The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development


"Thank you to Professor Simons for her letter bringing this book (The Natural Advantage of Nations) to our attention as one that deserves to be read alongside Jarod Diamond's Collapse."
Readings (June 2005 Newsletter)





TNEP Patrons 

The Rt. Hon Sir Ninian Stephen

Born in the United Kingdom on the 15th June 1923. Educated in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia. War service 1941-1946 Australian Army. Admitted to practise in Victoria as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1949 after studies at University of Melbourne; LL.B. (Melbourne) 1950. Practised as a Solicitor, 1949-52, and from 1952 as a barrister and member of the Victorian Bar practising principally in commercial, equity, taxation and constitutional areas; appointed Queen's Counsel in 1966. Appointed to the Victorian Supreme Court bench in 1970 and in March 1972 appointed a Justice of the HighCourt of Australia. Sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 1979 and sat as a member of its Judicial Committee. Retired from the High Court of Australia in 1982 when senior puisne justice to take up appointment as Governor-General of Australia, which office he held until 1989.

Appointed Australia's first Special Ambassador for the Environment 1989-1992; Chairman of various Australian governmental and other bodies including the Constitutional Centenary Foundation, the Antarctic Foundation, and was Chairman of the National Library of Australia for six years and was Chairman of the Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman Council for four years. Appointed in 1992 by the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Governments as Chairman of Strand Two of the Talks on Northern Ireland. Elected as a Judge of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1993-1997. Appointed in 1994 Commonwealth of Nations Special Envoy to Bangladesh. Chairman of the United Nations Expert Group on Cambodia 1998-1999. In February 2005 The International Labour Organisation, or ILO, sent a team lead by Sir Ninian Stephen to Rangoon on a four-day official visit to evaluate the military junta's commitment to stopping forced labour. Currently Patron of many significant Australian organisations including the Australian Davos Connection, The Asialink Centre at Melbourne University, The Bob Hawke Prime Minister Centre, Constitutional Centenary Foundation, Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships and Sane Australia.

The Rt. Hon Sir Ninian Stephen (Former Governor-General 1982-89)

launches The Natural Advantage of Nations in Melbourne,at the

National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development with

(from left) the team from TNEP, Nick Palousis, Michael H. Smith,

Karlson ‘Charlie’ Hargroves and Cheryl Paten.

I feel very privileged to be here launching ‘The Natural Advantage of Nations’. Like this forum this book is all about innovation, solutions, competitiveness and profitability and the bringing together to this end, as does this forum, leaders from business, government, academia and non-government organisations… It has as its thesis the pursuit of sustainable development leading to economic growth and with it increased employment while solving some of our social and environmental problems. It presents a bold vision of an ecologically sustainable future, to be attained by building on the lessons of the theory of competitive advantage, proving a synthesis of what is new in the fields of sustainability, economics and innovation in business and governance. It covers significant developments in the day to day practice of sustainable development by all the organs of our society and of other societies from around the world.


What I found in reading the book was how the pursuit of sustainable development whether on a small scale in domestic organisations or on a national or international scale is no walk into the unknown. In a host of areas solutions already exist and are being implemented around the world… Our two editors, Charlie Hargroves and Michael Smith, and the other members of The Natural Edge Project Secretariat, Cheryl Paten and Nick Palousis, have been extraordinary helped in what has been a mammoth task, you have only to glance through the book to appreciate its extent, helped by so many who are named and thanked in the detailed “acknowledgement” section of the book.