Goals are the seeds from which
the future grows.
"I found one of your cards some 15 years ago on the ground here in Ottawa...never knowing where it came from, it did motivate me and I fashioned my own research cards after it - as I completed my Masters last year...now I know... and you must be thanked for the card helped me to solidify my own convictions on matters of sustainability."The cards are printed on recycled paper and come in two generic varieties, shown below. (They can be customized, with anything you want on the one side.)Robert Wesley Johnston,
"We used your sustainability cards in our Environment and Sustainability course in Russia last spring. I think it was one of the best methodological innovations we found that works."Tamara Savelyeva, Environmental Studies Prof, University of Hong Kong
The card shown above is intended for situations where the meaning of the word
"sustainability" is not clear. This applies to schools, where
students are becoming familiar with significant issues, and to municipal
councils and other organizations, where members are thinking about how they
might serve the public good.
If you are able to provide cards for any such situation, please do not hesitate to ask us to send you enough for everyone involved. It is preferable for each participant to have their own copy for future consideration.
The other generic version takes the issue a step further by asking:
Give these to family, friends and others. Anything that is of interest
to you, is of potential interest to them. Don't worry if they have yet to
catch on to the sustainability issue. Introduce the topic without asking
for, or expecting, any sort of response. The process works in people's minds
and it takes time. For those completely new to the issues, the first card
type may be preferable. You can raise the prospect of a fundamental change
of direction later.
Distributing such cards enables us to raise the Question of Direction in a society where powerful media regularly asserts that there is no choice but to grow forever. Realizing that we don't have to "grow until we drop," requires finding out that an alternative exists.
The educational process supported by the cards is explained in:
A Strategy for Long-Term Well-Being
Be that person.
There are many ways to get cards
into the hands of others
* Carry cards with you in a way that enables easy retrieval ­p; in a shirt pocket, or purse. Frequently, in line-ups at check-out counters, theatres and many other public places, one hears someone talking about climate change, the price of gas, resource conflicts, garbage, or any of the
other issues related to sustainability. When you hear such a comment, hand over a card. You could say, "You might find this interesting," offer a spontaneous comment, or simply smile or nod. What you are offering is a frame of reference that can help sort out what helps solve the problems they are concerned about, and what makes those problems worse. With concern for such issues increasingly entering people's thoughts, most people are grateful to receive a message expressing that there is a direction in which solutions can be found.
Introduce the Question of Direction at Public Events
The opportunity to distribute sustainability cards at meetings has presented itself to me a number of times.
One such gathering was a government sponsored conference with the word "Sustainability" in the event's name. There were close to 400 people present. At an early plenary, I stood up and mentioned that the word sustainability was being used frequently and questioned whether the meaning outlined on the cards was the same meaning understood by the organizers or, if their understanding differed, in what way was it different? I had put a copy of the first card with the reference facing up at every place setting in the auditorium. While my question was evaded by those at the head table, I'm sure that most of the 400 people present were considering their own position and listening for answers that were conspicuous by their absence. Most of the cards left the room with participants. I collected the rest for future use.
* At rallies and events
I gave away over 1200 cards in one day at a rally on Parliament Hill. All I did was mill around catching people by the eye, saying; "Your card." Whole lines of participants started holding out their hands to receive the offering.
Because the cards are small, they easily fit into a pocket, a quality not shared by booklets and flyers. Most likely the recipient will take a longer look at the card once they get home and some of them will file their card for later retrieval.
* Distribution Boxes
There is a space provided on the box, in behind the cards, where one
can put their contact information so that one can be notified when the box
needs refilling. When a box is emptied, it is seldom kept around long if
it is not refilled. Best is to keep an eye on it and refill it whenever
it gets low.
* Strategic placement
Cards can be placed on waiting room seats, counters, pockets of clothing going to thrift stores, related library books, or any other place where they will be discovered.