project.

As stated, we believe individuals are the most important, yet most neglected, factor in the equation that can lead to common prosperity. Without you and me, where should the demand and pressure for change come from? The SDGs do show where we should go, but maybe not how, nor do they show you and me why we should go there or (31)


Change the story, change the world

change our behaviour. Writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry expressed this crucial, blind spot better than anyone else: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” If we dare to imagine, we have a unique opportunity to design the world, as we want it to be. But many of us feel we’re losing control and direction – that we aren’t going where we want or should. Now is the time to design, not resign!

A “POSSIBILIST’S” GUIDE

In a time we may label “crisis of imagination” it’s as if we forgot to ask ourselves: How could we actually live? Our small book isn’t a report stuffed with numbers, statistics, and scientific predic(32)


Change the story, change the world

tions. It’s a vision for how we may think and live in new ways in the society of tomorrow. As someone much wiser than us once said, we can’t proceed and expect change with the same thinking that brought us here. We originally created Sustainia to demonstrate there’s every reason for optimism. To show the world that an abundance of readily available and scalable sustainable solutions already exists.* We have demonstrated how global risks can be turned into business opportunities by changing the mindset with which we perceive challenges. This isn’t about banal positive psychology – we acknowledge the scope of the challenges – but we refuse to see challenges as anything but an invitation for more prosperity, more *To explore a world of opportunities and sustainable innovation please visit our new platform www.goexplorer.org

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Change the story, change the world

enjoyment, and more life. Besides, who wants to follow a pessimist? Maybe we should coin a new word: “possibilism”. When the storm hits, the pessimist complains about the wind, while the optimist expects it to change. The “possibilist” adjusts the sails5. Our work strives to help you see it’s possible to adjust the sails and to change direction for the good. This is why we wrote you this book. It is possible. And you have an important role to play!

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10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow

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10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow

Before we embark on our journey to a sustainable tomorrow (with this guide in your pocket!), we want to share the inspiration behind our work. OUR SOURCES OF INSPIRATION

First, it should be crystal-clear by now that we’re deeply passionate about the objectives of the 17 SDGs. We want to increase global awareness of the SDGs, but as stated, they aren’t always as accessible as they could be. This guide aspires to raise both awareness and opportunities, while at the same time reduce complexity around the SDGs. This isn’t, therefore, just a simple distillation of the SDGs; we have taken them further. We have, so to speak, rewritten them in the “language of Sustainia” to create excitement around the SDGs and make them relatable, thus preparing the ground so that everyone can more easily apply the (37)


10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow

objectives of the goals to daily life. This guide is our SDG vision. Whether you are a business leader, politician, or a “regular” person, we believe that the 10 shifts in mindset that we propose can provide the mental framework essential to fulfilling the SDGs. We dare to say some elements are missing in them, and that’s why we’re here – to fill in that gap! Second, we acknowledge that Sustainia sprung from Danish values and so wefrequently reference the so-called Nordic model – a democratic welfare systemwith universal access to healthcare and education, and high social mobility. We believe this model’s complex network of values offers a clear path towards an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable society. Therefore, we emphasise values (38)


10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow

such as social cohesion, trust, transparency, innovative regulations, and flat hierarchies. It’s no coincidence that four Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland) have been recognised as nations that are closest to achieving the SDGs’ 2030 targets6. Of course, these countries face challenges too, but they do share some characteristics we believe could lead us quite far towards a sustainable future. But since we acknowledge that the Nordic model isn't universally applicable to all societies, we wouldn't present here specific regulatory paths to follow, but rather ways of thinking or mindsets that could make that model more flexible for wider adaptation. Also, our clear-cut aim is to reduce global com-

AN ONGOING LEARNING PROCESS

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10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow

plexity without compromising or making it seem banal. We have adopted a holistic approach, so all of our principles are strongly interrelated, interdependent, and mutually enforcing. For example, “trust” is a prerequisite for “profit for life” and vice versa: we have to trust institutions to make long-term investments; and we have to make longterm investments to increase trust levels in society. Similarly, “engaging stories” is a prerequisite for “mindful needs”: we need to tell new stories to consume more mindfully; and we need to consume differently to alter the narrative of what it means to be a conscientious human being. The 10 new mindsets form a web of dynamic relationships and mutual enhancement. From these interconnecting strands, we have woven our vision of the world of tomorrow. (40)


10 mindset shifts for a sustainable tomorrow

Finally, this journey will be an ongoing learning process. It will be a bumpy road. Along the way, new technologies, forms of interaction, external natural phenomena, and social events will upset the balance and change patterns. Any blueprint for a society of tomorrow must be flexible and open to unpredictable disruptions. Whatever is thrown at us, we must be prepared to recalibrate. You could say that the route to a sustainable tomorrow we propose is also a framework that prepares us for the “unpreparable�. Let’s go. Here are the 10 mindset shifts we propose to a sustainable tomorrow. We hope this book will inspire and make you believe change is possible, and, most importantly, rewire the ways of thinking and mindsets that have brought us where we are today.

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Fear

Trust

Fear of the future Distrust in leaders Trust is the X factor

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Fear

Trust

The first mindset we must change is turning fear into trust. Trust is both the founding prerequisite and ultimate goal of any sustainable society. Although we may have our cozy gatherings and memorable times with those we love, sadly, on a macro-level we have developed a society of fear. This fear prevents us from looking beyond the next parliamentary term or the next quarterly report. Scientific studies tell us that with such a mindset, it’s impossible to make sound, long-term decisions. Fear is like a desert, where nothing viable and permanent can ever take root and blossom.

FEAR OF THE FUTURE

Some argue the current pace of societal change is harmful to our values and our trust in the future. If we live within an accelerating timeframe, we face the horrifying prospect of speed winning over (45)


Fear

Trust

thinking and planning. When everything is changing with unprecedented acceleration, we risk moving faster than our values, daily routines, and habits will allow. This isn’t good if we’re to cultivate a resilient, sustainable society built on trust. Futurist author, Alvin Toffler, once described this condition as “future shock”: too much change in too short a period of time, making it increasingly difficult to predict the outcome of any decisions made7. Current projections predict some pretty gloomy scenarios. 65% of today’s children will hold completely new job types that don’t exist today8. Some sources say half of all current jobs will fall victim to automation by 20559. Manual work, as well as professions like doctors, lawyers, and economists, are potentially at risk (46)


Fear

Trust

of being overtaken by robots. This places enormous pressure on the individual. We aren’t all equipped to be “future navigators”, to innovate new ways out of the dissolution of many established jobs. It’s no wonder then that the primary and instinctive reaction is fear. A recent survey of 20,000 young people of “Generation Z” (those born between 1995 and 2001) showed that in 16 of 20 respondent countries, more young people believe the world is becoming not better, but a worse place to live10. When you also factor in the mounting global risks and challenges we face every single day, we’re presented with a climate that profoundly affects social cohesion, democratic governance, and our ability to plan. A recent scientific study has linked crop-damaging temperatures in India directly to an increase in suicide rates, (47)


Fear

Trust

estimating that a staggering 59,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide, because of this perceived fear of the future11. Reports and polls everywhere show a dramatic decline in trust in leaders12. This disbelief and mistrust in leaders isn’t based on a few rotten apples, it’s structural. Of course, distrust can be positive because it expresses an authentic demand for more transparency and co-decision making, but as distrust in leaders continues and increases; it suggests these demands aren’t being met. DISTRUST IN LEADERS

The crisis of sustainability can in many ways be seen as a crisis of leadership. Leaders themselves may also be scared and even distrust themselves. In times of crisis there seems to be no available and proven solutions, nor any political (48)


Fear

Trust

instruments at hand, perhaps other than protectionism, regulations, short-term investment strategies, or even nationalising corporate losses, as demonstrated during the recent financial crisis13. Canadian author, Naomi Klein, has described this condition as “shock doctrine”, prescribing “shock therapy”14. This is the notion that technocratic and unimaginative leaders exploit crises (natural disasters, terror, and economic meltdowns) to push through controversial or unpopular policies, while their citizens are too emotionally and physically distracted to resist. This is often done at the direct expense of long-term prosperity. It could even be suggested that such crises are essential to rationalise policies that, under any normal circumstances, would be rejected outright.

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Fear

Trust

A climate of fear won’t help us take the right decisions in these crucial years. We must turn fear into trust. Take as a metaphor, autonomous, driverless cars. Not only are these cars considerably safer (robots don’t get drunk or fall asleep), but they are also significantly more energy efficient. However, when behavioural scientists set up the very first test drives with ordinary people, the volunteers were literally screaming from panic and fear. They simply did not trust the proven technology. There’s something inherently irrational about this attitude. It suggests how fear hinders us from seeing new opportunities that would make our lives easier, safer, and more sustainable. To make our vision of the society of tomorrow real and not TRUST IS THE X FACTOR

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Fear

Trust

some distant utopia, we must each contribute to improving trust levels everywhere. Most importantly, we have to trust ourselves and our ability to change. We must trust that each of us can make a difference. This is one of our core messages in this guide. In the following pages, we hope to provide a framework that can bolster trust levels. Trust in our leaders, businesses, institutions, and each other is a prerequisite for unlocking human potential. It’s how we boost and nurture sustainable prosperity. When – or if – leaders start to listen, it will make trust levels grow to the benefit of society, and increase the willingness of people to change and follow scientific and informed recommendations. Studies tell us that levels of trust correlate with our quality of life. The more trust we feel, the higher quality of life we (51)


Fear

Trust

enjoy. Trust helps us to feel the world is more predictable. Knowing that the sun will rise again tomorrow allows us to better plan for the future. It also helps us become more resilient to external crises. In the business world, one side effect of trust is that it promotes a creative and innovative environment that can boost sustainable growth. The more businesses trust the durability of political agreements, that regulatory environments are stable, the more they dare to take courageous leaps into serious sustainable strategies. Trust can also greatly enhance healthy competition for not only a company, but even an entire country. Distrust slows down any development and transition. For instance, there’s evidence that trust in others ensures low transaction costs, space for collective trade, and makes (52)


Fear

Trust

room for sharing and spreading knowledge15. Control is good, but trust is cheaper. It permits companies to operate without allocating extra resources to monitor employees, suppliers, and partners. When words matter, there are simply fewer bumps on the road ahead. Trust is the X factor. It’s the unknown but vital part of the equation for some of the strongest businesses and economies in the world. And it’s essential for making a robust transition to true sustainability!

