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University of Adelaide Financial Services . A Sustainable University - Mapping the Challenges 2010 National University Finance and Procurement Conference. Waves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2vkwy2vdP4. Sustainability. The Next Wave. What’s at stake …….

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university of adelaide financial services

University of AdelaideFinancial Services

A Sustainable University - Mapping the Challenges

2010 National University Finance and Procurement Conference

waves
Waves

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2vkwy2vdP4

what s at stake
What’s at stake …….

What’s at stake is the survival of the planet – or at least the survival of the planet as a place suitable for human habitation

“There is no viable path forward that does not take into account the needs of future generations;

Institutions matter;

All real change is grounded in new ways of thinking and perceiving. “

Senge et al 2010

Senge P, 2010, pp. 9-10

the next wave
The Next Wave

Some are suggesting that we, as a global community, are at the cusp of the next Krondratieffwave

The next wave is about sustainable economies

The next wave is about paradigmatic change

mastering the wave or how not to get dumped
Mastering The Wave or how not to get dumped!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Einstein

slide8

The Elements of Mastery of

the Wave!

Sustainability

Complexity

Change

slide9

The competencies for

mastery:

  • Managing Externalities
  • Brand management
  • Decision-making
  • Planning & Data
  • Change Management Decision-making
  • Ethical Choices
tailloires declaration 1990
Tailloires Declaration 1990

In 1990 a number of Universities worldwide signed the Tailloires declaration:

We, the presidents, rectors, and vice chancellors of universities from all regions of the world are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources.

ULSF | University Leaders For A Sustainable Future | PROGRAMS & SERVICES : Talloires Declaration

current australian signatories
Current Australian Signatories

Australian National University, Canberra

Bond University, Queensland

Canberra Institute of Technology, ACT

Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW

Monash University, Victoria

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne

Southern Cross University, New South Wales

Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria

University of Canberra, ACT

University of Melbourne, Victoria

University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales

University of New England, New South Wales

University of New South Wales, Sydney

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland

University of Technology, Sydney

University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

University of Western Sydney, New South Wales

tailloires declaration 19901
Tailloires Declaration 1990

In the declaration, the signatories made some specific sustainability related commitments:

  • Increase Awareness of Environmentally Sustainable Development
  • Create an Institutional Culture of Sustainability
  • Educate for Environmentally Responsible Citizenship
  • Foster Environmental Literacy For All
  • Practice Institutional Ecology
  • Involve All Stakeholders
  • Collaborate for Interdisciplinary Approaches
  • Enhance Capacity of Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Broaden Service and Outreach Nationally and Internationally
  • Maintain the Movement
tailloires declaration 19902
Tailloires Declaration 1990

The expectations the signatories have of themselves include:

  • Being model corporate citizens
  • Promoting leading practice
  • Being at the forefront of knowledge
  • Having a commitment to local communities
  • Having a global outlook
a sustainable university
A Sustainable University …….

A sustainable University is not merely a university that has a long life – it is a university that has chosen to exist in such a way as to promote and support sustainable ways of living.

Achieving sustainability is not a problem that can be solved, It is an issue to be constantly and diligently managed.

scoping sustainability
Scoping Sustainability
  • Environmental
  • Community/Social
  • Workplace Practices
  • Marketplace & Business Conduct
  • Ethical Governance

(Wiseman 2010)

a recent definition of sustainable business
A Recent Definition of Sustainable Business

By ‘sustainability’ we mean responsible business practices across all areas of operation, including:

  • Environmental – the environmental impact, director indirect, of an organisation’s operations, products or services, including those of its suppliers.
  • Community/Social – the impact of an organisation’s projects, products, services or investments on the community at a local or global level.
  • Workplace Practices – including employee health, diversity and equal opportunity, work/life balance, professional development and full entitlement to employment rights.
  • Marketplace & Business Conduct – responsible behaviour in developing, purchasing, selling and marketing products and services.
  • Ethical Governance – from Board level throughout an organisation: transparency; risk management; due diligence; effective codes of conduct and ethics.

Nossal Institute (2010)

2008 a4 paper usage
2008 A4 paper usage
  • 40m sheets A4
  • = 4,700 trees (17 reams = 1 tree)
  • = 4200m
  • = Mt Lofty x 6

6

the benefits
The Benefits
  • Reputation management; building brand, goodwill and public trust, stronger relationships with communities (74%),
  • Minimised environmental impacts; cost savings and creation of business efficiencies (68%),
  • Employee satisfaction; improved capacity to attract and retain talented staff, reduced hiring and retention costs (64%),
  • More healthy, productive and motivating workplaces

Nossal Institute (2010)

growth v wellbeing
Growth v Wellbeing

Sustainable wellbeing requires at least the current level of well being to be maintained for future generations.

That is a big challenge, considering the large structural changes we face over the next several decades: population, climate change, and the re-emergence of China and India as global economic superpowers.

There is an immense challenge in preserving the value of the aggregate stock of the community’s resources – including natural resources and the environmental amenity associated with them, human capital, social capital and physical capital – while accepting a massive structural change in the pattern of their usage.

