Scenario Transformed Mainstream by bKvSFpe


									Transformed Mainstream:
a scenario for a sustainable Melbourne

Philip Sutton

26 June 2012 Version 1.e

About this scenario

This scenario is one of three that were originally written as background to the ‘plastic
bubbles installation’ at the Sustainable Living Festival in February 2004. The latest
version of this and other scenarios can be found at:


Some real names might be used where they are in the public eye and they represent
archetypes. The story of course is purely fictitious.


The scenario examines what sort of world and what sort of city emerges if there is a
mobilisation of society to sustain:
 ecosystem services used by all people and by other living things
 the full living diversity of nature
 a high quality of life for all people
and genuine progress is pursued to eliminate poverty, exploitation and

The dominant themes of this scenario are:
 a strong commitment to actually achieve sustainability as fast as possible1 -
    before any horrendous irreversible impacts occur
 inclusive altruism - an ethical commitment to care for all people and all of living
 a strongly precautionary approach to environmental issues
 a strong sense of urgency
 a strong culture of grounded optimism, creativity, inspiration and innovation
 a highly anticipatory approach
 a strongly democratic / pluralist approach
 a whole-system design approach

    If at all possible before 2030.

    a no-major trade-offs (and where possible win-win) approach2
    a capability and willingness to deal with complexity and the too-hard basket3

This scenario has been designed to achieve major transformation without social and
economic breakdown. It is rare that a utopian future arises from the ashes of a society
that has broken down - most often it is the warlords, not the meek, who inherit the
affected patch of earth!


This scenario is the outcome of a series of tendencies that are sometimes in conflict
but work cooperatively often enough to make the scenario outcomes possible. The
forces or tendencies that dominate in the other scenarios are present in this one
although they are less powerful this time.

The Ecological Modernisers are the main drivers of this scenario.

But there are other tendencies that have significant influence:
 The Coalition for Unsustainability 4 that gives rise directly to some Breakdown
    and Fortress Worlds.
 The Enlightened-Self Interest Elite
 Aquarians5 - see profile in the appendices at the end of this paper.
 The ‘Red’ Greens - people who have a socialist philosophy and/or a strong
    tendency to rely heavily on government to actively look after the interests of all
    people and the forms of life.

Time horizon for the Transformed Mainstream scenario

In this scenario an ecologically sustainable state is achieved before 2030.

What needs to be done?

     a 100% decoupling of economic development from the environment
     a 100% decoupling of the effects of non-renewable resource depletion from impacts on the
      economy, people and other living things.
  In this scenario everything is, as Einstein recommended, “as simple as possible but no simpler”.
  The military, nuclear, oil, coal, construction, land development, pharmaceutical, genetic engineering
industries etc. plus the neo-conservatives.
   Name taken from the musical “Hair” - relating to the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” - the hippy
golden age - the inspiration for counter-culturalists and alternative lifestylers that founded Nimbin back
in the 1970s (or was it the late ‘60s?). This gave rise to the trend for hippies to go to favoured
settlements on the northern NSW coast and Qld coast. The Malaney region is an evolved and
contemporary manifestation of this earlier development.

To enable the economy to be 100% decoupled from environmental impact and
resource depletion to be 100% decoupled from effects on human welfare and the
condition of the environment the following things need to be done:

   the economy needs to move as close as possible to 100% closed-cycle for
   the economy needs to be radically dematerialised (by Factor 20-50 or more by
   the economy needs to be redesigned for zero toxicity
   greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere need to fall to zero
   a very large percentage of the current land devoted to agriculture needs to be
    returned to nature
   activities using natural habitats need to tread ultra-lightly
   human population needs to stabilise, possibly after falling for a while.

What the economy would look like - about 2030

It’s a multi-polar world with the US still a major player - although not
overwhelmingly dominant as it was 30 years earlier. The European Union has edged
up on the US, as have China and India.

There has been a rebirth of compassionate ‘liberalism’ around the world - in reaction
to the neoconservative ascendancy leading up to the W Bush regime.

The world has a large population that is expected to stop growing in 2050 at about 9
billion, after which it is expected to undergo a long slow decline to a level of
population that can be easily accommodated on the earth through all the stages of the
climate cycle. What the stabilisation figure should be nobody knows at this stage.
The exact figure at any particular time would be set by the available technology and
renewable energy resources available without large displacements of natural
ecosystems. The psychology of population growth being a perpetual and a priori
‘good thing’ has been broken, however a much more humane attitude now applies to
refugee movements as local communities adjust to their local situation.

Australia and other rich countries now put big efforts into helping poor countries
generate real economic development.

At the turn of the century there were fears that reduced reproduction levels would
cause populations to fall away towards … nothing! But after 2015 increased lifespan
began to counteract the reduced birthrate effect.

GDP continues to grow globally. But few people now see economic growth for
society as a goal in it’s own right - now most people judge economic change in terms
of what it does for people and the environment. Firms still pursue growth in product
sales in terms of an increasing “share of the need”. To support this approach firms
have systems that guide their product development and promotion that are driven by
direct customer and social and environmental need. Civil society and in some
countries, governments, are very active in helping to identify the community’s needs

so that companies can avoid promoting products beyond the point of community
benefit. Need creation (ie. new ‘needs’ that emerge through social or product
innovation) is an accepted practice but the notion of excess promotion of any product
type is widely accepted in society and also in business.

