Evolution of Sustainability Thinking

In searching for an old paper of mine from 2004, I found this definition of sustainability. It was the first version that I had written down. No mention of flourishing, but I find it an interesting step away from the Brundtland definition of sustainable development.

Sustainability is a possible way of living or being in which individuals, firms, governments, and other institutions act responsibly in taking care of the future as if it belonged to them today, in equitably sharing the ecological resources on which the survival of human and other species depends, and in assuring that all who live today and in the future will be able to satisfy their needs and human aspirations.

The Brundtland definition is still present in the last parts, but laying on us the responsibility for the future is new. The complexity context is there in the recognition that any new future state of a complex system is always only a possibility. That tomorrow will be the same as today is also only a possibility. Hmm…

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