The expression “pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps” is used to refer to a situation in which someone has to use his or her own means to get up after a fall, recover from an adverse situation or start a project.

From this expression originates the concept of bootstrapping, which denotes any process that is initiated without external assistance. Thus, in computer science bootstrapping or booting is the starting sequence of a computer through which a basic software is activated to load the operating system. In business, bootstrapping refers to the process of starting a company with personal capital and using mainly the ideas, knowledge and skills of its founders.

There are times when the people, organizations and communities we serve do not have abundant resources to undertake sustainability endeavors. With this in mind, we relied on the idea of bootstrapping to develop a model that allows us to proceed effectively in these cases.

This model, which we call eco-bootstrapping or ecobooting, consists of identifying how to use available resources to initiate sustainability habits and practices, generating conditions for these to develop organically.

In nature it is common to find seeds that germinate in unexpected spaces, giving rise to plants that even under adverse conditions come to flower and produce seeds from which new plants can emerge.

Similarly, the ecobooting methodology begins with simple but effective actions that bring about cultural change and make way for more far-reaching measures. In this way it is possible to promote sustainability by avoiding costly, complicated or disruptive processes.

Corporate Citizenship

Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.”

Bill Ford

Businesses are one of the fundamental sectors of society and their contribution is indispensable for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and activating the circular economy.

At ecocivitas we recognize the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility and the great potential that companies have to boost sustainability by acting as good corporate citizens.

The adoption of an organizational culture model aligned with the principles of sustainability is key to strengthening corporate citizenship. We firmly believe that every company can adopt this model. However, to achieve this culture upgrade, it is necessary to have functional knowledge and tools.

Taking this into account, we develop training and advisory activities that deploy these tools and knowledge in a propitious way.

To prevent this process from being costly, complicated or disruptive, we propose the eco-bootstrapping methodology, which allows sustainability habits and practices to be initiated using the available resources and generates conditions that let them develop organically at the hyperlocal level, i.e. in the immediate context of each company.

We also use gamification techniques to reinforce change processes and to measure and document them in a simple and effective way we have designed the Sensible Sustainability Indicators.


Happy 2020!

No matter how dreadful the current state of the world seems to be; all over the planet there are so many great people sharing so many wonderful ideas and doing so many splendid deeds that it’s impossible not to be optimistic about the future.

Let 2020 light the way to a just, peaceful and sustainable global society! ❤️🌍🌻

We are Bees in a Bottle

Bees are amazing creatures. It is delightful to see worker bees flying from flower to flower as they collect nectar to produce honey. On the other hand, it is very sad to find a honeybee trapped inside a soda bottle. Attracted by the high concentration of sugar, the bee gets into the bottle and then, unable to find its way out, slowly perishes.

This grim scene accurately illustrates the way modern society has evolved. For multiple decades we have blindly embraced a model of “development,” which exalts unlimited economic growth whilst disregarding environmental protection and social justice. The false promises of unrestrained economic development have lured society into a dire situation just like the sugar does to the bee. The combination of ever increasing ecological social and political problems caused by this model form the soda bottle in which we are all trapped.

Unlike the bee, however, we have recognized the gravity of our situation. Through the process started with the establishment of the Brundtland Commission in the 1980s modern society has acknowledged the urgent need to adopt a different development paradigm. As a result the principles of sustainable development are now well known and countless policies and procedures have been introduced to promote them in every sector of society. Yet environmental and social indicators suggest that the negative effects of our current economic model continue to intensify. In other words we are still trapped inside the bottle.

We cannot break free because our escape plans are analogous to the bee trying to smash through the bottom of the bottle, whilst ignoring the open “mouth” of the bottle – its natural exit. For instance, vast resources are allocated for the development of electric cars and to the expansion of capital-intensive public transport systems. Meanwhile, less expensive solutions like improving the quality of public transportation or embracing more innovative approaches to reduce long distance commuting are ignored. Likewise, extensive resources are used to deploy inefficient technologies to generate electricity, whilst strategies to reduce the consumption of energy remain largely inadequate. Essentially, society is fixated on ineffective methods that try to forcibly make everything “green” or “sustainable,” whilst neglecting the need to properly educate people about sustainability.

We need to think outside the box to get out of the bottle. The identification and dissemination of new approaches is paramount to the success of sustainable development. However, only when we stop paying so much attention to the sugar inside the bottle, will we be able to appreciate the abundant nectar that is outside.