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Conflicted: How to focus long term when world around is in turmoil?

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Feb-02-17 Complete Berlin article
Feb-02-17 Elaboration on triple bottom line

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TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017

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Conflicted: How to focus long term when world around is in turmoil?

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The graphic below summarizes work I've been doing for nearly 40 years.

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Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

Feb 2
Terry Elliott

Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

(Feb 02 2017 9:43AM) : Maybe think about Isaiah Berlin's metaphor of the fox and the hedgehog. more

Here is an excerpt from his original essay: http://www.design.caltech.edu/erik/Misc/Fox_Hedgehog.html

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Feb 2
Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:20PM) : Rabbit and Tortoise more like fox and wolf more

Within a common interest area, there are some who constantly enter the contest, with new money and shinny new toys. However, these don’t last and they decline in impact. The tortoise, is slow and steady, but last longer in the race.

In reading Berlin’s work, I’m a hedghog.

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Feb 2
Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:24PM) : However, I'm also the Fox more

The ways I draw ideas from other sectors, and share from my own in other sectors makes me a Fox, too. My web library at http://tinyurl.com/TMI-library has four sections. The one focused on process improvement stretches way beyond “what it takes to make a tutor/mentor program available in Chicago or other places”. The research section has a broader set of information than one my think they need to know to mentor, or tutor, or lead a tutor/mentor program.

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Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

Feb 2
Terry Elliott

Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

(Feb 02 2017 9:47AM) : I wonder where we get the biggest return on investment. more

I don’t like the use of ROI generally unless it is in the context of a much larger ‘bottom line’ like the triple bottom line.

Helping kids born in high poverty in neighborhoods throughout Chicago and the world move through school and into jobs and careers, with the support of volunteers who are part of organized non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs, is a long-term goal, that requires people in many sectors to devote a slice of their time, talent and dollars on a consistent basis for many years.
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A Giving Budget 0
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Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

Feb 2
Terry Elliott

Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

(Feb 02 2017 9:59AM) : The idea of a giving budget is new to me. I have in the past donated willy nilly and really only a very little. more
I have been very poor all my life, not third world poor, but American, wage-slave poor. My wife only recently entered full-time into the public sphere and we have been able to give more. But I love the idea of creating a separate philanthropic pot of money to give from. I have tended to give services to folks: preparing taxes, writing, farm and garden goods and services, wood cutting, etc. Maybe I need a separate ‘time-giving’ budget? Thanks, Dan for a great idea.
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Feb 2
Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:25PM) : I think few, including myself, visualize their giving budget as I've done in my blog
Since I started writing this blog in 2005 the world has suffered from many disasters, ranging from earthquakes, to tsunamis, to hurricanes and to wars, terrorism and partisan politics. I created the graphic at the left for this 2011 article, to encourage people to budget their time, talent and dollars into three categories, so that while they respond to disasters they don't stop supporting causes that require daily support for many years.

With what's going on in US politics after the November 2016 election, and the installation of DT in the White House, I'm now not sure if there will be a future that offers hope and opportunity for disadvantaged young people...or for the rest of us. As I post articles about supporting well-organized tutoring and mentoring programs I wonder if this is time that I should spend in the streets protesting how DT is turning over our country, and our freedom, to a small group of radicals.

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I don't think so, but I'm not certain.

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Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

Feb 2
Terry Elliott

Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

(Feb 02 2017 10:48AM) : Such a pragmatic view. Flinty even. I like it. more

I love how you have just jammed the new pie wedge in, by God.

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Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

Feb 2
Terry Elliott

Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

(Feb 02 2017 10:54AM) : Money for some things, time in service for others. more

I imagine this as an unflattening to a larger philanthropy. I envision one pie onto of another, one for money and one for service. For example, I give money to the ACLU but I contribute my phone calls to the new site https://5calls.org/

Yes, we need to unflatten our understanding of giving. Thanks for helping me to see this in my own life, Dan.

So today I updated my graphic, showing that I feel we need to still focus on those things that we've been working on, and are important for our future well-being, while also devoting a slice of our attention to trying to prevent the potential disasters coming from DT and his handlers.

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You can make this slice as big a part of your attention span as you want. Just don't make it 100% or we may destroy all that we're fighting for.

