Enterprise for Sustainability

Wreath Making. Photo: Hillary Ungson on Unsplash

Enterprise means “willingness to venture, undertake a bold venture, use energy and initiative” (Webster and Oxford Dictionaries). We need enterprise in order to create innovative solutions to issues of sustainability.

Governments and universities encourage this Innovation. But a top-down approach misses a broad source of innovative ideas. Any city has untapped potential in its people and organizations. By focusing on what they know, they can create innovative solutions. That is why all BEC Tools for Engagement use understanding, involvement, innovation and sharing to promote enterprise for sustainability.

Here are some ways to make Enterprise even more relevant.


Sharing of ideas and methods helps apply enterprise to sustainability. BEC’s 10 Themes provide a framework for sharing on similar goals, at local, national and international levels.


Government-led planning for sustainable has produced remarkable successes. It uses highly trained people to analyse a city’s needs and resources, and develop a plan to bring them together. This top down approach is long-term and strategic, and is used around the world.

Planning, however, cannot make all of the world’s cities sustainable quickly. Good planning is expensive and many cities are poor. Planning relies on well-trained experts, who are not available in every city. It requires political will and public support, which may be weak. And planning needs a well-written legal framework, that many cities lack. Without these, uncontrolled growth can overwhelm a city’s planning.

The Biosphere Eco-City approach can create sustainability activities, even where planning is weak. BEC Themes bring together stakeholders on common interests. BEC Tools help them identify issues and act.

BEC can also make government-led planning more successful, e.g.:

  • Suggest opportunities for stakeholder cooperation with government;
  • Supplement government-led initiatives with independent decision-making and innovation;
  • Help citizens understand sustainability and support planning.