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Your reflections

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What is needed to turn fear into trust?

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Risk

Opportunity

Turning the downsides of human progress into opportunities! A solution economy revolution Introducing the opportunity leader!

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Risk

TURNING

THE

Opportunity

DOWNSIDES

OF

HUMAN

The next mindset shift required to achieve a sustainable tomorrow is turning risks into opportunities. We believe this can be applied to both business and for society in general. Our work at Sustainia is based on this hypothesis, and we would like to think our words and achievements back this up. Take a look and see if you agree16.

PROGRESS INTO OPPORTUNITIES

The Nobel Prize-winning economist, Daniel Kahneman, is well known for documenting how we prioritise avoiding losses over creating advances17, especially when faced with complex risks we can’t fully comprehend. It’s in our nature to be loss-averse, but this mindset has to change. Have you ever thought, for instance, about simply embracing risks instead of just trying to control and limit their impact? This is our affirmative ver(59)


Risk

Opportunity

sion of traditional risk management. Risks are systemic. They transcend time and place. They affect us in unpredictable ways. They are a product of modernity, evolving in the shadows of our impressive technological progress. The climate crisis, pandemics, food shortages, biodiversity loss, and refugee crises are all unwelcome consequences of human progress. While we at Sustainia acknowledge that risks have become bigger in scope than in the past, we also believe that never has our chance for turning them into opportunities been greater.* Imagine if world leaders came together at summits not to discuss the vast global threats but rather the opportunities? The Business and Sustainable Develop*With the help from more than 18,000 business leaders from all parts of the world we have shown in our Global Opportunity Reports how 15 major global risks can be turned into 45 opportunities for economic, social and environmental prosperity.

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Risk

Opportunity

ment Commission’s recent report, Better Business, Better World, also speaks the language of opportunity by mapping the economic prize for businesses if the SDGs are achieved. The report finds that fulfilling the SDGs could create a $12 trillion annual market across four economic sectors, generating 380 million new jobs by 2030, 90% of them in developing countries18. Achieving the SDGs isn’t only an ethical imperative, but a business one too! So how do we turn the risk society into a new solution economy19 and innovate markets accordingly? Easier said than done, for sure, but it’s far from impossible. Here are examples from our Global Opportunity Report of how a risk can be turned into an opportunity. A SOLUTION ECONOMY REVOLUTION

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Risk

Opportunity

Soil depletion is a man-made risk that represents an enormous economic and social hazard. Food production must increase dramatically to feed the world’s rapidly growing population, but our soils – the basis of global agriculture – are depleting and degrading all the time. What happens when there’s no soil left in which to plant? There’s no doubt that this represents a global risk, but within this risk there’s also an excellent opportunity for business to redefine agriculture, regenerate soils, and ensure a nutritious food supply for our future generations. Soil-free agriculture is one of the strongest opportunities for scientific, economic, and technological advancements in agriculture of the last 200 years. Soilfree agriculture offers higher yields than traditional agriculture and uses water more efficiently. It can be deployed ev(62)


Risk

Opportunity

erywhere in large vertical indoor towers, and thanks to the wonder of LED lighting, it can be powered by renewable energy20. That’s how it starts. Plant the seed of an idea and watch it grow. Another great example of rewiring the mindset of risks into opportunities is the housing in slums. Typically found in megacities, these communities are home to 12% of the world’s population. This type of housing is particularly vulnerable to poor infrastructure, lack of resources, and the devastating effects of climate change, such as storms and floods. Essentially, it’s a massive risk that affects millions of people. As climate change intensifies, upgrading living conditions in slums will become critically important. Creating resilient, robust, and climate-proof homes will (63)


Risk

Opportunity

help these communities better manage climate disruptions and improve livelihoods, thereby also benefitting the entire local economy21. Here’s the good news.This is an untapped market for business. There are 828 million people residing in slums globally, and the number of potential homeowners is growing. The number of people moving to urban areas increases every day, and the more formal and structured housing supply nowhere near meets demand, which is projected to double by 203022. Is it a risk? Of course, but it’s also one worth embracing. According to award-winning architect, Alejandro Aravena, architects will need to build the equivalent of a one million-person city every week for the next 15 years – with a budget of just $10,000 per fam(64)


Risk

Opportunity

ily!23 Considering the enormous demand and substantial size of the low-income housing market – currently worth more than $300 billion globally24 – there’s a strong business case for embracing this risk. Let’s do so and build on its foundation many positive opportunities. Also, slum residents are innovative and entrepreneurial by necessity. These homes and infrastructures have long been created from impermanent materials and scarce resources. Rather than a simple one-way exchange of products, there’s opportunity here for mutual learning and innovation during the development process and beyond. It’s a process of mutual listening and learning that fosters innovative solutions relevant to the global market, combining resilience and affordability – a winning formula in any market! (65)


Risk

Opportunity

This isn’t a case of putting on rose-tinted glasses. It’s about combining astute realism with vigorous optimism. To reach a sustainable tomorrow as we envision it, we must educate every leader to become an opportunity leader. With the mantra of the difference between a risk and an opportunity is how fast you discover it, they can turn corporate social responsibility (CSR) into “corporate social opportunity”. ”Responsibility”, with its connotations of obligation and constraint, is transformed into the much more affirmative ”opportunity”. This enables a more proactive mindset that embodies the simple truth that nothing is more expensive than a missed risk. INTRODUCING THE OPPORTUNITY LEADER!

Interestingly, data collated from our reports shows the most prominent representative of the opportunity leader today (66)


Risk

Opportunity

is a female, under 30, from China or Indonesia25. The opportunity leader acts to change the future and the conditions in which we find ourselves. Creativity isn’t about having an abundance of options, but being imaginative with what you’ve got to work with. Opportunity leaders embody this mindset. She wants to alter the norms and structures within which we work and transform economic incentives. Instead of asking “why me? why should my business have to deal with these risks?” she asks “why not me?”. Opportunity leaders think systemic. They spot the right mix of partners. They are able to see how individual projects, initiatives, and actions can influence entire systems, because they see the big picture. Opportunity leaders spend more (67)


Risk

Opportunity

time on the edges of their landscape than at the core. It’s at the edges where new solutions and innovation emerge. When you live on the edge, you are better positioned to see new markets, new sector overlaps, new players – and new opportunities!

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Your reflections

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How can I help make this mindset shift happen?

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Apathy

Empowerment

Inner sustainability “Be the change you wish to see in the world!� Why we are underestimating ourselves

#3 (71)


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Apathy

Empowerment

Together with fear, apathy has become rife in our society. Statisticians have reported a boom in mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, stress, and burnout syndrome26. These are all apathetic states. They aren’t only individually caused illnesses, but also structural in nature, since they are most often triggered and fuelled by the pressures future scenarios put on the individual. No one can deal with global challenges alone. Such seemingly insurmountable challenges can make one feel powerless, or even guilty for feeling apathetic or making wrong choices. INNER SUSTAINABILITY

There’s almost no mention of mental health in the 17 SDGs. We find this distressing given that civic energy and mental robustness is the number one prerequisite for making systemic changes27. As the world currently stands, if there are (73)


Apathy

Empowerment

more and more mentally unhealthy people out there, there will be no generosity, altruism, charity, nor any curiosity in society – all essential for unlocking a sustainable future. To reach our vision of the world of tomorrow, we must focus on inner sustainability before we can achieve any outer sustainable objectives. A mentally and physically healthy civil society is key to making change happen28. As instructed on every flight, you’ve got to fix your own oxygen mask before attempting to help those around you. The journey to the society of tomorrow will entail people empowering and inspiring each other to live to their fullest within a sustainable framework.The word ‘inspiration’ means “to blow spirit or life into the body”. This is what civic entrepreneurialism is about: making bodies move and act. (74)


Apathy

“BE

THE

Empowerment

CHANGE

YOU

WISH

TO

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) must play a central and decisive role in this new mindset, since they are driven by pure civic passion. Civic passion can generate innovative and authentic ideas that no public or private institutions ever could. Thus, local and civic entrepreneurship is an indispensable and leading force, lighting the way to a sustainable tomorrow.

SEE IN THE WORLD�

In Danish culture, there are examples of civic engagement that lead to great and lasting changes. The historic co-operative movement sprung from pure civic engagement (originally addressing food crises), and led to revolutionary changes in production and organisation. Another example is the Danish food waste activist, Selina Juul, who initiated the (75)


Apathy

Empowerment

volunteer-run food waste campaign Stop Wasting Food. Just five years after launch, food waste in Danish households decreased by around 25%, saving thousands of tons of CO229. In the Netherlands, a young boy, Boyan Slat, singlehandedly designed a system for concentrating and catching plastic debris driven by ocean currents. He attracted thousands of volunteers and $2 million of funding for pilot installations. We should never underestimate the power of individuals. History is filled with examples of political revolutions ignited by such people. We must ask ourselves, how can we foster a society that better encourages social entrepreneurs to conceive of sustainable initiatives and campaigns? How can we further engender individuals or groups to be the change they wish to see in the world, and take (76)


Apathy

Empowerment

the lead with powerful and empowering messages? How can we give rise to a movement that puts pressure on policymakers, business leaders, and makes demands on the products we buy? And what about entrepreneurs who launch businesses based on sustainable business models? All of this can’t happen fast enough. But be sure of one thing. We’ll achieve all this. People are increasingly tired of politicians not walking the talk. They are tired of leaders not actually leading. Remember, leaders don’t have to hold official positions of power or imposed authority. Leaders can be everywhere. They can be anyone. This is the new mindset we want to proliferate into society. Here’s another great case study to illustrate how all parts of society can be empowered. In 2011, Danish food entrepre(77)


