Program Description: Sustainability is a word so overused these days as to have become almost meaningless. Beyond the eco-marketing speak, corporate social responsibility campaigns, and elaborate international development strategies, what does it really mean to be sustainable?
In this session, Anne Pellicciotto, MSOD, President of SeeChange Consulting and, now, recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer, shares her stories, insights and tough lessons-learned from the field, working with rural and indigenous communities in Central Mexico.
Assigned as a Sustainable Community Development Specialist to SEMARNAT (the Mexican EPA), Anne struggled for her first year with the stifling systemic paternalism, finally discovering that to create sustainable outcomes she had to become sustainable herself. The OD focus on ‘use of self as instrument’ became rule one of her Peace Corps service. She developed the Pyramid of Sustainability to serve as her guide. Moving up the pyramid to the group/community, Anne raised USAID funding and spawned Viva Viveros! focused on transforming small government eco-system services investments into sustainable women-owned small businesses – translating seeds into sales.
Opening the SIG session, Anne will facilitate a discussion of the various definitions of and perspectives on Sustainability, soliciting input and ideas from the group to clarify the What and Why of sustainable development. Anne will then dig into the HOW, employing Viva Viveros as a case study, highlighting the OD theories and change practices she applied toward achieving success, as well as the sustainable development principles that helped guide her program.
Employing the ‘three pillars’ of sustainable development, participants will be asked to consider a project or client and evaluate it through the lens of sustainability, asking:
• Where is the potential and where are the voids?
• What can you do to raise sustainability awareness and impact?
• And last but not least, what kinds of personal changes do you need to consider in order to become a model and practitioner of sustainability?