Sustainable Globalization is not an oxymoron. In the last few days of finishing a book chapter on globalization it occurred to me that I have spent close to two years thinking, writing and consulting about the antiseptic "silicon" world while the "carbon" world has been grinding along half way around the planet, namely China.
The New York Times ran a photo journal series on China - Choking on Growth which causes flashbacks to the US and other developed nations "industrial revolution". China is not alone as other developing nations, India and Mexico, are keeping pace. We in the US complain about off-shoring, however what many do not realize is that by sending our manufacturing elsewhere we have also off-shored our environmental issues. But the chickens are coming home to roost. We only inhabit one planet.
"Corporate social integration" as Michael Porter reinvents the term corporate social responsibility has the unique capability to resolve the "tension between business and society." Imagine leap frogging the 20th century industrial wastes in China by understanding that "business and society are interdependent."
Oddly enough our silicon advances have the capacity to bridge the gap by enabling rapid information sharing and collaboration. China or any developing country does not need to repeat the unsustainable history of advanced countries. There are limits to egregious consumption.
Kimberly Simaha, one of our colleagues in sustainable energy is looking for cases to demonstrate the possibilities. We link you to her video as an energy boost of its own!
Let me also introduce you to SeaChange founded by husband and wife team - Roger Payne and Lisa Harrow who use natures beauty and immutable laws to bring us to our senses about the state of our biosphere.
man is not the overseer of life but an integral part of life’s complex web, and that our survival requires that we attend not just to our own wellbeing, but also to the wellbeing of the entire web of life.
As Payne points out every religion begins with the notion that man has dominion over the earth - possibly to destroy or save it - but not if we acknowledge that we are only part of an ecosystem.
Hard facts and data appeal to some i.e. carbon foot prints and percent of land, water and fish loss, or global warming. Others are moved by finance - the worth of all of our natural assets, and some by poetry and song. Payne and Harrow bring both science and poetry together in an outstanding performance.
In the following weeks we and our writing colleagues will be speaking on various topics from our Sustainability Fieldbook -When it All Comes Together to be published by Geenleaf and AMACOM in the fall of this year. You can join us on the journey in the Sustainable Enterprise Facebook Group where your participation is valued and we will keep you posted as events unfold.
Look forward to hearing about your models of "sustainable globalization" from your companies in 2008.
~ Victoria G. Axelrod