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By Dr. Keith Skene, Director of the Biosphere Research Institute.

Sustainable Economics

– built on sand, not rock? We need to take our place on the seesaw of social, ecological, and economic sustainability, preparing to be sub-optimal for the sake of overall balance, and to practice bioparticipation, not biomimicry. 4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

If you are going to attempt to build a better economic future that embraces both society and the environment, at least make sure you don’t use rotten wood. I suppose it all started with Kenneth Boulding and his famous analogy, Spaceship Earth. This suggested that the planet was a closed system, and that sustainability represented perfect cycling of waste. If we mimicked the planet in our sustainable economic programs, then all would be well. Tighten the industrial cycles and the spaceship could boldly go wherever it wanted. This has brought about many schools of thought, from natural capitalism and biomimicry to the circular economy of China and Europe, and from zero waste to waste-is-food. Nature can be fixed, and if it can’t, then it can be replicated. As the Marquis de Condorcet famously said “nature has fixed no limits on our hopes”.

Sustainable Business Magazine  

Issue 03/15