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21 Principles for the 21st Century

This article was written by Alex Steffen in June 2007. We're republishing it here as part of our month-long editorial retrospective.

Over the past month or so, we've been running a series of posts highlighting many of the core ideas we discuss on Worldchanging. While it's not necessarily a complete kit of concepts for envisioning 21st century sustainability, each tool, model or idea in the series plays an important role in the conversations we have on the site and with all of you. Below is the full list of 21 principles collected in one place for future reference.

Principle 1: The Backstory
Principle 2: Ecological Footprints and One Planet Thinking
Principle 3: Cradle to Cradle and Closing the Loop
Principle 4: Life Cycle Analysis, Embodied Energy and Virtual Water
Principle 5: Ecosystem Services and Ecological Economics
Principle 6: Transparency
Principle 7: Strategic Consumption
Principle 8: Leapfrogging
Principle 9: Social Entrepreneurship/Base Of the Pyramid
Principle 10: Collaborative Innovation and Creative Commons
Principle 11: Socially Responsible Investment, Patient Capital and Carbon Disclosure
Principle 12: Philanthropy and NGOs
Principle 13: Product Service Systems
Principle 14: Density, Compact Communities and Smart Growth
Principle 15: Carbon Neutrality and Climate Foresight
Principle 16: Offsetting
Principle 17: Environmental Justice
Principle 18: Sustainable Food
Principle 19: Clean and Renewable Energy
Principle 20: Citizen Media
Principle 21: Imagining the Future

21 Principles for the 21st Century -- Series Collection is part of our month long retrospective leading up to our anniversary on October 1. For the next four weeks, we'll celebrate five years of solutions-based, forward-thinking and innovative journalism by publishing the best of the Worldchanging archives.

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thereĀ“s a lot of things that would help the world to be a better and more sustainable planet. and mostly they exist since decades, if not longer. problem is always the same: big businesses trying to keep their systems running: and so they will never ever allow big changes to come too quickly. look at the current sales-and-loan crisis... could have been prevented, but some institutions wanted this crazy thing to go on (like the tech bubble in internet stocks in the late 90s).
so, i think the biggest step towards sustainability could be made by telling people, how they are controlled/misled by media circus (which in fact is a puppet on a string, like we all know...)

if you want to know more about the current finance crisis americas and its real reasons, i highly recommend this video:

best regards,

jens schardetzki

Posted by: lichud on 20 Sep 08



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