Apathy

Empowerment

neur, Claus Meyer, created the Melting Pot Foundation, an initiative to enhance future opportunities and improve the quality of life for marginalised people30. He launched a gourmet restaurant in Bolivia with an integrated cooking school named Gustu. It’s a bold and inspiring socioeconomic venture in collaboration with the Danish independent development organisation Oxfam IBIS. In the coming years, 13 new micro restaurants will educate more than 3,000 young people in the slum district of El Alto, outside La Paz. The goal is for these initiatives to lift up a new generation of culinary entrepreneurs, foster a Bolivian food movement, and revive a sense of pride in Bolivian food culture. In 2014, Gustu was voted the 32nd best restaurant in Latin America by Restaurant Magazine and the best restaurant in South America by (78)


Apathy

Empowerment

Cono Sur Magazine. Melting Pot Foundation is a superb example of how food can become an entry point for sustainability, health, job creation, social protection, and renewed cultural pride. WHY

WE

ARE

UNDERESTIMATING

We can think of many more similar cases that demonstrate what we’re capable of. We all share this tremendous ability to empower each other and ourselves from the ground up. It’s part of what it means to be a human being. Understanding what currently blocks us from unlocking human potential must be the focus point for all of us, because how much we can unlock, how much pressure we place on policymakers to create change will determine whether or not we succeed as a world community. And it can be done. The Norwegian “ecosopher” and founder of the Deep

OURSELVES

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Apathy

Empowerment

Ecology movement, Arne Næss, said: “we are underestimating ourselves.” By that, he meant our ability to make new powerful and empowering connections with other people, our surroundings, and nature – all the time. Næss goes on: “You are much greater, deeper, generous, and capable of more dignity and joy than you think! A wealth of non-competitive joy is open to you.”31 We believe there are strong hidden and joyful networks to be created everywhere. This is the miracle of the human mind. Machines or robots can’t form such new emotional and socially powerful connections. It’s something unique and deeply human. We must remind ourselves all day, every day – even when brushing our teeth, or putting on socks – we underestimate the power of the human mind. In short, it’s just awesome! (80)


Your reflections

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How can I achieve inner sustainability?

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Alienation

Inclusion

A good globalisation A new ethics The Nordic model

#4 (83)


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Alienation

Inclusion

To empower people and unlock their full potential, we need to include everybody. However, even in wealthy countries with hyper-advanced societies, people feel marginalised, economically useless, socially neglected, and excluded. Also, technology and automation don’t bode well for many when it comes to job security and creation; these undeniably impressive advancements can have a detrimental effect on both companies and people. A GOOD GLOBALISATION

So how can we fulfil the 17 SDGs’ grand vision of leaving no one behind? How can we make globalisation and technology a force for good for all, not just for the few already on the top of the pyramid? The number of refugees in the future is projected to soar, on a global scale, partly due to the climate crisis making parts of (85)


Alienation

Inclusion

the world uninhabitable. A recent source estimates that between now and 2050, 250 million people may be displaced due to drought, heat waves, water shortage, and floods32. How can we build a societal model that makes it impossible for these involuntary migrants to be excluded from the global economy? Globalisation and climate change have demonstrated the inescapable interdependency of our species. No nation can solve global challenges on its own; they require global solidarity. Simply put, we need each other. We can see this as national success can increasingly only be achieved via international collaboration. Whether we like it or not, we’re becoming one big global family. The late Polish sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman, recently said: “if we wanted cohesion in traditional (86)


Alienation

Inclusion

societies we needed an enemy, someone to exclude. Today we are for the first time in a situation where we need to include everyone.” This isn’t only a new historic situation, but also a new reality and challenge we need to face. We’re now all in the same boat. And we don’t want that boat to sink. To arrive at such globally minded and inclusive ethics, we first of all need to use our imagination more than ever. We need to imagine how life is on the other side of the globe. In the past, focus tended to be on “ethics of proximity”; caring about what you could see in your local community. If you saw a drowning child you would instinctively help him. This may have sufficed in a time before globalisation, but it’s myopic; today’s challenges exceed time and place. So every time you visit the supermarket or go for a drive, you will soon need to

A NEW ETHICS

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Alienation

Inclusion

embrace the “ethics of distance”: do you actually see right in front of you how your choices and actions impact on a worker in Bangladesh, a farmer in India, or an inhabitant of the Maldives? This is ethical imagination and it’s tough for us, but we’ll need to build and cultivate this mindset. To be part of a global community, to invite everyone in, we need to visualise with compassion what we can’t see in front of our noses. Therefore, we in fact have to intensify a culture of fantasy and creativity, and thereby “train” empathy. The banal, but hard lesson of this new ethics is that before making any decisions, regulatory schemes, or political changes one must be able to imagine how it affects people and cultures we don’t directly experience. In the past, we have failed to address this and on our road to a sustainable tomor(88)


Alienation

Inclusion

row we must prioritise this ethics. Just as challenges and crises, become increasingly interconnected and borderless, so does information and the dissemination of ideas thanks to the internet. Let’s use the web to its full ethical potential to spread awareness. Digital interconnectedness can and must fuel human interconnectedness. This is what we call “Internet of Humans”. Inclusivity is also vital to strengthen our ties with the natural world. Positive and healthy social relationships are prerequisites for respectful treatment of nature. If you don’t feel included in society, be it economically or psychologically, you understandably don’t have the power nor necessarily the will to protect our environment. Inclusive social bonds determine nature’s health.

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Inclusion

We imagine the society of tomorrow will be based on the ideal of the Nordic welfare state, with the universal right to free healthcare and education for all. The welfare state is collective insurance; it’s a safety net that offsets individual risks, when it comes to unemployment, disability, and poverty.

THE NORDIC MODEL

This model can also offer you the personal freedom to take career risks and pursue your dreams, safe in the knowledge that you won’t fall through the cracks and be left behind. This social welfare buffer also lowers crime, poverty and corruption, paving the way for high levels of happiness, sustainable quality of life, and trust33. For the society of the future, this is likely to become the number one criterion for competitive advantage and ultimate success.

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Alienation

Inclusion

More than this, we need to ensure that the interests of future generations are listened to in the boardrooms and halls of government. How? By appointing representatives with the voting power to represent the interests of those not yet born34. Of course, this type of social contract can’t happen overnight in every country, but there are many other readily available ways to invite people into society. New technologies such as blockchain empower people all over the world to take control of their digital identities. Sophisticated record-keeping databases can help us verify our identity and gain access to banking services, insurance and many other financial products in a manner that is both transparent and inclusive. People living without adequate records are often locked into poverty and exclusion; as many as 2 billion people (91)


Alienation

Inclusion

worldwide don’t have a bank account. Instead, they use only physical currency, which of course makes them vulnerable to theft. They can’t borrow money via a formal loan, nor can they access most forms of legitimate insurance. Blockchain corrects such systemic failures that are currently excluding far too many from the global economy, simply by enabling them to get a digital identity35. Additionally, new technologies can strengthen gender equality36. Women across the world spend one to three hours per day more on housework than men and two to ten times more caring for children, the elderly, and the sick37. By employing innovative time and labour-saving technologies, the imbalance of domestic and care work can be significantly redressed, enabling women to be more actively involved in our formal economy. It’s esti(92)


Alienation

Inclusion

mated that if women’s economic participation was equal to men’s, $28 trillion would be added to global GDP38.That can only be good for business! Furthermore, freeing up time spent on domestic and care work in both developing and developed countries would increase the opportunity for women to pursue, or continue an education after entering the job market. While we’re on the subject of inclusion, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) could disrupt the way we think about education as something only accessible for the privileged few. Thanks to MOOC, you can earn your degree online. This digital innovation will surely unlock access to higher education for millions of people around the globe. Even the more traditional, highly esteemed University of Oxford is already offering free courses. (93)


Alienation

Inclusion

Soon anyone with an internet connection has the potential to graduate from Oxford!39 Unprecedented universal inclusion may be the hardest goal of all to consolidate. To summarise, this new mindset all starts with new global solidarity, by expanding imagined community thereby making others’ fights for inclusion your own fight. Regulatory measurements, new digital solutions and more will get us far, but let’s not forget everyday togetherness. To disappear behind the screen and only focus on your digital persona may lead to increasing alienation, making you less attentive to the social bonds that determine inclusiveness.

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Your reflections

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How can more people be invited into society?

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Fragmentation

Engaging Stories

The narrative of the twenty-first century? The 18th Sustainable Development Goal Making sustainability seductive and irresistible!

#5 (97)


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Fragmentation

THE

NARRATIVE

Engaging stories

OF

THE

TWENTY-FIRST

The American astronomer and astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, once said: “the visions we offer our children shape the future. It matters what those visions are.”40 We need to convert sustainability and the 17 SDGs into the narrative of the twenty-first century. If the last third of the twentieth century marked an end to the grand narratives in Western societies, we have now entered a phase in society with no dominant religion, no formal power of monarchies, and no dominating ideologies. CENTURY?

