Geoff Dabelko Considers New Approaches to Sustainable Development

Geoff Dabelko
February 13, 2014

In a new article published by Ensia magazine, professor and director of the Environmental Studies program Geoff Dabelko challenges his readers to rethink their approach to sustainable development. "Environmental and human security issues are fundamentally interconnected," he argues, and says that in order to have a sustainable impact on both, developers and policymakers have to consider the larger picture and issues outside of their area of focus. He discusses the four "tyrannies" that keep developers from making long-term changes: dealing with the most pressing issues; focusing on projects that have immediate results rather than those that have long-term impact; only paying attention to one set of issues rather than looking at how development issues are interconnected; and having a single measurement of success.

Dabelko encourages readers to “practice peripheral vision”--to look beyond these tyrannies of shortsightedness in order to make sure that the issues that will have the largest impact are addressed. To see his suggestions for a more holistic approach sustainable development, check out his article at Ensia’s website.