Is Sustainability Still Possible? Webinar To Explore Sustainability Vs. “Sustainababble” And The Road Ahead

International Society of Sustainability Professionals Will Host November 13 Webinar Based On Worldwatch Institute’s Flagship Annual State of the World Report
Nov 5, 2013 7:45 AM ET

PORTLAND, OR, November 5, 2013 /3BL Media/ – The word “sustainable” is increasingly difficult to distinguish between “sustainababble,” with increasing false claims confusing our understanding of what sustainability truly entails.

This webinar, based on the 2013 edition of Worldwatch Institute’s flagship annual report, State of the World (subtitled: Is Sustainability Still Possible?), will help participants to better distinguish between sustainability and sustainababble, discuss the scientific foundations of sustainability, explore how to create a truly sustainable human society, and if that is no longer possible, how to prepare ourselves for the turbulent transition ahead. The Webinar will be presented by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) on Wednesday 11/13 @ 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT.

The Sustainability Metric

We'll first discuss how we can measure sustainability, current data trends and concepts, and what they say about how we live on the planet. Is sustainability primarily a matter of developing a “green” economy or otherwise altering economic processes—or is more than economics at issue? What does true sustainability imply for individual lifestyles? What is at stake if we pursue unsustainable growth and development?

Getting to True Sustainability

With the limits better understood, how can we get to a truly sustainable society? Is geoengineering the only option left? Can we instead re-engineer our cultures? Can we create truly sustainable design and goods? Will major shifts in governance at all scales be necessary? How about population management? This section will sample some of the many policies and perspectives already developed over the last three decades that could build a sustainable society within planetary boundaries.

Open in Case of Emergency

At the moment, sustainability seems technically within our grasp but politically beyond it. Is collapse inevitable? Crucial choices loom ahead: Will we burn the tar sands? All the coal in the ground? Shale gas? The oil under the Arctic? What can we preserve of our most important cultural, economic, and social achievements as the Earth changes? And how can we limit human suffering during this global ecological transition?

Webinar participants should come away with a good sense of what the best data say about the sustainability of the current global economy and some thoughtful ideas about how humanity should respond if it fails in comprehensively implementing the many well-known options for achieving sustainability.

About the Presenters

Eric Assadourian a Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute where he has studied cultural change, consumerism, degrowth, ecological ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainable communities over the past 10 years. Erik is co-director of State of the World 2013, directed State of the World 2010, and co-directed the 2005 and 2012 editions.

Erik also directs the Transforming Cultures project at Worldwatch, which explores innovative new ways to intentionally and proactively transform cultural norms so that living sustainably feels as natural as living as a consumer feels today. Most recently, through this project, Erik co-designed an eco-educational scenario for the popular board game Settlers of Catan, Catan: Oil Springs, which he hopes will help players grapple personally with climate change, the tragedy of the commons, and the difficulties of continued growth in a finite system.

Robert Engelman is President of the Worldwatch Institute, a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Bob originally joined Worldwatch as Vice President for Programs and was named President in 2011. Prior to joining Worldwatch, Bob was Vice President for Research at Population Action International, a policy research and advocacy group in Washington, and directed its program on population and the environment. He has written extensively on population's connections to environmental change, economic growth, and civil conflict.

A former newspaper reporter specializing in science and the environment, Bob was founding secretary of the Society of Environmental Journalists. He is the author of the 2008 book More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want.

Webinar Registration

The State of the World Webinar will occur on Wednesday, November 13 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT (UGT -7). There is no charge for ISSP members to attend, with a $10 fee for non-members. If you are unable to attend live, please also register to receive a link to the recording. To sign up, go to Upon registering, participants will receive further instructions on how to login.

About Worldwatch Institute

Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute’s State of the World report is published annually in more than a dozen languages. Through research and outreach that inspire action, the Worldwatch Institute works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world that meets human needs. The Institute’s top mission objectives are universal access to renewable energy and nutritious food, expansion of environmentally sound jobs and development, transformation of cultures from consumerism to sustainability, and an early end to population growth through healthy and intentional childbearing. For more information, visit

About ISSP

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is the world's leading professional association for sustainability professionals. ISSP is a member-driven association committed to moving the profession of sustainability forward through building strong networks and communities of practice. Formed in 2007, ISSP boasts more than 700 members from every continent in the world. Members share resources and best practices, and develop themselves professionally. Webinars, webchats, on-line courses, special reports, resource directories, salary surveys, and professional competency studies are just a sampling of the rich content offered to members. For more information about ISSP and its offerings, please visit