Joel Bakan’s book is an account of the corporation’s pathological pursuit of profit and power. An eminent law professor and legal theorist, Bakan contends that the corporation is created by law to function much like a psychopathic personality whose destructive behavior, if left unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin. In the most revolutionary assessment of the corporation as a legal and economic institution since Peter Drucker’s early works, Bakan backs his premise with the following claims:
- The corporation’s legally defined mandate is to pursue relentlessly and without exception its own economic self-interest, regardless of the harmful consequences it might cause to others-a concept endorsed by no less a luminary than the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.
- The corporation’s unbridled self-interest victimizes individuals, society, and, when it goes awry, even shareholders and can cause corporations to self-destruct, as recent Wall Street scandals reveal.
- While corporate social responsibility in some instances does much good, it is often merely a token gesture, serving to mask the corporation’s true character.
- Governments have abdicated much of their control over the corporation, despite its flawed character, by freeing it from legal constraints through deregulation and by granting it ever greater authority over society through privatization.
Despite the structural failings found in the corporation, Bakan believes change is possible and outlines a far-reaching program of concrete, pragmatic, and realistic reforms through legal regulation and democratic control. Backed by extensive research, The Corporation draws on in-depth interviews with such wide-ranging figures as CEO Hank McKinnell of Pfizer, Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman, business guru Peter Drucker, and critic Noam Chomsky of MIT.
weblink: the Corporation Web Site from: Joel Bakan in detail see also: the Corporation (the Film) XlnkS68B XlnkC190D
An academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment, and society. The Earth Institute uses a multidisciplinary approach, integrating – earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences – to address complex problems in the field of sustainable development, with special emphasis on the needs of the world’s poor.
weblink: Earth Institute Web Site from: Columbia University in detail XlnkS5A1 XlnkC18AA
IUCN has developed a ranking system combining Human Wellbeing (HWI) and ecosystem wellbeing (EWI) into a single Wellbeing Index (WI). The method to arrive to these numbers is further explained in well being backgrouder.
from: IUCN – World Conservation Union document: Well Being of Nation Ranking in detail see also: IUCN – World Conservation Union XlnkS58D XlnkC189D
If you are asking the question “what is sustainability, what does it mean for me personally and in my job?” you should read this book. It provides some answers as well as creates additional questions. John Ralston Saul takes on the task of looking at the human qualities required in a righteous society. A the same time, he provides tools for shaking our passivity and taking responsibility of what going on around us. The relation with question on sustainability is evident as sustainability cannot be discussed without exploring the characteristics of the human nature. Saul will argue that to achieve a sustainable society we need a balance between six equally important qualities:
- Common sense
This book should become recommended reading in every engineering school in Canada, or even in every school. It is one of the most important book of our time.
from: John Ralston Saul in detail XlnkS560 XlnkC1880
Syncrude is one of the major oil sand company. The extraction of oil sands has enormous environmental impacts. This links shows the efforts of Syncrude to improve its sustainability performance.
weblink: Syncrude 2002 Sustainability Report from: Suncrude in detail XlnkS53C XlnkC1879
Canadian Maurice Strong, special advisor to the secretary-general of the United Nations, has made extraordinary contributions to the world of public affairs and business. His work for the first United Nations conference on The Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, of which he was secretary-general, provided the foundation for all subsequent international environmental negotiations. For three decades, he has challenged all nations to work together to overcome global environmental threats. The complexity of creating this world dialogue on the survival of the Earth and the search to find practical solutions cannot be underestimated. Mauric strong received the Jack P. Blaney award in January 2003.
from: Maurice Strong in detail XlnkS53E XlnkC187B
Established in 1964, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) aims at the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD is the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.
weblink: UNCTAD web site from: United Nation in detail XlnkS52F XlnkC17E2
The Cascadia Region Green Building Council is looking for an Executive Director to fill a 2 year full-time position in either Washington or Oregon. Deadline for application is January 2, 2003- may have been extended until the end of January. Contact employer for confirmation. See attached document for job qualifications and application procedure. Contact: Lynne Barker, email@example.com.
from: USGBC – US Green Building Council document: USGBC Exec Director in detail XlnkS50C XlnkC180B
The Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI) is a comprehensive approach to building a pleasant, prosperous, and resilient future for the citizens of Greater Vancouver… The Sustainable Region Initiative will provide a framework, vision and action plan for the GVRD based on the concept of sustainabiltiy that embraces economic prosperity, community well-being, and environmental integrity.
weblink: GVRD SRI Page from: GVRD in detail XlnkS4F5 XlnkC179D
Derek Spratt, P.Eng, presentation to the Nov. 21, 2002 Vancouver Branch Meeting of APEGBC. Derek is the Founder and Chief Strategist for Intrinsyc. In his presentation, he describes the local climate for innovation within Canada and BC, and draws the link between engineering, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Of relevance to issues of sustainability are the skills Mr.Spratt describes as being essential to the evolution of the profession: the willingness to take risks, be adaptable, promote our value to society, and extend our skill sets and interests into non-technical areas.
weblink: company website from: Intrinsyc document: Being a P.Eng in the Tech Sector in detail XlnkS4F0 XlnkC1857