Welcome to the Sustainable World Initiative

Learn more about the Global Sustainability Challenge

What is the Sustainable World Initiative?

We are a global initiative based in Washington D.C. working to create a more viable future world for all people and life on the planet. The Sustainable World Initiative’s (SWI) efforts are focused on the biological and geo-physical realities of planet Earth, and on the need for human activities to be in reasonable balance with the finite resources of one planet.

The path towards global sustainability will involve a true understanding and reassessment of the balance between human needs and environmental resources.  SWI seeks to foster a broader and deeper discussion of sustainability and promote greater collaboration between the leading thinkers in the field.


Background and Mission

Fundamental changes are occurring in our world today, as the global scale of human activity pushes against and often exceeds nature’s capacity to support life. Climate change, peak oil, fresh water shortages, waste overload, and rapid biodiversity loss are just a few signs that humans are exceeding the planet’s natural resource limits. In light of the complex nature of the issues facing our world today, SWI’s mission is to boost public understanding of sustainability, clarify the challenges that lie ahead, outline the steps needed to achieve true sustainability, and inspire people to act.


How are we different from other “sustainable development” initiatives?

“Sustainable development” is a term that is gaining popularity throughout the world. The most common usage of this term is in reference to human development programs or projects that are done in a resource-efficient manner, and that generally improve the overall relationship between economic activity and the demand humans place on nature. Sustainable development initiatives are extremely important in today’s world of limited and declining resources, but they may be insufficient to deal with the issues at hand.

Check out our Sustainability Calculator to get an idea of what sustainability means.

photo credit: IronRodArt – Royce Bair (“Star Shooter”) via photopin cc

We are calling on all countries to incorporate “natural resource accounting” into their plans for sustainable development.

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