framework for sustainability thinking: 12 stops in a matrix

knowledge matrix

Listening to Julian Darley* dish sustainability solutions, I couldn't help thinking that our greatest need at the moment is 'knowledge management'.

That is, creating a framework for storing what we're learning, based on a new mental map of what we need to know. And then growing a network for sharing and building this knowledge on the fly.

Darley goes on at such length and each item is so compelling that I begin to lose track of where we are and end up with a laundry list...which is not what we need. We need something like a three-dimensional matrix to depict all the interconnected elements.

Having given a fair amount of thought to what such a matrix might look like (in my preparations for leading the sustainability seminars), and having noticed no one else putting our mental map together in quite this way, I offer this framework as a proposal for how we might organize our sustainability knowledge base.

Think of a cube with 3 spheres, 6 challenges, and 3 tools-- or 12 stops-- each cross-linked with the others and comprising the entire domain of sustainability. A 3X6X3 cube sliced into 54 coequal cubes. (Note: you can tap the Esc key to stop this animation at any time.)

Whatever aspect of sustainability you're addressing, there's a cube location for that Q&A.

We've previously visited the "3 spheres" mental map, showing the reciprocal and dynamic interconnections among economy, ecology and community and the major threat for each sphere.

We've also introduced the "3 Fs" as essential tools in our sustainability analysis.

And the "6 challenges" are the focus of my sustainability seminars.

Now imagine a social networking site for sustainability practitioners to help fill-in these 54 cubes and provide pointers to related knowledge.

Could help, no?

* BTW, Darley was addressing a July 2007 audience in Nelson, BC on "Preparing Your Community for Energy and Climate Change".

Published by Ken on October 26th, 2008 tagged Best Practices, Sustainability Science

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