Hours of work have eased back from the excessive levels of the turn of the century
(eg. 2004!) but hours have not plunged dramatically - for most people family/life
friendliness is the driver of work hours reduction not a preference not to be working.
Enjoyment of work as much as desire for income has kept working hours from

Global corporations continue to operate but have, in the main, restructured to focus on
meeting the needs of diverse thematic and local communities and sub-cultures. New
global / local partnerships are common business model eg. “inverted franchise” where
locally controlled firms provide highly customised services matching local needs but
supported by a global ‘supply’ network. Often internationally-sourced products are
actually manufactured locally - with the product specs downloaded from global
networks to the site of manufacture. Automated manufacture is very common.

Resources are now taxed very heavily - with the tax levels ramping up whenever the
economy grows. The revenues of these ecotaxes are partly used to redevelop the
economic system to cut resource use further and to achieve/maintain a zero impact
result for the economy as a whole. But these days the bulk of the revenues go to wage
subsidies so that full employment for those who want to work is achieved. As of
2025 a small universal living-support payment was introduced - anticipating the time
when automated systems will be capable of carrying out all production processes6.

The economy has evolved in the last 20 years far more rapidly and far more
completely than anyone7 had expected.

CO2 is no longer discharged to the atmosphere from energy systems. Fossil fuel use
has been largely phased out, in favour of renewable energy. Renewables now supply
80% of the economy and are heading to 100% fast. CO2 from the fossil fuels still
used is sequestered in deep saline aquifers.

The internal combustion engine is gone - lightweight hybrid vehicles running on
hydrogen are in. For several decades hybrid cars were the norm. But then the bigger
cities adopted systems of computer-controlled people-movers and good-movers which
have replaced cars (including taxis) for most uses. The goods-movers have brought
energy efficiency to the just-in-time manufacturing system. Goods-moving ‘pipe’
systems (underground and overhead) have been introduced to maximise energy
efficiency. Personal cars are still used by country dwellers and are hired by urban
people for occasional travel in the country.

Water efficiency is a major preoccupation around the world. Water systems are
integrated, to achieve % efficiency gains, compared to the year 2000, that are in the

  When this time comes people will work because they want to not because they have to.
  Well, actually the some of ecological modernisers had actually set out to achieve change that was at
least as fast as has been achieved. If anything change has been somewhat slower than they had been
aiming for.

high 90s.. Rainwater, storm water and domestic gray water is utilised. Water-free
toilets are replacing flushed toilets as consumer acceptance grows.

Except for specialist applications, the bulk of farming is moving to closed-loop
contained systems located in and near cities or in areas where there is a high
concentration of renewable energy. Large areas of land are being returned to bush
and other types of natural habitat. Rural occupations now focus around some
specialist high value-added farming (for food and organic chemical feedstocks,
carbon capture (from the atmosphere), energy capture, bush management and

Areas that were salt affected due to clearing and past farming practice and that have
not yet recovered are used for nature conservation, salt extraction, and the culture of
halophilic organisms are grown (fish, shrimps, salt tolerant plants, etc.)

The chemical industry has switched to renewable feedstocks - derived from biological

Virtually all products have been servicised (ie. the consumer buys the service not the
physical product) and reconfigured so the economy is a Factor 20-50 more efficient in
materials. Consumerism is much more restrained compared to 30 years ago. The
emphasis is now not on accumulating masses of stuff8 - instead it’s on ‘cool’ quality.
In some places the big shopping malls have been displaced by public spaces that
emphasise social interaction and good outward focused environment and the shops
and supermarkets interface but don’t dominate these spaces9.

All farm-grown food is now organic. Food from closed-cycle systems in now either
certified organic or certified ultra-low chemical use.

Genetic engineering is used but in quite limited circumstances - eg. in closed
manufacturing environments with no release of viable organisms to the wild. The
technology is seen as important but potentially very dangerous if applied
inappropriately and so is being evolved slowly under careful public/community
control. Similar care is being applied to nanotechnology where nano-systems are able
to self-propagate (artificial life). The spread of natural species from place to place is
also treated with the same care because of the huge problem of pest organisms that
developed as a result of international trade and environmental changes like global

Air travel is less common than it used to be. All fuel is renewable and international
travel bears the same ecotax levels as any other industry. Tourism is restructuring
around resource frugal modes - with fewer trips and longer stays becoming the
pattern. Net-conferencing is now the norm for business contact (driven initially by
the fear of terrorist attacks).

   In fact it’s quite uncool to accumulate more than can be used at any one time - a sign of poor
judgment and a personality out of control. In fact a hang-over from time of poverty when people felt
they had to hang o to whatever they could get in case their fortunes reversed.
  See Jan Gehl & Lars Gemzoe New City Spaces

The efficient use and recycling of materials is driven by a new type of business - the
resource stewardship company. This company sells multiple types of material, all of
which are the greenest materials currently available on the market. The materials are
rented to users and recovered later on. Hard rock miners transformed their businesses
to be resource stewards - or they went out of business.

Another new class of business is the lifestyle steward. This type of company forms a
close personal relationship with a person and helps them optimally achieve the
lifestyle of their choice while achieving close to zero impact on the environment.
These companies are major users of advanced artificial intelligence. These companies
are required by law to not serve too large a customer base - this is to avoid
monopolization of the advice market and undue influence on the community as a
whole.. Lifestyle support companies have the highest ethics standards and ethics
practice of all companies. Licensing requirements are very strict.

Ocean-based, closed-cycle floating-island cities are now being manufactured in
significant numbers so that people can be ecological nomads once more - able to
move with the flow of the natural climate changes on the Earth.