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PS: I created a sub section in the Tutor/Mentor web library with a few links to political activism sites that I feel are important resources.

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DMU Timestamp: January 27, 2017 00:44

Added February 02, 2017 at 3:45pm by Terry Elliott
Reason: Complete Berlin article

The Hedgehog and the Fox

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A queer combination of the brain of an English chemist with the soul of an Indian Buddhist.

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E. M. de Vogüé 1

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I

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There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus­ which says: ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.’ 2 Scholars have differed about the correct interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the

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1  ‘On dirait l’esprit d’un chimiste anglais dans l’âme d’un bouddhiste hindou; se charge qui pourra d’expliquer cet étrange accouplment’: Le Roman russe (Paris, 1886), 282.

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2  po* lloi# da$ lw* phx,a$ lle$ ci& nov e= n me*.’Archilochusga fragment 201 in M. L. West (ed.), Iambi et elegi graeci ante Alexandrum cantati, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Oxford, 1989). [The fragment was preserved in a collection of proverbs by the Greek Sophist Zenobius (5. 68), who says that it is found in both Archilochus and Homer – West, op. cit., vol. 2 (Oxford, 1992), ‘Homerus’ fragment 5. Since it is iambic rather than dactylic in metre, the attribu-tion to Homer is likely to mean that it appeared in the (now thought pseudo-Homeric) comic epic poem Margites, probably written later than Archilochus’ poem. See e.g. C. M. Bowra, ‘The Fox and the Hedgehog’, Classical Quarterly 34 (1940), 26–9 (see 26), an article reprinted with revisions in Bowra’s On Greek Margins (Oxford, 1970), 59–66 (see 59), and evidently unknown to Berlin. In any event, the sentiment might well be a proverb deployed by both authors, though given Archilochus’ frequent use of animal encounters (on which see also 114–15 below), it is attractive to think it was used first, and given this metrical form, by him.]

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2 Isaiah Berlin

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hedgehog’s one defence. But, taken fiiguratively, the words can be made to yield a sense in which they mark one of the deepest differences which divide writers and thinkers, and, it may be, human beings in general. For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vi-sion, one system, less or more coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand, think and feel – a single, universal, organising principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has signifiicance – and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way, for some psychological or physiological cause, related to no moral or aesthetic principle. These last lead lives, perform acts and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal; their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects for what they are in them-selves, without, consciously or unconsciously, seeking to fiit them into, or exclude them from, any one unchanging, all-embracing, sometimes self-contradictory and incomplete, at times fanatical, unitary inner vision. The fiirst kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classifiication, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the fiirst category, Shakespeare to the second; Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Proust are, in varying degrees, hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce are foxes.

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Feb 2
Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:29PM) : I've been accused of this more

Many years ago one of my volunteers said “Dan, you can take any comment or idea and show how it fits into a strategy that helps make tutor/mentor programs available to inner city kids”. That’s probably true, but only because I’ve spent so many years thinking about this.

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Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:34PM) : Vertical and horizontal networks more

Instead of hedgehog and fox I’ve used term of vertical and horizontal networks. A vertical network has a narrow, but long-term, focus. A horizontal network includes people with a common interest, but different focus. I tried to describe that in this PDF. https://www.scribd.com/document/97352677/Vertical-Horizontal-Networks-and-Social-Problem-Solving

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Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:40PM) : Triple Bottom Line more

I created this PDF in 2012 as I was forming the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to describe “Triple Bottom Line Opportunities” http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/images/PDF/triple

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Of course, like all over-simple classifiications of this type, the dichotomy becomes, if pressed, artifiicial, scholastic and ultimately

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The Hedgehog and the Fox               3

