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Sustainability – A Refined Definition

Sustainability – a refined definition

What it is not:

Sustainable is not designed to mean “eternal” (Greek: aidios).

Thus, it is not:

  • Lasting: without end or beginning.

  • Immutable: unchanging over time or unable to be changed.

  • Perpetual: continuing forever without stopping.

What it is?

Sustainable is inspired by the term ever-lasting from Greek term: Aenios which means a life pertaining to “age” or “ages”; in a sense it means a certain work to be done in a certain period of time. Therefore, works done to achieve a particular goal will have time limits and operationalized within the best assumptions gathered up to a limited period. But the word is also inspired by the Greek word: PericherosisPerichoresis is derived from the Greek peri, “around” and chorein, which has multiple meanings among them being “to make room for”, “go forward” and “contain”.[7] Circumincession from the Latin circum, “around” and incedere meaning “to go, to step, approach”. Thus, a perichoresis work is a work done by “complete” yet asymmetrical entities that differ in the ownership of information, expertise, and function entities, thus allowing room for interactions to achieve individual and communal goals in a reciprocal relationship.

Thus, a sustainable group means:

One that is:

  1. Progressive: a dynamic relationship that welcomes changes and progress.

  2. Mutually formative: every group member simultaneously enables and inspires one another positive interaction.

  3. Non-slavery: no one nor no one’s objective is subordinate to another’s, yet:

  • There is still a hierarchy in decision making to promote order, yet ideas, correction, and initiatives can come from either direction in the hierarchy line.

  • Every member of the group is free to pursue other goals, which could be, but not limited to, an extension to the group’s project; but there will be subsets of projects, which will be worked on by at least two members in the group.

  • Voluntarily and generously serving each other, yet there is still a dynamic and genuine relationship that is beyond perfunctory transactions within the group.

And, a sustainable design/product/formula means:

One that is:

  1. Humble

  2. Meek

  3. Non-reductive

HUMBLE: Simple, yet, Elegant

Simple: only the necessary to achieve the goal

As opposed to

  • complicated

  • rigid

  • expensive

Elegant: Hold the dignity of each entity

As opposed to vulgarity:

  • Extravagant

  • Inhuman

  • Zero-sum game

MEEK: Gentle, yet. Intentional

Gentle means:

  • Non-invasive

  • Non-slavery

  • Not just cure the symptoms

Intentional means:

  • Well-planned

  • Well-Designed

  • Well-Produced

  • Well- Distributed

  • Well-Presented (so that it can be used properly by users/consumers)

As opposed to delivering:

  • Ad-hoc solution

  • Accidental (let alone toxic) by-products

  • “Trickle-down effect” policy


  • Whole-life

  • Whole aspects

  • Whole institutions

As opposed to:

  • Fragmented

  • Reductive

  • Individualistic

Key Performance Indicators: Past, Present, and Future

In redeeming the past:

  1. Carbon Print reduction in garbage transformation

  2. Land, air and water un-pollution

  3. Curing human diseases

In realizing a better present:

  1. Affording clean water and air for all

  2. Revitalizing human health

  3. Improving food chain quality (by also getting rid of toxic food)

In creating a brighter future:

  1. Self-sufficient (in basic needs) cities

  2. Eco-systemic pluralism

  3. Justice for all (human, land, air, water, plants, animals in all aspects of life)

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