TAG: Social capital

Mother Nature Never Loses Her Mojo


In the absence of radical economic change, it would not be hard to assume that there aren’t any significant environmental or social problems worth worrying about. Surely the powers-that-be would take the necessary action if disaster was impending. Surely the greenies are alarmist. The humanitarian mob are bleeding hearts. And the future is just as it’s meant to be – someone else’s problem. But where’s the logic in that? Doesn’t it make more sense to be at least a little bit cautious, to think of the future health and prosperity of the planet and its people as everyone’s problem? After… read more

The Green Economy

A green economy

The Green Economy is inspired by a different mind-set and value system to the modern industrial economy (otherwise known as modern wealth or capitalism). In their book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L.Hunter Lovins (2000, p.9) identify some of the fundamental assumptions of a Green economy: The environment is not a minor factor of production. Think instead of the natural world as a package that contains, provisions and sustains the entire economy. Future economic development is limited by the availability and functionality of natural capital. In particular, the limiting factor is the health… read more

Community Capital Helping to Achieve Sustainability

Community Capital

When we hear the word “capital”, it’s not uncommon for people’s thinking to default to money and economics. But capital – particularly human, social, or community capital – is so much more than dollars and cents and physical property. It is also key to achieving widespread social change for sustainability. Whilst it can be difficult to clarify, social (or community) capital is generally understood as the “capacity of individuals to secure benefits by virtue of their membership in social structures” (Portes, 1998, p.6). Founded in human activity, community capital is produced through social organization and the sense of cohesion this… read more

Is Education Really The Answer?

Is Education the Answer?

According to Leif Utne in World Changing (2006, p.313): “Access to education, or rather the lack of it, is one of the greatest barriers to sustainability. According to Lester Brown, director of the Earth Policy Institute, 115 million children do not attend school and 800 million adults are illiterate”. All this in a world where information access is the key to success, irrespective of whether a person is a taxi driver or a factory worker, an organic farmer or a hairdresser. “To be illiterate and unschooled is to be excluded from the possibility of a better future. If we want… read more