My presentation will be in two parts. Firstly I will describe what I have called a Sustainability Mandala as an overarching framework of the drivers for achieving a sustainable society. The second part of my presentation will be examples of the elements of the Sustainability Mandala drivers through programs, policies and projects at the national level across Australia and in particular in the state of Queensland.
Sustainability has many definitions and interpretations, however to me it can simply mean … enough for all forever through caring for self, others and the place. The complexities of sustainability can be explained best by drawing a picture, a Sustainability Mandala. Literature describes three pillars or dimensions of sustainability i.e. social, economic and environmental. I believe there are four drivers for sustainability; Incentives (carrot), Regulations (stick), Technology (hardware) and Education (software). Hence environmental education for sustainability is only one part, albeit often forgotten component, of the process to creating an environmentally sustainable, socially just and peaceful world. Incentives (carrot) include grants and rebates for sustainability items; retained financial savings; recognition through awards and improved student/adult engagement and learning outcomes. Regulations (stick) include legislations and restrictions, setting policies, developing strategic plans with goals and targets for sustainability achievements.
Technology (hardware) relate to the use of ‘Green’ technology and retrofitting, Green building designs and sustainable choices for transport, energy efficiency, water conservation and waste minimisation and biodiversity improvement. Education (software) processes through the development of behaviour change curriculum resources, professional development and training, transformative pedagogy and systems thinking. The systems thinking aspects of sustainability mandala should include a strong governance structure through establishing product and positive partnerships, alliances and networks across all three sectors of society i.e. government, community and business and must be based on ethical values and principles for sustainability i.e. the Earth Charter. A common and agreed positive vision of sustainability is central to achieving successful outcomes. The operational aspects of the sustainability mandala then follow the traditional strategic planning process of plan, do, review and renew with a specific focus on measurable sustainability outcomes across the three pillars plus education.