Friday, November 14, 2008

Triple Bottom Line (TBL)

I have some inner conflict that I have been wrestling with for a long time around trying to reconcile my values and passion for issues of justice with my lifestyle. I came back from Cambodia with my eyes opened to the true difference between needs and wants and ever since have struggled with wanting to change and world and wanting the...(insert material object here - e.g. giant LCD television).

It is very easy to misinterpret the wants for needs. It's easy to forget about the things that earlier you felt so passionate about. It's much more difficult to be true to your desire to see the world change when our minds are constantly flooded with justifications and reasons to pursue an inward looking lifestyle. The message is everywhere, it is how the people around us live- our colleagues, our friends, the media, businesses, our churches. It's so easy to lose sight of what is really important and to justify different priorities.

In wrestling with these things I was thinking about the way there needs to be an entire shift in attitude and culture. There are already pockets of people who are standing up and saying, hang on, we need to do something different here. For the world to have sustainable future we need to change the way we measure success. In some businesses the idea of a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is gaining momentum as a criteria for measuring organisational success. Organisations measure the economic, social and environmental success in determining the overall value of the company.

In order for the world to be changed, to make real progress in the fight against poverty, climate change and other serious issues the way we measure wealth and success must change. This is for all levels of society, from government and big business down to the individual.

I am trying to move away from measuring success the way much of the western world does. I want my campaign for a better for world to be ingrained in my lifestyle. As I've already mentioned it is hard work, but consider the potential (and the necessity) if as a community of individuals we measured our success by things other then wealth. What a difference we could make.

What does your triple bottom line look like?

Photo Credit: Hamed Parham 2008

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