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Sustainability is most often defined as meeting the legitimate needs of the present generation without diminishing the ability of future generations to meet their needs as well.

The early stages of sustainability theory were concerned mostly with making changes on the margin of the existing system to “make it sustainable”; that is, reforming our current agricultural, transportation, and energy systems by increasing efficiency, and substituting non-sustainable materials and energy with more sustainable alternatives.

A deeper look often shows that the existing systems are inherently exploitative of people and nature, and that no amount of tinkering (efficiency or substitution) will make such systems sustainable.

While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with efficiency or substitution, Deep Sustainability recognizes that there is a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. Shallow sustainability focuses on doing things right, on the means we use to accomplish an end. For example, a shallow sustainability approach to our transportation crisis focuses on creating more efficient cars which use alternative fuels.

A Deep Sustainability approach addresses the ends, on creating a high quality of life where people are able to meet their needs close to where they live so that the need for automobile transportation is reduced, if not eliminated.

At MUM we strive to give our students the ability to implement efficiency and substitution solutions in the short term while at the same time working from a more deeply sustainable, transformative, radical system-redesign perspective that will be much more effective in the long term.

Inner Sustainability

We believe that developing sustainable businesses, societies, and communities is dependent upon those entities being comprised of highly developed individuals. The great systems thinker Russell Ackoff said that “development is an increase in competence, in the ability to satisfy your needs and desires, and those of others.”

Such development means doing more with less. It means creating a higher quality of life while consuming fewer resources. Sustainability is about creating a thriving world in which we lead rich, productive, and fulfilling lives — without depleting the environment or ourselves.

One resource that appears to be infinitely renewable is our own inner consciousness, which our experience at MUM revels to be a great reservoir of energy and intelligence. By learning how to tap that inner resource, we gain great creativity and personal harmony, so that even our thoughts and actions are harmonious and in tune with nature.

By functioning from this level, we can live sustainability on all levels of our lives, and bring maximum creativity to address the sustainability challenges that we all face. To fully meet our responsibility to current and future generations, we must connect with our own inner nature.

At MUM, the Consciousness-Based Education approach, including the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, expands your awareness and help you realign and act in personal and professional harmony with nature.

Feel free to contact us for more information about our programs (see our email addresses and phone numbers below).

David Fisher
  • Chair, Department of Sustainable Living
  • Director of SL Masters Program

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