The purposes of the InterSpiritual Sustainability Council
Our world is on the edge. The situation is urgent, and we have startling opportunities and responsibilities. Our responses as global citizens can regenerate a civilization of tremendous joy, abundance, and life-affirming relationships.
Collaborative grassroots energies are drawing communities together to plan and build a compassionate, equitable and sustainable future. This momentum is grounded in a moral ethic that honours the preciousness of all life, relationships of mutual dignity and respect, and protection and care for the ecosystems of earth, including humans.
The purposes of the ISC inspire hope. They also engage us in practical progress toward resilient and ecological ways of living. Many life-endangering trends can be reversed, and the severity and impacts of other trends can be minimized.
The Interspiritual Sustainability Council works collaboratively and in unique ways. We ally with like-minded organizations, Indigenous elders, spiritual teachers, academics, scientists, and community leaders to support public participation in an emerging worldwide regenerative civilization, starting right now and close to home.
To build capacity for creative engagement, the ISC contributes organizational support and learning resources (including insights from ethical, spiritual and/or philosophical sources) to initiatives that serve the following purposes —
- To ground conduct and relationships (between human beings and with the natural world) in regenerative moral/ethical principles, including:
- Honouring the sacred oneness, diversity and interdependence of all life
- Cherishing the essential goodness of our common humanity
- Practicing the Golden Rule by treating others and the Earth as we wish to be treated
- Honouring the precautionary principle of protecting Earth and living creatures from risk of harm
- Supporting inclusive and participatory decision-making for the long-term public good
- Respecting multiple kinds of wisdom and ways of knowing and learning
- Committing to the healing of power imbalances that provoke human violence in relation to self, others and the natural world
- Living creatively with uncertainty and ambiguity.
- To provide access to teaching and practices that cultivate regenerative habits of the mind and the heart, including:
- Mindfulness, empathy, kindness and forgiveness
- Humility, respectfulness and devotion to learning
- Generosity, gratitude and reciprocity
- Transparency, integrity and accountability
- Responsibility, forethought, self-discipline, moral courage and perseverance.
- To foster the evolution of local, bioregional and global cultures that honour regenerative values, including:
- Ecology and sustainability
- Inclusion and equity
- Healing and health
- Quality of life and right relationship
- De-colonization and restitution
- Solidarity and concern for each other.
- To advance cultural narratives that foster regenerative priorities, processes and practices, including:
- Resilience and an ethos of sufficiency
- Cooperation and sharing
- Bridging, re-localization and de-centralization
- Open communication and assimilation of evidence-based knowledge
- Sharing of diverse perspectives and ideas through dialogue
- Personal and collective growth through emancipatory reflection on self, community and societal systems
- Collaboration across boundaries, disciplines and allegiances.
- To strengthen public courage, confidence and readiness for regenerative responses to urgent planetary needs, including:
- Rapid worldwide carbon emission reduction to sustain ecological processes on which life depends
- Rapid restoration and protection of resilient bioregions and ecosystems, including humans, to enhance capacity for adaptation and survival
- Rapid and inclusive transition to ecological ways of living.
Sustainability, Resilience, Climate Change Mitigation, and Species Survival
A sustainable civilization will meet the needs of people, creatures and moral economies without reducing the carrying capacity of the natural environment for the future. In other words, we will leave the world better than we find it, take no more than we need, minimize all harm to life and the environment, and make full amends if harm is caused.
A resilient community (human or non-human) has the capacity to respond swiftly and creatively to adversity, with healthy strength and in life-supporting ways.
Enhancing sustainability and building resilience both mitigate further harm to the natural environment, and strengthen the likelihood that humans and other creatures can survive climate, ecological and economic disruptions. Together, we can make a real difference.