ABSTRACT

This chapter zooms in on the self-reinforcing mechanisms incorporated in our current socio-economic system and how these might delay or even destroy initiatives to create sustainable alternatives for this system. Subsequently, it addresses the crucial role of the business world in escaping this lock-in and the various ways in which businesses and professionals have so far tried to make a contribution to sustainable development. It also portrays the contours of business models and technologies that are fully aligned with sustainable development, as well as some of the challenges involved with applying them. This chapter then moves on to establishing some key reference points for businesses and professionals aiming to make a significant contribution to sustainable development of our societies. These reference points relate to the type of leadership required from those making decisions, implications for the way these businesses and professionals organise themselves and, crucially, the need to convince others to join and support them in their efforts. Finally, these reference points are translated into a specific type of intelligence to be applied by these businesses and professionals: sustainability intelligence.