Over the past few months I’ve had a chance to talk to quite a number of people around New Haven – and beyond – about the topic of “sustainability.”
People sure love to buzz about it.
Sustainability this. Sustainability that.
Both through reading and conversation, it seems like there’s a lot of people out there who seem to feel that “sustainability” is somewhere between a load of BS and something that just can’t really be defined.
But is this any different from anything else that’s hard to define?
As this concept continues to penetrate our mainstream mind and thoughts, it’s only more important that we think – on our own and in groups – about how we define it today with an eye towards something, somewhere further into the future.
That’s why these recent conversations have been so excellent. Conversations with thoughtful people who are also struggling around what “sustainability” is has been great.
Because when one tackles something so large, something that you can come at from so many different angles, a range of perspectives shared between strangers who share a mutual interest in understanding and doing something with this enhanced understanding is invaluable.
It can be through the struggles and through the hard times, where the future is hard to see or know, that can result in the greatest momentum, of growth, and outcomes.
It would be hard for me to put together everything I’ve learned in these past few months right here, right now, and combine that with the amount of thinking I did about this while living in China’s biggest northern city and one of its smaller Southwestern villages over the past decade.
But my answer today, is a lot like answers look on Jeopardy: in question form.
Given the magnitude of the conversation around sustainability, it’s hard to find that an answer that’s one size fits all.
And perhaps that’s the point when we’re thinking about what it means or what it can mean.
So yes, of course, everyone has a different definition.
Which means the real question is: what can and does it mean for us?
And what can we do about it today as we think a bit about tomorrow?