This has opened up a constructive space for people – now we can be the authors of our own lives. However, without an overarching narrative, many people have withdrawn into a private world of local, myopic, and individualist narratives with no collective sense of direction. Con(99)


Fragmentation

Engaging stories

sumerism has become perhaps the single grand narrative, but we believe the 17 SDGs have the power to make up for this lack of direction. One of the main ambitions of our work is this: Let’s strive to make the SDGs the universal narrative that guides and unites us in how we think and everything we do! The SDGs may be designed to represent a consistent vision of the perfect, sustainable society, but with its 17 goals and 169 sub-targets, we admit they are slightly disjointed. Little pieces of good intention without a cohesive story. A movie may contain some great moments but without a plot that actually makes sense, it can leave you bewildered and unsatisfied. This might go some way to explain, why the SDGs aren’t broadly known to the public or even relatable to most people; they aren’t yet “a people’s agenda” 41. (100)


Fragmentation

Engaging stories

We need to recut these scenes into a consistent, compelling story every single person on Earth can relate to. How can the various set pieces in each of the SDGs be shaped into a spectacular and emotive blockbuster everyone would flock to the cinema to see?42 THE

18TH

SUSTAINABLE

DEVELOPMENT

We can’t stress enough the need to illustrate the SDGs using engaging storytelling. To make this happen, we have come up with “the 18th Sustainable Development Goal” (see page 28) so we can all understand and act on the other 17 Goals in a way that makes sense to each and every one of us, thereby turning global goals into personal goals. We believe this will transform the SDGs into the narrative of the twenty-first century. It’s the greatest story ever told and it’s time to do it justice! This challenge doesn’t just apply to

GOAL

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Fragmentation

Engaging stories

marketing and communications professionals. Artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, writers – even parents telling their children bedtime stories – we’re all part of telling this story. We must make the SDG vision as irresistible and seductive as possible. And we can all do our part. Social media provides each of us with a voice. The stories we tell about ourselves on these platforms do matter. If each of us told stories that reflected the objectives of the SDGs, the world would look very different indeed. Only by sharing this story can we better comprehend our shared role in the world and reimagine what it means to be a human being in times of crisis. This takes us back to the crisis of imagination – how to fuel our imaginative capacities and ask ourselves the crucial question: how could we actually live? (102)


Fragmentation

MAKING

Engaging stories

SUSTAINABILITY

SEDUCTIVE

AND

To build the society of tomorrow, we must all acknowledge that fear, powerlessness, anxiety, and alienation can be overcome by engaging storytelling and powerful communication. Sustainable narratives aren’t about doom mongering. They have to seduce the audience. For years, environmentalists were experts in negativity, using fear (pollution, melting ice sheets etc.) to scare consumers, citizens, and voters into action.

IRRESISTIBLE!

Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of the public ended up paralysed by fear at the thought of cataclysmic climate change, or simply found it far too complex an issue to deal with. There were no positive connotations, only terrifying images and blame. Nothing engages people more than an exciting and seductive (103)


Fragmentation

Engaging stories

narrative that emphasises what we can do. Studies show that our brains are more receptive and active to storytelling43. Because life is understood holistically, facts and data don’t move people unless woven into a compelling narrative. Without this framework, such knowledge can be perceived as abstract or meaningless. We always look to find structure in the world. We constantly strive to construct a meaningful storyline from our life experiences. Again, it all comes down to storytelling. Here’s an example of the positive impact storytelling can have in practice. In low-income countries, there’s evidence that conventional financial literacy programmes have limited effects. But a recent effort in South Africa to teach fi(104)


Fragmentation

Engaging stories

nancial literacy through an engaging TV series improved the financial choices people made44. The TV series showed financially reckless characters doing stupid things. The result? Households that watched the show for two months almost stopped gambling and were less likely to purchase goods through an expensive instalment plan. As they say in Hollywood “show, don’t tell”; your message will echo tenfold! To sum up, we should move away from a dry and fragmented understanding of the SDGs, and our role in which we fulfil them, to a consistent, seductive dramatic story. We must “borrow” the methods and techniques from other fields of expertise that have engaged, excited, and motivated people for millennia. Art, culture and sports are just as relevant for realising our vision of tomorrow’s society (105)


Fragmentation

Engaging stories

as the work of engineers and business managers. If we can harness just a small fraction of the energy created by the arts and sports, and channel it into sustainability, we can achieve a great deal. The stage is set. It’s show time!

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Your reflections

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How can I help make sustainability a compelling narrative?

(108)


Post truth

New enlightenment

A new age of transparency Intellectual relativism Not only sympathy with suffering, but also with thought

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Post truth

New enlightenment

New and compelling narratives are nothing without the facts. In 2016, “post-truth” was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries45. It’s easy to see why. Too much decision-making today seems to be based on gut feelings instead of evidence. We have entered a dubious era of “post-truth” or “post-factuality”. No sustainable society can be built on lies and blurred facts. We need a critical revolution, which is essential for making sound decisions in these turbulent times. In politics, the media and even science we see a willingness to compromise the facts. If we want to enter an “age of transparency”, we must speed up this new enlightenment on a global scale. And let’s not forget: superstition still persists not just in African villages but also on Wall Street. This in itself is baffling, as markets can’t function without correct information either! And while A NEW AGE OF TRANSPARENCY

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Post truth

New enlightenment

the digital revolution has made sharing information easier than ever, a myriad of counterproductive, sometimes toxic, echo chambers have emerged where like-minded people repeat, overhear, and amplify their one-dimensional arguments until an extreme, distorted version of the truth is taken as gospel. This age of “intellectual relativism” has made it possible for Joe Public to become self-appointed experts in complex topics like climate change or vaccination. Imagine the captain on the Titanic denying the existence of icebergs simply because he’d never seen one? Likewise, we could ask of climate change deniers: should we continue our hazardous sailing just because some captains don’t believe that global warming is man-made, even though this is now an undisputed fact?46

INTELLECTUAL RELATIVISM

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Post truth

New enlightenment

This critical revolution that we crave also requires a more evenly-proportionate relationship between good and bad news. The media has a responsibility to deliver facts, not spread unconstructive, speculative and potentially malicious agendas. Sadly, if it bleeds it leads is still the current mantra of all too many sensationalist media outlets. At the same time, there’s disproportionally little focus on the very real dangers of the climate crisis. Of course, it’s more difficult and time consuming to dig deep, think critically and communicate objectively on the news than to just offer your own interpretation, but we still need to do it! Likewise, journalists need to be more self-aware of how they communicate. After all, the world becomes how you describe it. Politics today operates in an increasing(113)


Post truth

New enlightenment

ly “post-truth” space. Political debate is often emotive and more concerned with in-fighting instead of debating what we should do based on what science tells us is true. Critical thinking is also about avoiding symbolic politics – prioritising what does and doesn’t matter in the big picture. For instance, why did California introduce a residential water restriction during the state’s unprecedented drought in 2015, when just 5% of all water consumed in the U.S. is done so by private homes, compared to the 55% used for animal agriculture?47 The water-use restrictions descended into medieval mudslinging and “drought shaming” between neighbours when they watered their lawn. Instead, the focus should have been on the real (114)


Post truth

New enlightenment

problem: the unsustainable way livestock is raised. Again, we have to dig deeper to find the real causes for environmental depletion. NOT

ONLY

SYMPATHY

WITH

SUFFERING,

BUT

The celebrated Irish novelist, Oscar Wilde, once wrote that “it’s easier to have sympathy with suffering than to have sympathy with thought.”48

ALSO WITH THOUGHT

To achieve the society of tomorrow, we often need to prioritise rational thought where our emotions might lead us down a different path. Misinformed empathy can often be a barrier for sustainability. Take food packaging as an example. Contrary to what many believe, when staring at piles of plastic and cardboard in their kitchen waste bins, according to scientists, food packaging is actually good for the environment. It prevents food waste (115)


Post truth

New enlightenment

that causes more severe environmental harm. What’s more, this packaging usually only accounts for 1% of the product’s total environmental impact!49 There’s also evidence that a plastic Christmas tree is often more sustainable than a “real” tree harvested from a fir or spruce forest (if, of course, the plastic tree is re-used and made from sustainable and recycled materials). Even locally grown vegetables aren’t always better for the climate (if grown in a greenhouse) than a banana shipped across the Atlantic in a big cargo ship50. It’s never a bad idea to critically assess “sustainability folklore”. Sometimes we just need the facts, nothing but the facts, and then make decisions based solely on these facts. A good detective wouldn’t rule out a murder suspect just because they said they didn’t do it! A good detective trusts her instinct, (116)


Post truth

New enlightenment

but also look at the body of evidence. We too must rewire our mindset so critical insight becomes as instinctive as breathing. How can we train ourselves to analyse the impact of any given action, and use the facts to estimate what would be of the most benefit to the bigger picture? A new critical enlightenment is the strongest and soundest road to true holistic thinking. It’s a long road… but we’ll get there. Humanity, future generations, Earth – all need more than ever people to become their own reflected authorities. It is about building up your own credibility, and becoming an anchor in a turbulent world, where an almost permanent critical sensitivity is required to navigate and breakout from the herd.

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Your reflections

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How can I contribute to a critical revolution?

(120)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

Need for some extra planets‌ The beauty of consumption What is a need?

#7 (121)


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Mindless needs

Mindful needs

We hear it every day. We consume more than our planet can sustain. We need 1.6 planets to satisfy the current global level of consumption51. What’s more, the global population will only increase in the coming years, as will people with purchasing power. However, a comprehensive survey from 2015 showed that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, be it for health or environmental and social considerations. Plus, this number significantly increased from 55% in 2014 and 50% in 2013 respectively52.

