Founded in 2015, the Spirituality and Sustainability Initiative (SSI) integrates perspectives on sustainability and innovation with an awareness of the sources, dynamics, significance, and meaning of values and ethical convictions for driving aspiration and action, and as factors in personal and collective resilience. In other words, the kinds of questions and commitments associated with spirituality not only fit with but are intrinsic to a comprehensive and holistic approach to sustainability. SSI is a secular, non-sectarian effort, defining spirituality broadly to include humanistic values and informal modes of spirituality as well as established religious traditions.
Why SSI? Sustainability challenges and innovations (in science, technology, culture, policy or business) are often nuanced, interconnected and carry the potential to disrupt worldviews and even generate cosmic concerns and questions about human experience and larger meanings. SSI embraces nuanced interconnections that may conventionally be viewed as in tension, such as facts and values, personal and collective, science and religion, ideals and action. SSI focuses on the wholeness of challenges, accepting the mix of rational and other factors that influence how people understand the world and make critical choices about how to act in it.
SSI holds to three pillars of scholarship and engagement:
- Build Inclusive Dialogue: SSI invites spiritual leaders, scientists, scholars, policymakers and members of the public to discuss issues of common concern. This approach acknowledges many kinds of knowledge, opening up productive and reciprocal dialogues that advance learning and create an environment of mutual exploration and respect
- Integral Ecology Workshop (2016)
- Climate Ethos Webinar: Have we reached a tipping point on climate action? (2017)
- Climate Ethos luncheons: recurring spring event
- Climate Dialogue Network on Climate, Energy & Society
- Case Critical Panel on the Ethics of Climate Engineering (2018)
- Playing God, GreenFaith (2018) (advisor)
- Mary Evelyn Tucker, World Religions Respond to the Environmental Crisis (2016) (host)
- Michael Hulme, The Cultural Functions of Climate (2018) (co-sponsor)
- Earth and Faith Webinars, with the Security and Sustainability Forum and Parliament of World Religions (2019) (collaborator).
- The Sustainability Education and Energy Knowledge-sharing (SEEK) Project is a platform that catalyzes action-enabling and knowledge-sharing through values-based social networks such as congregations, municipalities and non-profits. Growing out of requests from faith communities for technical assistance on energy projects, SEEK has become a unique model for leveraging local and national resources with tailored educational tools to empower effective sustainable energy transitions along with social cohesion. Founding project partners include ASU LightWorks, the ASU School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Fulton School of Engineering, Interfaith Power and Light, GreenFaith, the Environmental Protection Agency, and SunValley Solar.
SDG Goals: Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, Partnerships for the Goals