The Resilience Imperative: Lessons from Sustainable Development for Corporate Sustainability.
Deborah M. Steketee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Business

Aquinas College

1607 Robinson Road SE

Grand Rapids, MI  49506 USA



“Sustainability” has become a mantra of businesses across the globe.  Corporations large and small are embarking on sustainability paths ranging from a slight, albeit “greener”detour from past practices to a radical transformation of core business principles.  While the momentum in corporate sustainability has been heralded by some as a paradigm shift in business,  some of sustainable business’ earliest advocates are seeking to dodge the term as the sustainability becomes a “brand”--diluted with multiple and contested meanings in corporate settings. This trajectory is familiar to those who have witnessed the evolution of “sustainable development” practice in developing countries around the world where the stark realities of linked human and ecosystem survivability are glaringly evident.

Drawing upon lessons learned from research related to the social dimensions of natural resources management in a variety of countries, this presentation will offer insights into governance innovations which may help corporate sustainability navigate past the downfalls which have undermined well-intentioned efforts to link social and ecological systems.  Insights derived from natural resource management concepts such as “adaptive management,” “resilience” and “cross-scale linkages” are among those that will be explored and applied to corporate sustainability.


All Submissions
8:00 AM-8:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2007, Oral

The Ontario, Canada 2007 Meeting