On the importance of “sustainable development”

In the context of a seminar that I am in the process of completing for a  class of last-term graduate MBA students of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, I have just this morning sent them a little questionnaire that I hope they will be able to whip through in 5 minutes or so. Thought it might interest you, and if so let me know and I can share their final views on this. (Also if you would like to share your views on any of this, that would be terrific. I can then try to factor them also into the final round.)

Sustainable Development, Enterprise  & Society

Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris. June July 2011


I would like to invite your views and comments on the following.  I ask you this because I am planning a next round of courses on our difficult topic and for that honest feedback is important. And who is better placed than you to give  your views. Please understand that this has nothing to do with your mark on the course, and indeed if you prefer you may either (a) ignore entirely or (b) reply after you have your final grade.  Also please, do not feel that you have to massage me — it’s YOUR views that are important, not what you think might make me feel good ;-)

  1. On signing up for the course, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what “sustainable development” is all about?
    1. Yes       ___________________________________
    2. No         ___________________________________
    3. Something between the two  ___________________________________
    4. Don’t remember  ___________________________________
    5. Don’t care  ___________________________________
  1. Now after our course and what I have learned and thought about over the last month, I feel that
    1. It is one of the most critical issues facing people, business and government in the 21st century.  ___________________________________
    2. It is pretty important – but only one among other important things.  ___________________________________
    3. Not very important   ___________________________________
    4. Really just a big media cloud and a campaign on the part of certain groups   ___________________________________
    5. Maybe important, maybe not. There is just too much uncertainly and confusion on the topic to make a wise decision about it. ___________________________________
    6. Something else (comment)   ________________________________________________
    7. The lead to a more sustainable world has to come from . . (If more than one place put them in order)
      1. World government – UN et al   ___________________________________
      2. National governments   ___________________________________
      3. Cities                 ___________________________________
      4. The advanced countries (OECD)  ___________________________________
      5. The developing world (Global South) ___________________________________
      6. The business community ___________________________________
      7. NGOs ___________________________________
      8. The academic community ___________________________________
      9. Leaders at all levels leading by example. ___________________________________
      10. Local public interest groups  ___________________________________
      11. Religious groups   ___________________________________
      12. Individuals and families making choices, modifying actions    ___________________________________
  1. The solutions to the problems of sustainable development will above all be from
    1. Technology   ___________________________________
    2. Government and laws  ___________________________________
    3. Economics and public policy  ___________________________________
    4. Individual choices and actions  ___________________________________
    5. What should be the target period for concentrating on action:
      1. Next 1 – 5 years  ___________________________________
      2. 2020  ___________________________________
      3. 2050  ___________________________________
      4. Other  ___________________________________

Thanks and let me know if you would like to see the final tally on this.

Eric Britton


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