Peter Senge on sustainability

Paul Holmström pointed me to this article. Peter Senge has always been a wise thinker and in this article he is interviewed on sustainability. It is a long read so make sure you have a little time. I pulled out this bit as a flavor of what he says:

On another level, it’s [sustainability] just a bad word. It’s technically what we would call a “negative vision.” We don’t want the unsustainable, we don’t want civilization to collapse, we don’t want the human species to fail. Well, of course we don’t want that, but those images don’t move people. “Survival” is not the most inspiring vision. It motivates out of fear, but it only motivates for as long as people feel the issues are pressing on them. Soon as the fear recedes, so does the motivation.

What we’re talking about is arguably the greatest challenge to innovation that humankind has ever faced: reinventing our whole way of living. And every single example I know of where something meaningful has happened, where people have worked at something that’s taken five years, 10 years, 15 years, it’s because of people’s excitement toward something that really draws them. It’s aspirational.


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