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This collection is a multidisciplinary and multicultural contribution to the current sustainability discourse. It is focused on two main dimensions of our world: complexity and diversity. Desirable and urgent transition of socio-technological systems toward a sustainability trajectory of development requires a better understanding of technological trends and social transformations. General advancement of technology does not produce identical changes in various societies, differentiated economically and culturally. Moreover, the abilities to approach sustainable development change over time and space. As a result there is a constant need for continuing research, analyses, and discussions concerning changing contexts and adequacy of strategies and policies. Authors from twelve countries and of different academic and cultural settings present their insights, analyses and recommendations. The collection is focused both on contexts and on activities leading to sustainable trajectories in various domains of economy and social life.
Continuing research and discussion is needed to better understand these challenges and to prepare the appropriate strategies and solutions. Development of socio-technological systems is nowadays very complex; moreover, the world we live in is extremely diverse. Therefore, sustainability discourse must be ongoing, introducing new ideas, concepts, theories, evidence and experience by various parties—academics, professionals, and practitioners.



Technological Developments—Civilization—Policies


Chapter 1. Diffusion of Innovation in Social Networking

The purpose of this paper was is to present a model of innovation diffusion process applicable for analysis of innovation in social networking. Until recently, the innovation diffusion was measured by the rate of adoption expressed by the number of adopters versus time or by penetration rate within given population. On the basis of literature review and available empirical data, a new, additional dimension called “interactivity level” is proposed in this paper. It is specific to innovations in social networking, where the main purpose of innovation is to improve interactive contacts among actors in a network. The interactivity level reflects amount of active knowledge and effective use of social media/technologies. This dimension has not been systematically studied yet. However, some recent surveys of social media users demonstrate a need and suggest application of that dimension. It is possible to improve evaluation of diffusion of innovation in social networking by introducing a scale of interactivity level, expressed by the mode/scope and intensity of interactive contacts among users of different social media. Such approach implies that adoption of innovation should not be viewed just as an event but rather as a learning process of each adopter. Hence, some phases of that process need to be identified and assessed in terms of dynamics of learning. Six basic phases of this process are proposed in this paper. Comparative study of average interactivity levels of users in different countries is proposed as an indicator of evolution of social media in the global business environment.
Karol I. Pelc

Chapter 2. The Architecture of Sustainability-oriented Enterprise and Civilization

The evolution of the Classic Enterprise Information Infrastructure into Sustainability and Global Enterprise Information Infrastructure is defined. However, it is not the end of evolution. Since the SE operates within larger entities, such as Local, National, Global Information Infrastructures, these ones create the Civilization Information Infrastructure. The latter is the foundation for modern civilizations and furthermore is the foundation for the emerging Global Civilization with its repercussions for lower-level infrastructures as well as for the World Civilization. If such civilization wants to survive, it must be able to monitor and predict its sustainability in relationship with enterprises. In conclusion some recommendations will be addressed for the pathways to a sustainable future.
Andrew Targowski

Chapter 3. Technologization of Man and Marketization of His Activities and Culture of the Future

Technologization of man and human activities has a long history. The industrial revolution of the eighteenth century and the scientific and technological revolution of the twentieth century accelerated this process. Its present forms as the information revolution, biorevolution, and nanorevolution created a new reality. However, technology has been a subject of increasing commercialization and marketization what has a detrimental influence on culture. Dominating (also in the cyberspace) the mass pop culture is oriented mostly to entertainment and consumption of technological gadgets. Could this trend be modified or reoriented? Anyway the complex relations and interactions of technology and culture should be investigated in an interdisciplinary and systemic way which can be instrumental for positive actions and changes.
Lech W. Zacher

Chapter 4. The Digital Agenda of the European Union and the Digital Policies of the USA

The contribution reviews the digital policies and legislation on e-commerce and e-government in both the EU and the USA: In order to protect business and consumers the EU has issued specific Directives on e-signature, pre-contractual information, certification of e-service providers, consumer sales, consumer rights, an optional Common European Sales Law, data protection, VAT facilitation (MOSS) and SEPA modernization in order to exploit all the potential of the Single Market in terms of e-commerce. The USA, where the Internet was born, has early launched digital policies and is the leader in the e-commerce and the digital economy, thanks to its contribution in Internet governance  and the freedom the US allow to the innovating firms.
Despina Anagnostopoulou