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absurd. But if it is not an aid to serious criticism, neither­ should it be rejected as being merely superfiicial or frivolous: like all distinc-tions which embody any degree of truth, it offers a point of view from which to look and compare, a starting-point for genuine­ investigation. Thus we have no doubt about the violence of the contrast between Pushkin and Dostoevsky; and Dostoevsky’s celebrated speech about Pushkin has, for all its eloquence and depth of feeling, seldom been considered by any perceptive reader to cast light on the genius of Pushkin, but rather on that of Dostoevsky himself, precisely because it perversely represents Pushkin – an arch-fox, the greatest in the nineteenth century – as being similar to Dostoevsky, who is nothing if not a hedgehog; and thereby transforms, indeed distorts, Pushkin into a dedicated prophet, a bearer of a single, universal message which was indeed the centre of Dostoevsky’s own universe, but exceedingly remote from the many varied provinces of Pushkin’s protean genius. Indeed, it would not be absurd to say that Russian literature is spanned by these gigantic fiigures – at one pole Pushkin, at the other Dostoevsky; and that the characteristics of other Russian writers can, by those who fiind it useful or enjoyable to ask that kind of question, to some degree be determined in relation to these great opposites. To ask of Gogol, Turgenev, Chekhov, Blok how they stand in relation to Pushkin and to Dostoevsky leads – or, at any rate, has led – to fruitful and illuminating criticism. But when we come to Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, and ask this of him – ask whether he belongs to the fiirst category or the second, whether he is a monist or a pluralist, whether his vision is of one or of many, whether he is of a single substance or compounded of heterogeneous elements – there is no clear or immediate answer.

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4 Isaiah Berlin

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The question does not, somehow, seem wholly appropriate; it seems to breed more darkness than it dispels. Yet it is not lack of information that makes us pause: Tolstoy has told us more about himself and his views and attitudes than any other Russian, more, almost, than any other European, writer. Nor can his art be called obscure in any normal sense: his universe has no dark corners, his stories are luminous with the light of day; he has explained them and himself, and argued about them and the methods by which they are constructed, more articulately and with greater force and sanity and lucidity than any other writer. Is he a fox or a hedgehog? What are we to say? Why is the answer so curiously diffiicult to fiind? Does he resemble Shakespeare or Pushkin more than Dante or Dostoevsky? Or is he wholly unlike either, and is the question therefore unanswerable because it is absurd? What is the mysterious obstacle with which our enquiry seems faced?

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I do not propose in this essay to formulate a reply to this question, since this would involve nothing less than a critical examination of the art and thought of Tolstoy as a whole. I shall confiine myself to suggesting that the diffiiculty may be, at least in part, due to the fact that Tolstoy was himself not unaware of the problem, and did his best to falsify the answer. The hypothesis I wish to offer is that Tolstoy was by nature a fox, but believed in being a hedgehog; that his gifts and achievement are one thing, and his beliefs, and consequently his interpretation of his own achievement, another; and that consequently his ideals have led him, and those whom his genius for persuasion has taken in, into a systematic misinterpretation of what he and others were doing or should be doing. No one can complain that he has left his readers in any doubt as to what he thought about this topic: his

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The Hedgehog and the Fox               5

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views on this subject permeate all his discursive writings – diaries, recorded obiter dicta, autobiographical essays and stories, social and religious tracts, literary criticism, letters to private and public correspondents. But the confllict between what he was and what he believed emerges nowhere so clearly as in his view of history, to which some of his most brilliant and most paradoxical pages are devoted. This essay is an attempt to deal with his historical doctrines, and to consider both his motives for holding the views he holds and some of their probable sources. In short, it is an attempt to take Tolstoy’s attitude to history as seriously as he himself meant his readers to take it, although for a somewhat different reason – for the light it casts on a single man of genius rather than on the fate of all mankind.

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II

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Tolstoy’s philosophy of history has, on the whole, not obtained the attention which it deserves, whether as an intrinsically inter-esting view or as an occurrence in the history of ideas, or even as an element in the development of Tolstoy himself.1 Those who have treated Tolstoy primarily as a novelist have at times looked upon the historical and philosophical passages scattered through War and Peace as so much perverse interruption of the narrative, as a regrettable liability to irrelevant digression characteristic

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1  For the purposes of this essay I propose to confiine myself almost entirely to the explicit philosophy of history contained in War and Peace, and to ignore, for ex-ample, Sevastopol Stories, The Cossacks, the fragments of the unpublished novel on the Decembrists, and Tolstoy’s own scattered refllections on this subject except in so far as they bear on views expressed in War and Peace.

