ISG planning notes/guidelines of 6 June

– “This is the new normal (and we’re hopelessly unprepared)”
– Newsweek headline of 5 June 2011

Dear Team Sustainability,

As I learn more about our group and its variety, I find that to accommodate our differences I will have to be a bit more flexible in how we go about this, so let me share the following with you.

First though a general point:
We are not once and for all going to crack the genetic code of sustainable development, business and the rest in 24 hours in a classroom in Paris (even if it is well wired). After all no one else has done it after half a century of trying (more or less) so how can we expect that the dozen of us will do what they have not. But . . .

But we can if we combine our considerable brainpower to start to develop a pretty strategic understanding of a number of the principal issues, threads, trends, threats, opportunities and choices. Each of us will get from this what we put into it. We have an enormous pile of material and leads, so we are not bereft of raw materials. All we need to do, each of us, me included, is to put our energy and intellect into gear.

And what is more, I intend to leave you with a first rate tool kit for continuing your education and, one hopes, inspired curiosity to know more about our topic — in the form of an improved version of the Dashboard, which will be there and available for you well after you have submitted your final reports and put this first encounter behind you. The truth is that you have a lifetime before you in which this concept of sustainability (or the other thing) is going to be one of the principal concerns of you professional career and lives.

Now some specifics and to our absolutely essential team work:

Schedule and Work Plan:
Our first session then will be given over to introductions all around, a careful perusal together of the course materials, web site, your expectations and the overall plan of attack to be developed for the five principle sessions. You can see the plan here at

This is an important part of you and of the class’s knowledge building process. Check it out today at, where you will see your role in this process.

Quick reports:
You are invited to scan something like forty selected articles that have been collected on the Dashboard as key reference pieces, and from them select two for presentation to the class. Click here for more:

May I ask you to check out the machine translations that appear on the site, and tell the class your reactions as to their eventual usefulness, deficiencies, etc. Are they worth the candle?

It is important that you go to the Dashboard and sign in. Thus far only seven of you have. The Dashboard is an important instrument of communication between us. Don’t neglect it.

Take your marks. Exactly 48 hours to go.


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