Some Applications


Chapter 5. Social Justice Through Aadhaar: An e-Policy Initiative

The application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in various domains of governance is more than two decade old in India. India’s orientation towards welfare driven polity based on socialist pattern of society has been further strengthened by the technological interventions in the form of e-Governance for policy formulation and policy implementation. India’s development vision for all has not translated into reality as per the expected lines as the benefits of development have not been equitably shared by all. The distributive injustice has further aggravated the problem of poverty and inequality which has manifested itself in various forms including unemployment, hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Even after 69 years of India’s independence fruits of planned development have not reached at the grass root level. It has become evident that a high rate of growth is not a substitute for genuine policy implementation that seeks to ensure equitable distribution of the gains of development. Therefore, there is a need for a public policy through an e-platform for ensuring equitable, fair, transparent, accessible, and participative approach towards development by realising the ethos of social justice. The technology itself can be a biggest leveller which can foster transparency, equity and enhance people’s integration into developmental processes which is vital for strengthening the social justice. The Unique Identity of India UID-Aadhaar is an initiative taken by Government of India (G.O.I) under the overall administrative control and management of Planning Commission in the year 2009. Aadhaar has been entrusted with the massive task of ensuring genuine identity of all throughout the country, in order to establish the rightful claims of citizens for accessing the benefits of various governmental services and programmes. The ICT integration in Aadhaar promotes creation of a digital identity which will lead India towards the next level of transition in the sphere of governance. Aadhaar has gained acceptability in administrative functioning and gradually gaining popularity among the masses. It will be interesting to explore the utility and significance of Aadhaar in rolling out public services. The seeding Aadhaar card with various welfare schemes and subsidy programmes has been made to realise the ethos of social justice and equitable development of all through technology. The adoption of Aadhaar for delivering public services/ schemes to the people is a symbiotic process in which both people and government as stakeholders are mutually benefitted. The government gets benefitted in terms of curbing leakages in target/beneficiary identification and validation of people and for the people to avail the government services in a hassle free, transparent, quick, and simple manner through Aadhaar. Aadhaar has become the world’s biggest biometric id programme with around 1 billion cards which have been rolled out so far, this clearly reflects substantial investment of policy inputs, capital, administrative will and peoples’ participation in making Aadhaar a driving force in creating developmental opportunities, promoting equality and social justice for all.
Anurag Kumar Srivastava, Sangeeta Sharma

Chapter 6. Audiovisuality of the Third Degree: Reality or Fantasy?

The starting point for my reflections concerning contemporary cultural paradigms is category of mimesis indicating one of the most important qualities of audiovisuality which is copying—thanks to image and sound techniques—reality. While characterizing transformation of mimesis, I enumerate three categories of audiovisuality: first step audiovisuality, which is copying based on film conventions oscillating between reproduction and creation, second step audiovisuality, which is copying based on television conventions oscillating between direct broadcast and staging reality, and third step audiovisuality, which is copying based on multimedial virtualisations oscillating between different forms of immersion and signallized simulation of artificial “realities”. First and second step audiovisualities create numerous relations and easily interpenetrate. Their relations are shaped mainly by conventions of various games which increasingly replace previous social rules, especially ethical and communicational. Referring to the latest philosophical conceptions of culture and to philosophy of media, I try to prove two theses. Firstly, third step audiovisuality reshapes first and second step audiovisuality makes them more dynamic and replaces them to the same extend to which centres of contemporary power may discipline consumers/prosumers—users of new media by the means of so-called pleasant disorientation. Secondly, development of third step audiovisuality is directly connected with tendencies to move various aspects and forms of life of an individual and a group from real space to virtual space.
Tadeusz Miczka

Chapter 7. Digital Preservation of Cultural Heritage

This focus of this chapter is the state of the art of digitisation of cultural heritage in Australian archives and libraries from a comparative perspective. Globalisation, mobility and the new techniques that spin off from the digital age bring about new possibilities that stimulate and enhance our capacity to ask new questions about how we perceive ourselves and how we want to preserve our history. It also seeks to make this archival documentation accessible to scholars and community members alike looking for their own family’s history in its societal context—within and across the national borders that hold their records. As migration in all its forms can be seen as a metaphor for the journey of the self and the collective, migrant heritage can also serve as a way to prioritise digitisation projects in cultural heritage institutions. However, more global collaboration and partnerships are needed to achieve this “virtual reconnect” the cross-national scattered nature of migrant histories and heritage held in archives around the world.
Nonja Peters, Dora Marinova, Marijke van Faassen, Glen Stasiuk

