The Sustainable Development Institute has a unique mission: to increase people’s enjoyment of life while conserving the environment. This is what we mean by sustainable development. Dour environmentalists warn that sustainable development means conserving the environment and they expect governments to regulate our behavior to prevent us from consuming it. Certainly, sustainable development requires that we consume less to conserve the natural resources we depend on. That’s the ‘sustainable’ part. But we also need ‘development’ which is the social arrangements that give the greatest number of people the opportunity to explore the possibilities of their ‘humanness’.
In pursuit of this mission, we have researched the political economy of climate change, the social demands of sustainable development, the utility of ideas from complexity science, and the benefits of alternate theories of international relations.
In Sustainable Capitalism and the Pursuit of Well-being we showed that there is a more enjoyable way to sustain development: by taking charge of our lives, continuously developing our unique personal talents and abilities, and satisfying our psychological needs while ignoring socially-created wants.
Our research around the problem of climate change has included both policymaking and the sources of technological innovation. This latter research - recorded in Climate Innovation and journal articles - has shown that liberal capitalism may produce many gadgets but is unlikely to generate the technological innovations needed to prevent dangerous climate change.
We have studied complex adaptive systems and shown how an understanding of the concepts and methods of complexity science may improve understanding of international relations and world politics.
We also have developed an unique way to teach college students through unique case studies to understand how environmental policy choices are made and detailed the narratives that drive research and debate on sustainable development.
Our research is referenced and elaborated in the Publications section of this site.
Sustainable Capitalism and the Pursuit of Well-Being
Published by Routledge and Earthscan.
Coming soon a blog on How to Live Well and Save the Planet