Just as previous
generations broke the sound barrier and the
four-minute mile, our
key question is, how will we
break the sustainability
I address this issue in my new book, The Zeronauts, which introduces a new breed of innovators operating at the leading edges of tomorrow's economy.
The Zeronauts are applying the power of zero to fields as diverse as population growth, pandemics, poverty, pollution and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Among the 50 innovators listed in the first Zeronauts roll of honour are the late Ray Anderson (for Interface's mission zero campaign), UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon (for calling current economic models a "global suicide pact" and for spotlighting calls for zero hunger, zero stunting of children and zero food waste), Greenpeace International (for its Detox campaign, focusing on driving sportswear firms to zero-emission targets), Martha Johnson of the US General Services Administration (who has said that "zero environmental footprint" is this generation's moon mission) and London 2012's David Stubbs and Felicity Hartnett (for pushing Olympic and Paralympic Games suppliers towards zero targets).
These remarkable people share a sense of possibility in the face of huge economic, social, environmental and governance challenges. A confidence – as the second world war US navy construction engineers (Seabees) used to say – that the impossible simply takes a little longer.