Sustainable Development in Chaotic Environments

Sustainable development in Chaotic environments can be conceptualized at two different levels. Firstly, the challenge is for a business or a state entity to operate in the period immediately following the crisis and during the initial phase of reconstruction. Secondly, we are dealing with the restart process for a State which critical infrastructures have been damaged or destroyed. In both cases what is most essential is to remain operational and to be able to modify the environment in a lasting manner. In economic terms the goal is wealth production.

During the 20th century newtonian economic theory claimed that development dynamics could be analyzed as separate blocks which later could be weaved sequentially. Un a chaotic environment, linear newtonian logic is a loss to explain phenomenon to the non linear logic of Chaos and Complexity Theory. Today, a growing body of economists have favored Complexity Theory to describe the dynamics of our globalized interconnected networked world.

To create wealth in a chaotic environment, one must conceive the project in a holistic global manner. For example to build houses, not only the architect is needed, but often also the cement factory must be built, and the electrical power-plant to run the cement factory, and the airport or the road to bring the materials and the energy, and lastly security must be enforced. We are dealing truly with a multi-disciplinary approach. In a chaotic environment State services to which we are accustomed in our industrialized world may be disorganized or absent. In order to build or produce one must compensate for the absence of the State when even the technical requirements are non-existent. This disorganized state of things is often found in the initial reconstruction phases following catastrophic events.

In the 21st century, the NGOs have a capacity in men and financially which is largely greater than the capacity of the State. This is also true in the United States where the Federal Government has fully integrated the capacity of the Red-Cross to supplement its own response capacity. Compared to any State the NGOs have demonstrated a much faster speed of response. The great challenge, for today, is to create, in a flash, in the middle of the crisis, the capacity to absorb and integrate men and financial means, in order to maximize the benefits of international aid and accelerate restart and reconstruction. In such an environment there is a huge profit opportunity for businesses which have planned and are prepared for this.

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