What the City (Melbourne) would look like (in 2030)

After having to take in considerably more economic, environmental and political
refugees, by 2030 Melbourne is a city of 6 million people and still growing.

The integrated computer-controlled people mover system has taken over from almost
all cars. People don’t own cars, instead they have “suit cases” and trolleys that fit into
the people-movers and that are their persistent personal space that can be junked up or

The people-mover system complements the high volume public transport system
(train, tram and bus). Because of the extensive people-mover feeder system and the
very high frequency of services on public mass transport, public transport use is very

‘Access’ is the model driving urban planning - not mobility. localities around
Melbourne have been selected to become ‘Venice precincts’ ie. car free. This builds
on urban village ideas. Public transport systems have lots of high density nodes on
them where key destinations are clustered for convenient access by public transport
and the people-mover network.

Houses are designed for cascade reuse of water. There is a dual water system - high
quality and secondary. The secondary water is stored seasonally in deep underground
aquifers. Waterless toilets are getting more and more common. Many housing
redevelopments are fully set up as waterless toilets. Water and nutrients are ‘ mined’
locally from the sewers. Storm water is now harvested and sent to Werribee to
maintain the RAMSAR wetlands.

All new building s are ultra energy efficient and there is a very active refurbishment
program going on to upgrade and retrofit houses to lift their energy, water, indirect
biodiversity impacts dramatically.

All the structural change targets committed in the Melbourne 2030 policy created in
2002 has been exceeded - many by a substantial margin.

Cities are designed to trap solar radiation and ambient heat (using heat pumps) and
solar cells etc are designed to be built into as many fixed and mobile surfaces as

Internet connected office centres have popped up all over the city so that workers can
go to the office - in the neighbourhood regardless of their employer’s nominal

There are no more tips. Old tips are beginning to be mined for resources. There are
recycling regions focused on the western ring road and between Dandenong and
Westernport. There is a massive green waste/organic waste value adding recycling
complex at Werribee. Waste warehouses are used to store wastes that are not at a
sufficient volume to warrant recycling, or that don’t have an adequate recycling
technology yet or for which the demand in cyclically not ready (eg. annual cycle, and
multi-year business cycle). Organic waste is processed in local treatment plants to
extract organic (and other) chemicals for manufacturing

There is a new waste hierarchy:

The new waste hierarchy replaces the old waste hierarchy below:

The material recycling target for Melbourne is 100%. It is now at 95%.

All building are designed for disassembly (100%) recycling

Port Phillip and Westernport Bays now are home to many ‘floating islands’. These
have replaced onshore marinas and are an experimental ground for testing the grander
floating-island cities idea.

Melbourne’s average density has stayed roughly the same over the last thirty years.
However what has happened is that densification of housing stock has been offset by
the recovery of land for the re-creation of ‘bush land’ and ‘natural’ creeks and other
forms of public space. It is public policy to make sure there is bushland in little kid
walking distance of every home. Giving all kids access to bush/creeks is seen as an
important part of their recreational quality of life and also important for
environmental education.

      The change process

              2004-2010             2011-2015        2016-2020         2021-2025    2026-2030
Politics      Labor                 Labor            Liberals          Liberals     Labor
Investment       Whole-system        Cluster and      Roll out industry change on Invest in
push            experimentation         connect            big scale; technical     lifestyle change -
                                         urban              dematerialisation       end-use
                                        centres,                                    dematerialisation
Market       China / India: So we can sell to India/China Australia should build systems here that
focus        creates the affluence of the US, but the resource frugality and reduced environmental
             impact that will have to be achieved by China and India if they are to be ecologically
Commercial   Singapore to help with the link to China / Fiji (?????) or somewhere to help with the
allies                                             link to India
Business                            Pushing          Pushing Govt hard to roll out Pushing Govt
                                    Govt hard to new infrastructure and urban for end user led
                                    invest in        and industrial renewal to full dematerialisation
                                    major            scale
                                    and urban
                                    renewal trials
R&D        Civil society plus       research/        research/         research/
           R&D people, plus         conceptualise conceptualise conceptualise
           sections of business the next             the next          the next
           to design new            stage of         stage of          stage of
           system to backcast       development development development
           from (STD-style
Civil      Mobilise the whole       prepare          prepare           prepare
society    community;               alliance 2 for alliance 3 for alliance 4 for
           spread vision and        the next         the next          the next
           mental tools; run a      stage of         stage of          stage of
           hybrid vehicle           development development development
           campaign; run a
           Gulf Stream project;
           prepare activist
           alliance 1 (of people
           and organisational
           units from civil
           society, business and
           government) to push
           as a whole for the
           next stage of

Some key ideas to keep an eye on through the chronology

   The need to address: - the question of what we want to sustain, the preferred end
    state and the scale and speed of change
   The Race to Sustainability
   The conversion of the car fleet to hybrid vehicles (eventually powered by
    renewable fuels)
   Transformative financing
   Economic development, high standards of living don’t have to always be
    incompatible with ecological and social sustainability
   The direct governance of policy by the community
   Biodiversity inclusiveness
   Lifestyle support companies/programs
   People mover/good mover technology (computer controlled vehicles)
   Stabilising the atmosphere at (or below) 300 ppm CO2 equivalent
   Native forest logging
   The simulation computer game

Chronology - a plausible story to explain how society gets to the end state

12 Feb     City of Melbourne and the
2004       Sustainable Living Foundation
           hold a public meeting on the Race
           to Sustainability as a prelude to the
           Sustainable Living Festival. Lot’s
           of people show interest.