Impacts on Societies


Chapter 8. Peril and Promise of Internet Technology for Future Social Order

The author’s objective is to assess threats and promises offered to humanity by the already theoretically personified Internet technology. Without any doubts we may say that the technology is one of the crucial key areas of human activity. Explorations of its possible evolution and ways in which its different development paths will lead us are still very important. The question of the way in which the digital status quo of Internet social order functions and of the principles governing it is more than justified. The future of social civilization connected with the development of modern day ubiquitous technology is not obvious. The crucial question: why so many aspects of the understanding of technology changed throughout the twentieth century cannot still be answered. The fact that people misunderstand proceedings of the future has already brought many very serious implications for humankind’s condition. To understand a peril and a promise of Internet technology for future social order we should ask three basic questions. What did we believe in throughout the past century? How have we described the technology evolution? How have we tried to understand a process of future order emergence? Searching for answers to the above questions should, in a sense, facilitate identifying new possibilities how to redefine already functioning, often popular visions of possible implications further development of the Internet technology may bring to social life. Visualizing existing notions of future techno-social transformations may bring a myriad of new interesting variants of answers and pressing questions in the article.
Alina Betlej

Chapter 9. The Citizen in the Cyberspace: Should There be Any Limits to the Freedom of Speech in the Internet?

In my article I propose to analyse the internet as means of communication that shapes the public sphere in a similar way as the press and the television or the radio do. More precisely I focus on the issue of the limits of speech that are applicable in any context in which a social agent expresses himself. Yet for its technological characteristics the internet confronts its users with new challenges and obliges them to define the concept of responsibility for their actions in a new way. An example of such a challenge is websites that make a propaganda of the so-called ‘positive paedophilia’, one of them being a website called ‘The Little Prince’ which I use a case study in the text. After the analysis of the case of the website in question I put forward the arguments for the appliance of the concept of the public journalism in the context of the Internet.
Joanna Miksa

Chapter 10. Progress in Science and Technology Versus Threats to Civil Liberties—Selected Issues

The purpose of this study was the analysis of the challenges and threats to the contemporary society, human rights, and democracy, because of progress in research and technology and the new scientific and technical achievements (especially in means of communication). The essential question arising in view of the above concerns the long term consequences of the observed processes—which of the opposing processes is dominant today—broadening of the civic liberty, or consolidation of the invisible control? The state has gained new tools of exercising power. The contemporary technology offers almost limitless opportunities, and as such tempts to control, watch, monitor, and intervene in the private lives of individuals, also in democratic countries. The development of computer techniques contributed for cultural changes too, among others to form cultures of spying. This type of activity is coming increasingly into the focus of the local authorities, banks, telecom operators, and other enterprises, managers of the web portals and browsers, advertising corporations, internet site owners, schools, employers, parents versus, e.g. the preschool teachers and other carers of their children, and even the neighbours and spouses. At the work was used a literature on the subject, including well known forecasts and the press reports.
Ewa Polak

Chapter 11. Impact of ICT on the Law

We live in an ever expanding information society, in an era where global computer networks , mobile telephony and digital audiovisual transmission are not only covering practically all kind of communication, but are more and more the fundamentals of the functioning of the society. It is therefore worth to consider what influence these technologies have on the law, whose basic task is to ensure the functioning of the state and the society and, above all, the safety of the individual. Leaving the ICT technologies without not only precise, but also adopted to the new communication environment, legislation, creates a danger of infringement of the interests of individuals, especially the right to privacy . It is essential to provide comprehensive—both technical and legal—protection of the ICT systems. Maintaining the balance between freedom and security of the individual is an old and still valid complex challenge in the new technological communication reality. Legal standards are and should continue to be inevitably aimed at preserving both these fundamental values.
Małgorzata Skórzewska-Amberg