NEED FOR SOME EXTRA PLANETS…

This shows that there’s a burgeoning desire for sustainable living. We know that micro-plastic and synthetic fibres have been spread into the whole ocean – from ice cores to billions of small and big organisms. We know about the slave-like (123)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

conditions workers toil in to produce some of the things we choose to buy. We know that our lifestyles have a profound (albeit invisible to us directly) global impact. For a start, simple regulatory mechanisms such as comprehensive labelling should make it easier for us to make better, more informed choices. And, by following the phrase tax what you burn and not what you earn, what we want less of should be taxed in the first place. But ultimately prices must reflect products’ full environmental and social impact. Recently Nordea, a Nordic bank, calculated how the clothes-retail company H&M could secure a decent salary for Bangladeshi factory workers simply by raising the price of a T-shirt by a fraction of a dollar53. To make such compre(124)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

hensive life cycle assessments of each product is a tricky undertaking. But the more we do so, the more we may reveal the hidden negative impacts of our consumption patterns. You cannot change what you do not know about. The society of tomorrow must design a new consumer life without waste. Waste must from the beginning be regarded as a resource, not a problem. There’s a beauty to consumption when it occurs within a circular framework, in both production chains and in a consumer’s life. In our world of the future, production must function where all the loops have been closed54 and everything is produced within what’s known as closed production circuits. All business sectors must work closely together to create a sustainable quality of life for the consumer. Why don’t we priTHE BEAUTY OF CONSUMPTION

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Mindless needs

Mindful needs

oritise making one company’s waste another company’s resource? “Circular living” is a simple concept. It’s about giving every resource and material a chance for reuse and recycling not just in production chains but also in our households. Much of what we consider waste today can be reused. Even eggshells can be ground into dough to be used as an excellent source of calcium. Many discarded vegetable stalks can even be re-grown into new vegetables on the kitchen windowsill. In production chains, there are an overwhelming number of opportunities. Here’s one example. Every year, coffee manufacturers discard billions of pounds of coffee cherry fruit, a by-product of early-stage production. The American-based company, CoffeeFlour, saves (126)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

these cherries from rotting in heaps or being dumped into rivers where they leak toxins into the environment, by converting the cherry pulp into a nutrient-dense ingredient. This is then used to make breads, tortillas, sauces, and other foods. Coffee farming normally offers just one annual paycheck, but since the coffee cherry can be harvested all year round, CoffeeFlour provides farmers with a regular, yearlong source of income and also empowers them with the means to create a new healthy food source55. Just one example out of thousands of this new mindset. Let’s emphasise that it’s not just about saving money as back in the old days, but an acknowledgement of the intrinsic value of resources. The new mindset has realised: resources in the global household are limited. Circular living is a new rationality based (127)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

on the principal that anything can be returned to production chains. Nothing is of too little value for reuse and we should strive to obtain maximum use per unit of all raw materials we consume. This mindset can lead to tremendous economic gains. In the EU alone, companies can gain up to $630 billion in annual savings by transitioning to advanced circular production models56. In our vision of the future society, it’s most important that we reconsider the notion of a need. Unsurprisingly, this is a sensitive discussion that touches on the very notion of freedom of choice. The global environmental crisis has shocked a lot of people. Many are starting to ask, “doesn’t all this hinder my freedom of choice?” or “does this mean I now shouldn’t take a flight for my vacation”?

WHAT IS A NEED?

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Mindless needs

Mindful needs

It’s an ongoing debate. What’s a human need? Who should decide the definition? When is our level of material satisfaction “enough” or merely “adequate”? Truth is, no one can ever say (moralists want to, while hedonists refuse). Gandhi’s famous saying that “earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need but not every man’s greed,” is more complicated than it first seems; in this context, is “need” only about sheer human survival? And does “greed” exist without context? For many Westerners, owning two cars seems like a fair need; for an Indian farmer, it might appear as excessive and unnecessary. Our view is that every human being needs enjoyment, joy, existential richness, and material quality. This is how we define a need. However, to merge this notion of a need with sustainable living, we must work towards formulating “the golden (129)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

mean” of consumerism. This is where quality replaces quantity, thereby redefining value and, in doing so, creates a new desire for sustainability. It will take us some time to get there and while the mindset of quality over quantity will initially be born of necessity, soon it will be perceived as an advantage. Ultimately, isn’t quality what we all strive for? This new economy of sustainable needs and experiences, of new dreams and wants, is possible if we re-imagine what life is truly about. The fashion world constantly changes due to social influences. We like to think we aren’t affected by famous people’s behaviour but we are – and they can make a great impact. Celebrities going green has caused millions of others to do the same. Similarly, it’s time we make sustainability the latest, hottest fashion. Looking at current trends, (130)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

there’s no reason why sustainability can’t become “the new black”. We can reach a new type of “sustainable desire”: innovative and sustainable ways of enjoying life that is no less joyful than how we used to under more conventional means. For instance, most of us who bike don’t do it first and foremost because it’s better for the environment; we do it because it’s fun. We buy and adore vintage furniture and second-hand clothes not primarily, because we want to save the Earth, but because they are stylish and desirable. This is what we call “hedonistic sustainability”: living sustainably without compromising desirability and satisfaction. It’s vital that we as consumers start searching on our own for solutions and practices that give us the highest sustainable quality of life. This isn’t just some recycled version of the political consumer, (131)


Mindless needs

Mindful needs

but a fully integrated way of living driven by curiosity and joy. In the future, quality of life combined with sustainability will be the guiding star in everything we do.

(132)


Your reflections

(133)


How do I define a mindful need?

(134)


Linear innovation

Exponential innovation

A new logic for the use of resources? Dematerialization, accessibility‌ and sustainability! Building a "Silicon Value�

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A

NEW

LOGIC

Exponential innovation

FOR

THE

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Modern civilisation was built on the premise that carbon emissions and other by-products of human production had no impact on our planet. At the time of early industrialisation, nature was seen as a colossal drain, able to absorb our every by-product. Economic theory at the time took for granted the notion that resources were infinite; it was just a matter of cultivating and processing them. However, as populations grew, this abundance changed. Based on the way, most goods are produced today – and even if we consumed less and introduced strict regulations tomorrow – there won’t be enough global resources for all of us to live a decent life.

RESOURCES?

If the rest of the world lived at the same standards as the average American, we would need four planets57 and each per(137)


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son would emit 16.4 tons of CO2 a year58. To avoid an average global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius, every person on Earth can only emit two to three tons of CO2 annually by 205059. Yet, it’s also predicted that by that same year, twice as much meat will be produced as it is currently60. As stated in the book, A Good Disruption it doesn’t help that “practically all of the world’s process industries would be bankrupted if they had to pay their environmental costs back – a huge risk at the heart of the economy61.” And at the same time, we believe that sustainable development shouldn’t necessarily be a matter of having less, nor should it always mean intensifying regulation. So what’s the solution? We need a new paradigm for how to deal with resource use.

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The logic of exponential innovation both increases accessibility and decreases resource consumption. At its best, it might actually move us from a society of scarcity to a society of abundance, without stressing the environment. This mindset is clearly necessary pursuing if we are to reach our goal of a truly sustainable society for tomorrow. DEMATERIALISATION,

ACCESSIBILITY‌

AND

Take this example. Listening to music used to involve buying CDs, which are made of plastic and metal. The innovation-as-usual mindset only tried to improve the core product, which is why we subsequently had a stronger, longer-running CD, followed by the CD’s smaller cousin, the mini-disc. This stemmed from a mindset that only wanted to upgrade what had gone before. However, digitalisation has unleashed an SUSTAINABILITY!

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exponential mindset. Services like Spotify and YouTube enable anyone with an internet connection to listen to any song in the world, for free, without plastic consumption and transportation costs. An exponential mindset made music listening cheaper, more accessible and more sustainable62. The reduction in resource happened exponentially; from one day to the next, millions of tons of materials were saved. This wouldn’t have happened with a linear mindset that innovates by doing more of the same. This example also shows us how dangerous it can be to make targets too fixed. Imagine if the music industry set a fixed target like, “incrementally, people should own X% more CDs over Y numbers of years”? That would have locked us into the old way we access and listen to music without allowing us the sheer abun(140)


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dance the exponential mindset does. This may be the Achilles’ heel of the SDGs. With their specific and specialised targets, the road map they have set isn’t sufficiently open to seizing opportunities that could be an exponential game changer and give sudden access to resources. If we are to become sustainable and share scarce resources, we may not always have the time or luxury for such linear, incremental innovation. On the road to a sustainable tomorrow, it will become obvious, from an exponential perspective, that we can access infinite resources. Just think about all the unused resources everywhere. The sharing economy platform Airbnb exploded the myth of accommodation scarcity. Accommodation is available everywhere. Airbnb made it easy for people (141)


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to rent their unused room or home while they are away, and suddenly millions of rooms and apartments were available. Again, this happened almost overnight; it was truly exponential. Teach our kids to adopt this kind of mindset – and we can speed up dematerialisation, accessibility, and sustainability! However, one should also note that it’s just as important to see legislation follow that will address the pitfalls and teething troubles of these new types of business models. Digitalisation is indispensable to driving this kind of innovation. In the future, when the digital and physical world is increasingly fused, technology will enable us to live less-worried, sustainable lives. One example of these “smart solutions”63 is “smart farming” or “precision agricul(142)


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ture”. This involves automated irrigation systems, soil sensors and satellites, and harnesses integrated, real-time weather information, traceability, and tracking systems – all accessible just on your phone – that can optimise farm management. These methods will improve production and consumption patterns in many ways, and help farmers plan which crops to plant when and the optimum time to harvest. The result? A staggering 20% decline in food waste by 203064. Who knew that the farmer’s most valuable tool will be his phone? Here’s another example, related to combating climate change. Vast energy savings can be made with the use of a complete Internet of Things (IoT) smart grid. When devices become increasingly connected in digital networks, energy usage can be monitored and greatly reduced. (143)


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An intelligent combination of smart cities, smart buildings, smart energy, smart manufacturing – smart just about anything – would lead to a 20% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 203065. There are benefits for consumers, too, since the digital transition makes life easier. The French tire giant Michelin moved away from an ownership-oriented model and towards one that was service-oriented. This came from the fact that their customers didn’t want to pay for the tires, but the kilometres they drove. Michelin started to incorporate new technologies like sensors in their tires to measure, control, and improve performance. If the tires were losing air or needed to be repaired or replaced, the sensors would inform Michelin and they would take care of it. Customers would save fuel, all while not having to worry about the headaches (144)


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related to tire ownership, such as maintenance and repair66. This kind of business model also gives an incentive for producers to make their products last, and not encourage people to buy and throw away. Here’s yet another example. In private house-holds we can save resources when tech understands individual customers’ behaviour. This may even enable producers to know more about your preferences and patterns than you do! Once your dairy producer interacts with your “smart fridge” and understands how you prefer to consume, you can get better and cheaper milk without waste and hassle. They can also order and deliver exactly what you need. This is fantastic news because; let’s face it, no one likes running out of milk.

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It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but soon every household could be electrically self-sustained by installing rooftop solar panels. After the fixed installation cost, all the electricity generated will be free. Some even predict that 3D printing in the home could spell the extinction of factory mass-production, with personalised clothes fashioned according to a precise scan of your body. Soon your threads will fit better than ever67.

