Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2009, Brisbane, Australia, Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

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Livability and Sustainability Are They Contradictory ? A Social Organizational Perspective On Participatory Action Research Oriented Response

Tamar Zohar Harel

Abstract


Are the concepts: livability and sustainability contradictory? Can they coexist? Or even exist in collaboration? The associations between livability and sustainability are not clear. Their mutually exclusive or independent relationship to each other is often debated. (Bosch, 2009) The purpose of this paper is to make implicit notions about the links between livability and sustainability explicit. The emergence of such awareness is possible as evidenced by transformation of interpersonal interactions among those engaged in a conscious process of systemic knowledge acquisition through Action Research methods (McTaggart, 1990, McNiff, 1996, Argyris, 1999) for the purpose of responsible self management in daily living on multiple levels of social organizations: dyadic, family, community, workplace organization, etc. Such awareness can contribute to accountable behavior among those individuals and communities that learn how to implement and practice System oriented Action Research behavior as a life approach and skill set for daily living. The integration of system knowledge acquisition and Action Research methods in the service of sustainable livability development will be demonstrated through case examples of individual, family, homeless shelter, school and hospital organizations as learning organizations. All case examples involved a learning process that stemmed from different crisis etiologies. They are discussed in systemic conceptualizations that illustrate the connections between systemic thinking, livability and how sustainability notions (Gibson, 2005) and accountable practice emerged as an integral component of daily living practices on all levels of organizations. Both quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate this developmental process and change from living to sustainable living will be presented.

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Gibson, RB., Hassan, S., Holtz, S., Tansey, J.,Whitelaw, G. (2005) Sustainability Assessment. Criteria and Processes. Earthscan. London, Sterling, VA

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