Social sustainability

The basic definition sounds something like this...

"The ability of a social system, such as a country, to function at a defined level of social well being indefinitely." (1)

This definition describes the ultimate goal as optimizing the quality of life for ourselves along with descendants and ideally they would adopt the same mindset. Life is extremely dynamic and there are many issues that need to be addressed to achieve an idea of what social sustainability is. And let’s be completely honest, if we want to successfully fix the damaging effects we’ve caused to the environment, atmosphere, and everything else we need to confront our own problems and fix ourselves.

I do believe in humanism, and I believe that we should treat each other with respect and care and look after each other. All human beings should have an equal chance to survive in society, and inequality is a big problem in society.
— Stellan Skarsgard

People have a tendency to fear what we don’t know or understand which doesn’t pair well with the rare likeliness of learning about other cultures beyond what we’re raised in. Instead of finding the beauty within the details of other cultures we find comfort in the knowledge that our culture provides everything we need and is obviously the best out there so there isn’t a need to learn and explore.

All it takes is an open mind and a connection to an uncomfortable world to allow the possibility of respecting something outside your comfort zone. Respect is the goal, acceptance is the first step.

Once we remove our fears of one another we can plan an inclusive future that benefits everybody without prejudice to race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, disability, you name it.

There is also this alarming trend gaining speed that focalizes on the strength of likeliness and weakness in diversity. This is another fear tactic and incorrect. Diversity always results in strength as long as all parties are open and willing to learn. This is similar to the idea that one day we will all adopt the same culture and become one giant blend of a person. Yes, intertwining globally is beautiful and I support it but there should be a strong understanding of the ability to interconnect without loosing independent cultural practices. We can grow without overshadowing and erasing aspects of cultures we don’t understand. With an open-enough-mindset anything is possible.

Here is a video explaining the benefits of diversity.

We can learn and innovate more effectively - and understand the value of diversity - by making small changes in ourselves, says Katherine Phillips, Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics and Senior Vice Dean, Columbia Business School. Talks @ Columbia draw speakers from among the thousands of thought leaders and researchers that make up the diverse faculty community at Columbia University.

additional Topics Include:

  • social Justice

  • patriarchy

  • Prejudice against race, religion, sexuality, age, disability


  • Gender Rights

  • Well-Being, health, nutrition

  • Global Equity

  • Equal access

  • poverty


  1. Definition of Social Sustainability