Recently, I spent sometime following the initiatives and reports of
Sustainia, a Denmark based NGO that has been providing a vibrant and unique platform for promoting and supporting sustainable living in Denmark and beyond. Since coming across this organisation during my own research for this blog, Sustainia has become one of my favourite think-tanks working on sustainable solutions for living – one of the key reasons of Sustainia becoming my favourite was its positive and hopeful agenda and clear message about making sustainable living a reality in Denmark and around the World. It has made its name in a very short time by gathering and widely disseminating practical, innovative, and unique but still simple solutions for supporting sustainability. I have become a great fane of Sustiania 100 that is a publication with 100 potential solutions for sustainability chosen from around the world. Its a treat to read through these solutions – would recommend anyone interested in promoting and supporting sustainability anywhere. One of the key motivators for Sustainia’s staff, contributors, followers, and commoners around the World is its annual awards for innovative and unique solutions for sustainable living. I keenly read and follow the details of this annual award ceremonies – one of which just happened a few weeks ago. There are many categories of awards that were given to extremely proactive, innovative, and out-of-the-box ideas and solutions. My favourite award was Sustainia’s Community Award that was given to Litre of Light that shows how plastic bottles can be turned into a source of providing solar lighting and creating dozens of entrepreneurs in poor neighbourhoods of Philippine.
I am specially interested in making the NGOs working in Pakistan aware of Sustainia’s initiatives and publications as a source of excellent examples and inspiration for taking initiatives and spreading knowledge like Sustainia. I’m confident that Pakistani NGOs can play a vital role in educating policy makers and commoners that most of the sustainable living ideas coming out of Sustain’s platform (not necessarily their own) are readily and easily implementable without making huge changes in the infrastructure and personal living – for example, Litre of Light kinds of solutions. In countries like Pakistan where both the government and the public lack education, excitement and the prerogative to live in a low carbon future, Sustainia’s approach to educating social actors to take social actions for supporting and promoting sustainable livings in both developed as well as developing countries can be an example worth emulating.
Sustainia does their work in quite simple, clear and easily understandable way by heavily using pictorial and visualisation presentations of facts and solutions. Its three main pillars are identifying the solutions, building the models and engaging the change makers which include both decision makers and general public One of its most powerful feature using the communication methods is “Sustainia in Virtual Reality”, where anyone with an internet facility can access it and get a feel for how a sustainable society looks like. Visualizing the goal paves the way to achieve it. Pakistan with its 30 million internet users hold a lot of potential to educate themselves by envisioning about sustainability before achieving it. I strongly encourage the NGOs working for sustainability in Pakistan to take some good tips from the strategies and actions of Sustainia for promoting and supporting sustainable living.