We are just beginning to face the 80-20 challenge. Everything that has happened so far to address this issue, all the measures taken around the world, are small compared to what is coming. No one knows how an 80 percent reduction in global carbon emissions can be achieved in two decades, but it certainly won’t happen through minor adjustments in business as usual. Many individuals and organizations are leading the way now; many more will follow. And as they coalesce, innovate, and interact, their leadership will shape a world profoundly different from the “take–make–waste” industrial age society.
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Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL). He is the author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Doubleday, 1990 and 2006) and coauthor of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (Doubleday, 1994) and Presence (Doubleday, 2005).
Bryan Smith is a member of the faculty at York University’s Sustainable Enterprise Academy, and the president of the consulting firm Broad Reach Innovations Inc. He is a coauthor of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook and the related fieldbook series. He was a senior partner for 18 years at Innovation Associates, a firm that pioneered the practice of organizational learning.
Nina Kruschwitz is the editor of Reflections: The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change. She is also the managing editor for the Fifth Discipline fieldbook series.
This article was adapted from The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, by Peter Senge, Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur, and Sara Schley (Doubleday, 2008).