The opportunities thinking sustainability offers became apparent to me during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. My job was to observe the battlefield from the Special Operations community's vantage point and assess what's working and what we can be doing better. What changes can we make to either improve our resilience or identify opportunities to increase operational effectiveness?
The most significant opportunity I identified to decrease casualties and increase combat effectiveness had nothing to do with tactics, training, or weaponry. I noticed that every gallon of fuel shipped into a theater of war carries with it an embedded cost of casualties, combat effectiveness, and treasure. Therefore, greater energy efficiency from a battlefield perspective translates into saved lives, greater combat effectiveness, and substantial financial savings. These resulting conserved resources are therefore available for reallocation to more value-added resourcing priorities like closing with the enemy.
I took this Afghanistan experience to heart and started working to develop an in-depth understanding of how to apply sustainable principles more broadly to business, government, and non-profit settings. To this end, I attained a Masters in Sustainability from Harvard's Extension School and an Executive MBA from Instituto de Empresa of Spain/ Brown University. I learned to contextualize sustainable development opportunities and strategies in qualitative terms as well as how to assess their economic viability and scalability.
Resilience & Opportunity is my way of sharing sustainability-based ideas and philosophies that inform the work I do to help people, businesses, governments to be more resilient and pursue emerging opportunities.
- Mark Lampman, Founder - Resilience & Opportunity