Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What’s our job?

Alan AtKisson is a gracious and insightful sustainability colleague, one of the Big Names in the profession. I remember attending one of his workshops when Marsha Willard and I were trying to establish credentials in sustainability. He knew our work and treated us as equals. Later, when we were forming the International Society for Sustainability Professionals, he agreed to be on our faculty in part because I told him he could do the internet courses “in his jammies,” a job he could do without traveling from his family. He’s always made an effort to meet when we are in the same city.

To me, his willingness to help others in the field says a lot about him, and a lot about our industry. It’s not about who gets the job; it’s about how we are going to save humanity and the planet, together. All good ideas are welcome.

Alan just republished the job description of a sustainability change agent that he penned a decade ago. His writing is always clear and poetic. And I’m heartened that in 10 years, the job has gotten less lonely. Far more people and organizations understand sustainability. We still have a long way to go but sometimes it’s good to look back to see how far we have come. For me it’s a source of hope.

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