Published 6 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Part Eight in a 10-Part Series by Reporting 3.0. See previous parts below.
In a textbook demonstration of unfortunate asymmetry, sustainability problems typically develop incrementally, accreting undetected in the background. Sustainability solutions, on the other hand, generally afford us such luxury: When sustainability thresholds loom near, solutions require an exponential pace and scale totally out of sync with the standard, creeping rate of development. The mindset shift from incremental to transformative solutions is daunting for humans and our institutions, but it’s non-optional as we navigate the Great Acceleration into the Anthropocene.
Accordingly, the Reporting 3.0 (R3) community of Positive Mavericks places great emphasis on Scalability, as the focus of the sixth (and penultimate) chapter of the Reporting Blueprint (which is also the subject of this eighth article in our 10-part series on the R3 Blueprints.) This article completes our consideration of the New Impetus triangle that Ralph first introduced last year, examining the lower right corner (see Figure 1).
As with earlier parts of the series that cover these three corners of our triangle (Part 4 and Part 6, specifically), it makes sense to first set the scene:
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Bill Baue and Ralph Thurm
Blueprinting the Future
of Reporting, Accounting
and Data Management
at New Metrics '17.- In our discussions about economic system design changes, we are often astonished about the low levels of awareness about the magnitude of the urgency for transformational change. Case in point: While previous IPCC science gives humanity 2/3 probability of hitting the 2°C threshold of “safe” warming (and a coin’s toss chance of hitting 1.5°C), the latest science lowers the probability of hitting 2°C by the end of the century to 5 percent (and a mere 1 percent of hitting 1.5°C).
Companies can enact Scalability through specific products, services and processes to accelerate the pace and magnitude of necessary transformation. Importantly, scalability also applies to contributions organizations make above and beyond their core business activity at the micro level, particularly at the macro systems level – for example, by setting new-level playing fields that transform economic system design.
The Reporting Blueprint identifies three broad areas where Scalability can best be enacted: Education, Collaboration, and Advocation. The report asks the questions that rightsholders would like to see answered, to better assess the future-readiness of the organization that impacts their rights in each of these categories:
As if our corporate leaders do not already have enough on their plates! That is what we hear often. We answer with Plato: “The parts can never be well until the whole is well.” And the translation of Plato’s quote for the sustainability field: “There is no sustainable business in an unsustainable world.” All of which requires the scaling up of transformation from the micro to the macro level.
The Reporting Blueprint sees primary responsibility for such Scalability to reside at the CEO level in advocating for overall economic system design changes. The Reporting Blueprint cites three CEO examples to illustrate this point:
CEOs of that caliber aren’t easy to find: crystal clear on the organization’s purpose, its impact on millions or even billions of people – including negative impacts that need to be engineered out of their business models.
The next step that such enlightened leaders will need to take is stronger and collective advocation for economic system design change. Leadership in that sense doesn’t mean just simply making their own organizations better, but to enable economic system conditions in which companies and the communities dependent on them can both thrive. We can’t afford losers in the value cycles.
Published Sep 15, 2017 3pm EDT / 12pm PDT / 8pm BST / 9pm CEST
As a Systems Change Catalyst, I help design transformation from the organizational to the global level.