Beyond the Threshold tool

Our 'Beyond the Threshold' tool* has been designed to expand the scope of modern society's present journey from unsustainable to less unsustainable human activity.

The 'threshold' represents the achievements of such milestones as 'zero waste' and a return to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of 350ppm.

We need to go beyond this threshold to reach a state of strong sustainability and total connection with our natural world (where we don't cause irreparable damage to our biosphere). Do to this, our behaviour must evolve, and that means our perceptions and thinking must evolve.

A useful feature of the tool is that it summarises 'connection' as the overarching condition required for sustainability. Note, time can flow in either direction (today can be anywhere on the connection spectrum).

Below is a spreadsheet that you can download and use to plot your activities and aspirations.

* Inspired by Carl Chenery, a mechanical engineer and sustainability educator for youth.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

How to use the tool

We are all on a journey and this tool is intended to validate, locate, and illuminate all initiatives toward sustainability. Where do your personal and professional activities and aspirations lie on the spectrum?

If your activities are less unsustainable (more connected) than they used to be, that is a great achievement. But now we need to imagine performing those activities 'beyond the threshold', in manners that result in rejuvenation and celebration. Why not water that comes into our factories dirty and leaves them clean? Why not buildings that 'consume' greenhouse gases? Why an fossil-fuel-dependent economy when we could design one with an abundance of renewable energy? 

Simon Hertnon,
14 May 2011, 22:02