How Science & Business Can Cooperate on Keeping our World Sustainable

World Café

Finding common ground & richness in diversity. Business and science working together — an important theme running throughout this conference. This is a conversation that could take us places.

What does science need to do & what does business need to do, to help keep our world a sustainable place to live & thrive in, for all? The results from this conversation go forward to New York in October.

What’s the common ground that lies between us — where can we work together to get a better outcome for all? What is the contribution of science and what is the contribution of business? What do you have to share that might help us go further together? Sixty people began to consider the Café question:
What are the respective roles of science and business in the sustainability agenda? What would facilitate a useful exchange?

Engage in your own conversations starting from where you are, enjoying this fine World Café’s harvest on how can we enhance & encourage each other’s contribution to the common goal of a better world for all? [PDF doc].

Gallery photos by Kim Davis – Courtesy of Planet Under Pressure 2012

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9 responses to “How Science & Business Can Cooperate on Keeping our World Sustainable

  1. Pingback: Planet Under Pressure

  2. http://www.countercurrents.org/salmony310712.htm

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    Chapel Hill, NC

  3. ANOTHER CONVERSATION WE OUGHT TO BE HAVING…..

    The Untold Story of the Ecological Science of Human Population Dynamics, presented at the following link, http://www.panearth.org/.

    There is one issue that is not being given the attention it deserves. I want to ask you to focus on human exceptionalism as it relates to population dynamics of the human species. How are we to grasp the gravity of the human predicament, much less gain consensus about how to go forward, if we cannot share an adequate, scientific understanding of the ‘placement’ of the human species within the order of living things. Specifically, is the population dynamics of the human species essentially similar to, or different from the population dynamics of other species? In terms of our population dynamics are human beings actually exceptional? If so, where is the science for an assertion of human exceptionalism vis a vis its population dynamics. The population dynamics of non-human species are routinely and immediately understood. Food is the independent variable and population numbers is the dependent variable. More food equals more organisms; less food equals less organisms; and no food, no organisms. But the minute our focus shifts to human organisms, everything we know from well established scientific research about population dynamics is turned upside down. We widely share, consensually validate and automatically broadcast via the mass media the notion that the human species must grow food in order to meet the needs of growing human population. All of sudden human population numbers is the independent variable and food is the dependent variable. Where is the scientific research for this distinctly human exceptionalism with regard to the population dynamics of humankind? I cannot find sufficient scientific support for such exceptionalism.

  4. Calling sustainability journalists and advocates everywhere to investigate the ‘no man’s land’ of human population dynamics. A cascade of ecological events with unforeseen consequences is occurring around us in our planetary home. There are multiple causes. But human overpopulation of Earth is the prime factor.

    http://www.panearth.org/

    Climate scientists are speaking out. Where are the population scientists? Why are they not more vocal?

    The deliberate silence among population scientists with unfulfilled responsibilities to assume and duties to perform with regard to their skillful examination and careful reporting of extant research on “human population dynamics” cannot be excused by the recognition that such woefully inadequate behavior “exists in all professions”. There is much too much at stake. Scientists have to stand up and consciously speak out about what is true to them, according the ‘lights’ and scientific knowledge they possess.

    Solzhenitsyn reported, “One word of truth overcomes the world.” Could it be that for the lack of one word, one word by people in possession of truth, as their lights and science indicate ‘what is’, the world and life as we know it is being destroyed before our eyes? As the sages of old said, perhaps it is time, finally, now and here to “speak the truth as if you are a million voices, for your silence is killing the world.”