Ken Henry, Secretary of Treasury (2010), AFR Boss, Vol 11, p 34

managing messes
Managing Messes

Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consist of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes.

Russell Ackoff, “The Future of Operational Research is Past”,

Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol 30, no 2 1979, pp93-104

managing messes 2
Managing Messes (2)

The Queen of Hearts Croquet Game!

The hoops are soldiers who every now and then have to get up and march around shouting

The mallets are flamingos who as you go to hit the ball, raise their heads to look around

The balls are hedgehogs who as you go to hit them, uncurl and walk to the other side of the lawn

And all the time the Queen of Hearts is strutting about, yelling “off with their heads!”

Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland & through the Looking Glass”

complexity
Complexity
  • There are a large number of elements
  • Everything is connected to everything else in dynamic and interdependent ways
  • Complex systems are not just the sum of their components. The whole behaves differently.
  • Feedback loops are created that can have both positive and negative impacts on the system
  • Sometimes these loops have counter-intuitive effects
  • Sequence is not cause
  • Solutions have limited applicability
  • Complex systems don’t have boundaries
  • Emergence
  • The past is not a guide to the future, and
  • The future is unknowable
consequences of complexity
Consequences of Complexity
  • There’s a disconnect between the simple system orientation of many of the bureaucratic processes in University administrations and the complexity of the academic enterprise
  • How do bureaucratic administrative systems enable complex academic ones?
research unpredictability
Research Unpredictability

“They’re all individuals but there’s one thing they’d agree on. Their work was unpredictable, long term, and required a stable and supportive environment”

Nathan Rees (Astonomer Royal) interviewed by Paul Brocks (AFR Review 23 April 2010)

responding to complexity
Responding to complexity
  • Recognize the limited applicability of simple systems
  • Be prepared to experiment using safe-fail experiments
  • Gather and use data from all available including non-traditional sources
  • Develop skills in identifying weak signals
  • Develop agility
  • Appoint a bumble bee
thinking in systems
Thinking in systems
  • Frogs
  • &
  • Bicycles
bounded applicability
Bounded Applicability

Business’s lingering love of bureaucracy, process and legacy technology has fallen completely out of sync with what people need to do their best.

Bill Jensen & Josh Klein

Harvard Business Review, Jan - Feb 2010, p53

when organisations change
When Organisations Change:

“My research affirmed that most organizations only change when they’re failing. They take cues too late from the environment. The question is, how do you get a relatively successful institution to respond to really new challenges?”

Condoleezza Rice

Harvard Business Review, Jan – Feb 2010, p152

changing risk profile
Changing Risk Profile

Parts of this report talk about what might happen in 2030 or even 2050 and I make no apology for this. Energy security requires a long term view and it is the companies who grasp this who will trade on into the second half of this century.

Richard Ward, CEO Lloyd’s, 2010, Sustainable Energy Security: Strategic risks and opportunities from business, Chatham House, p3

universities as complex organisations
Universities as complex organisations
  • Unknowability
  • Unpredictability
  • Emergence
  • Problems to Solve
  • Issues to Manage (Johnson)
  • From “either-or” to “and-also”
  • Think global act local
thinking differently
Thinking differently
  • Strategy of the Dolphin
  • Build systems intelligence
    • See systems
    • Collaborate across boundaries (no more silos)
    • Create desired futures (be proactive)
the challenges
The Challenges
  • Bringing things to a scale that we can manage
the scale of the challenge
The Scale of the Challenge

“even if every car in Australia were taken off the road, emissions would still not be cut by enough to meet the commitment to reduce emissions by 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020”

Australia to 2050: Future Challenges

Intergenerational report, 2010 p xvii

ongoing instability
Ongoing Instability
  • IMF Global Stability Map April 2010.pdf

From: IMF: Global Financial Stability Report Meeting New Challenges to Stability and Building a Safer System April 2010

what could we do
What could we do?
  • Stop doing stuff
    • Stop printing and copying, take away all the mfds and printers – buy everyone (including students) a tablet computer
    • Stop buying cars and dig up the car parks
what to do responding to the challenges
What to do – Responding to the challenges
  • Planning
  • Workforce Planning
  • Data Collection
    • Broaden the sources and types of data used
    • Create opportunities for Insight Learning
    • Organisational bumblebees and dolphins
  • Brand management
  • Choose the direction
  • Make allowance for Serendipity and Black Swans
  • Creating space for reflection: time out
  • Weak signals – sense making
what to do
What to do!
  • Set BIG targets
    • For example: zero waste, paper free, no cars
  • Set SHORT timelines for safe-fail experiments
practical questions
Practical Questions
  • Is your organisation willing to pay a premium for recycled paper. Or
  • Are you prepared to take paper out of the organisation?
  • What are your obligations to local businesses? Even if they don’t meet OHSW standards or if they breach industrial law, albeit for good local social reasons?
  • When will your organisation reach a state of equilibrium – ie growth is sustainable?
making hard choices
Making Hard Choices
  • Sustainability is about VALUES and ATTITUDES
  • Acting now for the long term
  • Making ethical choices
slide42

Continuity & evolutionary change

  • Discontinuity & disruptive change
  • Evolution is unidirectional
  • From consumption based growth to sustainable growth