Sustainability or the ability to sustain?

The word sustainability has the sense that there is an end point. If instead sustainability is changed into the phrase ‘the ability to sustain’ it becomes a capability. Some thing that we can work towards developing.

What is it though that we would sustain?
Does anyone have any thoughts?

Frank Fisher in his book of the title ResponsAbility is suggesting that we need to develop the ability to respond responsibly.

We need to develop human responsibilities alongside human rights. And it is not enough to have these rights and responsibilities at individual, group, nation or global levels but also for organisations of all kinds.

Further it would be more useful to work towards a more sustaining way of living rather than getting ourselves caught in the trap that we think we have already understood sustainability and don’t need to know more. There will always be more to be done, there is no end in sight in working towards a more sustainable way of living.

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About Jenni

I am interested in working with others to enhance the sustainability of human systems. My practice is to engage with people by drawing on their own ways of knowing and understanding. I orient people toward the “pull” of future intentions, rather than the blind "push" of past habits and "best practice". I encourage people to break out of their cognitive silos, to think laterally and to focus on the whole problem systemically in all its inter-disciplinary complexity. My practice works through the essential processes of innovation – mobilising resources, enrolling peers, engaging allies and building public support. This form of engineering practice is about manoeuvring, dissolving boundaries, always being in action, and recognising that function, congruence and transformation are emergent properties generated through active learning by doing.
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