13-15    Lots of people attend the SLF   
Feb 2004 Sustainable Living Festival - they
         read the Transformed Mainstream           before-2030.htm
         scenario and they got really excited
         about the possibilities for creating
         a really great world that cared for
         people and nature - and that
         escaped from the thrall of limited
         political possibilities and pointless
         consumerism - at last there seemed
         to be an escape from the cultural
         constipation of the last 10 years
23 Feb   SLF holds an open forum for     
2004     people interested in the Design 
         Cities installation - 50 people want      Sustainability.doc
         to work on transforming
         Melbourne and Victoria into a
         sustainability-promoting region.
         Two related projects came out of
         this meeting:

              1. to help establish a global Race to The Race Promotion Project works
              Sustainability (The Race              on getting the Race to Sustainability
              Promotion Project)                    up globally. It also takes on the job
                                                    of encouraging the formation of
                                                    Race teams in the other Australian
                                                    states, New Zealand and anywhere
                                                    else (!)
              2. to get together one or more
              teams to enter Victorian in the
              Race to Sustainability and to help
              for Victoria to be a ‘winning’
May           Negotiations by the second project The Victoria/People&Nature team
2004          group result in the formation of the decide to take on the following
              Victoria/People&Nature team.          tasks:
              This team begins developing a plan 1. Outreach to all Victorians
              of action                             2. The establishment of a
                                                       transformative financing body to
                                                       help finance the
                                                       Victoria/People&Nature team
                                                    3. Research into what ecological
                                                       and social outcomes are need if
                                                       ecological and social
                                                       sustainability are to be achieved
                                                       (like the Weterings and Opschoor
                                                       work - only better!)
                                                    4. Search to find out who is doing
                                                       full-on work on sustainability in
                                                       Victoria and elsewhere so that
                                                       collaboration can be set up and
                                                       ideas exchanged.10
                                                    5. Establish a research/activation
                                                       project and network to figure out
                                                       how to make the dramatic, fast
                                                       changes that will be necessary -
                                                       Natural Edge project

   A link is set up with the city of Panjim, in the Indian state of Goa that is working on creating an
ecologically sustainable and socially sustainable city by 2030. See: keynotes/AtKissonKeynoteWA-3_1.pdf

Jun 2004   A group of professionals from         They target anyone who is suffering
           community groups, consulting          from chemical or noise pollution
           firms, other businesses and           from cars - in creches, schools,
           government departments privately      shops, homes, etc. - asking for
           band together to accelerate the       support to press business and
           introduction of hybrid vehicles       government to change the car fleet
                                                 over to hybrids - starting within 2
                                                 years and to be completed in 10.
                                                 “The cars are quiet and they cut
                                                 noxious pollution by about 90%.”
                                                 “The hybrids exist commercially
                                                 now so why are we continuing to
                                                 pollute ourselves and waste oil
                                                 instead of switching over?”
Jun -      The Victoria/People&Nature team       Public contact begins in October
Dec        set up a cooperative program to       2004 after the international
2004       letterbox and door-knock the          committee is set up to organise the
           whole of Victoria to invite people    Race internationally. The outreach
           to support Victoria’s effort in the   puts information in peoples hands,
           Race to Sustainability                find volunteers and begins to raise
                                                 significant amounts of money to
                                                 establish the Sustainable Victoria
                                                 Transformative Fund.
Jun -    The Race Promotion Project taps
Sept     networks of potential supporters at
2004     international series of international
         conferences and workshops     
Oct 2004 An ad hoc international committee       The international Race gives
- May    begins organising the Race to           legitimation to work on
2006     Sustainability - ready for a launch     sustainability, helps build networks,
         in 2006                                 shows who is doing well in the
                                                 change process and increases the
                                                 sense of urgency behind action. It
                                                 also focuses action on achieving
                                                 sustainability - rather than aspiring
                                                 to it but never getting there.
Feb 2005 The Sustainable Living Festival is
         held - giving high priority billing
         to the Race to Sustainability
Feb 2005 The Sustainable Living Foundation       The program is aimed at innovating
         launches a new program:                 and supporting lifestyles that make
         Innovate! Sustainable Living for a      sustainability possible. This
         Sustainable World                       program is a key part of the
                                                 Innovation for Sustainability
                                                 program (see below) but it needs to
                                                 have a very high public profile and
                                                 so is marketed separately.

Feb 2005 The Innovation for Sustainability      The program is launched with
         program is launched at the             funding from the Sustainable
         Sustainable Living Festival            Victoria Transformative Fund and
                                                several other funds. The program’s
                                                aim is to copy and extend the work
                                                of the Dutch Sustainable
                                                Technology Development program.
                                                This program starts to identify what
                                                environmental and social outcomes
                                                are needed to achieve sustainability.
                                                It also begins a whole suite of
                                                projects to work out how the needs
                                                of people and nature can be met in a
                                                way that is sustainable. Groups like
                                                the Alternative Technology
                                                Association, the Sustainable Living
                                                Foundation, Environment Victoria
                                                play key roles. There is active
                                                involvement of people from industry
                                                and government in this program
                                                even though it is a community
Apr       Victoria/People&Nature team join
2005      the Committee for Melbourne and
          a range of other industry, business
          and professional associations.
Nov       The first “Achieving                  Organised annually by the
2005      Sustainability, Fast” conference is   Sustainable Living Foundation.
          held in Melbourne, focusing on        This conference/workshop is a
          Goals, Scale, Speed & Innovation      chance for a large variety of players
                                                to reflect on how Victoria can
                                                become a sustainable and
                                                sustainability-promoting city.