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DMU Timestamp: January 27, 2017 00:44

Added February 02, 2017 at 3:49pm by Terry Elliott
Reason: Elaboration on triple bottom line

The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work?

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Timothy F. Slaper, Ph.D.: Director of Economic Analysis, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

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Tanya J. Hall: Economic Research Analyst, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

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Sustainability has been an often mentioned goal of businesses, nonprofits and

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governments in the past decade, yet measuring the degree to which an organization is being sustainable or pursuing sustainable growth can be difficult.

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John Elkington strove to measure sustainability during the mid-1990s by encompassing a new framework to measure performance in corporate America.1 This accounting framework, called the triple

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bottom line (TBL), went beyond the traditional measures of profits, return on investment, and shareholder value to include environmental and social dimensions. By focusing on comprehensive investment results— that is, with respect to performance along the interrelated dimensions

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of profits, people and the planet— triple bottom line reporting can be an important tool to support sustainability goals.

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Interest in triple bottom line accounting has been growing across for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. Many businesses and nonprofit organizations have adopted the TBL sustainability framework to evaluate their performance, and a similar approach has gained currency with governments at the federal, state and local levels.

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This article reviews the TBL concept, explains how it can be useful for businesses, policy-makers and economic development practitioners and highlights some current examples of putting the TBL into practice.

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The Triple Bottom Line Defined

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The TBL is an accounting framework that incorporates three dimensions of

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performance: social, environmental and financial. This differs from traditional reporting frameworks as it includes ecological (or environmental) and social measures that can be difficult to assign appropriate means of measurement.

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The TBL dimensions are also commonly called the three Ps: people, planet and profits. We will refer to these as the 3Ps.

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Well before Elkington introduced the sustainability concept as “triple bottom line,” environmentalists wrestled with measures of, and frameworks for, sustainability. Academic disciplines organized around sustainability have multiplied over the last 30 years. People inside and outside academia who have studied and practiced sustainability would agree with the general definition of Andrew Savitz for

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TBL. The TBL “captures the essence of sustainability by measuring the impact of an organization’s activities on the world ... including both

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its profitability and shareholder values and its social, human and environmental capital.” 2

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The trick isn’t defining TBL. The trick is measuring it.

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Calculating the TBL

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The 3Ps do not have a common unit of measure. Profits are measured in dollars. What is social capital measured in? What about environmental or ecological health? Finding a common unit of measurement is one challenge.

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Some advocate monetizing all the dimensions of the TBL, including social welfare or environmental damage. While that would have

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the benefit of having a common unit—dollars—many object to

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putting a dollar value on wetlands or endangered species on strictly philosophical grounds. Others question the method of finding the right price for lost wetlands or endangered species.

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Another solution would be to calculate the TBL in terms of an index. In this way, one eliminates the incompatible units issue and, as long as there is a universally accepted accounting method, allows for comparisons between entities,

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e.g., comparing performance between companies, cities, development projects or some other benchmark.

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An example of an index that compares a county versus the nation’s performance for a variety of components is the Indiana Business Research Center’s Innovation Index. There remains some subjectivity even when using an index however. For example, how are the index components weighted? Would each “P” get equal weighting? What about the sub-components within each “P”?

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Do they each get equal weighting? Is the people category more important than the planet? Who decides?

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Another option would do away with measuring sustainability using dollars or using an index. If the users of the TBL had the stomach for it, each sustainability measure would stand alone. “Acres of wetlands” would be a measure, for example, and progress would be gauged based on wetland creation, destruction or status quo over time. The downside to this approach is the proliferation of metrics that may be pertinent to measuring sustainability. The TBL user may get metric fatigue.

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Having discussed the difficulties with calculating the TBL, we turn our attention to potential metrics

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4 Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Indiana Business Research Center

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for inclusion in a TBL calculation. Following that, we will discuss how businesses and other entities have applied the TBL framework.

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What Measures Go into the Index?

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There is no universal standard method for calculating the TBL.

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The level of the entity, type of project and the geographic scope will drive many of the decisions about what measures to include.

