About us and what we do.

Background and Mission

Our mission is to bring sustainability to the heart of development policy.

The Sustainable World Initiative (SWI) was founded in 2008 by Edwin A. Barry. Ed, a former business executive, believed that we have an ethical responsibility to advance our societies in a way that preserves the ecological health of the planet for this generation and the next, and has dedicated many years of his life to supporting that cause.

SWI has engaged extensively in advocacy efforts at the United Nations to help shape the global agenda for sustainable development: “Transforming Our World.” By advising diplomats and political leaders and forming alliances with non-governmental organizations, SWI has had a notable influence on the global strategy for achieving sustainability. As countries rise to the challenge of implementing this historic global agenda, SWI will serve as a trusted advisor to governments and facilitate sustainability assessments in partnership with major organizations.

Recognizing that the future of humanity depends on what we do today, SWI believes that educating people on what it takes to be sustainable is essential. SWI has, therefore, contributed to developing university course materials on Sustainable Societies and is promoting inclusion of sustainability courses in the higher education curriculum across the United States. SWI also supports efforts to establish national commissions for future generations to hold governments accountable for their development policies.

SWI is working to inspire a broader commitment to protect life on Earth. This will require seeing beyond the veil of our immediate material desires and appreciating the interdependence of all living species on this one-of-a-kind planet. Ultimately, we envision a world where all life can thrive.


What We Do

SWI provides tools and policy proposals designed to inform policymakers and the public about the relationship between human development and the sustainable use of natural resources. To promote transformational change in our societies, we are raising awareness regarding:
♦ The meaning of sustainability based on the biological and geophysical realities of Planet Earth
♦ Critical factors that determine global sustainability, including consumption, technology and population
♦ Methodologies for quantifying and projecting natural resource availability
♦ Strategies for achieving socioeconomic and environmental sustainability