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What is Sustainable Development?

In this step we take a look at what sustainable development is and what a sustainable perspective on production development might look like.
Three pillars on top of the globe, representing social, ecological and economical dimensions of sustainability
© Luleå University of Technology

The idea of sustainability means considering that our resources on this planet are limited. If development is not sustainable, it causes economic, social and environmental problems that could result in catastrophic consequences for all life on earth.

Therefore, we should always strive for sustainability. And sustainability should play a large role in how we develop production systems. Our goal is to handle development and progression in such a way that it does not burden the earth or the population, including those who will live many years from now.

The limited resources of our planet should be safeguarded in all three dimensions: economic, social and environmental. (You probably recognise these dimensions as they are the three perspectives this course is focused on).

A sustainable perspective

The world we live in can be viewed as a social-ecological system. People and nature live in symbiosis and we depend on the resources provided by planet Earth. The ecosystems on Earth are influenced by what we do. Reckless advancements can endanger the very fundamentals of the systems we depend on to live.

A sustainability perspective considers both the economies of the world, the human societies those economies are placed in, and ultimately the larger context of the life support system of Earth and our dependency on it.

We argue that we should apply this perspective in all of our work with sustainable development. We should emphasize development and innovation that is sustainable, and does not harm our planet.

In order to do this, we need to work together and aim at collaboration and mutual understanding with people worldwide. This way, that we can use future technologies and ideas in a way that brings the most efficient production in a way that does not harm the planet, that both current and future generations depend upon.

We want to innovate and create something resilient. Resilience basically means something that will stand the test of time.

© Luleå University of Technology
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Exploring Sustainable Production Systems

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