The Speed of Cultural Change

Local cultures have always existed and global cultures have grown over time. For example, a Culture of Agriculture evolved over thousands of years to include almost everyone on the planet. Much more recently, the Open Source Movement has changed the global culture of business in one generation. Currently, the advent of smart phones is changing world culture even more quickly.

Linus Torvalds initiated the Open Source Movement in 1991. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Modern advances in communication and technology have increased the speed with which a Culture of Sustainability may develop. It is possible to share ideas much more quickly than in the past. As people view and adopt new options for living and working sustainably, culture changes.

The new culture will grow through the people who first adopt it

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Photo: Anastasia Zhenina on Pexels

The new Culture of Sustainability will grow through the people who first adopt it.

When enough people, in a city or region, embrace sustainability, the new culture will develop automatically as people learn from each other. Research at the Rensselaer Institute (the oldest research university in the USA) has shown that when 10% of a population hold firmly to a belief, the rest will follow. Techniques to engage people in sustainability will help reach this threshold of 10% quickly.