The Nature of Sustainability is intended:
- to make the case that a number of important systems, structures, and institutions are no longer working well, and that we cannot fix them with the same mindset that created them.
- to show that at its core all sustainability is based on physics, but that our more complicated systems surpass the predictive limits of physics, meaning that many systems that are designed according only to logic are bound for failure.
- to show that there is a higher order of sustainability patterning at work in nature, and that these patterns can be observed, distilled, and applied to human contexts.
- to provide steps that allow anybody to carefully evaluate or design any complex human system, structure, or institution—based on the physics of sustainability and nature’s sustainability patterns.
The sustainability principles and design processes can be applied at potentially any scale and to an unlimited number of situations, including large or small corporations, economies, communities, governments, politics, laws and legal systems, traditions, cultures, sports teams, schools, clubs, families, health care systems, infrastructure, the environment, etc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I: NOTES FROM THE SIXTH GENERATION
• Chapter 1 Our New Lives
• Chapter 2 Why is this Happening?
• Chapter 3 Sources of the Problems
• Chapter 4 Solving the Problems
PART II: THE PHYSICS OF SUSTAINABILITY
• Chapter 5 Introducing Functionality and Sustainability
– 5.1 A Superball Example
– 5.2 A Glacier Example
– 5.3 Definitions of Functionality and Sustainability
– 5.4 More with the Superball
– 5.5 Feedback Loops
– 5.6 Independent Forces
– 5.7 A Watermill Example
– 5.8 Introducing Complex Systems
– 5.9 Compatibility
– 5.10 Compatibility of the Waterwheel
– 5.11 A Village School Example
– 5.12 The Village School Example, continued
– 5.13 Discussion: Designing a Village School and Complex System Analysis
PART III: NATURAL SYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY
• Chapter 6 Natural Systems
– 6.1 Translation to Complex Human Systems
• Chapter 7 Dynamics and Hierarchy
• Chapter 8 Dependence and Interdependence
• Chapter 9 Income, Wealth, and Waste
• Chapter 10 Competition, Cooperation, and Succession
• Chapter 11 Time
• Chapter 12 Group Decision Making
• Chapter 13 Expression, Protections, and Group Formation
• Chapter 14 Government
• Chapter 15 Resilience
• Chapter 16 Diversity
• Chapter 17 Innovation and Management
PART IV: APPLICATION
• Chapter 18 Return to the Village School
– 18.1 Pattern Review
– 18.2 Sustainability Profiles for the Alternatives
– 18.3 Sustainability Pattern Application Summary
– 322 Total pages