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Retro: The Declaration
Alex Steffen, 28 Aug 05

Gil Friend is one of our regular Sustainability Sunday columnists, as well as a systems ecologist and business strategist, and the CEO of Natural Logic, an environmentally-focused strategy, design and management consultancy. This Spring, he shared some of his accumulated wisdom in a manifesto called The Declaration of Leadership, and wrote about it here on WorldChanging. It sparked a lot of debate, and rightly so:

The purpose of this document: to challenge already good companies, developers, designers and public authorities to an even higher level of thinking, aspiration and performance. The sustainable business phenomenon is taking deeper root. But many who've been laboring in the vineyards for the past few decades have been wondering whether there's a fundamental problem remaining: all too much of the effort from business, government and NGOs has focused on mitigating the problem, making things less bad, slowing the rate of decline of the regenerative capacity of the living systems that sustain human culture and economy. Bill McDonough offers the simple and compelling metaphor of merely slowing down a car that's going in the wrong direction, instead of turning it around. Frank Dixon of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors has called for raising the bar from "corporate social responsibility" to "total corporate responsibility - focused on promoting system changes that hold firms fully responsible."
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