Where does modern sustainability practice take us? At Bank of Nature, we work toward a time in the future when we have already made the world sustainable for human society. We argue that, presently, there is no destination in contemporary efforts to make society less toxic to the environment, only “less bad”. Such a lack of clarity in where we are headed is a major drag on rallying efforts today to make choices that help the future.
We’ve chosen endgame sustainability, rather than sustainability, to describe the work we do as a proxy for nature.
An endgame is the final stage of a game like chess when there are few moves remaining before victory. An endgame in sustainability is a strategy to choose a strategy that evolves to those few moves remaining before victory.
To paraphrase the late, great systems thinker Dana Meadows, that not to see a future in which humanity is thriving is a lack of planning. It seems quaint now the idea that parents should want to leave a better world for their children, and perhaps it is statistically inaccurate. The world’s adults are very divided on the future prospects for their children, with the North Americans particularly downcast and traditionally economically disadvantaged countries more hopeful.
With all the social strife in the world, we see now the emergence of climate-related traumas and other mental health issues triggered by a lack of plan that is about victory. If Bank of Nature were to be the embodiment of climate hope, what does that mean? And, how do we act on it?
Because endgame sustainability is the moment we can start to relax because the win is assured.