Sustainable Development Drivers

Sustainable Development Drivers

The Role of Leadership in Government, Business and NGO Performance

Edited by Kees Zoeteman

Sustainable development cannot be prescribed – rather, it results from conscious personal choices in government, business and NGOs. This thought-provoking book explores both the origins and future of the global sustainable development movement, and provides an original overview of the driving forces of sustainable development, including market forces and past and future trends.

Chapter 3: The Mission Reflected in the Sustainable Development Concept: Uplifting Society

Kees Zoeteman and Hans Mommaas

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, development studies, development studies, economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


Kees Zoeteman and Hans Mommaas SUMMARY The Brundtland report describes ten characteristics of the mission reflected in the concept of sustainable development. This clarifies that the concept of sustainable development implies much more than normally taken for granted when quoting its definition of ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Besides ecological responsibilities, others are addressed such as promoting a balanced growth and striving for dynamic long-term goals, enlarged spheres of cooperation, better justice and transformed lifestyles. Finally, greater democracy and citizen involvement in decisions are crucial. But the basis for sustainable development can be found in the will to change developmental attitudes, both individually and institutionally. KEY NOTIONS OF THE BRUNDTLAND REPORT In looking for the essence of sustainable development, one is mostly referred to conclusion 27 in the Brundtland report, stating that sustainable development is a development ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’. Most of the time this characterization is taken to cover only a small part of the challenge of sustainable development, and thus quotes the Brundtland report selectively. Based on historic developments described in the previous chapter, this chapter further analyzes the mission implied by sustainable development and its implications. In essence, it is a concept aiming at acting in a way that reflexively includes all types of consequences for all affected – now and later. Such a more inclusive, radicalized reflexive sustainable development...

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