Sustainability for critical ecosystems: The future of risk management – more of the same or a new paradigm?

Nick Silitch

We have existed in a world where experience, intellect and tools have been the driver of future actions and outcomes since time began. The earliest humans were beneficiaries of experience. As Neanderthals tended to get eaten while sleeping outside, Cro-Magnons learned from that experience and found a place with rock walls and a narrow entrance, providing protection from predators. This approach has continued into the 20th Century with the relevant arena changing from man mastering their natural universe (survival/been there, done that) to the optimizing of outcomes for individuals, companies, and societies. Specie currency proved heavy to carry and easy to purloin, which prompted a move to paper currency, cheques, banks and, latterly, digital currencies. Yes, the solutions required innovation, but we were solving problems sized for individuals, companies, and societies. Today, we live in a world where we continue to seek optimised outcomes for people, companies and societies. However, has this never ending search for optimal outcomes in the short run led to unavoidable longer term sustainability issues? Is time running out for all of us to continue on this path? And, if so, what

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