99 Sustainability Concepts and Key Terms you will do well to become familiar with

magnifying glassIt is obviously impossible in three short days, even of eight hard hours each, that the members of our seminar can become familiar with the long list of concepts which follow (and which of course do not even starts to empty out the full vocabulary which is necessary to master in order to move from observer to actor on the sustainable development scene).  However the list gives us a good starting point and during the course of the lectures and discussions every effort was made to introduce and discuss a number of these terms.

Each  member of the class has been invited to choose a term, reference and study it in half an hour during the seminar, and then present the results to the other students orally as a “Quick Report”.  In addition, part of the final course qualification is for each of us to go back and present a reasoned page or two on our self-assigned topic, which will then be available for the other class members to study and reflect on as part of the course.

The idea is not to mimic the Wikipedia entry (see below), though it does provide a useful first jumping off point in each instance. But we are asking you to dig deeper, and in particular for your final written presentation. Look at the concept from several angles and give us your analysis and references.. Also we want to hear your own voice and mind at work. Demonstrate your intellectual curiosity. And then pass your message on.  . Work sharing and group learning – that as what the seminar was all about.)

# # #

Wikipedia: First references

Bearing in mind that this is a course without a textbook or two to feed your wikipedia logoreading and guide the discussions, we have turned instead to the web and more specifically in this section to the Wikipedia for a certain number of introductory pieces, as sources of useful first information on concepts, terms, phenomena and forces, many of which have a role in shaping the environment of the next decade (the scope of this seminar) and beyond (the scope of someone else’s).

Uses and limits of Wikipedia and other Wikis

The entries need to be treated with caution of course, but in many cases they make a good first-stop shop when you are looking into a topic area for the first time. You can think of them as a first-stop shop for researchers, journalists, students and the generally curious citizen. First-stop, but not last-stop shop. OK?

In fact a certain number of them are exceptionally good as introductions and provide references and links for those who wish to go further (an excellent and perhaps a bit surprising example is the entry on Design). But again, it’s just a start.

99 Key Terms that help define the field

  1. Agenda 21
  2. Basic Needs *
  3. Behavior/behavior change
  4. Big Data *
  5. Business ethics
  6. Car sharing
  7. Carbon emission trading
  8. Carbon tax
  9. Carrying capacity *
  10. Circular Economy *
  11. Civil Society *
  12. Complex systems *
  13. Consilience
  14. Corporate social responsibility
  15. Creative destruction
  16. CSR
  17. Degrowth *
  18. Dematerialization *
  19. Design
  20. Digital footprint
  21. Eco-efficiency
  22. Ecological economics
  23. Ecological Footprint
  24. Economic inequality
  25. Emissions trading/Cap and Trade
  26. Environmental degradation
  27. Environmental economics
  28. Environmental movement
  29. Environmental Social and Corporate Governance
  30. Environmentalism
  31. Equity
  32. Exergy/exernomics
  33. Externalities
  34. Fracking (Hydraulic facturing)
  35. Friends of the Earth
  36. Full-cost pricing
  37. Futurology
  38. Gender and Sustainable Development *
  39. General Theory 
  40. Gini Coefficient *
  41. Globalization
  42. Globalization and Its Discontents
  43. Good governance
  44. Great Library of Alexandria
  45. Green politics
  46. Greenwashing
  47. Grenelle de l’environnement
  48. Gross domestic product
  49. Gross national happiness
  50. Human Development Index
  51. ICLEI – International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
  52. Industrial ecology
  53. Intergenerationality 
  54. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  55. International Union for Conservation of Nature
  56. Kyoto Protocol *
  57. Land value tax
  58. Legend of the Hummingbird
  59. Millennium Development Goals
  60. Moore’s law
  61. NIMBY
  62. Oil reserves
  63. One Laptop per Child
  64. Open Data
  65. Peak oil
  66. Peak water
  67. Polluter pays principle
  68. Population ageing
  69. Precautionary principle
  70. Public participation
  71. Public–private partnership
  72. Quality of life
  73. Rebound effect (conservation)
  74. Resource depletion
  75. Sharing economy 
  76. Stabilization Wedge Game
  77. Strategic planning
  78. Sustainability
  79. Sustainable city
  80. Sustainable design
  81. Sustainable development
  82. Sustainable Development Timeline
  83. Sustainable transport
  84. Tax avoidance and tax evasion
  85. Technological unemployment
  86. The Skeptical Environmentalist
  87. Tyranny of small decisions
  88. United Nations Climate Change Conference – Paris 2015 *
  89. UN Commission on Sustainable Development
  90. UN Conference on the Human Environment
  91. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  92. Universal access
  93. Urban sprawl
  94. Value capture
  95. Virtual classroom
  96. Wikipedia (including the basics behind it as a reference) *
  97. World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  98. World population
  99. Zero–sum game

Some Defining Events (to 2009)

  1. 1961 – Death and Life of Great American Cities
  2. 1962 – Silent Spring
  3. 1968 – Club of Rome
  4. 1968 – Tragedy of the commons
  5. 1972 – United Nations Environment Programme
  6. 1972 – Limits to Growth
  7. 1973 – Small Is Beautiful
  8. 1983 – Brundtland Commission
  9. 1987 – Brundtland Report
  10. 1991 – Global Environment Facility
  11. 1992 – Earth Summit
  12. 2000 – Earth Charter
  13. 2006 – An Inconvenient Truth
  14. 2007 – Grenelle Environnement
  15. 2007 – Kyoto Protocol
  16. 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Other useful references here:

* Defining Figures – http://wp.me/p1zD54-xX

* Sustainable Development  milestones –

* Previous term paper topics –

# # #

One thought on “99 Sustainability Concepts and Key Terms you will do well to become familiar with

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s