What Does It Mean to be 'Truly Sustainable'?: An End-of-Year Reflection

Published On: 12 December 2016


December marks a time of both reflectance and projection, and as it is now here today, we reflect on the year and the projects we engaged in and asked this question. We were struck by the multitude of perspectives we have gained from working with thinkers and practitioners in unique, collaborative forums where we come together to share expertise and moments of creativity.

One value we collectively shared stories about that combined energies across the board was the value of overcoming barriers, getting to the “heart”, core or truth in every idea, concept, action, implementation, and staying true to the objective.  A few members of our team re-collected the theme and some key moments from their attendance of this year’s International Living Future Institute UnConference, titled 'Truth + Transparency: Confronting the Barriers to Change', in Seattle, Washington.  

With these two central themes, 'truth' and 'transparency', the conference focused on defining them in the context of transforming our communities into socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative communities.

Truth was described as the common thread that will connect us all, rising from collaborative design and mutual respect. Using this consensus building approach, we can create design that is universally relevant that enriches the human experience for all.

One key point that Kendall, and other members of our team, took back home is that transparency defines the pathway to authenticity. Relating to the vision of future communities, there was a distinct suggestion that, as designers, we must be approaching our work beyond qualities of function and beauty; we must also consider design that is purposeful.

Finally, marking the Institutes 10th anniversary, the theme allowed for an opportunity to reflect on a decade of struggle and equally one of innovation. 

On a slightly smaller scale, this Unconference marked one significant achievement for the year at Popovich: our first official sponsorship of the Institute. As part of continued commitment to the improvement of the communities we work within, and as an important recurring event on Popovich’s yearly calendar, we felt it was long overdue to provide some assistance and support to help allow the Institute to expand its programs, services and initiatives that are inspiring change worldwide.