Feb 2006 At the Sustainable Living Festival   $60m is allocated to funding a
         the State Government announces       random sample of 400,000 people in
         that it will run a unique            Melbourne to investigate the issue
         community-based decision-making      of motor cars and to recommend to
         process on the future of motor       the government what it should do.
         vehicles in Victoria                 This engagement process will run
                                              till July and then a referendum will
                                              be held in November on the options
                                              put forward. The government
                                              indicated that it wished to raise a
                                              number of issues:
                                              - should the government encourage
                                              the adoption of super-efficient/super
                                              clean vehicles?
                                              - should the government explore
                                              vehicle systems for the longer term
                                              future that could dramatically cut
                                              the ‘footprint of motor vehicles o the
                                              - how should the communities
                                              access needs be met over the next 20
                                              years and beyond?
Feb 2006 The State Government funds
         Industry Policy Econometrics to
         examine the possible economic
         effects of a move to an
         ecologically-sustainable economy
Jun 2006 Registrations for official           The Victoria/People&Nature team
         participation in the Race to         enters Victoria in the Race
         Sustainability are called
Aug      Opinion polls showed that there      Health and noise reason
2006     was very strong public support for   predominate, but concern about
         a transition to hybrid vehicles      greenhouse and oil depletion are
                                              strong secondary issues.
Oct 2006 Toyota, GM and Ford announce
         that they will manufacture hybrid
         vehicles in Australia ‘soon’.
Nov      The transport/access referendum is   70% vote for a rapid government-
2006     held                                 assisted transition to hybrid
                                              vehicles; 55% vote in favour of a
                                              longer term introduction of people-
                                              mover technology; 52% vote in
                                              favour of local areas being able to
                                              be zoned as ‘Venice precincts’
                                              (areas designed for little car traffic)
                                              if a 70% majority in the local area
                                              endorse this.

Nov           The “Achieving Sustainability,  Transformative financing (the third
2006          Fast” conference focuses on:    wave of the ethical investment
              Investing in sustainability     industry is featured; as is an in depth
                                              discussion of how to generate
                                              sufficient investment dollars for
                                              transformative infrastructure and
                                              products and services. The
                                              Victoria/People&Nature team
                                              undertake to run a big campaign on
Nov      Also at The “Achieving               Two project groups are set up:
2006     Sustainability, Fast” conference the - one on the need for a quantum leap
         Biodiversity Alliance launches a     in spending on nature conservation,
         program to build concern for         including providing funding for
         biodiversity into everything that    rural people to care for nature
         the community does.                  - the other project is about the
                                              development and application of
                                              biodiversity-inclusive life-cycle
                                              assessment - so that the indirect
                                              impact of the economy and the
                                              community can be tracked and
Feb 2007 The Sustainable Living Festival      Presentations of ideas are made by
         features the notion of ‘lifestyle    the Sustainability Street, Body
         support’ companies                   Shop, Nokia, Coles-Myer, Channel
                                              7, Mitre 10, Savers, Earth Design11,
                                              Macdonalds, Sussans, Bendigo
                                              Bank, Relate12, PalmSource13
                                              Monash Environment Institute and
                                              by the Sustainable Living
                                              Foundation itself.
Mar      A consortium of major property       At the launch hopes are expressed
2007     developers, vehicle manufacturers, that a viable people/good mover
         IT specialists, etc. and the Federal system can be designed and trialed
         and Victorian Governments            by 2011 and be ready for full scale
         announce the formation of a          application shortly after that.
         Cooperative Research Centre for
         Computer Controlled Vehicle

   A consortium of Australasian product designers.
   A state-wide alliance of alternative lifestyle small businesses.
   The makers of the software for Palm Pilots, etc.

Apr        Industry Policy Econometrics           The Industry Policy Econometrics
2007       reports back that some strategy        report withstood very critical
           paths to an ecologically-sustainable   assessments undertaken
           economy could produce win-win          subsequently. Some analysts
           economic outcomes. Their               challenged the conclusions but were
           research robustly laid to rest the     later found to have made critical
           idea that economic development         errors in their own assessments.
           and ecological sustainability had to
           be in conflict under all conditions.
Jun 2007   The Federal Government and the         The car manufacturers are allowed
           States agree on a package to           to import hybrid vehicles for the
           introduce a bonus for the purchase     first, after that quotas will be
           of hybrid vehicles, 12 months after    introduced so that for 10 years 80%
           the introduction of the bonus a tax    of hybrid vehicles must be made in
           on old technology vehicles will be     Australia or New Zealand. After
           introduced. The bonus will stay in     that the car plan will be reviewed.
           place for 7 years. The tax will be
           permanent. The bonus is to begin
           in January 2008
Jun 2007   The first Race to Sustainability       58 countries participate. All
           ‘Olympics’ are held - in the           countries have entered events testing
           Netherlands                            “substantial improvement”. 11
                                                  countries have entered teams and
                                                  communities that ‘racing to actually
                                                  achieve sustainability. None of
                                                  these 11 countries were judged to
                                                  have achieved a sustainable state.
                                                  Sweden and the Netherlands were
                                                  judged to be leading the field by a
                                                  significant margin although they
                                                  were still quite some distance away
                                                  from a state of sustainability. The
                                                  Race to Sustainability ‘Olympics’
                                                  are to be held every 2 years.

