Over the past half century, sustainability has gone from a fringe concept to a political talking point. Indeed, organic foods, renewable energy, and clean technology have become all the rage in some areas of the world. But many activists, such as Dutch lawyer Roger Cox, say that the steps toward ecological sustainability that we’ve taken so far are just drops in the proverbial bucket. What we really need now, Cox suggests, is a broad-reaching transformation of society—in all sectors—to truly address the pressing environmental issues on the planet today. So how do we pull off such a large-scale shift in the small window of time that most experts say we have to do it in?
In this Unbound interview, EnlightenNext’s Carol Raphael speaks with Cox about the exciting new project that he’s spearheading to completely reshape his native Holland, using an innovative sustainable design concept called Cradle to Cradle (C2C). C2C focuses on designing products and systems—from candy bar wrappers to public transportation—so that they have a positive net impact on our natural environment rather than merely trying to reduce the negative impact that old systems have. In order to apply this radical concept on a nationwide scale, he’s brought together a rare coalition of government, business, nonprofit, and industrial representatives to re-imagine a greener Dutch society. And while they’re just getting started, the “Let’s Cradle” campaign, as they call it, has already made some very impressive steps toward accomplishing its goal of transforming this tiny European country into the first fully sustainable nation on the planet.
Recorded on: 1/13/2009