Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence
Alliance for Sustainability
December 16, 2020
Welcome and Invitation
The Board of the Alliance for Sustainability welcomes you to this Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence. It is our attempt to share our desired way of being and acting in the challenging new world we are experiencing. It is also our commitment to you, our partners and the planet about how we seek to respond. Hopefully it fully expresses both our current DNA and that which has been present since our birth nearly 40 years ago.
At the same time, this Declaration and its accompanying “Greenprint” are meant to contribute to the co-creation of a much larger shared vision and plan for the collaborations, alliances, frameworks, values, actions and ways of being which we feel are essential to the needed fundamental systems change and transformation on a personal, organizational and planetary level. The Declaration and Greenprint are fractal, meaning that the core ideas are meant to create patterns at one level that can then change patterns at other levels as well.
This document begins with one page of inspiring quotes from diverse sources that have informed our thinking. These are followed by a one page Preamble that further frames our perspectives and our understanding of sustainability. And finally, there is the one page Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence which we hope you will consider endorsing.
We believe that to bring about the needed shifts in our world will require new levels of co-creation and collaboration. We invite you and other diverse voices to share your honest feedback and suggestions so that this Declaration and the accompanying Greenprint are as inclusive, inspiring and inviting as possible.
If the Declaration speaks to you and/or your organization and you’re willing to commit to its principles, please let us know and we will list you as a signatory. And please consider partnering with us and sharing it.
Based on the comments we receive and shifts taking place in the world, the Declaration will evolve as a living Declaration. Hopefully, it will be a responsive source of inspiration and guidance and will address the fierce urgency of now expressed by a Gen Z person speaking for so many: “We don’t have time to wait for change.”
With Appreciation, Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness,
Alliance for Sustainability Board Members
Terry Gips, Co-Founder and President
- Collie Graddick, Chair
- Melanie Izrael
- Brady Johnson
- Toya Lopez
- Cass McLaughlin
- SooJi Min-Maranda
- Lori Myren-Manbeck
- Brian Zakem
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. – Arundhati Roy, Indian author and political activist
All life is interrelated. We are tied in a single garment of destiny,
caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.
And whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars.
As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in the world cannot expect to live more than 28 or 30 years, I can never be totally healthy, even if I just got a good check-up at Mayo Clinic.
I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.
Injustice anywhere is a threat against justice everywhere.
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the Earth,
all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why…can’t we learn to live together like decent people?
– US Astronaut Frank Borman
We each have a million atoms that were in the body of Moses or the Pharaoh.We’re made of the same recycled stuff.
In just 3 weeks, a quadrillion atoms have gone through your body
that have gone through every living organism in the world. – Author Dr. Deepak Chopra
In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells.
Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours.
Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms.
The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering:
one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it.
In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes
than there are stars in the universe.
– Author Paul Hawken, Commencement Address, University of Portland, May 3, 2009
There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America there’s the United States of America.
There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America;
there’s the United States of America…We are one people… – President Barack Obama
If we build a society based on honoring the earth, we build a society which is sustainable, and has the capacity to support all life forms. – Author and Native-American Leader Winona LaDuke
Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come…
Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking,
so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system.
We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed, to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. – Kenyan Green-Belt Farmer and Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai
We are all one: One people, planet and Creation, all interdependent with one another. We have been gifted a sacred Creation and it is our responsibility to care for all.
Despite our seeming differences due to our looks, languages, experiences and cultures, we are all sisters and brothers, made of the same stardust and united by sharing the identical fundamental needs and breathing the very air that Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Joan of Arc did.
We believe another future is possible given our extraordinary human spirit and perspective-changing but little-known positive information about our planet.
Our planet has a great design, with its natural cycles making it cleaner, purer, more abundant and more diverse thanks to the sun’s energy. Billions of years of “clean-up work” have given us our verdant Earth. .
