Understanding Sustainability

As society grows, so does the demand for goods and services. However, nature replenishes itself at a slower pace than that of human development and for this reason nature cannot continue to sustain society’s increasing demand for resources. A sustainable society is one where individuals have access to goods and services that satisfy all their needs without jeopardizing the well-being of nature and of other individuals in present and future times. In other words, it is the matter of “responding to the basic needs of all with what we have”. For this to become a reality, social structures must reorganize themselves in a way that economic activities no longer depend on the ever increasing exploitation of natural resources and that notions of re-use, recycling and substitution of technologies and energy sources become the main drivers of production and consumption.

As the planet increasingly provides signs of the urgency of lifestyle change, it also provides the means to seize entrepreneurial opportunities to solve these problems without sacrificing our quality of life and help to bridge existing prosperity gaps between nations. Sustainability comprises the necessary actions to transition from unsustainable to sustainable lifestyles thus leading the journey towards a sustainable society.

A SMART Activity

An activity used to support the Understanding of Sustainability module is’ The Fishing Game’ which promotes Long-term decision-making, Triple bottom line (TBL) and systems thinking. This activity explores individual decision-making processes and the various ways they influence the whole system within which they are happening. It also provides space for exploration of an impact of the use of natural resources that are available to a community as well as the impact on general well-being in the whole system on the long run. The activity offers a hands-on experience on how human activities led the path towards our current unsustainable situation. The activity also raises awareness of the importance of generating agreements among communities on how to make best use of available resources in the long run.