"The ability of a community to utilise its natural, human, and technological resources to ensure that well-being, economic security, and a say in shaping their future while maintaining the integrity of the ecological systems on which all life and production depends" Cortese (1994)
We believe that the over-arching framework for sustainable community development in regional and rural areas is:
Innovation and creativity
Leading change in organisations and communities requires facilitated processes and "out of the box" strategic thinking in order to come up with with innovative and creative solutions to problems and issues that challenge our future.
Maintaining Ecological Integrity
A more sustainable community is in harmony with natural systems, including the sound management of waste and by utilising the natural ability of the environmental resources for human needs without undermining their ability to function over time. Within this overarching paradigm, we believe that the following are the cornerstones of regional and rural development:
A more sustainable community recognises and supports people's evolving sense of well-being which includes a sense of belonging, a sense of self-worth, a sense of safety, and a sense of connection with nature, and provides goods and services which meet peoples' needs both as they define them and as can be accommodated within the ecological integrity of natural systems.
Rights and Responsibility
A more sustainable community enables people to feel empowered and take responsibility based on a shared vision, equal opportunity, ability to access expertise and knowledge for their own needs, and a capacity to understand and grasp their rights.
A more sustainable community includes a variety of businesses industries and institutions which are financially viable, flexible, committed to human resource development, support the local economy. A more sustainable community also is one in which capital is utilised and retained within the community.