The Earth has more than enough resources to sustain life abundantly. For example, the Earth receives 13,000 times more solar energy than is used by the global society. In fact, one hour of the sun’s energy absorbed by the Earth is greater than all the energy the world uses in one year.
Our challenge is to align our behavior and actions within the planet’s basic operating rules while fulfilling people’s fundamental needs based on the four principles of the Natural Step.
We can do this and save money, resources, eco-systems and our health, stop climate change and pollution, create jobs and sustainable economic development, have livable communities and assure a healthy, thriving future for our children and their children.
We feel this is the greatest opportunity humans have ever had. It’s our choice and the best thing that could happen to business, government, people and all life. A healthy future of sustainability beckons us.
Sustainability is being ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane, embodying our highest values in terms of how we treat people, animals and the planet.
– Alliance for Sustainability
As an early pioneer of the concept of sustainability, we have always seen it as holistically embracing all aspects of life and incorporating health, equity, kindness, culture, regeneration, and so much more. Sustainability provides a clear yet ever evolving and inspiring North Star and vision that is yet to be fully realized.
We believe sustainability is an umbrella term that incorporates a range of powerful, cutting-edge approaches, including regeneration, restoration, resilience, circular economy, Cradle to Cradle, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Permaculture, Biomimicry, Net Zero, organic, Natural Step and so many more. Consequently, we fully support these initiatives and seek to have them become widely adopted.
We welcome the widespread adoption of sustainability as a goal by the United Nations and numerous countries and institutions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
We also recognize that in many cases the term has been mis-appropriated, co-opted and greenwashed by various individuals and institutions. This has led to both confusion and derision among some.
We are committed to reclaiming the true meaning of sustainability and calling out those who would misuse it.
And we celebrate those who authentically live and practice sustainability and seek to realize its promise.
Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up.
And change is coming whether you like it or not. Together and united, we are unstoppable.
– Greta Thunberg, teenage Swedish climate activist
Our Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence
We hereby declare our commitment to co-create a new world of sustainability, health, equity and kindness in which the fundamental needs of all are fulfilled.
We pledge to live our lives, conduct our work and align all institutions and policies with these principles.
We recognize that to fulfill this commitment we need to collaborate, grow and utilize the most open-hearted, fully conscious and evolved ways of thinking and being.
We are committed to helping to heal our shadow sides and those of others in order to bring light, hope and possibilities to our world.
We recognize this will require respect, patience, support, empowerment and evolved, open-hearted ways of being as we seek to throw off the chains of our individual and collective enslavement and become free at last to create the world of our dreams and true sustainability for all.
We strive to be fully conscious and act accordingly.
We strive to see and stop injustice, feel and help heal the suffering of ourselves, others and all sentient beings, and experience and end the litter, pollution and destruction that desecrate our sacred planet.
We strive to be the people who have a positive, hopeful vision for what is possible and bring that into being.
We strive to be the people who are filled with “radical amazement” (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel) as we experience our extraordinary bodies, Creation and Cosmos.
We strive to live a purposeful, joyful life, share random and planned acts of kindness and generosity, and co-create an upward transformative spiral and intergenerational, diverse alliance of conscious, caring beings working together and sharing power to transform into a new paradigm and birth the world of our dreams.
We see the tremendous disparities and inequities that exist in power, privilege and resources that have come from biased and discriminatory systems.
We pledge to fully address this by understanding our role and fundamentally transforming ourselves and those systems in positive, respectful and non-violent ways that support every person in growing their consciousness and behavior.
We will center integrity, transparency, honesty, inclusion, equity, respect, kindness, generosity, peace, well-being, regeneration and sustainability in the core of our being and actions.
It is this soil we will grow from, a new narrative grounded in the past and fully emergent in the future that is fresh, new, alive, relevant, inclusive and action-oriented at a wavelength that’s long enough to inspire younger generations, as well as older ones.
We commit to fulfilling this Declaration of Co-Creation and Interdependence.