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Worldchanging 101: PLANET


How can a growing human population make a sustainable home on a finite planet?

Here are some of the most popular and enduring stories we've published in our first six years, stories we think offer a window into the Worldchanging archives. In these pages you'll find a treasury: more than 10,000 articles on cutting-edge solutions dating back as far as October 2003. This work pushes the boundaries of the global conversation on sustainability, social innovation and planetary thinking. Many of these writers are leaders in their respective industries.

To help get you started, we've compiled a primer in each of our seven meta-categories. We hope you'll use these guides as an entryway. Find the ideas you're most passionate about here, then explore our site for much, much more. Stay as long as you like, and please spread the word.

Understanding Planet: Definitive Principles

Ecological Footprints and One Planet Thinking
Two simple methods help clarify what a sustainable planet would look like (and how we can get there) by framing human impact in terms of physical space. Ecological Footprint indicates the space we exploit through our consumption patterns, and One Planet indicates the space we have to share -- equitably and permanently -- as a global population, if we intend to sustain life on Earth.

Ecosystem Services and Ecological Economics
As scientists and economists learn to measure the economic value of the services we receive from the Earth, we're learning that preservation offers greater economic gain than resource extraction, and that accounting for what we're losing now -- and what we stand to lose if we don't act -- may save us in the long term.

Imagining the Future
Imagining the future makes us more innovative and effective in the present. But it helps us with another important task, as well: remembering our duty to the people who will come after us.

10 Landmark Posts on Planet:

1. Planetary Boundaries and the New Generation Gap
By Alex Steffen
Published 30 June 2009

2. Zero, Now.
By Alex Steffen
Published 10 March 2008

3. Preserving and Restoring Nature in a Rapidly Changing World
By Alex Steffen
Published 29 January 2008

4. Ecosystem Goods and Services Series: Valuation 101
By Hassan Masum, David Zaks and Chad Monfreda
Published 12 February 2007

5. Limits and Brilliance
By Alex Steffen
Published 19 June 2007

6. Colonizing Planet Earth
By Karl Schroeder
Published 12 August 2007

7. Understanding Extinction
By Alex Steffen
Published 24 January 2007

8. Oceans are the New Atmosphere
By Alex Steffen and Julia Levitt
Published 4 February 2009

9. Food, Fuel and Fiber? The Challenge of Using the Earth to Grow Energy
By Alan AtKisson
Published 22 December 2008 22

10. Earth Day: 10 Big, Really Hard Things We Can Do To Save the Planet
By Alex Steffen, Julia Levitt and Sarah Kuck
Published 22 April 2009

Image credit: Sean Conroe

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