Cracking the Code: The Essence of Sustainable Development

Terry Mock, SLDI Co-Founder

It’s hardly news that after more than two decades of talk about the need for sustainable development, we humans continue to have a poor track record when it comes to achieving sustainable results. How can we implement change while up against the overwhelming current of business as usual? It will take a new perspective, new approaches and different means of leadership.

For the first time, a condensed & balanced triple-bottom-line set of defining articles, collectively entitled The Fractal Frontier – Sustainable Development Trilogy, is now available for your review. The trilogy examines the reasons for our past failures, a new scientific basis for the essence of achieving sustainable development in the future, the nine universal principles that must be built into any sustainable project, ways to educate, plan and lead teams to achieve sustainable results, and much more.

SLDI News & Commentary Update: Developing a Sustainable Oregon Coast 

The southern coast of Oregon is a rare place on earth, where beautiful wild & scenic rivers tumble down through steep canyons, and the tallest and largest carbon-sequestering forests in the world on their way to a rocky coastline with wide stretches of sandy beach, before pouring out into the mighty Pacific ocean. Along the rugged coast are picturesque working ports, made of hillside homes, small waterfront cafe’s, vibrant art communities, and more parks per mile than anywhere in the USA.

The Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) has a mission to engage Port Orford fishers and other community members in developing and implementing a Port Orford Community Stewardship Area Plan that ensures the long-term sustainability of the Port Orford reef ecosystem and social system dependent on it. The Redfish Rocks area south of Port Orford has been designated a pilot marine reserve and a broader area of some 30 miles in length along the southern Oregon coast forming a unique 935-square-mile land and sea stewardship area is to protect terrestrial, freshwater, intertidal and ocean reserves. This model sustainability initiative is a prime example of a trend described in the current Oregon Planners Journal entitled Ecosystem Services: A new approach to planning that can help the profession to plan sustainably.

On February 11th, POORT will hold its 3rd annual Land-Sea Connection workshop to share healthy best practices with proactive agencies, NGO’s and local stakeholders to improve collaboration within the stewardship area and encourage implementation of the Port Orford Marine Economic Recovery Plan. Located in the stewardship area headwaters along a 1000’ ridgetop overlooking old growth forest and the marine reserve, Ocean Mountain Ranch is a SLDI carbon-negative project that will provide for long-term yield of high-quality hardwood, softwood, and wildlife habitat while serving as a model organic forestry/grazing operation incorporating residential, agricultural, educational, recreational, and industrial activities to promote sustainable land development best practices on the southern Oregon coast by mixing nature, tradition, and economics for a sustainable future. You can watch a documentary preview of this ground-breaking eco-forestry project here.

Financing for ecosystem services is beginning to emerge from some compassionate climate capitalists who have been seeking out carbon offset projects that not only reduce carbon emissions but also have significant social, economic and/or environmental benefits in the communities where the projects are developed. These projects are often referred to as having co-benefits or some call them charismatic projects.  Charismatic carbon projects are poised to experience significant growth because there is increasing demand from offset buyers because companies that buy charismatic offsets gain more brand value for buying them than if they had just bought garden variety offsets.

Feature Publication

The Fractal Frontier – Sustainable Development Trilogy 

This trilogy of articles examines the essence of sustainability and presents some new perspectives on achieving sustainable results. Part I – Designing a Big Wheel for Civilization explores our checkered history regarding sustainability and provides a foundation of understanding for the future. Part II – Like Life Itself, Sustainable Development is Fractal presents new scientific understandings of economics, nature and social psychology and their impacts on sustainable development. Part III – The Universal Principles of Sustainable Development begins the process of defining the requisite outcomes in order to achieve sustainable results on any project.

Pass It Forward 
In the Pass-It-Forward spirit, SLDI is gifting the information in the document, along with the SLDI Code sustainable development matrix, on behalf of the sustainable land development industry, to anyone interested in collaborating to achieve sustainable results. You are encouraged to cite, share, copy, distribute and transmit this information under the conditions that you attribute the work to The Fractal Frontier – Sustainable Development Trilogy and include this link to the document in its entirety –

It is important to note that the information contained in the document is universal in its application and need not be confined to land development projects.

Your participation and comments are welcome.

Sustainable Land Development Initiative

For the latest SLDI tweets, click here.

The 21st century will overturn many of our previously-held assumptions about civilization. The challenges and opportunities land development stakeholders now face – to fulfill the needs of society and achieve a favorable return on investment without harming the environment – have vast implications on the sustainability of our communities around the world.

SLDI - Sustainable Land Development Initiative is a stakeholder social media association now positioned to help transform the industry that creates the very infrastructure of our civilization. SLDI is dedicated to delivering sustainable land development technology and knowledge resources to promote and enable fully integrated sustainable land development worldwide.

How do we develop a sustainable civilization?
By delivering the "holy grail of sustainable decision making" - a universal geometrical algorithm that balances the needs of people, planet and profit - The SLDI Code™
The World’s First Sustainable Development Decision Model is symbolized as a geometrical algorithm that balances and integrates the triple-bottom line needs of people, planet and profit into a holistic, fractal model that becomes increasingly detailed, guiding effective decisions throughout the community planning, financing, design, regulating, construction and maintenance processes while always enabling project context to drive specific decisions.

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SLDI Co-founders:
Terry Mock
Tony Wernke

Read The Fractal Frontier - Sustainable Development Trilogy.
Read Developing a Sustainable Endgame for the Global Economy
See history and evolution of SLDI @ SLDI Foundational Articles

15 responses

  1. You guys are doing amazing work. Here in Hawaii, the need for sustainability is huge–we’re 2,500 miles at least from major sources of energy and food. As fire-protection contractors, we’re glad to see that the IRBC is mandating fire-sprinkler systems in single-family dwellings. As one of our owners says, “It’s hard to maintain sustainability in a building that burns to the ground.” All the best!