Aug    The Premier, Treasurer and         The Strategy commits Victoria to be
2007   Minister for Environment release   a world leader in achieving
       the Victorian Government           ecological sustainability. It commits
       Sustainability Strategy            the government to the following
                                          policy goals:
                                           to achieve ecologically-
                                               sustainable economy before
                                               2030 to benefit people and
                                           to radically dematerialise the
                                               economy (eg. by whatever
                                               efficiency Factor is necessary to
                                               achieve sustainability -
                                               expected to be between Factor
                                               20 and Factor 50) - this includes
                                               water and land efficiency
                                           to create a closed-cycle for
                                               materials ie. the recycling target
                                               is 100%
                                           to end emissions of greenhouse
                                               gases and to switch to
                                               renewable energy sources as
                                               fast as possible
                                           to urgently take measures to
                                               achieve the objectives of the
                                               Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act
Nov    The “Achieving Sustainability,     Plans are presented on how to end
2007   Fast” conference focuses on:       greenhouse gas emissions and to
        greenhouse and the power         boost the supply of renewable
            sector                        energy and the application of energy
        urban redevelopment              conservation measures.
                                          A plan for comprehensive urban
                                          redevelopment focusing on whole
                                          systems design and covering urban
                                          living, the emerging shape and
                                          dynamics of industry and business
                                          development, infrastructure, and
                                          ecological and social sustainability

Feb 2008 The Federal Government               Following the methodology
         announces that there will be a       pioneered by the Victorian State
         major consultation on the level of   Government, the Federal
         investment in achieving              Government allocates $240m to
         sustainability                       funding a random sample of
                                              1,600,000 people across Australia to
                                              investigate the investment issue.
                                              This engagement process will run
                                              till July and then a referendum will
                                              be held in November on the options
                                              put forward. The government
                                              indicated that it wished to raise a
                                              number of issues:
                                              - should funding increase?
                                              - if yes, how large should the
                                              increase be?
                                              - how should the money be raised?
                                              - how can other community needs be
                                              met at the same time?
Aug        The State Government undertakes    $60m is allocated to funding a
2008       a major consultation about urban   random sample of 400,000 people in
           development, industry              Melbourne to investigate the issue
           development and sustainability     of urban development, economic
                                              development and sustainability and
                                              to recommend to the government
                                              what it should do. This engagement
                                              process will run till July. For this
                                              exercise there will be no
                                              referendum. Comprehensive and
                                              summary materials examining the
                                              issues were made available to
                                              participants. This consultation was
                                              undertaken because it was
                                              recognised that revamping the urban
                                              structure to achieve sustainability
                                              would have significant effects on
                                              people’s lifestyles and it was felt
                                              that the population should be
                                              engaged as a partner in this policy-
                                              making process.
Oct 2008 The State government announces a     This package covers privacy issues,
         regulatory and industry support      protection of diversity, prudential
         package to manage the ‘lifestyle     arrangements, funds to go into
         support’ industry                    lifestyle research - especially
                                              including the lifestyle/sustainability
                                              link and the link to effective

Nov    The ‘financing the achievement of    68% of people across Australia
2008   sustainability’ referendum is held   support the introduction of a
                                            Sustainability Levy to substantially
                                            supplement funds raised through
                                            superannuation. The Sustainability
                                            Levy is in fact the umbrella term for
                                            a raft of ecotaxes to be applied at
                                            points across the economy. The
                                            money from this fund is to be used
                                            for expenditures that bring good
                                            community return without the need
                                            for a commercial return.
                                            93% of people vote for changes to
                                            the superannuation legislation to
                                            require at least 30% of all
                                            expenditures to make a major
                                            contribution to the achievement of
                                            sustainability. If Sustainability
                                            Levy revenues ever exceed the
                                            amounts needed to invest in
                                            sustainability initiatives the funds
                                            are to be returned to the community
                                            via a wage support payment or a
                                            non-wage dividend
Nov    The “Achieving Sustainability,       A host of papers from the
2008   Fast” conference focuses on          Innovation for Sustainability
       closed-cycle food production         program outline how closed-cycle
                                            food production could work and
                                            how it could replace open systems
                                            agriculture for most purposes. This
                                            conference is the culmination of
                                            four years work in academic,
                                            professional, NGO, government
                                            circles. Behind the scenes a great
                                            deal of work has been done to get a
                                            major Cooperative Research Centre
                                            on Closed-Cycle Food Production.
                                            The intention to form such a CRC is
                                            announced at the conference by the
                                            Federal Minister for Science.

Dec      The State Government announces                  The Government then began
2008     that no further fossil fuel burning             consulting with the fossil fuel,
         plants will be established and that             energy, motor vehicle industries,
         by 2020 no further greenhouse                   professionals, researchers and the
         gases are to be released from the               community to determine how best to
         energy system or from cars.                     meet these goals.
         Hazelwood power station would be
         closed within a year and the
         owners compensated. The money
         would be raised through a levy on
         non-green power electricity.
Feb 2009 47 firms begin trading as licenced              These first have finely divided up
         ‘lifestyle support’ firms                       the community into different
                                                         demographic/ethical groups and are
                                                         offering advice and services to help
                                                         people achieve their personal goals
                                                         in ways that are compatible with
                                                         wider ecological and social
Feb 2009 The Departments of Sustainability
         And Environment; Infrastructure;
         Innovation Industry and Regional
         Development; and Human Services
         spend the year revamping the
         Melbourne 2030 strategy to focus
         squarely on the achievement of an
         ecologically and socially
         sustainable city before 2030.
Jun 2009 The ‘financing the achievement of               The sustainability levy begins to be
         sustainability’ reform legislation is           phased in.
         passed by the national and State
Jul 2009 Investment begins in the people-                Pilot projects are developed in
         mover trial                                     Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and
Aug            The Victoria/People&Nature team           This game is a serious simulation
2009           in conjunction with computer              tool for imagining futures and
               games developer Electronic Arts14         testing their sustainability - but it
               and computer modelling group              has also been designed to compete
               EnviroMind announce the release           actively with other simulation and
               of a new computer game: Sustain           strategy games on the market. The
                                                         new game was strongly supported
                                                         by parents, educators and others
                                                         who had been growing increasingly
                                                         alarmed by the spread of war games
                                                         among young people.

