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of the American cultural mind-
set, which I feel is important to
do to support a "global citizen"
awareness, and secondly to learn
from a different culture, see how
they experience life, and to be in
close contact with those who get
along on far less resources and
Everywhere I go, I am amazed
and inspired by people, given
their daily challenges and dif-
ficulties. Their level of accep-
tance, patience, and ability to
somehow provide for their fam-
ily and lead a good, honorable
life with their meager resources
is very striking and remarkable.
Randy: Can you provide an
example of a person whom you
have met in the course of doing
the sourcebook whose story has
touched you?
Vinit: I'd have to say that the
person who has moved me the
most regarding the book was an
inmate at San Quentin prison.
He wrote me a three page, hand-
written letter (very rare these
days!) expressing his gratitude
for the book and how it has be-
come a lifeline to the world for
him, giving him both concern
and hope -- which is exactly
what the book is meant to do.
Randy: What is your personal
vision for our future as a plan-
et? Do you think it's really pos-
Vinit: This is another question
that is absolutely vital to ask our-
selves -- what is possible for our
future as a planet, for our future
as the human species? What
kind of world could we create
that we would be inspired by,
and be fully engaged in working
towards its manifestation?
Our inter-generational task to
shift humanity's current trajec-
tory over to an integrated, sus-
tainable direction is so massive
that only such a vibrant positive
vision, a blueprint of what's pos-
sible, will provide the necessary
So, tuning into the Vision...
do we start with what we have,
good bad and ugly, and try to
improve it? Certainly we will
continue to improve the things
around us as we can... but it
is clear that with human con-
sumption and the consequent
resource depletion occurring
at an exponential rate, we have
very little time to come up with
a very different way of doing
virtually everything.
Therefore, let's see about de-
signing a world that would have
sustainability principles already
in place in the various human
cultural systems -- social, politi-
cal and commercial.
Randy: What are some of the
sustainability principles that you
Vinit: Core principles would
1. diversity. Healthy eco-
systems in nature are generally
composed of a great deal of di-
versity of species, both plant and
animal, which give them strong
resilience in the face of major
changes and stress.
2. Precaution. When making
any important decision involv-
ing some unknown factors and
risks, it's best to err on the side of
caution, even if it may be more
expensive to do so.
3. Cradle to Cradle. Nature
doesn't "waste" or throw away
anything; everything is used by
everything else in a closed loop.
It's possible for humans to design
things this way, too.
4. Polluter Pays. The damage
that businesses do to the envi-
ronment is often not accounted
for, financially or otherwise, but
rather is a so-called "externality,"
not unlike so-called "collateral
damage" -- killing of civilians
during wartime. When busin-
esses are held accountable for
their negative social and envi-
ronmental impacts, their perfor-
mance improves dramatically.
What would this world look
like? Generally smaller scale,
where the sovereignty to make
decisions is distributed to as
local a level as possible. Com-
munities are self-sufficient in
terms of their energy and food
production to the extent practi-
cal. Education is available to all,
as generally practiced in Europe.
People are happy, trusting, lov-
ing... and sing to each other in
the fields, the way they often do
in Africa.
Hey, sign me up!
To purchase the sustainable World
sourcebook or find out more about
the Sustainable World Coalition, visit
Randy Peyser is the author of The
Power of miracle Thinking, www. She also edits
books and helps people find agents
and publishers for their books. www.