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Ending an Era, Starting a Revolution

*featured article on Design Ethos:

Most people would agree the Industrial Revolution rapidly transformed the quality of life in the United States and created the concept of the “American Dream.” Industrialization of numerous countries around the world also took place around the same time. Overall, people around the world were overjoyed by the advancements in medicine, public education, and material wellbeing. However, innovation came at a price.

Approximately 195 years later, the United States is “consuming 25 percent of the world’s fossil fuels with only 5 percent of the population” (Senge, 2008, p. 5). This lifestyle of mass-consumerism and overconsumption has devastated the natural environment and created global social inequity. Now we must reevaluate the ideologies that lead us to where we are.

According to Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution, humanity is destined for extinction if we don’t succeed in the notorious “80/20 Challenge”. Senge explains that the global community must succeed in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent in the next 20 years if we are to have a hope of saving the Earth from reaching the “tipping point” of ecological destruction.

You may be wondering, “How is an 80 percent reduction in emissions even possible?” When humanity’s impending doom is at stake, we must find a way. Succeeding at the 80/20 Challenge is possible. However, all of Earth’s citizens must first admit to ourselves that the Era of Industrialization is unsustainable.

As a global community, it is imperative that we find it in ourselves to commit to creating a sustainable revolution in the way we live, work and collaborate. We must find a way to thrive together in harmony with the environment, in order to create a truly sustainable world. Endings are not truly the end, but merely the beginning of something new.

Please stay tuned to this blog to learn more about what a SCAD Sustainable Practices in Design will be doing in Savannah to help drive the kind of change we need. For some background on what’s been done in the past through SCAD’s Design for Sustainability program, you can look all the way back to 2011 on this blog, at a time we were preparing for SCAD’s Design Ethos DO-ference in 2012. Since then, one class after another, one thesis student after another, one intern after another, we’ve been finding ways to help amplify the voices of champions for sustainable change, here in Savannah and beyond. Keep reading to find out how we will carry on this legacy.

“The Industrial Age was not planned but innovated. The next age will be no different…” –Peter Senge, The Necessary Revolution

Ready to take action? Keep following us to learn more what you can do here in Savannah. And here’s how you can learn more about some principles of sustainability and join the revolution:

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