     Developers of the Sim series of simulation games.

Nov        The “Achieving Sustainability,         This looks at innovation practice,
2009       Fast” conference focuses on            concurrent engineering. “CISCO
           “Accelerating change”                  Systems” business strategies, the use
                                                  of advanced artificial intelligence,
                                                  computer gaming, political
                                                  strategies, consensus building, etc.
March      The State government announced a
2010       suite of new policies
May        A group of Liberals form the           The Forum members actively recruit
2010       Sustainability Forum to promote        members to the Liberal Party.
           policies on ecological and social
Jun 2010   The International Geosphere-
           Biosphere Program released a
           detailed report looking and the
           future of the world’s farming
           systems and concluded that
           agricultural productivity would fall
           as a robust long-term trend -
           possibly by a third within 40 years
           (possibly quite a bit sooner) -
           particularly badly affected would
           be the worlds most populous and
           poorest countries.
Nov        The “Achieving Sustainability,         Papers were presented suggesting
2010       Fast” conference focuses on            that Victoria should combine its
           Victoria’s economic strategy and       industry development interests with
           closed-cycle agriculture               its humanitarian concerns and
                                                  develop specialised skills in the
                                                  large scale development of
                                                  sustainable food production systems
                                                  in the third world and other
                                                  development needs. The
                                                  development of empower strategies
                                                  including in relation to finance and
                                                  locally directed development were
                                                  seen to be very important.

Apr       The State Government commit to a    Six major Australasian consortia
2011      multi billion dollar long-term      begin large development programs -
          package to develop and rollout      linked to firms and research
          closed-cycle food production        agencies in the Netherlands, South
          systems                             China, Lahore, and elsewhere -
                                              including NASA and the European
                                              Space Agency. These consortia are
                                              aimed at converting the Victorian
                                              agricultural sector and also aimed
                                              firmly at the export market for
                                              closed-cycle food production
                                              systems in the Third world. The
                                              consortia are expecting that world
                                              needs will require this program to
                                              roll out on a huge scale and very
                                              fast. Victoria’s experience in
                                              mobilisation industry and society for
                                              industrial transformation means that
                                              they have a great many of the
                                              required skills that are unfortunately
                                              still relatively rare in most other
                                              parts of the world.
Oct 2011 The people mover trial concludes
         successfully and three public
         private partnerships are announced
         to rollout the full people mover
         system by 2017
Nov      The Labor Government loses its       The coalition agreement includes a
2012     majority and governs in coalition    commitment to end native forest
         with the Greens                      logging
2013->   Industry and also government
         begin rolling out a huge raft of
         projects to redevelop the urban
         system and industry generally to
         enable the achievement of
         society’s sustainability goals
Oct 2016 The Labor Government falls and is    It was the failure of the Labor Party
         replaced by a Liberal/Green          to honour its commitment to end
         coalition                            native forest logging that ended the
                                              Labor/Green coalition. The
                                              Liberals go into coalition with the
                                              Greens on the basis of ending native
                                              forest logging.
Feb 2017 Native forest logging is ended       A major social and economic
                                              adjustment package is put in place
Dec       One year behind schedule the
2018      people mover system has been
          rolled out across all the major
          cities of Australia

Dec        Two years behind schedule
2022       Greenhouse gas emissions from the
           energy system and from energy
           using cars and equipment has
Dec        The urban, product, lifestyle and
2024       industry systems are in place to
           reduce material and ecocapacity
           demands to achieve over 90% of
           the changes necessary to deliver
           ecological and social sustainability
Jun 2025   At the 9th Race to Sustainability      In 20 when the
           Olympics, in Goa, India, Victoria      Victoria/People&Nature team first
           is declared to have ‘crossed’ the      entered Victoria in the Race to
           line and can be classed as a locally   Sustainability it nominated a high
           sustainable region - having            quality of life for people and the
           accomplished 90% of the transition     survival of the State’s native species
           and having firmly locked in the        as the things it wanted to sustain
           achievement of the last 10%.           locally. The team nominated the
                                                  same objectives globally as well.
Nov        The “Achieving Sustainability,
2024       Fast” conference focuses on
           Helping the Rest of the World
           Achieve Sustainability

A blow up of some of the key points

If we don’t know what we want to sustain - we’re not doing
“sustainability”. And if we don’t have a good feel for what will deliver
sustainability and how big and fast the changes have to be then we are just
puddling around making ourselves feel a little better in the short term. We've
got to get our heads and hearts into that better future and then ask 'how did
we make this possible?' We 'backcast' from the future to work out what we
need to do now - to get to that better world.... that already exists in our minds.

