The Santa Fe Priorities: A Call to Action

March 25, 2007 · by DesignIntelligence

On October 16-18, 2006 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Design Futures Council convened the Fifth Annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design. Building on the success of the four previous summits (held in Nantucket, St. Louis, Cambridge, and San Francisco), this year's conference of 100 delegates from leading organizations around the globe met to discuss vital issues on the environment.

On October 16-18, 2006 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Design Futures Council convened the Fifth Annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design. Building on the success of the four previous summits (held in Nantucket, St. Louis, Cambridge, and San Francisco), this year's conference of 100 delegates from leading organizations around the globe met to discuss vital issues on the environment.

Some of the key presenters included Ed Mazria, the founder of the 2030 ┬║Challenge; Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel laureate and current director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and David Orr, chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College.

It was clear from the proceedings that both consciousness and commitment have increased exponentially since the inaugural summit was held on Nantucket in 2002. That first conference resulted in the publication of the "Nantucket Principles," a manifesto framing the important environmental challenges that we face, and urging design professionals to become engaged in the debate in a meaningful way. The delegates at Santa Fe felt that the time has come to move beyond first principles, from policy to protocol. The resulting "Santa Fe Priorities" are a call to action addressed to all members of the design professions, their clients, members of the media, and government officials. They are:

1. As citizens, we will actively raise awareness in our respective communities about the impacts of pollution, global warming, and excessive energy consumption that threaten to upset the delicate balance of the environment that sustains us all.

2. As design and industry leaders, we will create new policies, protocols, and procedures that will enable us to inhabit the planet in sustainable, healthier, more responsible ways. Acting in concert, we will take steps to ensure that substantial progress will be made in mitigating and eventually repairing the environment damage that has already been inflicted.

3. As parents and teachers, we will instill in successive generations an awareness of and high regard for the myriad inter-dependent natural systems that are required to sustain life on our planet.

4. We will work with leaders in business and technology to quantify and communicate the clear economic benefits of truly sustainable design. We will promote incentives to accelerate implementation of sustainable goals by key stakeholders.

5. We realize that the challenges facing us today transcend political, religious, economic, and cultural boundaries, whether real or imagined. Hence, our actions will be undertaken without regard to parochial interests, for the benefit of all.

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