A System's Approach to Sustainable Development

Actions spring not from information, but from a readiness for responsibility to act.
We need to push against habits of thought by itself

Check out "Practice of Sustainable Community Development" a new book published by R. Warren Flint of Five E's Unlimited




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In our minds, sustainable development is achieved when people in communities live harmoniously with each other and with the natural world and make decisions simultaneously addressing healthy ecosystems, social equality, and economic well-being today and for future generations. This approach to community development is no where better illustrated than our recent publication of "Seeking Resiliency in the Development of Sustainable Communities." Five E's Unlimited decodes and de-mystifies information needed by communities, corporations, and governments to move forward with projects and programs intended to achieve economic prosperity and improved social well-being that are compatible with natural systems.

What We Do in our project work is extensive and diverse. Our national and international leadership in designing community development programs, facilitating strategic planning activities, implementing adaptive management tactics, developing research in sustainability science, and promoting education, and policy recommendations toward achieving sound economic development and natural resource conservation goals has assisted governments, corporations, academic institutions, communities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for more than 10 years.

Everything in an interactive system is defined by its ever-changing relationship to everything else, which not only defies the possible existence of an independent variable but also that of a constant value (economist J.C. Hundeshagen – from C. Maser’s essay, “Trouble in Forestry”). Therefore we find it absolutely necessary to take a system's approach in our work on sustainable development. Why do we take a system’s approach?

  1. To recognize and understand disciplinary connections within a community context.
  2. Because communities are not immune to impacts from and effects on airsheds, watersheds, or coastal environments not necessarily in their geo-political boundaries.
  3. It is the scientifically logical thing to do.

Our work with communities has proven successful not only because of our system’s approach to problem-solving, but because we focus on the need for a change in human consciousness. Leveraging this change starts with an understanding that the emotion of fear drives much decision making in the world and is something we all possess. We purposely confront the feeling of fear in the communities we work with because it is a barrier to the discovery of interrelatedness, interconnectedness and interdependencies between all life forms and therefore a barrier to sustainability. Our approach in community planning is to start with finding out what people really care about, how they define “genuine wealth” and, in so doing, assist them in finding common values in the community, which enhances the sense of connection to one another and therefore reduces fear. It is at this point that people are ready to create a vision of the future.

Check out our Project Work and get an idea of where we can successfully help you.

General Delivery, Placencia Village, Stann Creek District, Belize C.A. ---- Phone: (512) 256-7633 ---- e-mail: rwflint@eeeee.net

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Last Update: 1/1/15
Web Author: Dr. R. Warren Flint