|The Sustainability Transformation
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
24 Feb 2011
Making sense of sustainability
Alan Atkisson does not belie expectations of those who have been following him ever since he first published Believing Cassandra, over a decade ago. The Sustainability Transformation is a must-read book for all those who have wanted to get a sense of what ‘sustainability’ means and how indeed can it be put into practice. Staying optimist, the author takes the reader into the world of immense possibilities.
Through case stories and personal anecdotes, Atkisson engages the reader on the essentials of making a sense of our interconnectedness with nature. The story of the dusky sparrow has transformative power – generating a desire to change things for the better. Faced with a choice between saving the dusky and reducing the bother of mosquitoes, local authorities chose the latter for setting up the space center at Central Florida, the habitat for this endemic bird.
Using his widely adopted ISIS Method – Indicators, Systems, Innovation and Strategy – Atkisson helps reader search for ‘sustainability’ within the complex jungle of such stories. Good Life Index is one such tool that helps awaken interest in sustainability and communicate its basic concepts to encourage people dig down into the details for a more systemic understanding, beyond the ordeal of the daily news.
Written in an informal and personal style, the Sustainability Transformation acts like a trigger towards positive change, both in thinking and in action. It demolishes many ill-conceived notions about ‘failure’ and helps the reader enter the world of immense ‘possibilities’. Through rigor of analysis, Atkisson has developed an excellent combination of theory and practice. No wonder, it is as much a book of theory as an operating manual, inspiring and visionary at each step.
Written with passion, conviction and foresight, the book argues that the ultimate vision of a sustainable world is immensely possible. And that too, in our life time only.
The Sustainability Transformation
by Alan Atkisson; Earthscan, London
323 pages, US$ 29.95