Great, thought provoking post.

We do need to think more about sustainability (across the board).

I like the simple definition provided in1987 Brundtland Commission of the United Nations – “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

I think your definition has too many words and words like “holistically” worry me! as it is not common, everyday language.

I work in the Local Government (Municipalities) area with several local government authorities (having worked in this environment for the past 5 years). This might not sound like a long time but it has been a life-time of fun and experience.

I got into local government after several reports on local government infrastructure indicated that most councils in Australia (some 450+) are not “sustainable”. There has been a strong push in government to understand sustainability and ensure councils are moving in the right direction. There is a long way to go and as I view global discussions, Australia is not the only country in dire straits. At least we acknowledge the problem and have started on the education and reform process.

I generally define sustainability (in the local government context – where the “rubber hits the road”) as;

Our ability to continue to deliver services (through products and infrastructure) that will meet current and future community needs for an acceptable life-style while ensuring social and environmental well-being.

Thank you for initiating this discussion. I hope it gets good coverage as it is an important topic for everyone to consider (how they can contribute).