Language: bringing forth a regenerative future…

“By continually expanding the distinctions available to observe and participate in the world in a myriad of ways, humans increase the diversity of ways they can coordinate their actions.  Humans are continually inventing new ways of doing things together and so bring forth new creations, whether it is a new dance, more ecologically sustainable buildings or new forms of communication technology.  All this occurs in and through languaging.”  Alan Sieler, Coaching to the Human Soul, Volume 3, page 124.Coaching to the Human Soul

The increasing number of ways we can describe the solution side of sustainability creates more ways for us to get there.  For instance:

  • Clean Technology – “…products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources, and cut or eliminate emissions and wastes… Clean technologies are competitive with, if not superior to, their conventional counterparts. Many also offer significant additional benefits, notably their ability to improve the lives of those in both developed and developing countries.”  -Wikipedia
  • The Blue Economy – “stands for a different way of designing business by using the resources available in cascading systems, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow. It aims at creating jobs, building up social capital and rising income while saving the environment.” -Wikipedia
  • Regenerative Business – “profitable business that actively enables community and eco-system regeneration.”

All these terms take “sustainability” out of the space of anxiety, obligation and expense.  They move it somewhere more constructive, more creative and more exciting.  They move us beyond scarcity thinking and ‘the OR mythology’ that implies we can be sustainable OR prosperous – but not both.

They enable us to start asking “How can we????” and “I wonder???” They put a new focus on business thinking.  They remind us that the ‘one-way’ thinking of most business supply chains hasn’t progressed much beyond the production line thinking of the early 20th century, and it’s time for a change.

The good news is that the design work has been done, the principles have been proven profitable and the innovation is creeping into the domain of the early majority.   If you want to accelerate the take-up, start spreading the word – whichever term you use.

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About Leigh

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Leigh is the principal of the business innovation practice Balance3 and her clients have included corporations such as Amcor, National Foods, Dair, SPC Ardmona, Kobelco, Corporate Express and New Balance as well as a range of smaller businesses and individual clients.