While it is true that there are vast numbers of people who are aware of the unsustainable way we are living and really do want to do something to make sure the world becomes more sustainable, is there a real need for these people to be involved in sustainability projects, or is it just a small prick of conscience that they get and nothing more than that? This post analyses this question and makes an attempt to provide answers
While doing some searching to find an answer to this question, I came across an interesting thought from a TreeHugger post
"A quite impressive 1.4 million people read Treehugger in the course of a month -- yet that's not enough to sustain a movement. For sustainability to be sustainable, it has to instigate a permanent structural change in how MOST PEOPLE live their lives. To reach a majority of people, we need to make our values relevant to a majority of people."
If we assume that what the TreeHugger post says is correct, then it appears to me that people should be able to related to the concept of sustainability in a meaningful way for them to have a need for involvement in sustainability.
Another way to look at the question is to consider the various segments that comprise the "sustainability lovers". This could range from a person who just reads a couple of article a week on sustainability to those seriously involved in sustainability projects either professionally or out of passion. I guess that, like it is for many other products and services, the need for involvement will vary from one segment to the other. Those segments which have a strong business or professional imperative will naturally have a high need for involvement; similarly, those segments that have a natural tendency to be a driver for change will have a high need as well. Other than these two segments, the need for involvement probably will vary between low and medium for most other segments. The trick might be to find out what will increase the need for these segments. That could really get the thing rolling!
The other way of looking at enhancing community involvement is to form groups that can mobilize opinion and interact such that it motivates members to become passionate about the theme and become increasingly involved. Such interactions could be even more powerful if they are held in the physical rather than in the online or virtual worlds alone.
But still, I'm aware that I have not been able to prove that there is a real need that exists in people to become involved in sustainability projects. Most examples I have come across for sustainability are group projects initiated by a closed user group (such as college or a university, or by a local community). Whether involvement in such projects can happen outside of such closed user groups / communities is a moot point.
PermaLink - Community Involvement in Sustainability Projects - Is This a Real Need?