Elkington recalls "triple bottom line" and that's a good thing.
Dean of sustainable business stratergizing, John Elkington, did something unusual recently. Writing in the Harvard Business Review he issued a "recall" for his well-known business concept the "triple bottom line" or TBL.

He argues, despite successes with some businesses including Unilever and Novo Nordisk, the concept had failed to "truly shift the needle".

I'm a fan of the the notion that "better is good" and think that TBL led to valuable thinking, debate, data, and analysis. But 25 years is a long time. Any organization (or consultant) that hasn't done some serious re-thinking after a quarter-century needs some serious re-thinking. 

So, what now?  Elkington calls for "a triple helix for value creation, a genetic code for tomorrow’s capitalism, spurring the regeneration of our economies, societies, and biosphere."

The TBL was constrained by being a new accounting format trapped inside traditional businesses. Businesses might track whether they were becoming more sustainable but what got measured didn't necessarily get done.

The new version needs to truly internalize "regenerative" thinking -- baking an emphasis on people & planet into the organization. We need what Carol Sanford calls "regenerative business".

With 2019 marking the 25th anniversary of the “triple bottom line,” a term I coined in 1994, I propose a strategic recall to do some fine tuning.

Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 12:00 PM 

In this live, virtual fireside chat, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker discusses with Elkington the motivations behind his coining of the TBL concept, his perceived failure of the concept to achieve its intended ends, and how the concept can be updated. [Fee required]

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Designers of Paradise
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How does “learning from nature” differ from “designing as nature”? Can we overcome the “nature culture divide”? What will it take for people to fall in love with the planet again? 

People know something is going on. Global Weirding: all the snow, the tornadoes in strange places, bigger hurricanes, disappearing salmon … With so much evidence, so much urgency, why do we stay in ‘avoidance’ mode? What can we do about it? 

One Last Thing
Dolphins are said to share many human-like social traits; including the predilection for recreational drugs it seems. Hidden cameras captured a pod in action as they got 'high' from nerve toxins released by a pufferfish in waters off Southeast Africa. (2 minutes)

In Closing
We are very early in the process of defining what it means to build a regenerative society. While the terminology will continue to evolve, we're convinced the ideas are directionally correct. We are studying, testing, plotting, and building interest, support, and resources.

Thus this newsletter, which will come out every few weeks with information about RASA - narrating our work - along with brief observations and links to related materials exploring innovation and the regenerative economy.

With effort, and a bit of luck, we hope support for these concepts becomes a wave sweeping the world! Check out the archive to see if this newsletter is right for you (or a friend).

If you find this email valuable, please share with a friend. If you don't, please unsubscribe (link at the bottom.) We also much appreciate comments, advice, and suggestions for links to highlight.



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David Witzel · The Window · Oakland CA 94606 · USA
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