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April 2013 Publisher Letter

I was excited to learn recently about the new Master of Science in Sustainable Management program offered by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, a collaborative effort of five University of Wisconsin system campuses. The program was created in response to students’ demand for business leadership training in strategies that achieve profitability and simultaneously improve local communities and protect the environment. The program integrates science, management and sustainability topics so that students are prepared to address such concerns as climate change, resource management and industrial ecology. Natural Awakenings’ interview with Program Director Crystal Fey is on page 24.

Fortunately, people are beginning to acknowledge the unsustainability and ultimate loss that results from the current economic model—one that demands continual growth as it destroys our natural world and depletes Earth’s natural resources at the expense of all living beings. It is reassuring to see more business leaders demonstrate how the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit proves to be superior criteria—achieving economic, ecological and social success.

How to best develop the leaders of the future is the topic of Linda Sechrist’s feature article this month, “Education for a More Sustainable World”. At the recent Sustainability Summit, in Milwaukee, I was privileged again to hear Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power, talk about jobs of the future to a large audience that included many high school and college students. According to Allen, with the impending dual crises of climate change and water scarcity, humans will not survive if we don’t find a sustainable way to grow enough healthy food. “Growing food isn’t just about planting stuff in the dirt,” he pointed out, explaining that jobs in demand for our future include engineers, architects, planners, and renewable energy and water experts.

Also speaking at the Summit, Michael Mann, director of the meteorology and geosciences departments at Pennsylvania State University, reminded me about our responsibility to our future leaders when he said, “Climate change is an issue of ethics. The carbon we release today degrades the future planet for our children.” In light of that, certainly, we can and must measure each of our actions today against the triple bottom line, as well.

To our children’s future,

Gabrielle Buchnik Natural Awakenings

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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