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Neither is there a universally accepted standard for the measures that comprise each of the three TBL categories. This can be viewed as a strength because it allows a user to adapt the general framework to the needs of different entities (businesses or nonprofits), different projects or policies (infrastructure investment or educational programs), or different geographic boundaries (a city, region or country).

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Both a business and local government agency may gauge environmental sustainability in the same terms, say reducing the amount of solid waste that goes into landfills, but a local mass transit might measure success in terms of passenger miles, while a for-profit

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bus company would measure success in terms of earnings per share.

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The TBL can accommodate these differences.

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Additionally, the TBL is able to be case (or project) specific or allow a broad scope—measuring impacts across large geographic

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boundaries—or a narrow geographic scope like a small town. A case

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(or project) specific TBL would measure the effects of a particular project in a specific location, such as a community building a park. The TBL can also apply to infrastructure projects at the state level or energy policy at the national level.

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The level of the entity, type of project and the geographic scope will drive many of the decisions about what measures to include. That said, the set of measures will ultimately be determined by stakeholders and

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subject matter experts and the ability to collect the necessary data. While there is significant literature on the appropriate measures to use for sustainability at the state or national levels, in the end, data availability will drive the TBL calculations. Many of the traditional sustainability measures, measures vetted through academic discourse, are presented below.

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Economic Measures

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Economic variables ought to be variables that deal with the bottom line and the flow of money. It could look at income or expenditures, taxes, business climate factors, employment, and business diversity factors. Specific examples include:

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      Personal income

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      Cost of underemployment

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      Establishment churn

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      Establishment sizes

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      Job growth

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      Employment distribution by sector

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      Percentage of firms in each sector

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      Revenue by sector contributing to gross state product

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Environmental Measures

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Environmental variables should represent measurements of natural resources and reflect potential influences to its viability. It could incorporate air and water quality, energy consumption, natural resources, solid and toxic waste, and land use/land cover. Ideally, having long-range trends available for each of the environmental variables

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would help organizations identify the impacts a project or policy would have on the area. Specific examples include:

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      Sulfur dioxide concentration

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      Concentration of nitrogen oxides

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      Selected priority pollutants

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      Excessive nutrients

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      Electricity consumption

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      Fossil fuel consumption

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      Solid waste management

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      Hazardous waste management

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      Change in land use/land cover

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Social Measures

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Social variables refer to social dimensions of a community or region and could include measurements of education, equity and access to social resources, health and well-being, quality of life, and social capital. The examples listed below are a small snippet of potential variables:

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      Unemployment rate

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      Female labor force participation rate

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      Median household income

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      Relative poverty

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      Percentage of population with a post-secondary degree or certificate

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      Average commute time

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      Violent crimes per capita

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      Health-adjusted life expectancy Data for many of these measures

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are collected at the state and national levels, but are also available at the local or community level. Many are appropriate for a community to use when constructing a TBL. However, as the geographic scope and the nature of the project narrow, the set

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Indiana Business Review, Spring 2011  5

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of appropriate measures can change. For local or community-based projects, the TBL measures of success are best determined locally.

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There are several similar approaches to secure stakeholder participation and input in designing the TBL framework: developing

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a decision matrix to incorporate public preferences into project planning and decision-making,3 using a “narrative format” to solicit shareholder participation and comprehensive project evaluation,4 and having stakeholders rank and weigh components of a sustainability framework according to community priorities.5 For example, a community may consider an important measure of success for an entrepreneurial development program to be

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the number of woman-owned companies formed over a five-year time period. Ultimately, it will be the organization’s responsibility to produce a final set of measures applicable to the task at hand.

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Variations of the Triple Bottom

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Line Measurement

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The application of the TBL by businesses, nonprofits and governments are motivated by the principles of economic, environmental and social

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sustainability, but differ with regard to the way they measure the three categories of outcomes. Proponents who have developed and applied sustainability assessment frameworks like the TBL encountered many challenges, chief among them,

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how to make an index that is both comprehensive and meaningful and how to identify suitable data for the variables that compose the index.