BUILDING A “SILICON VALUE”

There’s even been talk about a decentralised bloodless revolution, because all the above new practices and more will be controlled by the masses, producing almost everything ourselves, thereby becoming “prosumers”. Yes, it’s a made-up term, but it could catch on… This all sounds amazing, right? Let’s (146)


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keep focused here. The reason we wrote this manifesto is to convince you that this so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution must primarily be value-driven, opportunity-driven and always humanity-centred. Never lose sight of that. We completely agree with Peter Diamandis from Singularity University: if you want to become a billionaire then help a billion people! One thousand years ago, kings made nationwide transformations; 100 years ago, billionaires like Carnegie and Rockefeller made change happen on a profound level. Today, small start-ups in a garage invent apps, platforms and innovations that can improve the world for billions of people almost overnight – exponentially. Exponential innovation is an excellent driver for the opportunity mindset, but it must comply with the main purpose of human prosperity. For that reason, we not only need a Silicon Valley, but to also (147)


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build a global “Silicon Value�. This kind of technological innovation should be a means to invite more people into the fabric of society.

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Your reflections

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How can I help make this mindset shift happen?

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Profit for profit

Profit for life

Why do we create profit? New green deal Investing in ourselves

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Profit for life

The time has come to ask why we create profit. If it’s only to satisfy shareholders, then we shouldn’t talk about “investing”. As the environmental campaigner, Vandana Shiva, puts it, “it’s not an investment if it’s destroying the planet.” At Sustainia, we completely agree with this. We need to encourage a whole new investing principle. We must go from creating profit for its own sake to creating profit for life.

WHY DO WE CREATE PROFIT?

We can’t create sustainable prosperity without making changes to the very system that has proved to be dangerously unsustainable. The current financial system encourages inequality and debt, making future financial crises more likely. Rewarding a focus on short-term profits jeopardises our common future. We must instead invest in everything that enhances life. For that to happen, we need (153)


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global awareness of what it is that we’re actually investing in, and transparency across the board. In short, people need to know where their money really goes. Here’s some good news! Economically speaking, “profit for life” is a real bargain. A recent study showed that $1 invested in 1993 in a company with a strong sustainability profile would have grown to $22.60 by 2010, while $1 invested in the same year in a company with weak sustainable performance would yield just $15.4068.

NEW GREEN DEAL

We’re seeing a development towards investors and shareholders being more strategic in how they can combine revenue with social and environmental concerns (positive screenings). Not many years ago, a responsible investment was only about opting out of deadly sectors (154)


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like guns, tobacco, and fossil fuels (negative screenings). But more and more are actively investing in life. To realise our sustainable tomorrow, we must invest in everything that sustains life and not in dirty, sunset industries. Businesses and investments must serve people, not the other way around. New, ambitious standards for rating companies and investments must be developed, and if companies rate poorly, they should be excluded from portfolios. New innovative financial instruments like microfinance and crowdfunding are indispensable for inclusivity and democratising the allocation of money. Board diversity must be considered too, since overwhelming evidence suggests that the presence of more women on boards (and more board members that are inde(155)


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pendent) guarantees profit for life69. True Sustainians know that if we don’t proactively choose to invest in life, and mitigate as many dangers as we can right now, we’ll end up in a situation of reaction and defense. We’ll be forced to adapt to something catastrophic we could have avoided. The costs of not investing in life are too great. One estimate for instance, found that not acting on climate change could cost the global community a staggering $44 trillion by the time we get to 206070. $44,000,000,000,000 in $1bills stacked on top of each other would make a tower 3,472,222.16 miles high, or wrap around the Earth 139 times. Just think about that for a moment. It doesn’t bear thinking about! Sadly, today there are too few policy in(156)


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centives for all major investors to actually invest in life. Therefore, policymakers need to make these investments the first and most rational choice. If we want to reach a sustainable tomorrow, a plethora of new business models that work as catalysts must be applied71. Instead of functioning primarily to limit their environmental and social damage, companies should operate in a way that actively fuses philanthropy and core business, which previously would have been treated as two distinct spheres. In the society of tomorrow, public procurement and investing is both green and sustainable. How could our collective tax money not be directed towards anything other than that which supports life? Public investment must be mobilised in ways that make green living easier in cities. For instance, by boosting public transportation, (157)


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making it a more attractive option for the masses. We also must stop subsidising fossil fuels. This requires carefully planned reforms, and obviously can’t happen too fast. Fortunately, we’ve seen a trend towards investing more in life. For example, The Rockefeller Foundation recently announced they would withdraw all investments from fossil fuel companies72. Ironic given that its founder, John D. Rockefeller, made his fortune in oil. What an immense and historic U-turn! Another ironic case that displays the “dinosaurism” of fossil fuels is a Kentucky coal mining museum’s recent choice to switch to solar energy. The reason? It’s cheaper!73 (158)


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Change is happening. Surveys estimate that global sustainable investment reached $22.89 trillion in 2016, compared with $18.28 trillion in 2014. That’s an increase of 25%74. More radical forms of ethical investing, like “impact investing”, are still niche, but there are good reasons for other investors and companies to jump on the bandwagon. As we’ve shown repeatedly in this book, there’s a powerful and robust case for investing in sustainability. Here’s another reason: companies with a strong sustainability profile outperform other companies!75 A sustainability profile generates larger and more stable revenue that in turn can be allocated towards new life-affirming assets. In its simplest form, it’s pure sustainable Darwinism. Our vision for the future involves an unconditional shift INVESTING IN OURSELVES

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from focus only on the shareholders to the stakeholders. As we’ve established, the logic of “shareholderism” and short-termism in general may at first appear attractive, but a gradual learning process will teach us to see the bigger picture. In that way people may also accept that responsible investments may not happen overnight contrary to "Casino-investments". It will take time, because "assets" like empathy, trust, and solidarity, arguably for the first time, will be valued on the same level as profit-making. However, over time the rewards will be much more convincing and profound since they have life as an end. That is the advantage of what we call “patient capitalism”. We must deconstruct the notion of “pursuit of self-interest” or the infamous “homo economicus”. The premise that man is driven only by economic incentives has (160)


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grown increasingly flawed. We are so much more than this. Social incentives are just as valid as economic incentives when it comes to behavioural changes and our decision-making processes. The bottom line: much of human life falls outside the markets. An economic theory like “rational choice” is not enough to explain human behaviour. It has no understanding of the ambiguous, sometimes contradictory nature of human desire and the limits of rationality. There’s evidence indicating that we’re a much more empathic and irrational species than many of these models have presupposed76. Here’s a thought. Maybe the economic models we apply today are outdated? Perhaps these economic models can't continue to create economic gains, and (161)


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perhaps it’s dangerous to make political decisions based on their principles? The financial meltdown in 2008 was arguably a failure of the economic models that governed the global economy at the time. Since economists have enormous influence on society, not only should people in the financial sector be re-schooled, economics as a discipline ought to take on a more multi-disciplinary approach. Psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists must therefore join forces with economists to clarify our inherently irrational economic behaviour and establish new ways to create multi-faceted value in tomorrow’s society. This is all part of the new economic paradigm we aspire to, where traditional GDP will be no longer be seen as a sign of wealth and prosperity. For starters, GDP doesn’t tell us anything about the quality of growth. As American economist Joseph Stieglitz (162)


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said, “the purpose of the economy is not producing GDP, it’s increasing the welfare of citizens, and it’s increasing the welfare of most citizens.” 77 The gradual learning process towards a sustainable tomorrow is realising that unlocking economic potential is only valid if it also unlocks human potential in all its glory. Ultimately, an investment is about much more than allocation of capital or saving money by installing solar panels on your rooftop. We invest every minute of every day, metaphorically speaking. Every time we plan and project something we invest in the future, and we need to carefully evaluate the complete impact of these investments. We invest in our children when we take time to speak with them about their life, aspirations, and desires. (163)


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When we start investing in ourselves by taking responsibility for our potential, we’re investing in the common good.

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Your reflections

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What is needed to create profit for life?

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Restlessness

Commitment

Commitment is scarce today An organisation of belonging? From loveless power to powerful love

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Sustainability is about more than business, politics, and practical solutions. It’s about more than CSR reporting, new technological advancements, and a fossil-free future or low-carbon economy. It’s about a greater level of commitment. Commitment may seem a fuzzy and slightly irrelevant term in this context, but make no mistake. Commitment is a founding premise for any sustainable tomorrow. It must be taken seriously. Today. Right now. COMMITMENT IS SCARCE TODAY

Reports show an alarming decline of commitment when it comes to just about everything – from work life, memberships in political parties78 and even romantic relationships (marriage is in decline while divorce is on the increase79). Then there’s world leaders’ lack of commitment when it comes to climate accords and international collaboration, as well as ensuring (169)


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their voters a sustainable future by keeping their promises. We discard smartphones and clothes long before they become worn out. We swap jobs like never before. True commitment is scarce today. For instance, what’s required to make the transition to electric cars? It requires visionary politicians committed to coming up with clever schemes and subsidies; it requires entrepreneurs committed to making a positive impact; it requires consumers committed to wanting to live in cities where the air is clean and fresh! Commitment to the sustainability agenda doesn’t mean you should abolish your political standpoint or leanings. Commitment to sustainability doesn’t belong to any single political party; there are sustainability opportunities and solutions (170)


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across the whole political spectrum. The means to get there may differ, but the commitment to reach the goal doesn’t tie you to a particular political affiliation. When it comes to sustainability there’s only one question: are you in or you are out? Regardless of how you frame it, there will be job creation in the green economies: retrofitting buildings, boosting growth in emerging economies, embracing a renewables economy, and digitalising our cities – to name a few. There’s so much more we aren’t even aware of yet. Of one thing, we’re certain: there are no jobs on a dead planet. As surveys repeatedly tell us, employees want to engage in meaningful organisations that impact positively on the world. There’s more commitment going on when the organization is operating from sustainAN ORGANISATION OF BELONGING?

