60 Seconds for Sustainable Change

Necessary Rev blog pic 6

It’s not often that we get the chance to deliver a meaningful, educational talk in 60 seconds, but that is the premise behind UPenn’s 60 Second Lecture Series.  I was fortunate enough to participate in a “60-Second Slam” event in May along with eleven other speakers, all trying to deliver a very impactful message in about one minute.  Boiling several years of work in food security and water security down to 60 seconds is, to say the least, quite the challenge – and an extraordinary amount of fun!  So here is my concise effort on the role of business in driving sustainable change to achieve food and water security in order to meet the challenge of feeding 9 billion by 2050.  Said differently, the necessary revolution is necessary now!

Food. Water.  Energy.  Soil.  Air.  All in peril due to one key word:  Waste.

We face increasing pressure on global resources that are increasingly linked; and intense population pressure on a strained environment.

We now face the ultimate challenge:  Feeding 9 Billion by 2050 while preserving the environment and setting the world on a path to sustainability.

We have 900 million hungry and 2 billion without access to safe water.

Yet we waste over 1 billion tons of food annually – and all of the resources that go into producing it.

Obesity coexists with hunger amid massive waste of food and water.  We are stuffed, starved, and soon to be thirsty.

Paul Hawken said that we have an economy where it is “cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it.”  That planned obsolescence threatens to make us obsolete.

Clearly, we need change.  Urgent, Global, Deep, Systemic, Transformative change.

Who will lead that change?  Business.

Responsible corporations must be the key change agents; engaging consumers, suppliers, and governments in innovative partnerships while accelerating the change to triple bottom line principles and conscious capitalism.  And for that they will be rewarded in the marketplace with the holy grail: competitive advantage.

Sustainability.  Innovation.  Social Responsibility.  Stewardship.

The required change for food security, water security, and indeed global security.

Systems thinker Peter Senge called for a Necessary Revolution.  The Necessary Revolution is necessary now.

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