The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Sustainability as National Imperative

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Mark ‘Puck’ Mykleby, USMC Colonel (Ret.), Senior Fellow, New America Foundation and co-author of A National Strategic Narrative.

Mark provided a very large global systems view of where we are and the future we face. From the largest macro systems risks can be seen to the national security of the USA (and all other countries). Addressing these issues requires thinking systemically.

We cannot just put the old system on life support, we need a new system.

We have to start with the economy. And by the way it is not about doom and gloom… We can design anew, think anew and act anew.

In the clip Mark discusses the present danger and the grand strategy to address the challenges we face. He discussion opportunities that we can direct capital to that will provide economic profits and address sustainability: walkable communities, regenerative agriculture, productivity revolution (to provide for the demand of 3 billion new members of the global middle class).

I liked the statement he included in the talk: “If you want a new idea, read an old book.” while discussing good new ideas from an old book. And from an old document he quotes some pretty powerful words:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

from the preamble to the United States Constitution.

Related: Approaching Sustainability Using Deming’s ThinkingProcess Thinking at PatagoniaBrian Joiner Podcast on Management, Sustainability and the Health Care System


Categorised as: systems thinking, video


One Comment

  1. Chris Reich says:

    First, I give this presentation and the idea behind it an unqualified 5 stars. Perfect.

    Now, let’s look at the physics. There is a huge amount of inertia to overcome to change the entire economic paradigm of the U.S. economy. Not only have we this huge mass to push, it’s a huge mass of lead blocks mired in sand. Push that!

    For example, if I persuade a developer to create affordable, “Friends” type housing in a walking community, how to we get the attending businesses and services on board? It make single business initiatives hard. The post war boom was ignited by the war itself. Women made money, Johnny got off the farm and saw “Pairee” and the government handed him a home loan.

    Can we form a team?

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