Sustainability Strategy: Backcasting from Success

hi Alex now you probably know thisfamous quote by Albert Einstein we cannot solve our problems with thethinking we use when we created them so what does this mean for solving oursustainability questions Why is it so hard to plan strategicallytowards sustainability together as a society well study are demonstrating that in large groups ofpeople the most common planning approach is forecasting exploiting vogues from thepast forecast them in the future and fixingproblems to improve it this is OK when we are on the righttrajectory but it’s like driving expending exclusively yourrearview mirror said he hopes that the road onward is going tobe the exact logical continuing of the last few kilometers it soundsdangerous and hitherto this is what we’re doing and itmay also mean that we are not asking an importantquestion what if we need to change direction? what ifwe want or need a very different future from wherewe’re title? here is an example of what forecastingapplied to decision-making looks like in our society today let’s saythat we are about seven billion people on Earth today directions suggest that we will be around ninebillion in 2050 everybody required to drive to work and tour for business and holidaytherefore we need to build many more automobiles roads airplanes airports et cetera it doesn’tseem to leave a lot of apartment for talent or something different right so don’t get me wrong forecastingis not always bad it’s actually a very good wayto build upon successes to understand difficulties accommodated and becomemore resilient the move allegory that we used in aprevious video is a great example of useful forecastingbut it’s not enough to plan and a very complex system like our world when the actual trends arepart of the problem by definition forecasting willreproduce in the future problems that we already have today inthis article why sustainability is now the key driverof innovation the Harvard Business Review suggestsdon’t start from the present if the starting point is the currentapproach to business the view of the future is likely to bean optimistic extrapolation it’s better to start from the future so as Einstein suggested in his paraphrase we need a different way of thinking we needbackcasting from success scheming from the future individuallywe all consume backcasting all the time think about the last timeyou planned your anniversary did you look only a trends of whereeverybody else was going? of course not what if the trendiestdestinations were grey beach beaches in the pacific and you like hiking in the mountains youprobably had a vision of what success looked like for your holidayand you planned step by step toward it in order to findthe best destination given your own restrictions like fund, dates, hiking knowledge, etc.The game of chess is a complex systemwhere actors use backcasting both participates share a very clear visionof success in principles called checkmate they don’t know in detailwhat the board is going to look like at the end of the game but they do know that one of the twokings will not be able to escape from capture knowing this they make all theirdecisions in order to achieve checkmate adjustingtheir policy turn after turn depending on that you gaze of the board to design successfully and strategicallytoward a really sustainable future we need touse backcasting from sustainability principles this can help us agree even in largegroups on what the principles of success arefor sustainability we don’t need to waste time andresources on short-term ad hoc decisions that donot get us closer to sustainability checkmate we don’t need to reason on the details of what a sustainable culture( thechessboard) looks like in the end we don’t need to reproduce in the future difficulties that we havetoday instead we can adjust our programme step-by-step as new information technologies and inventionsappear in order to achieve success so if we agree that backcasting from sustainabilityprinciples sounds like a good way forward what is checkmate for sustainability what are the sustainability principles that we need to backcast from? Well we’llfind out in the next video so satisfy subscribe if you like thecontent and expressed appreciation for for watching

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