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The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), for example, consists of 25 variables that encompass economic, social and environmental factors. Those variables are converted into monetary units and summed into a single, dollar-denominated measure.6 Minnesota developed its own progress indicator comprised of 42 variables that focused on the goals of a healthy economy and gauged progress in achieving these goals.7

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There is a large body of literature on integrated assessment 8 and sustainability measures that grew out of the disciplines that measure environmental impact. These are not constrained by strict economic theory for measuring changes in social welfare.9 Researchers in environmental policy argue that the three categories—economic, social and environmental—need

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to be integrated in order to see the complete picture of the consequences that a regulation, policy or economic development project may have and to assess policy options and tradeoffs.

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Who Uses the Triple Bottom Line?

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Businesses, nonprofits and government entities alike can all use the TBL.

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Businesses

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The TBL and its core value of sustainability have become compelling in the business world due to accumulating anecdotal evidence of greater long-term profitability. For example, reducing waste from packaging can also reduce costs. Among the firms that have been exemplars of these approaches are

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General Electric, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, 3M and Cascade Engineering.10 Although these

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companies do not have an index-based TBL, one can see how they measure sustainability using the TBL concept. Cascade Engineering, for example, a private firm that does not need to file the detailed financial paperwork of public companies, has identified the following variables for their TBL scorecard:

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Economic

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o   Amount of taxes paid

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      Social

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o   Average hours of training/ employee

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o   From welfare to career retention

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o   Charitable contributions

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      Environmental/Safety

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o   Safety incident rate

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o Lost/restricted workday rate

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o   Sales dollars per kilowatt hours

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o Greenhouse gas emissions

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o   Use of post-consumer and industrial recycled material

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o Water consumption

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o Amount of waste to landfill

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Nonprofits

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Many nonprofit organizations have adopted the TBL and some have partnered with private firms to address broad sustainability issues that affect mutual stakeholders. Companies recognize that aligning with nonprofit organizations makes good business sense, particularly those nonprofits with goals of economic prosperity, social well‑being and environmental protection.11

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The Ford Foundation has funded studies that used variations of

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the TBL to measure the effects of programs to increase wealth in dozens of rural regions across the United States.12 Another example

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Companies recognize that aligning with nonprofit organizations makes good business sense, particularly those nonprofits with goals of economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental protection.

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6 Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Indiana Business Research Center

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is RSF Social Finance,13 a nonprofit organization that uniquely focuses on how their investments improve all three categories of the TBL. While RSF takes an original approach to the TBL concept, one can see how the TBL can be tailored to nearly any organization. Their approach includes the following:

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The concept of the triple bottom line can be used regionally by communities to encourage economic development growth in a sustainable manner.

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      Food and Agriculture

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(economic): Explore new economic models that support sustainable food and agriculture while raising public awareness of the value of organic and biodynamic farming.

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      Ecological Stewardship

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(environmental): Provide funding to organizations and projects devoted to sustaining, regenerating and preserving the earth’s ecosystems, especially integrated, systems-based and culturally relevant approaches.

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      Education and the Arts (social): Fund education and arts projects that are holistic and therapeutic.

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Government

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State, regional and local governments are increasingly adopting the

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TBL and analogous sustainability assessment frameworks as decision-making and performance-monitoring tools. Maryland, Minnesota, Vermont, Utah, the San Francisco Bay Area and

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Northeast Ohio area have conducted analyses using the TBL or a similar sustainability framework.

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Policy-makers use these sustainability assessment frameworks to decide which actions they should or should not take to make society more sustainable. Policy-makers want to know the cause and effect relationship between actions— projects or policies—and whether the results move society toward or away from sustainability. The State of Maryland, for example, uses a blended GPI-TBL framework to compare initiatives—for example, investing in clean energy—against

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the baseline of “doing nothing” or against other policy options.14

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Internationally, the European Union uses integrated assessment to identify the “likely positive and negative impacts of proposed policy actions, enabling informed political judgments to be made about the proposal and identify trade-offs in achieving competing objectives.” 15 The EU guidelines have themselves been the subject of critique and have undergone several rounds

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of improvement.16 The process of refining the guidelines shows both the transparency of the process and the EU commitment to integrated assessment.

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Regional Economic

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Development Initiatives

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The concept of the triple bottom line can be used regionally by communities to encourage economic development growth in a sustainable manner. This requires an increased level of cooperation among businesses, nonprofit organizations, governments and citizens of the region. The following examples throughout the United States show various ways the TBL concept can be used to grow a region’s economic base in a sustainable manner.