Chapter 12. Legal and Moral Dilemmas of Targeted Killing by Drones

The essay makes a critical review of the legal debate in the USA and in the United Nations on moral and legal issues involved in military use of drones in wars of today. The main goal was to study the main lines of argument ant its relevance to military practice of targeted killing. We found that legal criticism is on the increase but the military practice continues. We stress the moral risk of using the autonomous weapons. In conclusion, we suggest the need for new both domestic and international regulations of any use of drones before they become fully autonomous and beyond control. Timing is crucial. If humans will not control the technology, the technology will control humans. New UN convention on smart weapons and the conditions under which its use should be allowed is a matter of practical necessity as the number of states using it increases so fast.
Wojtek Lamentowicz

Technology Evaluations and Policies


Chapter 13. Technology Assessment in Systems Analysis

In every age cumulative innovation accrue from the previous period, which discarded are those that do not meet the new challenges of civilization. Industrial Era brought a “mass society” and bureaucratic organizations. Information Era and emerged “information society” and network and virtual organizations. Always one of the sources of social change was the development of technology: the good and the bad. Therefore, multidimensional (multicriteria multiattribute) systems analysis is required, which is an important element of the valuation of real and potential technologies.
Piotr Sienkiewicz, Halina Świeboda

Chapter 14. Technology Assessment and Policy Advice in the Field of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development as a societal vision meets with correspondingly broad approval across all societal groups and political positions, nationally and internationally. The number of nations which have signed and ratified the documents of Rio 1992 and the corresponding follow-up papers and the numerous local or regional activities are impressive. However, the pathway to a more sustainable society needs high effort. Scientific analysis and policy advice is required for monitoring and assessing developments and trends relevant to sustainability as well as for designing political instruments, measures and strategies for sustainability governance. In particular, strategies have to be developed to deal constructively with the enormous uncertainties involved. Therefore, sustainability has become a major issue in technology assessment giving scientific advice to political bodies. In this Chapter I will briefly describe the main motivations and origins of technology assessment and its relations with sustainable development as well. As an institutional case of policy advice, the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag will be introduced, followed by the presentation of some of its reports on different issues such as energy, tourism, and access to information.
Armin Grunwald

Chapter 15. Cooperation with Middle and Eastern European Countries in the Field of Technology Assessment: Results and Experiences: A Short Overview

The basis of the following is the cooperation in the field of technology assessment with colleagues and institutions in Middle and Eastern European countries in the last 15 years. The aim of these activities is, on the one hand, to “watch” institutional and content-related activities in the field of interdisciplinary technology and environmental research (monitoring) in order to create starting points for cooperation opportunities. On the other hand, bi- and multilateral activities should be carried out to concentrate and combine different conceptual as well as methodological knowledge in the fields of technology assessment, technology risk assessment and environmental research. Many activities faced (and partly still do) the following difficulty: political power constellations are changing as the basic economic conditions do, potentials of science were reorganised or newly organised just as the administrative bodies on state and regional level. Thus, both political aims and priorities and opportunities for social interference and action changed as well (occasionally very quickly). Consequently, there was often a lack of time and continuity required for consolidation and differentiation processes. However, one aspect becomes clear: with the transformation processes of the last nearly 20 years in these countries the opportunities in the field of interdisciplinary technology and environmental studies have improved on the one hand, but, on the other hand, they have also deteriorated at the same time: improved, since there is a stronger scientific recognition, social need and political desire for such investigations as a means of policy advice and decision preparation than before; deteriorated, since in the individual countries both the overall industrial and financial conditions and the situation on the labour market are generally more unfavourable and thus the funds for considerations preparing and accompanying mechanisation projects in the interest of policy advice and social decision preparation are (probably) very limited. The article will give some examples for it.
Gerhard Banse

Approaches to Sustainability—Some Examples


Chapter 16. Sustainability as Growth

According to a good old definition, sustainable is what can be sustained or maintained. The only way to attain sustainable balance between civilization and nature is through technological development. The term sustainable development implies development and therefore growth. We discuss the two kinds of growth—vampire growth that sucks human and environmental resources, and mutually beneficial growth. The latter involves public and private choice that allows a free market/socially responsible society. The authors design a development paradigm that enhances the natural environment. We specify the bottlenecks of civilizational development: food, water, energy (including transportation) and waste disposal. We focus on water conservation and production (e.g., desalination), food production (e.g., vertical farms), energy saving (negawatts) in material science (bucky paper, piezo-crystals) and transportation (hyper-loop, online electric vehicles) to show how those bottlenecks can be tackled and resolved using recent developments in science and technology. Their solution leads to progress on second-order civilizational problems such as global warming. In this scenario the negative environmental footprint decreases when development occurs.
Tsvi Bisk, Piotr Bołtuć

Chapter 17. What Can We Do Better for Sustainability in an Uncertain Future?

