Thank you to all the participants at the XING STARS Knowledge Café on Sustainability. We had a highly engaged group of people and an interesting discussion.
Thank you to IEEE for co-sponsoring the event.
The summary is available to look at here on the web site and to download in more detailed form (file links). Please feel welcome to share the information about the café.
I welcome people thoughtful enough to send me their feedback about the café. I am happy to learn and shape future events based upon your feedback.
Some interesting comments from people at the café:
- Technology is an accelerator. Hence it accelerates/increases the effect of good or bad results depending upon good or bad application.
- No political system appears to have a clear advantage in terms of promoting sustainability, but some have some more positive characteristics (we discussed Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Speculative).
- Religion appears to be on the wane as a strong influence.
- Birthrates appear to be more influenced by civil regulation/incentive than religion.
- Control of population helps, but increasing standards of living often consume more resources.
- Knowledge and particularly education are seen as key forces for fostering sustainability. See the talk from Hans Rossling on TED : http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92 for a great presentation on the influence of education.
- Health industry will be a major sustainable business into the future. Use of technology in this domain will continue to increase and drive future revenue/growth.
- Consumption is increasing. Increasing prices, e.g. petrol, are not reducing consumption.
- Waste is increasing as consumerism increases and has negative consequences. This is not being effectively counterbalenced by the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rework.
- Nature and effect of boom/bust economic cycles - e.g. USA 10 year cycle now a 5 year boom/bust cycle.
I am providing two versions of the Sustainability diagram produced. One is as drawn at the event, the other has four major circles of discussion focus:
- Social/political - probably the most discussed area
- Knowledge and education - the second most discussed area
- Technology - as an accelerator and enabler
- Economics - not discussed as much as expected
I hope we can meet again for another café event in a couple of months.
Han van Loon