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able principles. Millennials are five times more likely to stay with employers when they feel a strong connection with their employer’s purpose, when the company has a cause besides just making money80. Herein lies another incentive for companies to perform sustainably. They will attract and retain talent. We spend so many of our waking hours at work, that it has to bring us more fulfillment. For how long can people bear to be committed only to earning and consuming? People want their companies to be enablers of purpose not profit. We guarantee: in the world of tomorrow, work commitment will be sky high because companies will be operating sustainably and with a purpose. FROM LOVE

LOVELESS

POWER

TO

POWERFUL

Today, power and hatred are (172)


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overflowing, partly fueled by economic and cultural exclusion. Domination and hatred in their many ugly forms will never make us sustainable. Right now, we see dramatic populist uprisings around the globe. In this movement, there’s a lot of anger, indignation, and fear. These people feel left out, their exclusionary logic is born from the suspicion that no one cares about them or their families. This trend is also primarily fed by the ideology of fear. It certainly reflects a passion for change, but in this case, unfortunately, it’s the wrong kind. These individuals are committed, but to ideologies that mostly divide and not unite. Then we also see passionate commitment to another ideology: consumerism. What does it take to channel all this commitment into a positive project? What if it was possible to turn this distorted pas(173)


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sion for a distorted project into a project of opportunity and sustainable change? What if the predominant political sentiment was an ideology of opportunity? We pose a simple but crucial question, basically because we have no choice: how can we commit ourselves to a future of inclusion and sustainability? Not just talk about it, imagine it, say how nice it would be if we did all the right things. How can we really commit ourselves to take a stand and choose something bigger than ourselves? In that sense, it’s not wrong to compare commitment to that of love. Here you unconditionally commit and dedicate yourself to someone or something not because of a sense of obligation. It may start out as a choice, but it’s more than that, it’s an inclination, something that doesn’t necessarily gives you any private gains. (174)


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Commitment prevents us from asking myopic questions like “why should I change at all?” or “why should I change when my neighbour isn’t willing to change?”. This dilemma maybe succinctly summarises where we stand today, staring at the brink, knowing perfectly well that we can do something, but not really believing that it’s you and me that should take the jump first.

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Your reflections

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How can I commit myself to creating a sustainable tomorrow?

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Your choice, our future

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Your choice, our future

Having been on a journey to a sustainable tomorrow as we imagine it through altering mindsets, we now ask what it takes to get there? How do we transform fear into trust? How do we see opportunities in risks and unlock and empower all the energy in society? What does it take to leave no one behind? How do we tell new engaging stories and foster a new critical culture? How do we promote quality over quantity when we consume? How do we speed up and understand the logic of value-driven exponential innovation? And, finally, what does it take to start investing in life and to make commitment – a founding premise for building a sustainable tomorrow? It takes you. Whether you are a business leader, a concerned citizen, a politician, a student, (181)


Your choice, our future

or a young person having lost faith in grownups, it’s now your choice if you want to be the change maker. Your choice will affect our common future. This is the reality that most of us haven’t realised yet. Are you a “possibilist”? Can you adjust the sails and help steer us in the right direction? There’s a belief among most of us that “somebody else” will do it. What if this isn’t true? What if that “somebody else” doesn’t exist? This might be the frightening lesson we learn too late. IT IS RIGHT NOW

But we still have time. And we can go so far. Sociologist, Noam Chomsky, said “those who preceded us had it much worse, and did so much. It can be done.” It’s now we have the choice of assimilating new mindsets into our daily and professional practices, thereby repainting the future… (182)


Your choice, our future

It’s now that we can build a global community of very different people, all united in the common goal of turning risks into opportunities; of rewriting the disaster movie we’re approaching with accelerating pace. Is it too idealistic or illusionary? Maybe on the contrary it’s true realism. Is it really more realistic that we continue with the status quo? Maybe the “realists” with their credo that it can’t be done are the ones living in the ultimate illusion? We all have a responsibility to precipitate change. It’s now your choice what you want to do. The only thing you can’t do now is nothing. One first step can be to share our story if you believe in it. Share your reflections with your family, spread the new mindsets to your friends. Or even better, share or pass on our guide to everybody you know if you like it. Building a global “mindsetter” community (183)


Your choice, our future

and movement is our strongest weapon in fighting the climate and humanitarian crises we now face. Otherwise, we won’t change fast enough. Let us end by quoting French writer, Jean-Paul Sartre, who understood the traps of change. “There may be more beautiful times, but this is ours.” Change isn’t something to be postponed until tomorrow, nor will it do us any good to daydream about returning to a time where things were “better”. Then there will be no change. Regardless how much you would want to, you can’t escape the present situation you are living in. It’s right now, as you hold this book in your hands, that you must change.

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Cool stuff we like

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Cool stuff we like

There is so much helpful information out there. Here we want to share some of the coolest stuff we know of. But mind you, there is so much more. Go explore. Find the building blocks to create our sustainable tomorrow – and don’t forget to share! 5 INSPIRING STARTING POINTS FOR

you and me

What You Can Do About Climate Change The New York Times A simple, but relevant list of everyday things that you can do to reduce your personal contribution to a warming planet. SDG in Action app Use this app to learn about the 17 SDGs, get news on

your favourite goals, find out what you can do to achieve them, create your own events, and invite others to join you in sustainable actions and events. The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World United Nations A guide showcasing some super easy things we can do in our everyday life – and if we all do it, it will make a big difference. Footprint Calculator World Wildlife Fund Measure your carbon footprint in less than 5 minutes. GoodGuide app GoodGuide has rated and reviewed over 75,000 products based on safety and health. Its mission is to provide consumers with (187)


Cool stuff we like

the information they need to make better shopping decisions. 5 OF OUR FAVOURITE STARTING POINTS FOR

business leaders

Global Opportunity Explorer UN Global Compact, DNV GL and Sustainia A digital platform, which features hundreds of business solutions addressing the SDGs. Explore your next SDG market, and connect with new partners and projects to foster more partnerships for a greener and fairer world by 2030. www.goexplorer.org Global Opportunity Report UN Global Compact, DNV GL and Sustainia (188)

More than 16,000 business leaders from all parts of the world have taken part in co-creating each edition of the Global Opportunity Report. Together, they have shown how 15 major global risks can be turned into 45 opportunities for economic, social and environmental prosperity. Drawdown Paul Hawken Drawdown maps, measures, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, the authors describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works.


Cool stuff we like

Better Business, Better World Business and Sustainable Development Commission A report, which articulates and quantifies the compelling economic case for business to achieve the SDGs. It demonstrates how aligning to the SDGs makes a strong business case, and that the next decade will be critical for companies to open 60 key market “hot spots�. Waste to Wealth: the Circular Economy Advantage Peter Lacy and Jakob Rutqvist The book examines five new business models that provide circular growth from deploying sustainable resources to the sharing economy before setting out what business leaders

need to do to implement the models successfully. 5 EXCELLENT STARTING POINTS FOR

policymakers

Cities100 C40, Realdania and Sustainia Each of the three editions of the Cities100 reports identify 100 leading city solutions to climate change and highlights them to inspire other cities and change makers across the globe. Climate of Hope Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope Turns the usual way of thinking about climate change on its head: from top down to bottom up, from partisan to pragmat(189)


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ic, from costs to benefits, from tomorrow to today, and from fear to hope. Doughnut Economics Kate Raworth Identifies seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for how to meet the needs of all people within the means of the planet. 10 Principles for Policy Development Idar Kreutzer CEO Finance Norway and Connie Hedegaard, former EU Commissioner for Climate Action Ten principles for policy development that will trigger innovation and green investments.

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Consuming Differently, Consuming Sustainably: Behavioural Insights for Policy Making United Nations Environmental Programme Includes concrete examples of how behavioural science has been successfully coupled with policy to cost-effectively achieve sustainable consumption.


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Explore Sustainia

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Explore Sustainia

Sustainia is an international sustainability think tank and advisory group working to turn global risks into new opportunities and business ventures. After seven years’ experience extensively mapping solutions to global risks, Sustainia has become a leading provider of sustainable business solutions worldwide. We have published five editions of the Sustainia100 publication, each featuring 100 readily available and scalable sustainable solutions covering 10 different sectors. The solutions have been developed in 52 countries and deployed in 188 countries. The three editions of the Global Opportunity Report manifest Sustainia’s opportunity mindset, and are based on inputs from 18,000+ business leaders from across the world to turn 15 major global (193)


Explore Sustainia

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Explore Sustainia

risks into 45 market opportunities. To help cities combat and adapt to climate change, we have in our three editions of Cities100 showcased 300 of the most groundbreaking urban solutions from 120 different cities across 45 countries. Additionally, we have co-created and successfully published various sector guides including health, food and buildings.

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Explore Sustainia

In 2017, Sustainia launched in close collaboration with the UN Global Compact and DNV GL its most ambitious initiative yet: the Global Opportunity Explorer. On this digital platform, you will find updated descriptions of 600+ innovative and readily available solutions, all of which address the UN Sustainable Development Goals and help scale, share and speed up solutions for a sustainable future for all. Sustainia’s journey has been an eye-opening, fun, and exciting experience, and we have enjoyed every minute of it together with our international partners including the UN Global Compact, DNV GL, Realdania, C40, R20, Dong Energy, Novo Nordisk, WWF, Microsoft and IKEA.

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

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The Sustainable 17 Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide sustainable global development towards 2030. The SDGs present a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. All 17 Goals are interconnected, meaning success in one affects success for others. In short, the SDGs represent a comprehensive and ambitious agenda, balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. The universal and comprehensive nature of the SDGs means that all actors in society – states, businesses, NGOs, cities, and citizens – are an important vehicle for implementation.

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Notes and references

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Notes and references 1. Figures, C., Schellnhuber, H. J., Whiteman, G., Rockström, J., Hobley, A., & Rahmstorf S. (2017, June 28): Three Years to Safe-Guard our Climate. Nature. 2. See for instance World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. 3. United Nations (1987): Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. 4. United Nations (2015): Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 5. Here we paraphrase William Arthur Ward. 6. Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Durand-Delacre, D., & Teksoz, K. (2016): SDG Index and Dashboards - Global Report. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network. p. 16. 7. See Toffler, A. (1970): Future Shock. Random House. 8. World Economic Forum (2016): Future of Jobs. 9. McKinsey Global Institute (2017): A Future that Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity. See also Frey, B. F., & Osborne, M. A. (2013): The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation? Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. 10. Varkey Foundation (2017): What the World’s Young People Think and Feel. p. 9. 11. Carleton, T. A. (2017, July 31): Crop-damaging Temperatures Increase Suicide Rates in India. PNAS.