Sustainability is a significant challenge confronting a changing world. With an increasingly uncertain future ahead for human wellbeing, achieving, social–ecological sustainability is more than just a simple goal. The new imperative for natural resources management sheds is how to avoid the collapse of social–ecological systems as a result of external shocks triggered by climate change and anthropogenic perturbations. Building up resilient social–ecological systems is therefore an urgent issue for sustainability science. Using water resources management as an example, this paper discusses the need to introduce resilience thinking into sustainability science, how such a thinking should be incorporated into sustainability management for adapting to the growing uncertainties, and how social–ecological resilience can be enhanced.
Li Xu, Talia Raphaely

Chapter 18. Economic Prosperity and Sustainability in China: Seeking Wisdom from ConfucianismConfucianism and Taoism

China has enjoyed miraculous economic growth in the past three decades. The country now has the world’s second largest economy. However, China’s economic expansion has been accompanied with increasing environmental deterioration as the country has become the top global greenhouse gas emitter. There is desperate need for China to adopt a sustainability course, which would allow the right balance between economic prosperity, social justice, and environmental protection. However, is the concept of sustainability new to China? What does the country’s rich history and tradition say about sustainability? This chapter explores the wisdom of Confucius and Lao Tzu , respectively, the founders of Confucianism and Taoism , for references to sustainability. It draws on the implications of some of their many teachings to help discuss possible solutions to problems related to climate change . Absorbing nourishment from the Chinese cultural genes of Confucianism and Taoism is important in efforts aimed at educating Chinese citizens on how to improve their environmental awareness . Their relevance is becoming more apparent as both continue to gain influence in China. Confucian and Tao philosophy can provide useful guidelines for achieving sustainability, particularly for changing the course in the country’s economic development. The chapter provides a strategic model for the proper interaction and integration of the principles of Confucianism, Taoism, and the modern concept of sustainability. China’s rich heritage of Confucian and Tao culture and its recent policy shift towards sustainability will help the nation to alleviate global environment pressure and cooperate with the rest of the world in tackling climate change.
Xiumei Guo, Sandra Krempl, Dora Marinova

Chapter 19. Threats to Sustainable Development

The paper presents conclusions to the theme of sustainable development drawn from the recent works of the Committee of Future Studies “Poland 2000 Plus” on the Report Poland 2050 and related to the issue of global threats; both these themes take into account and stress the importance of technological perspective. It is shown that network technologies and other high-tech developments, while bringing many benefits to the mankind, bring also threats related to the speed of change and destruction of existing social structure. Thus, one of the main challenges of mankind in the future will be not limits to growth, but how to limit growth and speed of change.
Andrzej P. Wierzbicki

Chapter 20. Sustainable Development—Sustainable Man (External and Internal Conditions for Sustainability)

For several years, the idea of sustainable development has become fashionable and is being implemented. The term “sustainable development” is inflected at all possible ways. One creates the necessary conditions for the implementation of such a development, which is believed to be a panacea for economic crises, environmental degradation and premature full exploitation of material resources of our planet. However, internal conditioning—the role of individuals—their mental and spiritual states, value system and environmental awareness—are ignored. The objective of this article is to draw attention to the fact that the success of sustainable development depends mainly on the internal and subjective conditions, especially from the people who implement it. The concept of sustainable development can be fully realized only by sustainable people.
Wiesław Sztumski

Sustainability—Dimensions and Issues


Chapter 21. Embedding Sustainable Development in Organisations Through Leadership: A Conceptual Framework

