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Sustainability takes only cents

Real economic global results from decoupling economic growth from unsustainable natural resource management and inefficient industrial processes are the central themes of Cents and Sustainability. Implementing wealth creation strategies at the local, national, and international level is the primary economic theme, or modus operandi, of the 21st Century, as opposed to 20th Century wealth appropriation strategies. This begets the question do concrete auditable examples of wealth creation while sustainably managing natural resources at the national level exist? Resoundingly the answer is yes, as is demonstrated by Drs. Smith, Hargroves, and Desha in their book. Furthermore, their book, by focusing on actionable results regarding decoupling negative environmental externalities from economic growth allowing for sustainable development, provides a much-needed approach to implement at speed and scale so as to prevent wide-spread economic and ecological collapse.

While Limits to Growth, published in 1972, provided the context surrounding pending mid-term global economic and ecological collapse, and Our Common Future, published in 1987, described action that needed to occur so as to develop in the short-term a sustainable economic and just future for our global citizens, Cents and Sustainability completes the sequence by describing some of the results possible from the desired decoupling activities described in the first two books.

While this context-action-result framework provides us with some prescriptive options for decoupling methodologies, on the other hand, the results described in the book also provide clear options for the process-oriented business community from which we can act. The authors delineate concise economic examples of how industry has made processes “re-sustainable” by eliminating negative environmental externalities by explaining four organizing principles:

The context-action-results framework along with the four organizing principles desire further business strategy attention as we rapidly decouple our global economy defined by wealth appropriation from negative environmental externalities into a global economy defined by wealth creation. [see: Dr. Allan Afuah, Strategic Innovation: New Game Strategies for Competitive Advantage]

Gabriel Thoumi frequently contributes to

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