12. See for instance Edelman Trust Barometer www.edelman.com/trust2017/ or numbers from Pew Research Center indicating public trust in the federal government remains at historically low levels www.people-press.org/2015/11/23/1-trustingovernment-1958-2015/ 13. Cf. the enormous bailouts after the financial crisis. See the official report from the U.S. government: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ pkg/GPO-FCIC/pdf/GPO-FCIC.pdf It makes one wonder why the same amount of money couldn’t be mobilised for climate protection. 14. Klein, N. (2007): Shock Doctrine. Allen Lane. 15. Monday Morning (2009): The Danish Secret. MM34 Special Edition, October 5th, 2009. p. 20. 16. During the past seven years, Sustainia has mapped and analysed more than 4,500 solutions deployed in 188 countries. Go explore a world of sustainable innovations at www.sustainia.me and on our new platform www.goexplorer.org – A platform, which guides you through hundreds of sustainable solutions and market opportunities, which address the SDGs. 17. See Kahneman, D. (2011): Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 18. Business & Sustainable Development Commission (2017): Better Business, Better World. 19. The Global Opportunity Network, a joint initiative between Sustainia, the UN Global Compact, and DNV GL, has so far tested this hypothesis in three annual reports.

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Notes and references Check out the three editions of the Global Opportunity Report, which demonstrate how 15 global risks can be turned into 45 new market opportunities. To learn more visit www.goeexplorer.org 20. Sustainia, UN Global Compact & DNV GL (2017): Global Opportunity Report 2017. p. 38. 21. Sustainia, UN Global Compact & DNV GL (2017): Global Opportunity Report 2017. p. 82. 22. Ibid.

Approach to Being in the World. In: Næss, A. (2009): Ecology of Wisdom (Drengson, Devall Ed.). Counterpoint. 32. Care Danmark (2016): Fleeing Climate Change. Impacts on Migration and Displacement. 33. Year after year, the Scandinavian countries top the ranking in the World Happiness Report. Many believe that the high level of happiness is related to these countries’ well-developed welfare states. 34. See Positive Economy Forum www.positiveeconomy.co/reports/

23. Ibid. 24. Ibid. 25. Sustainia, UN Global Compact & DNV GL (2016): Global Opportunity Report 2016. p. 23. 26. Twenge, J. M. (2015, October 12): Are Mental Issues on the Rise? Psychology Today. 27. We find one small mention in target 3.4 stating: “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.” 28. See Sustainia’s publication: The State of Healthcare, 2015 29. Rodionova, Z. (2017, February 28): Denmark reduces food waste by 25% in five years with the help of one woman Selina Juul. Independent 30. Rasmussen, E. (2015, October 16): The Miracle in Bolivia: A Model for Sustainable Development. Huffington Post. 31. Næss, A.: Self-realization: An Ecological

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35. Sustainia, UN Global Compact & DNV GL (2017): Global Opportunity Report 2017. p. 56. 36. It’s products such as clean energy cook stoves, which don’t require the use of firewood and therefore save users time by avoiding wood collection. In India alone, women spend 374 hours each year collecting firewood. Also products such as backpacks for carrying water; and robotic floor cleaners that mop, sweep, or vacuum without supervision can help alleviate the time burden of housework. Solutions to reduce the time spent on care work is also part of this opportunity space. In marketing these products, business can play a role in challenging gender stereotypes. See Sustainia, UN Global Compact & DNV GL (2017): Global Opportunity Report 2017. p. 60. 37. Sustainia, UN Global Compact & DNV GL (2017): Global Opportunity Report 2017. p. 60. 38. Ibid. 39. Oxford Announces its Partnership


Notes and references with edX and its first MOOC, University of Oxford, November 15, 2016. Web. August 2017: www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-11-15oxford-announces-its-partnership-edx-andits- first-mooc 40. Sagan, C. (1994): Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Random House. 41. OECD Communication Development Network (2017): What People Know and Think About the Sustainable Development Goals. Selected Findings from Public Opinion Surveys Compiled by the OECD Development Communication Network (DevCom) https://www.oecd.org/development/pgd/ International_Survey_Data_DevCom_ June%202017.pdf 42. Our 10 principles for the sustainable world of tomorrow can be said to belong to this ambition of turning fragmentation into a more consistent story. 43. Widrich, Leo (2012, May 12): The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate our Brains. Lifehacker. 44. The World Bank (2015): World Development. Report 2015: Mind, Society and Behavior. 45. Word of the Year 2016 is… English Oxford Living Dictionaries, Oxford University Press. Web. 30 August, 2017. 46. The study: Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature by Cook et al. (2013) analysed 11,944 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming. Among the papers expressing a positon on whether

or not global warming is manmade, 97.1% took the position that humans are causing global warming. Member of the National Science Board, James Lawrence Powell, also mapped 13,950 papers about global warming, but only found 24, which argued that humans aren’t the major cause of global warming. 47. Jacobson, M. F. (2006): Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plantbased Diet Could Save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest. 48. Wilde, O. (1969): The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde (Ellmann, R. Ed.). New York: Random House. 49. Forskere: Vi bør bruge mere emballage for miljøets skyld. Danmarks Radio, January 27, 2017. 50. Berners-Lee, M. (2010): How bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything. London: Profile Books. 51. WWF (2016): Living Planet Report 2016. p. 13. 52. Nielsen (2015): The Sustainability Imperative. New Insights on Consumer Expectations. The report surveyed 30,000 respondents in 60 countries across the globe. 53. Pechter, O. (2017, June 1): Here’s how little H&M would have to raise T-shirt prices to pay its Bangladesh factory workers a living wage. Business Insider Nordic. http:// nordic.businessinsider.com/heres-howmuch-hms-clothes-would-cost-if-factorygot-paid-sustainable-salaries-2017-6/ 54. See also Braungart, M. & McDonough,

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Notes and references W. (2002): Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press. 55. Sustainia (2016): Sustainia100. p. 38. 56. Ellen McArthur Foundation (2015): Towards a Circular Economy: Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. 57. De Chant, T., If the World’s Population Lived Like. Per Square Mile, August 8, 2012. 58. CO2 Emissions (metric tons per capita). The World Bank, 2013. Web. August 30, 2017: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ (most recent numbers). 59. Concito (2010): Forbrugerens Klimapåvirkning. p. 5. 60. United Nations (2006): Livestock’s Long Shadow, Environmental Issues and Options. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 61. Stuchtey, M., Enkvist, P. A., & Zumwinkel, K. (2016): A Good Disruption. Bloomsbury Business. 62. ”A very recent study by three U.S. academics – the first to compare directly the energy and greenhouse gas impact of downloading music versus purchasing CDs – concluded that downloading was far superior. Even comparing the worst-performing digital download album to the best-case CD delivery (where the buyer walked to the music store), the CD created nearly 65% greater CO2 emissions.” See Siegle, L. (2009, October 25): Are Music Downloads Greener than CDs? Guardian. 63. Relying on digital smart data, smart solutions provides meaningful and

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actionable data that allows customers and producers to use resources more efficiently. 64. Accenture Strategy & GeSI (2016): #SystemTransformation. How Digital Solutions will Drive Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 65. Ibid. 66. Sustainia (2017): Danish Pioneers – Building the World of Tomorrow. p. 18-19. 67. Read more about the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Rifkin, J. (2014): Zero marginal cost society. Saint Martin’s Griffin; and Schwab, K, (2016): The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Geneva: World Economic Forum; and Accenture Strategy & GeSI (2016): #SystemTransformation. How Digital Solutions will Drive Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 68. Eccles, R. G., Ioannou J., & Serafeim G. (2014). The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance. Management Science, vol. 60(11), pages 2835-2857. 69. Roth, B. (2013, July 23): Having Women on Corporate Boards Increases Profits and Sustainability. TriplePundit. 70. CitiGroup (2015): Energy Darwinism II. 71. For a broad selection of already prevalent sustainable business models see SustainAbility (2014): Model Behavior. 20 Business Model Innovations for Sustainability. London. 72. Neate, R. (2016, March 23): Rockefeller Family Charity to Withdraw all Investments in Fossil Fuel Companies. The Guardian. 73. Andrews, Travis M. (2017, April 6):


Notes and references Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to Solar Power. The Washington Post. 74. Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (2016): Global Sustainable Investment Review. 75. See Wang, Q., Dou, J., & Jia S. (2015): A Meta-Analytic Review of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Financial Performance. The Moderating Effect of Contextual Factors. Sage publication, Volume: 55 issue: 1083-1121; and Jones, R. (2015, October 17): Thinking Ethical Pays off as Good Guys Come Out on Top. Guardian. 76. See the World Bank (2015): World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society and Behavior. 77. www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNqe-pn8xq8. Accessed 30 July 2017. 78. Biezen van I., Mair P. & Poguntke T. (2012): Going, going, ... gone? The Decline of Party Membership in Contemporary Europe. European Journal of Political Research, vol. 51: 24–56, 2012. 79. A peculiar fact is that a person living alone uses more resources than one person in a household of two or more people. 80. Business & Sustainable Development Commission (2017): Better Business, Better World. p. 44.

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This book empowers each of us to believe in our enormous potential to change the world and repaint the future. Presented in a clear, engaging and compelling way this book offers 10 new mindsets to be infused into our daily and professional routines to secure a society full of opportunities, optimism and sustainable prosperity. And it is not about what you can do tomorrow, but right now!

Repaint the future - Advance Review Copy  

The advance review copy of 'Repaint the Future!' To be used only for press-related purposes.

Repaint the future - Advance Review Copy  

The advance review copy of 'Repaint the Future!' To be used only for press-related purposes.