The article examines key concepts in relation to sustainable development as they relate to organisations. It provides a conceptual framework covering the most common theoretical models for sustainability policies, namely corporate social responsibility and leadership. Examples from business and social life expounding the importance of these theoretical concepts in a global world economy are presented. Considering the most popular leadership styles today, the article focuses on the uniqueness of a transformative leadership perspective and its potential to enable organisations to improve their performance. The main conclusion of this analysis is that sustainability issues always need to be associated with leadership concepts and good management practices, from corporate social responsibility to community and the environment. Such clarification of the basic definitions, concepts and leadership perspectives within a business context can benefit practitioners who want to embed sustainability models into their organisations.
Emiliya Stoyanova

Sustainability—Practical Orientations


Chapter 22. Can the EU Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan Realize the Sustainable Development Principle?

The paper describes the idea of Sustainable Development in the European Union Policy as well as in the EU environmental law. The discussion in based on the Strategy of Sustainable Development on the basis of which the concept is realized. The EU Strategy concerning sustainable development contains seven main challenges which are necessary to be fulfilled in order to achieve the sustainable development or the path leading to the sustainable development. These challenges are: Climate change and clean energy, Sustainable transport, Sustainable production and consumption, Better management of natural resources, Public health threats, Social inclusion, demography and migration and Fighting global poverty. The one which is the most interesting from the point of view of this article is the challenge concerning Sustainable production and consumption. That is why the text is based on the problem of realization of the Sustainable production and consumption—in order to answer the question if the legal measures which are adopted on the basis of this challenge can lead to that point. The legal measures which are examined are: Ecolabel Regulation, Ecodesign Directive, Energy Labelling Directive.
Joanna Kielin-Maziarz

Chapter 23. Implication for China’s Resource Demand on Sustainability in Australia

The recent rapid growth of the Chinese economy combined with urbanization and changes in consumption patterns are increasing Chinese demands for iron, oil, gas and coal. These changes have greatly influenced China’s public policies, especially energy and resource policy and foreign policy. For instance, China has moved to strengthen cooperative relations with foreign resource-intensive countries. Australia, and Western Australia (WA) in particular, is an ideal target for China in this regard. This chapter first studies the existing relationship between China’s demand for resources and supply from Western Australia. It then analyses different effects produced as a result of this resource trade. China’s demand for resources has been a key driver of economic growth in Western Australia in recent decades, and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. However, this resource-driven economic growth is inconsistent with a sustainable approach to development in WA. The chapter discusses some potential conflicts and predicts some trends in the Sino-Australian resource trade. In conclusion, it presents suggestions for policy-makers.
Jin Hong, Wentao Yu, Dora Marinova, Xiumei Guo, Margaret Gollagher

Chapter 24. Integrated and Sustainable Approaches to Address City Inundation in China

Each year, many Chinese cities are inundated with water and this results in substantial losses (people, infrastructure, etc.) and environmental challenges to the state and its residents. The subsequent reaction to this problem largely focuses on the inefficiencies of the cities’ sewer systems, which is depicted as ‘the conscience of the city’ in Hugo’s (1862) novel ‘Les Miserables.’ This idea of blaming inefficient sewer systems for a city’s inundation troubles is exploited by many critics in China. However, Hugo’s emphasis on poor sewer management as the principle cause of inundation and his subsequent advocating for the construction of a ‘Paris-style’ sewer are poles apart from addressing the problem of city inundation. This chapter contributes to the debate about wastewater management through the case study of the City of Jiaonan in China. We find that given the exponential urbanization experienced by China, when making efforts to address city inundation, sustainable approaches in urban stormwater management should be taken, instead of relying solely on engineering technologies. With China’s rapid urbanization as a result of its population and economic growth over the decades, urban infrastructure such as water distribution, wastewater treatment and sewer systems needs to be much more adequate and efficient, particularly stormwater management infrastructure. In many Chinese cities, the stormwater management infrastructure has been constructed many years ago and is deteriorating fast. Therefore, there is an urgent need for government strategies in support of redesigning or upgrading current facilities. This needs massive capital investment and is also time-consuming. To keep the ever-expanding cities running, it has become common practice in China to simply add new segments of infrastructure to the already existing system. This study outlines a sustainability strategy model for urban stormwater management, and its findings encourage policy makers to adopt sustainable and integrated approaches toward urban stormwater management while quality economic growth is sustained.
Baohui Zhao, Dora Marinova, Xiumei Guo