We know it’s a race against time - to get to that better world - to
sustain what we love, what we need. Why don’t we take the metaphor
of the race and make it real, make it work for us to keep the sense of urgency,
to motivate us to drive forward and ‘across the line’ to a sustainable world. It’s
half sprint, half marathon, but it’s getting everything that we really want to
sustain ‘across the line’ that counts. Because whatever is not sustained will
be lost, it will be extinct. That's why actually achieving sustainability matters
so much.

The car! - so convenient, so much fun.
And it’s eating us up - but it doesn’t have to!. Half the land of the
city. Armies to protect the oil. Destroying the atmosphere. Clogging our lungs

and ears. But we can tame the beast, bring it down to size. Hybrid vehicles
already have 1/10th the toxic pollution and half the fuel. They could run on
renewables, hydrogen. But we’ve got to get them onto the streets. And, only
a few years away there are computer-driven mini-taxis, people movers. Say
what your need is - how many people, any luggage? - and the right sized car
will come to you. These technologies cut the load on the planet to a tenth,
less perhaps.

Wouldn’t it be great if the money we spent didn’t destroy the world.
Better still, wouldn’t it be fantastic if the money we spent saved the
world? We need to get into transformative financing, the third wave of
ethical investment. First we didn’t invest in damaging things, then we went for
projects that were doing some good. But what we need most of all is
investment that seeks out, perhaps creates the projects that drive change
strategically, that will make a sustainable world come into being, fast,

The economy grows, the planet shudders? It doesn’t have to be
that way. If economic development is driven by the need to heal and protect
the planet, the need to end poverty and the desire to enable everyone to have
fulfilling, meaningful lives, then more of that sort of development would be a
blessing. And in this sort of world, the national accounts wouldn’t look as if
they’d had a hole blasted in them. But be warned, economic development
that’s good for people and good for the planet will be very different from a lot
of what passes for economic development now.

What really makes a city green, or not, is what it does to the
countryside and the sea. Native species can survive extraordinary natural
variations in climate over hundreds of thousands or millions of years if they
have plenty of space. So a city can only be profoundly green if it enables
people to relate to the countryside and the wider environment in new ways - in
terms of what they take and what they throw back and the land they take from
nature, not just for urban buildings but more importantly for growing food, fibre
and wood. We talk about closed-cycle manufacturing. But it’s also possible
to have closed-cycle food production. It’s time we looked at farms with new
eyes. Farms are open systems. Open to the sky, open to the ground and the
waterways. We throw on seed and water, and fertilisers and pesticides and
solar energy - and open farming system leaks like a sieve - most of everything
we throw on flows off and causes problems - and it’s such a waste of
materials and energy. Did you know that of the solar energy that falls on a
paddock only 0.1% ends up in the food that leaves the farm? Only in the last
few years have people begun to realise that closed-cycle food production in or
near cities could be immensely more efficient than open-systems farming. If
we go the closed-system way we can produce flavoursome, nutritious and
safe food more cheaply and nature can have back the land that it needs.

Carbon dioxide in the air, it’s the highest for more than 400,000
years, and if it isn’t already very soon it will be the highest for 22
million years! Does that seem like a prudent thing to do? The living

things alive today didn’t evolve to cope with conditions we are thrusting on
them. We are sailing our planet into uncharted waters that will be full of
surprises. Some may not be too pleasant. To get back into secure territory
we need to get carbon dioxide in the air down to 300 parts per million from the
370 ppm that we have now. It will mean, according to a CSIRO study, that
industrial emissions will have to fall to………about zero!

Initiatives to be woven into the scenario

5-in-1 Customer - sustainability-promoting environmental management systems

building whole-system slices of the new economy - to be able to get concurrent
engineering - the idea is …to get whole-system gains you need to do everything in the
new economy at once rather than having isolate experiments with different issues.
Problem is, if you’re building a new economy transforming the whole economy at
once is too big a job. The solution is to ramp up the scale of change starting with
small scale experimentation, but most of the key elements of the new economy should
be experimented with together. This requires more thinking-through from the start to
work out what the multiple elements are. And it requires a bigger experimental effort
at the start - imagine looking over the end state of this scenario and figuring out what
aspects of all the final stages should be prefigured together at the outset…..


The Aquarian profile

The Aquarians15: people typified by concerns such as:
 slowing the pace of life
 increasing leisure/decreasing enforced work
 decreasing consumerism / materialism / promoting ‘enoughness’ / promoting
    spiritual values rather than materialist or power orientated values
 promoting dematerialisation
 anti-economic growth
 achieving human scale settings for people to live in / “small is beautiful”
 promoting voluntary simplicity / against complexity
 increasing face-to-face and geographical community
 promoting a ‘natural’ way of living
 anti-big corporations and the corporate state
 promoting direct democracy
 promoting direct personal production - reducing the amount of ‘intermediation’
 against concentrations of power
 favouring a return to the village or tribe as a social and physical context
 favouring decentralisation / against centralisation
 back to the land
 self-sufficiency / self-reliance / local control
 survivalism (preparing for or coping with major social/economic breakdown)
 promoting communalism over individualism
 in favour of solutions via lifestyle change rather than using technology to avoid
    lifestyle change
 counter-culturalists and alternative lifestylers


Tail end of file
Check the change agents list

Seeds for Change

   Name taken from the musical “Hair” - relating to the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” - the hippy
golden age - the inspiration for counter-culturalists and alternative lifestylers that founded Nimbin back
in the 1970s. This gave the trend for hippies to go to favoured settlements on the northern NSW coast
and Qld coast. The Malaney region is an evolved and contemporary manifestation of this earlier

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