Thursday, April 29, 2004

Definitions comments

How do we know which "state of being" is sustainable and which is not?

Firstly, sustainability is primarily valid from the point of view of
1) community
2) company
3) human (health, length of life)
4) environment,

These are sustainable if they exhibit the following characteristics:

That stress levels fall within tolerable limits. For humans eg, that includes physical, mental, toxic stress. For companies, rate of growth, fiscal stability,

Risks are at a manageable level ( related to stresses)

That for any given physical area under analysis, the aspects 1-4 are in balance, i.e. they do not put undue stress on one or the other. (Example, the human population does not exert a huge ”footprint” on the environment.)

That systemically the parts work together with the whole.
(Stafford Beer describes a sustainable model for organizational structure)
Natural systems are self-regulating and exhibit characteristics including homeostasis, feedback, etc.
You can diagnose systems to identify weaknesses using Stafford Beers models.

End Defintion comments
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