Chapter 25. Nano-biotechnology for Water Sustainability: Bibliometric Analysis

Nano-biotechnology is regarded as having high potential for solving challenges related to water, food and biodiversity. Of particular interest to sustainability is its promising ability to enhance the supply and security of water resources for human use. The chapter applies bibliometric analysis to describe the trends in the development of nano-biotechnology for issues related to water supply, contamination prevention and treatment. A co-occurrence analysis is used to identify the types of technologies emerging in this area, namely related to bioengineering, chemical engineering, microbiology and material sciences. The majority of the new knowledge comes from the USA, but researchers from China, South Korea, the Netherlands, India and Australia are also making their mark.
Li Xu, Dora Marinova

Sustainability and Business


Chapter 26. Stakeholders’ Strategic Thinking for Sustainable Development

This article analyzes interdependencies of main stakeholders of sustainable development process based on innovative improvement and collective action. I start from the meaning of sustainable development in the cross-sector relations, examining to what extent lack of interdisciplinary strategic thinking and innovative attitude can be main obstacles in sustainable development of innovative economy. Technological gap in the sense of new ways of construction, distribution, and utilization of collaborative knowledge supporting sustainable development placed the whole economy below the potential sustainable growth level.
Anna Czarczyńska

Chapter 27. Generative Dynamics: What Sustains the Creation of Shared Business Value

CSR theories and practices which have been diffusing in the management world until very recently refer mainly to reactive strategies of (re-)legitimation of companies vis-à-vis their stakeholders. However, even in light of the challenges posed by today’s economic crisis, the present period can be an extremely favourable moment to move beyond this adaptive approach and to formulate and realize a more advanced view of the social dimension of business as sustainable innovation , i.e. a business model based on a twofold dynamic of ‘valorization of the context’: on the one hand, the inclusion in enterprises’ strategies of social instances and resources oriented to the natural environment and quality of life in and around the workplace; on the other hand, the ability to generate economic value through the creation of social value. Drawing on the findings of a research conducted on a sample of Italian organizations, the paper identifies and discusses three distinctive mechanisms which seem to sustain the production of ‘integrated value ’ in these companies: the balance between cultural tradition and exploration; the tendency to expand in the context and, at the same time, to include it; and human resource practices establishing a direct link between citizenship behaviours in and of the organization. In conclusion, the analysis suggests a wider-ranging perspective on the strategic and competitive implications of CSR practices.
Massimiliano Monaci, Mauro Magatti

Chapter 28. Sustainability and the Firm: From the Global to the Corporate Ecological Footprint

Nowadays, sustainability is a topic of fundamental importance, having its roots in a large body of literature. The concerns of overpopulation putting pressure on scarce natural resources are not new, but the search for appropriate indicators to assess the performance of a geographical space or entity is becoming more and more urgent. The ecological footprint is one of the most widely used sustainability indicators on a global scale, extending its influence down to local firm level. In this section, we briefly review its origins, main features, strengths, and weaknesses. Companies are increasingly seeking metrical sustainability measures as a means of differentiating in competing markets. The account of a corporate (ecological) footprint may help the firm to find gaps and opportunities for enhancing its behavior, reducing internal and external costs, while improving its market image. However, results from this tool must be analyzed carefully and may lead to some misunderstandings. We illustrate the vulnerabilities of relying solely on the outcomes from the corporate footprint with the case study of a firm operating in Portugal, using a method which has been recently applied to some firms on the Iberian Peninsula.
Luisa Soares, Cristina Chaves

Chapter 29. Sustainability and Public Finances in the Time of Austerity

The scope of this study is to underline, within the current European context of economic and financial crisis, the importance and relevance of the sustainability of public finances, understood not only as an end in itself but also as a means of reaching that end, enabling the further development of society in general. Methodologically, because the subject has taken on a supranational significance, the present work will pay special attention to the EU legal framework in the first stage and then analyse the measures that have been taken in at-risk countries such as Portugal, in order to repair public finances at the local and national level. Concerning these measures, a critical attitude will be adopted, not only to highlight the importance of the increase in financial control and fiscal responsibility, but also to analyse the compatibility of some such measures with the national legal order.
Noel Gomes


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