Some challenging issues to consider for achieving sustainable futures
1. Population pressure 人口压力 Rén kǒu yālì
2. Food security 食品安全 Liáng shíān quán
3. Access to clean water 清洁水获得 Huò dé qīng jié shuǐ
4. Affordable housing 经济适用房 Jīng jì shì yòng fáng
5. Hygiene and sanitation 个人卫生和环境卫生
Gè rén wèi shēng hé huán jìng wèi shēng
6. Health 健康 Jiàn kāng
7. Poverty 贫穷 Pín qióng
8. Energy resources 能源资源 Néng yuán zī yuán
9. Peak oil 石油峰值 Shí yóu fēng zhí
10. Climate change 气候变化 Qì hòu biàn huà
11. Technology 技术 Jì shù
12. Financial systems 金融系统 Jīn róng xì tǒng
13. Security 安全 An quán
14. Forests 森林 Sēn lín
15. Desertification 荒漠化 Huāng mò huà
Overview: challenging contexts
There is one planet Earth. It is our home – for people, animals, plants. If there is no Earth,
there can be no people and no profit.
It is important to protect the planet, and that means the plants and the animals as well
as the people, in order to have a future.
Sustainable development relates to quality of life and meaningful livelihoods.
Economic growth is not the same as development.
Short term financial gains are often made at the expense
of the environment, plants and animals as well as local communities.
We need to learn from the past to take action today to create sustainable futures.
However, the future is uncertain and ambiguous, such that whatever worked in the past
may not be relevant and appropriate for the future.
Sustainability relates to resilience and durability. It is not just about a destination;
it is about a continuous process of change and adapting to change in a positive
and collaborative way.
A long-term future orientation is necessary so that our grandchildren’s children
may have a chance for a life of quality.
We also need to consider if other people in the world today
have a life of quality. Such considerations are necessary,
but not sufficient to guarantee those quality futures, but it is a start.
A life of quality means one where there is access to uncontaminated drinking water,
adequate nutrition, health care,
accommodation, clothing, education and freedom from physical and mental abuse,
slavery, oppression and violence,
in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
See the primary Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations,
While there is one child, man or woman who does not have access
to these universally agreed basic rights- food, water, health, education,
social health and wellbeing and healthy communities,
we all have an obligation to step up as leaders for sustainable futures.
What we do on a daily basis in our local area may have far-reaching effects, even though we may not be aware of them,
or live to see them. For example, a tree planted now may provide food,
or timber for future generations.
Although we cannot predict accurately the future, we can continuously collaborate with like-minded individuals to be the change we want to create for the greater good of planet Earth.
The skills of self-reflection and analysis of values, interests and motivation;
open inquiry and communication beyond conflict;
developing empathy and emotional intelligence to interact with a diverse range of people,
commitment to goals and team;
collaborating with open appreciation, focus and impact will enhance leadership ability
to create strong and sustainable futures across a range of industry sectors
These are the personal leadership skills for our sustainable future.