At our core, we are anthropocentric. For better or worse, we experience the world from within the scope of the human experience. Environmentalism attempts to divert from this internal view but in reality, it stems from this notion. As a race, our instinctual bottom line is to sustain our human lineage, which requires sustaining the environment. Thus, working to “save” our environment is based on the belief that
1. We have the power to do so and
2. It will in turn sustain the human race.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the environmentalist message is valuable but without recognizing people as the core motivation, any attempt to “save the earth” is futile. In order to implement lasting changes, they must be intuitive, scalable and I hate to say, convenient. That means putting people first and working from the inside out to build solutions that the human race can adapt to over time.
Most models outside of environmental activism mirror this classic mistake: they start by focusing on a company, brand, revenue, or other external factors when their center should be the consumer, the employee, or again, just people. After all that’s what we’re here for right?
At the core only internal adaptation leads to long term sustainable strategy. If you tell someone to change, they might try, but ultimately it has to come from within them, or it will not last, the same goes for any movement, company or culture. Humans are only a microcosm of the structure of external change. As within, so without.
I believe that creating environments that support collaborative rather than individualistic “innovations” will be a huge component to any shift in cultural behavior we hope to see.