The Role of Leadership in Government, Business and NGO Performance
Edited by Kees Zoeteman
Chapter 12: The Sustainability Community
12. The sustainability movement Paul van Seters SUMMARY The previous chapter investigated the sustainability attitudes of 23 NGOs. This chapter looks at the broader context in which these organizations operate. International NGOs are part of the global civil society, but so are social movements. The increasing prominence of NGOs that deal with issues of sustainability across borders suggests that we are witnessing the birth of a new global social movement: the sustainability movement. Especially the recent work of the American environmentalist Paul Hawken has contributed to our awareness of this movement. The sustainability attitudes of the 23 NGOs as reported in the previous chapter are relevant for this new global sustainability movement. For NGOs, systematic reflection on their participation in a broader social movement will enhance their sustainability attitudes – and improved sustainability attitudes will further the cause of the sustainability movement. GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY The 23 NGOs that were the focus of attention in the previous chapter constitute a special group – apart from the fact that their sustainability attitudes can be (a) identified, (b) measured, and (c) compared. These NGOs share a key characteristic that is not captured by the list of acronyms that is presented in the chapter to illustrate the ‘kaleidoscopic character’ of NGOs – a list that ranges from ANGO (Advocacy NGO) all the way to WONGO (Watchdog Oriented NGO). All 23 NGOs are first and foremost International NGOs, or INGOs. Within the group of 23, Doctors without Borders is probably the organization that by its very name...
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