Businesses are ... Continued from yesterday
Levasana DOUGLAS, Dept. of Management, Eastern University.
In a world of constant flux, health and stability seem to depend on
diversity. This applies to all levels (diversity of species, of
ecosystems, of regions), and to social, as well as ecological
Self-Reliance, Self-Organization, Self-Design:
Complex systems necessarily rely on "nested hierarchies" of
intelligence, which coordinate among themselves in a kind of resonant
dance. These hierarchies are built from the bottom up, and in contrast
to civilization's social hierarchies the base levels are the most
In an economy which moves with ecosystem processes, tremendous scope
for local response, design, and adaptation must be provided, although
these local and regional domains must be attuned to larger processes.
Self-reliance is not self-sufficiency, but facilitates a more flexible
and holistic interdependence.
Participation and Direct Democracy:
To enable flexibility and resilience, ecological economic design
features a high "eyes to acres" ratio: lots of local observation and
participation conversely, ecological organization and new
information/communications technologies can pro-vide the means for
deeper levels of participation in the decisions that count in society.
Human Creativity and Development:
Displacing resources from production and tuning into the spontaneous
productivity of nature requires tremendous creativity.
It requires all-round human development that entails great qualities
of nurture. These are qualities of giving and real service that have
been suppressed (especially in men) by the social and psychological
conditioning of the industrial order. In green change, the personal and
political, the social and ecological go hand in hand. Social, aesthetic,
and spiritual capacities become central to attaining economic
efficiency, and become important goals in themselves.
The Strategic Role of the Built Environment, the Landscape, and
The greatest efficiency gains can often be achieved by a simple
spatial rearrangement of system components. Elegant, mixed-use,
integrated design that moves with nature is place-based. Conservation
and efficiency improvements in this sector impact tremendously on the
entire economy. Green economic conversion must be radical, but it must
also be incremental and organic. A vision of what each sector of the
economy would look like in an ecological economy based on the specifics
of each place is a starting point. This vision must be coupled with
practical action in each of these sectors, gradually moving toward this
vision. Enough practical activity can eventually generate the impetus
for state action to level the playing field for ecological alternatives.