Category: Rethinking Complexity Posts


Fading Ink: How the Unsustainable Business Model of Newspapers Can Transition

Ted Turner called it in 1981. That was the first time the media mogul predicted the newspaper industry’s inevitable death, blaming its stale format for its eventual demise. He assumed the death would be quick and painless as more and more readers became viewers of his brand new cable news venture, CNN. Turner gave the… Read more »

How to Talk About Sustainability with People Who Aren’t Environmentalists

Have the arguments for sustainability gotten stale – or left out the most important points? Make no mistake: the need for sustainable solutions has never been greater, and the clock is ticking. But after Earth Day, An Inconvenient Truth, Captain Planet, and endless news stories, is it possible that everyone who’s going to be moved to… Read more »

Sustainability Starts When You Throw Away the Instruction Manual

If there were an easy manual for sustainability, we’d follow it:  western culture loves three easy steps, quick decisions, and technical fixes.  Such a manual is great, for the right problem when we’re dealing with technical problems for which there are known solutions.  But life isn’t a problem to be solved, and neither are people… Read more »

How Sustainable is Your Personal Supply Chain?

Do you know your supply chain? Most people don’t. Most people never think of themselves as consumers, producers, and service providers who use companies and businesses to accomplish their goals. But we are all active members of almost innumerable supply chains, and this has enormous ramifications for the environment. Most supply chains have little regard… Read more »

A Sustainable Globe Depends on Local Leadership

Our current thinking about sustainability limits our opportunity to achieve the results needed in the short timeframe we have to turn the tide. We need to change that thinking and the leadership to do it is most likely to be found at the local level, rather than the national or global. Harness that local initiative,… Read more »

The Five Stages of Coping with Sustainability

Going green would be easy if people were rational. Instead, even the most well-intentioned companies find that becoming sustainable is like a trip to the analyst’s couch. They find themselves asking “why are such simple changes so hard?” over and over again. It turns out that sustainability initiatives are often as emotionally difficult as they are… Read more »

“Sustainability as Usual” Isn’t Good Enough

The recent ecological disaster caused by the BP oil spill shortly after Earth Day is a reminder of the gap between the sustainability talk and the sustainability walk. The past 10 years of environmental awareness and activism have led to needed attention and some changes. Good intentions such as moving “beyond petroleum” made it into… Read more »