The Sust Enable Project is
- a collection of diverse and original media (including blogs, videos, etc.) probing the core question, “what does sustainability really mean?”, and
- a creative documentary film production centered around different meanings of sustainability
Click here for the SE blog.
About the project
The Sust Enable Project facilitates artistic exploration of the meanings of sustainability. We aim to foster discovery and transformation in our audiences/users through deep engagement with the diverse meanings of sustainability, by offering opportunities to interact with a wide variety of different perspectives, a wealth of creative media, and to participate in discussions, contribute content, and challenge their assumptions.
In a short period of time, “sustainability” has become a hugely popular buzzword, and continues to have an expanding impact on business, government, and activism worldwide. Yet no one has a conclusive definition for what “sustainability” really means. Despite this ambiguity, the word “sustainability” holds undeniable widespread appeal. The rapid spread and sudden popularity of the word “sustainability” is especially fascinating if it is studied as an indication of a much deeper cultural shift underway in human collective consciousness. Under threat of widespread global devastation (i.e. “unsustainability”), we are, practically and culturally, on the verge of a new way of being in the world.
Although the meaning of “sustainability” and its applications are debatable, there seems to be some common understanding. “Sustainability” seems to speak to, among other things, a broader consideration of stakeholder engagement with respect to our global relationships and responsibilities. In spite of this, the power to define sustainability is today vested in those with the most power to influence media and culture: corporations and related market forces. And corporations and governments have a reputation for using the word “sustainability” for deceptive purposes: to “greenwash,” or conceal, their environmentally damaging practices through “green” labeling and public relations. Today, the public is exposed only to definitions of sustainability that suit current industrial or governmental agendas. Even though every person living today is a stakeholder in determining a sustainable future, people are rarely given the platform to freely discover, challenge and explore ideas about what “sustainability” looks like in our every day experiences and lives.
In order to respond effectively to the complex issues facing the planet today, every individual, family and community must be fully engaged and contributing to a “more sustainable” world. Thus, we need a movement for “sustainability literacy” among people, so each and all of us are equipped with the necessary tools–ideas, practices, theories, discourse, critical thinking and self-reflection–to collaboratively co-define what a sustainable world will look like.
The Sust Enable Project is committed to delivering tools for “sustainability literacy.” Currently, our main focus is on creating an educational, engaging documentary that would creatively illustrate different ideas of sustainability on multiple levels.
We want to expose and uplift the perspectives of our world’s sharpest minds, wisest souls, edgiest thinkers, and biggest hearts. From radicals and rogue academics, to community leaders of grassroots initiatives, we focus on amplifying voices that are rarely heard from in the mainstream media. While we value the contributions of academia and think tanks to solving for sustainability, we believe that insights about sustainability are available to everyone, through personal reflection on our direct experiences. Therefore we solicit people’s stories from their personal and professional lives: brilliant, funny, heart-breaking, genuine attempts to “live more sustainably.” Though we prioritize voices rarely heard from, when possible we include institutional and political voices too, in order to accommodate optimal balance within our sustainability mosaic. The Sust Enable Project‘s design of finding insight from real people’s stories stems from director Caroline Savery’s remarkable attempt to live a 100% sustainable lifestyle for three months in 2008.
The Sust Enable Project provides an important platform where people from all walks of life can claim a role–and a stake–in helping evolve and define “sustainability,” through the open, creative process of exploring, critiquing, and participating in today’s rich diversity of sustainability initiatives. In this way, The Sust Enable Project seeks to actually “enable sustainability,” because we believe that the more people engage with questions about the meaning of sustainability in their everyday lives, the more viable a sustainable world in reality becomes. We believe that openly delving into a diversity of sustainability definitions is an empowering, vitalizing process that has the potential to transform individuals, communities, and subsequently, our world at large.
About the Film
The Sust Enable Project or Sust Enable: The Metamentary are the working titles of a planned documentary film project that explores the question, “what does sustainability mean?”
Our intent is to create an artistic non-fiction film product and film production process built entirely around sustainability principles, for the purpose of sustainability innovation, education and engagement.
For more about the film, read the film’s Treatment.