I found this article from the guardian very interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/business-leaders-sha...

It questions the idea of putting guilt and gloom at the centre of the sustainability narrative, is it really like that? What do you think?

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Hi Johanna,


Thank you very much for the article.
I agree and I think this relates to what Nathalie published some time ago about whether sustainability is (or should be) "sexy"
I think we are seeing this shift to a more positive view: moving from "how bad we are" to a "we can do better"

This reminds me that here in Colombia we have some websites like the following, where the focus is on the positive actions: one might discovers that there are already positive actions in our daily activities for the benefit of SUSTAINABILITY. http://ecopositiv.org/
Recall that in human resource management, if you want to perform a feedback to an employee, you have to start highlighting the positive things the person has done, then go to reinforce what can be improved.
In other words, when we conduct a SWOT, it is usually advisable to highlight the strengths and opportunities first.

In any case, I think it is worth remembering the possible scenarios: I mean, more people die from pollution than from AIDS, for example (according to  the WHO) We have to enrich our visión of the future, but we must act drastically with urgent situations of our present.

It's really an interesting article and I agree that sustainability issue is 'somewhat' political and therefore, it's important to engage the policy makers as much as possible. At least I think, this is valid in many Asian countries where, more often than not, changes are more top-down.

It's also true that using the gloomy outlook to present our case wouldn't be so appealing to the general public. Still, sometimes we really need to be sensitive to see where we do our sustainability activities or projects. Sometimes, as journalists say, bad stories are good stories -- in a sense, it really achieves its objective of reaching more people's attention. But, in my opinion, in Asian countries, we prefer something different, something lighter but deep in the same time. Why is it so? Because many Asian countries are still busy fighting problems that might not be the case anymore to more advanced countries. We have enough problems and therefore would appreciate something cheerful. However, it would depend on the message we want to deliver. Sometimes I think, we still need to make 'a problem' more visual and real, and therefore a gloomy picture or illustration would serve our objectives.

You are absolutely right Kartika.


In these cases I like to remember the concept of "stakeholders" to highlight the need to identify, study and design different strategies for each of the actors involved, in order to make that every project be completely successful for each party.

Thank you for sharing this article, Johanna!

It's definitely important to understand the environmental risks and upcoming changes that challenge our societies. However, reducing the discussion to "messages of gloom and doom" only does not really help us to feel inspired and to realize what is needed to build new ways of living.

Creating a vision of the desired future, as suggested by the article, is a great approach to start involving people towards change. Based on this vision, we are able to identify in more concrete terms what are the tools, actions and stakeholders needed along the years in order to live sustainably. And then take action, full of motivation and creativity!

What do you think? What is your opinion about it?

Hi Mariana.

It makes me remind something: I have chosen not to see or hear local news, as they are so focused on the negative events of our country.
In fact, I also recommend the same to my friends. IT begin to generate vicious circles where people lose the motivation to work for a better present and a better future ,when the media is remembering more negative than positive.

Hey Johanna,

Interesting article. In an ideal world, sustainability shouldn't be an issue at all, but a natural reflex. I think what you stress is the fact that the sustainability narrative has yet to be/is on its way to reaching maturity. In this stage it's still important for different actors to stress both guilt and the economic argument.

In my opinion, when more and more organizations will jump on the sustainability cart, this kind of narrative will slowly disappear. What do you think?

Hello Robin,

Thank you for your reply. I believe nowadays the big challenge is to promote sustainable products but at the same time rise awareness about the issues they aim to solve.

In my personal experience, I see that in general people don’t connect the concept of social business with luxury, for the majority those concepts don’t belong to the same context. If you mention the word social it seems that the product loses its characteristic as luxury. In Amalena, my brand, what we do is to present our jewels in a simple but refined way. We also have the name of our brand accompanying with the description: Ethical and Eco-Friendly Gold jewelry to underline the origin and mission of our brand.

The issues behind illegal and irresponsible mining are very complex but we don’t want that our clients feel guilty otherwise they will look away. We want them to feel empowered and proud about their purchase decisions, to share this feeling with others and to make them feel part of what we call a chain of love: “Beyond the transparency and ethics, behind the supply chain of Amalena, each person and resource involved in the production of our jewelry are treated with honor and respect. Our gold is mined responsibly with tenacity and passion. Our artisans not only put work, effort and commitment in the jewelry -they put their passion into it. From the mines to each beautiful piece, we create a chain of love... and we invite everyone to be a part of it.”

Hello colleagues,


I think we're increasingly agree that we can't continue to address the issue of sustainability through guilt, but through positivism telling people they are able to achieve great things if they are willing to try. 
IDEO has a book, "Design Confidence", which seeks precisely to remember that every human being has a creative potential which should be explored and strengthened.

Here in Colombia our government has launched a campaign to promote positivism with the slogan "#I am Capable" ... and managed to summon many companies (even competitors) in the productive sector.

I agree fully with you all sustainability is the need to address large waves of change If we look at the globalized world in my view are values more democracy more information and natural reconciliation between cultures aqnd nations 

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