Category Archives: Sustainability

Carrying-Capacity Launch

Do you think she's overwhelmed?

Whatever has landed you on my blog page, word of mouth, a shared link, curiosity or just boredom; Welcome! Stay awhile and if so inclined, add to the discourse and share.

I’ve been toying with  the idea of blogging for some time. Contemplating such a committment, I asked the questions: “What will I say? Why will anybody read what I have too say?” However, those were not the real questions causing the struggle. The experience I was struggling with was the feeling of “fear”; the thing that paralyzes us in the most unimaginable way. I always remember the words of my Professor Dr. Grallo, “Push yourself uncomfortably.”   How can I not? The tensions we are experiencing locally and globally are bearing down: depletion of natural resources, social and economic inequity, global recessions and a trajectory that seems less than promising. “Fear” has a cast of characters including: disparity, unemployment, poverty, greed, racism and inequality. All are co-culprits in the ongoing saga and contention of the human spirit.

The alternate is equally true. There are fears of succeeding. Fear of embracing ones true self. Fear of finding one’s authentic swing. Fear of who we really are. These are so far removed from the culture we currently experience; we wonder, where do I fit? Where can I work on my passion? Where can I unleash my creativity and take a risk in a place where they embrace the notion and idea that “it’s the hardest conversations that need to be pursued” and “it’s only when one leaves their comfort zone, life begins.”

Carrying Capacity seeks to attack that “fear”. In connecting you to sustainable initiatives and highlighting local and global sustainability efforts, you will come to see and hear success stories of individuals and communities that have been deemed “the hardest to serve.”

What is Carrying Capacity?

Carrying-Capacity

Carrying Capacity is the population that can be supported indefinitely by its supporting systems.

In ecological terms, the carrying capacity of an ecosystem is the size of the population that can be supported indefinitely upon the available resources and services of that ecosystem. Living within the limits of an ecosystem depends on three factors:

  • the amount of resources available in the ecosystem,
  • the size of the population, and
  • the amount of resources each individual is consuming.  (Sustainable Measures – West Hartford, CT)

Carrying Capacity was born out of the concept and practical application of Sustainable Development (SD.).  According to  Wikipedia,  Sustainable development  is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come (sometimes taught as ELF environment, Local people, Future). The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

My work for the past 20 yrs has been in the area of sustainability; first in New York City and now in Indianapolis. I am amazed at the efforts that local communities are taking to ensure their sustainability; tending to their individual and collective “carrying-capacity” to create a better life. These efforts were evident in RedHook or Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, East Harlem in Manhattan, the South Bronx or Martindale/Brightwood and Mid-North Quality-of-Life Plan in Indianapolis. These stakeholders continue to draw on one of their most important sustainable assets, their core values.

Carrying-Capacity will showcase stories and conversations that may not make it into the foundation, charitable organization, or corporate report. Many writings may not fit neatly into that quantifiable results-based model.

Carrying-Capacity will share stories of amazing everyday people, activities, new voices and organizations. It will showcase individual and group work in pushing through daily fears, asking critical questions and providing more than a ray of hope. The aim: to bring attention to sustainable opportunities through discourse, networking and action. To move this forward, Carrying Capacity operates from a position that  the “idea” and “action” of Change rests in the following belief: “The hardest conversations need to be pursued.” Hard conversations require “hard thinking”. Throw-in some “hard and respectful modeled discourse” and we start to touch hearts and minds; connecting people around difficult matters that often get in the way of making us better.

Hard Conversations:

Sustainable?

Sustainable?

Economic Disparity, Racial Inequality,  Failed models of Sustainability, Structural Racism and Community Building, Discrimination, Philanthropy as preservation of wealth; I think you get the point.

Important to this discourse are two important questions: “What is working well?” and “How do we plug-in or create what’s needed to fill the void in our individual neighbourhoods, communities, cities and state?” Throughout the country and the globe, there are places having enormous success building community. Cities tackle head-on those questions and become action oriented, producing amazing “change results.” Get on board. Decide where you wish to sit in this bus and challenge yourself to the following: 

Western Army Officer: “What do you want from me?”

Samurai: “What do you want for yourself?”

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