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Inventing Eco-Cycle

A Social Enterprise Approach to Sustainability Education

Sandy Smith-Nonini

This article discusses lessons learned from a social enterprise project supporting sustainability education in central North Carolina (U.S.A.). Since 2011, Eco-Cycle,1 a retail shop featuring creative-reuse has provided support for a community meeting space that offers weekly environmental education workshops. Many approaches to social justice-oriented green initiatives in the United States emulate urban agriculture models and tend to be grant-dependent in early years, only achieving economic sustainability with difficulty. In contrast, our non-profit co-op of upcycler crafters and vintage vendors grew out of production and marketing of upcycled rain barrels, based on a social enterprise approach rather than a traditional model. I discuss the stepping-stones to this venture, which originated through a neighbourhood energy conservation initiative, followed by alliance-building with non-profits to promote green job creation. I relate the complications and surprising forms of synergism emerging from the social enterprise approach to social theory on cooperatives and community-based development models.

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The Rule of Law as a Condition for Development toward Sustainability

Toward a New Legally Oriented Environment at a Global Level

Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini

This article, conceived on an open-process approach, explains the Italian rule of law’s model promoted by Italy in multilateral and bilateral fora. The rule of law aims to counter the abuse of power by the authorities and to build a new legally oriented environment in a multilevel order. (The rule by law, however, may be used to oppress or discriminate against people and to avoid accountability under the guise of formality, legality, and legitimacy.) Furthermore, the rule of law is instrumentally valuable to economic sustainable growth in delivering concrete development. The Italian achievements are demonstrated by the experiences acquired in G20 anti-corruption initiatives that vouch for Italy’s legitimacy and credibility on priority areas related to the struggle against global crime, drugs, money laundering, and terrorism. Moreover, Italian juridical diplomacy for promoting the rule of law at the multilateral level is framed according to the guidelines of sustainable development and the protection of human rights.

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Automobiles and Socioeconomic Sustainability

Do We Need a Mobility Bill of Rights?

Daniel Newman

This article argues for the establishment of a Mobility Bill of Rights. That the current car system is not sustainable in environmental terms has been much discussed in academic circles and is increasingly accepted in wider society, as reflected by governmental attempts at reform. The current trend for remodeling this car system largely involves the substitution of petrol/diesel for potentially more ecologically sound methods of powering the vehicles such as electricity. Attempts to reach environmental sustainability in this manner do little to impact social or economic sustainability and thus will fail to address the triple bottom line. Rather, reliance on automobiles in the present vein may continue trends for mobility-related exclusion. To tackle this, we need a debate on how the transport needs of ordinary people can be met.