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The Sustainability Prism: Explorations in Sustainability and Language


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This special edition began with the working title ‘Sustainable Development: Global Vision, Local Voices’. However, as it evolved and the articles came in, the focus on development fragmented and became much less about the category ‘sustainable development’ or even its ‘global vision’. The focus turned instead on social and personal learning and the conversations around these open categories. As a result the category ‘sustainability’ became a prism through which to view how people and their institutions are addressing the emergent limits to our global/globalising civilisation. In this way ‘sustainable development’ became ‘sustainable prism’ while ‘global vision and local voice’ became much less definitive. To put it another way, the issue became much more tentative and shifted to explorations in the areas of sustainability and the languages that we use to describe our strivings in this area.

The fifteen articles and one poem presented here tell a story of diversity and innovation. The thinking is grounded in the realities for which and from which the writers speak. Having a global reach, much of the work comes from speakers whose mother tongues are other than English, the result is a diversity of expression and thought that challenged me to hold space for all contributors. This has taken me on multiple journeys in which the question of the authentic representation of ideas and also the idiomatic nature of plural-English is to be honoured and celebrated.


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