Blogs > Sara Gutterman > January 2013 > Innovators: Unite!

Innovators: Unite!

The French poet, Paul Valéry, said that “the trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.” With the debacle that is Congress, the demise of civil political discourse, the prolonged economic insecurity, and the proliferation of extreme weather events and shocking hate crimes, this sentiment couldn’t feel more appropriate.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2013—Year of the Water Snake—is predicted to bring continued uncertainty. Attention to detail and discipline will be required in order to achieve goals. Expect steady progress rather than windfalls this year.

In the sustainability sector, I trust that 2013 will fastidiously build upon the key accomplishments realized last year by a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations. Through the efforts of groups like the National Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and World Wildlife Fund, 2012 celebrated increased habitat protection for polar bears, grey whales and other vital species; enhanced clean car standards; decreased use of antibiotics and hormone disruptors in livestock; improved protection of living reefs and underwater parks in the Gulf of Mexico and waters off California; reduced toxic pollutants from coal plants; increased adoption of policies by behemoth corporations like Disney to eliminate the use of paper connected to the destruction of endangered forests; and augmented codes and regulation in the housing industry to promote performance and resource efficiency.

The road to continued success will require nothing less than big thinking and bold action. In a joint statement made by environmental journalist Bill McKibben, Philip Radford of Greenpeace USA, and the recently deceased Rebecca Tarbotton of Rainforest Action Network (rest in peace, Rebecca—we sincerely appreciate your hard work and will honor your legacy!), “We’re making progress, but not as fast as the physical situation is deteriorating. Time is not on our side, so we’ve concluded that, going forward, mass direct action must play a bigger role in this movement, as it eventually did in the suffrage movement, the civil-rights movement, and the fight against corporate globalization.”

I am hopeful that, in 2013, the mounting frustration with our nation’s paralyzing political gridlock will yield to a renewed sense of duty and empowerment on behalf of innovators everywhere to seize the reins of opportunity and shape a future that reflects the distant reaches of our imagination.

May we have the intellectual curiosity to ask the right questions, the determination to seek the answers, and the wisdom to accept whatever response we receive.

What are your sustainability goals for 2013 and how will you achieve them? Write to me at or follow me on Twitter @SaraGBM.

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Posted: 1/3/2013 2:15:23 PM by Mary Kestner | with 0 comments

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