  5. Somehow we have got to do many things differently, do them much more ably, and do all of them simultaneously, collaboratively and fast. Ready or not, like it or not, we are presented with a planetary emergency.This is the time for making necessary behavioral changes by thinking globally and acting locally. Science and common sense will give us direction. What we cannot do is sit on the sidelines. No, we cannot afford to sit this one out. All hand are needed on the deck at this critical moment in the history of our planetary home. Our generation is simply not stepping up to the challenges before us. The consequences of our failures appear colossal and profound with regard to the prospects for future human well being and environmental health. The very last thing a responsible person is to do in such circumstances is consciously and deliberately choose to remain silent, I believe. Are we not participants in and witnesses to yet another preposterous failure of nerve? When are the leaders going to speak out in an intellectually honest way and act with a sense of moral courage? How terrible are things going to have to become on Earth before the-powers-that-be begin to talk about and do the right things, according to the lights and best available knowledge they possess? Whatsoever is real and true must be acknowledged if we are to respond ably to climate destabilization, pollution, biodiversity loss, resource dissipation, environmental degradation and overpopulation,but the manufactured ‘nothing is wrong’ reality is well-established and those who speak truth to power are consistently marginalized and ignored. It is difficult even to imagine how much can be done in such unfavorable circumstances. Still our efforts are vital because the-powers-that-be are living in a fool’s paradise, and the stakes are such that the things that are not being acknowledged will likely destroy life as we know it on Earth. We know how to stop overpopulation humanely.The gravity of this and other looming human-driven global threats are understood and could be confronted with a long overdue determination to do what is necessary. All of the world’s human resources, including overrated intelligence and technology, need to be deployed in order to overcome the emerging and converging wicked problems looming ominously on the horizon.The-powers-that-be could save the world if they acted with the intellectual honesty, moral courage and power they possess to sound alarm bells, forcefully warn the world, and call out loudly and clearly for changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises. But most of the necessary changes are unlikely to happen, The-powers-that-be want to maintain the status quo, come what may. They lack the moral courage and the imagination to save the world we are blessed to inhabit as a fit place for habitation by children everywhere and coming generations.

  6. The AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population was founded in 2001. Since that moment I have seen it as a moral imperative to continue the work I’ve been doing for many years now: getting the message out and explaining to as many people as possible that human overpopulation of the Earth is occurring on our watch, that it poses profound existential risks for future human well being, life as we know it and environmental health, and that robust action is required starting here, starting now to honestly acknowledge, humanely address and eventually overcome.

  7. How is it possible for top rank experts with responsibilities to science and duties to humanity to be adamantly advocating for more “food production to feed a growing population” and yet be recklessly failing to mention the profound implications of skyrocketing absolute global human population numbers in a finite planet? For such a thing to be occurring in 2013 appears preposterous. It is morally outrageous and dangerous both to future human well being and environmental health, I believe, for well established population experts to be reporting ubiquitously in high-level discussions and in the mass media such things as are directly contradicted by unchallenged scientific research of human population dynamics and human overpopulation. Is it possible that population experts are not aware of peer-reviewed, published research in their area of expertise which indicates the food supply is the independent variable and human population numbers is the dependent variable in the relationship between human population numbers and food supply? If we think in “system causation” terms and not “direct causation” terms, then it becomes possible to see that the rapidly increasing food supply for human consumption is fueling a worldwide human population explosion. It appears to me that many too many experts are regularly reporting attractive preternatural, ideologically-driven theory regarding the human population that is directly contradicted by scientific evidence.

    http://www.panearth.org

  8. I cannot help but wonder what knowledgeable people are to do when a species like Homo sapiens is confronted with a colossal planetary emergency that it appears to have induced. Do human beings not have an original, overarching obligation or perhaps an absolute duty to warn of such a dire situation? What honor should be bestowed on first rank scientists and other esteemed professionals in possession of well-established science who pose as if they “see no truth, hear no truth and speak no truth” regarding known causes of the clear and present danger while mainstreamed, false (preternatural, pseudoscientific) knowledge is deliberately allowed to stand unchallenged as if it represented the best available science?

  9. Is it not science, and science alone, that allows us to confirm our perceptions as objective correlates of reality and truth? Without science, thought leaders and power brokers in cultures everywhere are free to transmit memes at will, regardless of the extent to which the memes bear a meaningful relationship to what could be real and true. For example, a preternatural factoid or meme like “food must be produced in order to meet the needs of a growing population” is falsely given credence as a scientific idea although it reflects the opposite of the actual relationship between food supply and human numbers. Findings from science indicate population numbers are the dependent variable and food the independent variable, just like the population dynamics of other species. By increasing the food supply, we are in fact growing the human population, are we not? That human exceptionalism applies to its population dynamics and therefore is essentially different from (not similar to) the population dynamics of other species is a pseudoscientific factoid, bereft of an adequate foundation in science. Overwhelming science regarding the human population indicates that human population numbers appear as a function of food supply. For many this scientific idea is on the one hand irrefutable and on the other hand unbelievable. So completely are we enthralled by the notion of human exceptionalism. Exploding human numbers are the natural result of the Industrial and later Green Revolutions, are they not?

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