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Cleveland, Ohio

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In 2009, the mayor of Cleveland convened the Sustainable Cleveland

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2019 (SC2019) Summit to bring together hundreds of people interested in applying the principles of sustainability to the design of the local economy.17 The SC2019

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is a 10-year initiative to create a

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sustainable economy in Cleveland by focusing on a TBL-like concept. The city uses four key areas for measuring sustainability: the personal and social environment, the natural environment, the built environment (e.g., infrastructure and urban growth patterns) and the business environment. Each key area has six goals. At this point, specific measurement indicators have not been fully developed; however, the city is looking to create a dashboard that could be combined to create an index for overall project success. This dashboard would allow for quick year-to-year assessment in the SC2019 progress.

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Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the

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Surrounding Region

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In 2005, the Grand Rapids region created the nation’s first “Community

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Sustainability Partnership” to develop a roadmap to lead Grand

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Rapids to sustainability. The region employs 14 major indicators related to the region’s quality of life and environmental factors to determine progress made towards sustainability. Rather than create an index, target goals were established for each indicator. More detailed information of the metrics used

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for each indicator can be found in their TBL report.18 Below are brief explainations of the variables used to measure their TBL.

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Environmental Quality

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o    Waste: trends in recycling, refuse and yard waste

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o   Energy: energy consumption, natural gas

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Indiana Business Review, Spring 2011  7

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consumption and alternative fuel usage

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o   Water: water consumption

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o   Air Quality: toxic release inventory and number of air pollution ozone action days

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o   Built Environment: number of LEED registered and certified projects

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o   Land Use and Natural

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Habitat: inventory of land use and forest canopy

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o   Transportation: public transportation ridership

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      Economic Prosperity

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o    Personal Income: personal income per capita

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o   Unemployment: unemployment rate

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o    Redevelopment, Reinvestment and Jobs: results from brownfield redevelopment investment and job creation

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o   Knowledge Competitiveness: third-party report ranking U.S. regions

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      Social Capital and Equity

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o   Safety and Security: crime statistics

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o    Educational Attainment: degree attainment levels

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o   Health and Wellness: infant mortality rate and blood lead levels trends

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o   Quality of Life: home ownership, poverty, and reduced price and free lunches trends

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o   Community Capital: 211 calls for assistance, voter participation and population and ethnicity

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Summary

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The Triple Bottom Line concept developed by John Elkington has changed the way businesses, nonprofits and governments measure sustainability and

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the performance of projects or policies. Beyond the foundation of measuring sustainability on three fronts—people, planet and profits—

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the flexibility of the TBL allows organizations to apply the concept in a manner suitable to their specific needs.

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There are challenges to putting the TBL into practice. These challenges include measuring each of the three categories, finding applicable data and calculating a project or policy’s contribution to sustainability. These challenges aside, the TBL framework allows organizations to evaluate the ramifications of their decisions from a truly long-run perspective. n

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Notes

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  1. John Elkington, “Towards the Sustainable Corporation: Win-Win-Win Business Strategies for Sustainable Development,”
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California Management Review 36, no. 2 (1994): 90–100.

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  1. Andrew Savitz, The Triple Bottom Line (San
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Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006).

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  1. Peter Soderbaum, “Positional Analysis and Public Decision Making,” Journal of Economic Issues 16, no. 2 (June 1982): 391–400, www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/4225177.pdf.
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  3. Terre Satterfield, Paul Slovic and Robin Gregory, “Narrative Valuation in a Policy Judgment Context,” Ecological Economics 34 (2000): 315–331.
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  5. Stephen R. J. Sheppard and Michael Meitner, “Using Multi-Criteria Analysis and Visualization for Sustainable Forest Management Planning with Stakeholder Groups,” Forest Ecology and Management
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207 (2005): 171–187. Another example can be found in Katrina Brown et al., “Trade-Off Analysis for Marine Protected Area Management,” Ecological Economics 37, no. 3 (June 2001): 417–434.

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  1. See Herman E. Daly, John B. Cobb and Clifford W. Cobb, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy towards Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future
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(Boston: Beacon Press, 1989) and John Talberth, Clifford Cobb and Noah Slattery, “The Genuine Progress Indicator 2006: A Tool for Sustainable Development,” www. environmental-expert.com/Files/24200/ articles/12128/GPI202006.pdf.

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  1. Minnesota Planning Environmental Quality Board, “Smart Signals: An Assessment of Progress Indicators,” March 2000, www.green.maryland.gov/mdgpi/pdfs/GPI-Minnesota.pdf.
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  1. Integrated assessment is used as a general rubric for all sustainability assessment frameworks, including TBL. The proliferation of frameworks and their acronyms often complicates the issues associated with implementing a TBL framework for evaluating economic development initiatives. Except for a couple of sustainability frameworks, the accessibility components and measures
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can be easily organized into the three TBL categories (economic, social and environmental).

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  1. Theo Hacking and Peter Guthrie, “A Framework for Clarifying the Meaning of Triple Bottom-Line, Integrated, and Sustainability Assessment,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review 28 (2008):73–89
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and Wouter de Ridder et al., “A Framework for Tool Selection and Use in Integrated Assessment for Sustainable Development,”

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Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 9, no. 4 (December 2007): 423–441.

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  1. Cascade Engineering, “The Triple Bottom Line Report,” 2009, www.cascadeng.com/ pdf/TBL_2009.pdf.
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  3. Nancy Fell, “Triple Bottom Line Approach Growing in Nonprofit Sector,” Causeplanet, January 21, 2007, and Peter Senge, et al., The Necessary Revolution (New York: Doubleday, 2008).
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  5. For example, see Nancy Stark and Deborah Markley, “Rural Entrepreneurship Development II: Measuring Impact on the Triple Bottom Line, Wealth Creation in Rural America,” July 2008, www.yellowwood.org/ wealthcreation.aspx.
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  7. “Focus Areas,” RSF Social Finance, http:// rsfsocialfinance.org/values/focus/.
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  9. “Maryland’s Genuine Progress Indicator: An Index for Sustainable Prosperity,” Maryland: Smart, Green and Growing, www.green.maryland.gov/mdgpi/.
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  11. Commission of the European Communities,
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“Communication from the Commission on

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Impact Assessment,” May 6, 2002, http:// trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2005/ february/tradoc_121479.pdf.

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  1. EU Secretariat General, “Memo: The Main Changes in the 2009 Impact Assessment Guidelines Compared to 2005 Guidelines,” http://ec.europa.eu/governance/impact/ index_en.htm.
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  1. Sustainable Cleveland 2019, “Action and Resources Guide: Building an Economic Engine to Empower a Green City on a Blue Lake,” October 2010, www.gcbl.org/system/files/SC2019+Executiv e+Summary+%289SEP10%29.pdf.
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  1. City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, “Community Triple Bottom Line Indicator Report,” September 2008, www.grpartners. org/pdfs/resources/TBLFinal1.pdf.
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8 Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Indiana Business Research Center

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DMU Timestamp: January 27, 2017 00:44

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Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

Feb 2
Terry Elliott

Eternity is in love with the creations of time.

(Feb 02 2017 10:10AM) : Zero sum game? more

Is giving subject to the rules of money? If I give here does that mean I have less somewhere else because there is only one pie? I think it is true.

But…giving in general is not. Giving generates a swell of love inside and out that amplifies not dampens the true wealth of nations—its peoples. I bet that every charitable dollar generates way more than any dollar intended for capital alone. Just a guess.

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Feb 2
Dr. Daniel Bassill (Feb 02 2017 2:47PM) : Looking for metrics is wishful thinking more

There’s been a movement over the past 20 years to try to provide metrics that quantify the triple bottom line. I feel this has harmed the sector because people who are not sophisticated in understanding the many variations in the non-profit and social sector will over-simplify and try to compare huge organizations with small organizations or art institutes, universities, churches, etc. with small food pantries or neighborhood tutor/mentor programs. I wrote an article in 2013 that touches on this. http://tutormentor.blogspot.com/2013/08/pallotta-ted-talk-discussion-solutions.html

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