  2. The Ocean Mountain Ranch project on the southern Oregon coast is a SLDI pilot project that we’re participating in and updating readers on its development. There have been numerous developments which impact the sustainability of the region which can serve as a case study for those regions with sustainability objectives. Previous articles are typically referenced in any updates for further information and background context.

    We encourage readers to submit information about projects and developments from other regions and communities throughout the country and world.

  3. Some additional comments and information on the content contained in The Fractal Frontier – Sustainable Development Trilogy

    January 08, 2011 at 14:02 pm PDT | Jules Ruis writes:
    For more information about fractals, see:

    January 22, 2011 at 10:46 am PDT | Frank Starkey writes:
    This framework is very useful as each triangle represents the interface between those adjacent to it, with the “purest” of each of the 3 points going in opposite directions. This makes it able to express both “pure” ideas (model nature) and those which connect to others (Energy flows.)
    I recently wrote a document describing the various benefits of a sustainable development plan for a new town. It was impossible to assign every benefit to only one of the three “bottom lines.” Having read this, I can go back and assign each to a triangle within this matrix.
    Great work!

    January 26, 2011 at 16:42 pm PDT | Andras Pellionisz writes:
    The spectacular NOVA “full episode” movie, featuring Nature’s geometry as fractals, shows fractals of our body (lung, blood vessels, etc) and the text pins down that “The human cell possesses all the functioning of the entire human body”. Thus, within a decade it is almost “obvious” what FractoGene (2002, see ) claimed that “Fractal DNA governs growth of fractal organelles, organs and organisms”. The company using this IP for interpretation of DNA sequences is

  4. Terry, keep your passion fired up for SLDI,
    People just need to get over all the new terms such as : sustainable, fractal, eco this and eco that.
    The truth is people must take care of the earth so it will function as designed. Keep your passion so our youth will continue the good work.

  5. UPDATE:

    Richard Branson on impacting climate change

    Oct 17th 2011

    “…At Virgin we have always backed the power of the entrepreneur and inventor to find solutions to tricky problems,” he said. “With this in mind why should climate change and the battle against carbon be any different.”

    To that end, in 2007 he had announced the Virgin Earth Challenge, an idea he credited to his wife, which offered a $25 million prize to whomever — inventor, scientist or entrepreneur — could come up with the best way to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The original deadline was 2010; to-date they’ve received 2,500 entries but have not yet chosen a “grand prize winner.” Instead, he said, the panel — which includes James Lovelock, Tim Flannery, Al Gore and James Hansen — had decided to choose a handful of promising entries and give them grants to help develop some experimental technologies.

    Ever the optimist, he was the first to admit “we have a lot of work to do on many fronts and not much time to change the course we are on.

    “We must look at the issues around protecting our natural resources as one of the biggest entrepreneurial opportunities of our lifetimes. We have the technology to realize this opportunity – we now need the right government policies to put the capital in place to build a new economy that puts people and the planet ahead of just business as usual and creates a more equitable way of life in harmony with the planet”…

  6. UPDATE:

    Natural Systems Key to Addressing Climate Change

    “Biocarbon” Vital Solution, Complement to Clean Energy Revolution

    Oct 24, 2011

    Portland, OR: For years now, policymakers and the public have heard about the critical need to reduce fossil fuel use to stop global warming, as the burning of oil, coal and other fossil fuels releases carbon into the atmosphere, ultimately heating up the planet’s climate. Absorbing carbon through natural systems, also known as “biocarbon,” is now emerging as a critical second solution to the climate crisis.

    Climate Solutions, a Northwest non-profit that over the past decade has succeeded in placing clean energy on the economic development agenda of leaders throughout the region, is now launching a new program. The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative (NBI) will support biocarbon leadership and innovation.

    “To solve climate change, we have to do two very big things: One, transform how we produce and use energy to get off of the carbon-based fuels; and two, re-green the planet to scale up carbon storage in natural systems.” said Rhys Roth, Director of Strategic Innovation for Climate Solutions. “The Pacific Northwest can pioneer solutions that work from several angles — helping kick-start the economy, create jobs, use less energy, beautify our cities and pull carbon pollution in the atmosphere back to earth”…

  7. UPDATE:

    Virgin Earth Challenge Finalists Unveiled

    CALGARY, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ – …a multinational announcement was made at the Global Clean Energy Congress 2011: the Virgin Earth Challenge unveiled 11 finalists from an original 2,600 submissions to the world for the first time.

    The purpose of the Challenge is simple and clear: $25 million for the first to establish a safe technology and business to capture carbon from thin air.

    After a diligent technical review process, the 11 leading organizations are: Biochar Solutions (US); Biorecro (Sweden); Black Carbon (Denmark); Carbon Engineering (Canada); Climeworks (Switzerland); Coaway (US); Full Circle Biochar (US); Global Thermostat (US); Kilimanjaro Energy (US); Smart Stones (Netherlands) and The Savory Institute (US).

    The leading organizations bring expertise and solutions from a wide range of areas which includes air capture, biochar, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, enhanced weathering on land, and land management…

  8. Your site has a whole lot of fantastic buzzwords. Sustainability, fractal frontier, carbon sequestering, charismastic carbon projects, and so on. If I could eat buzzwords, I’d be fat.

    1. Society, environmental factors and economic circumstances are forcing change. “Buzzwords” are required in order to communicate a shift in paradigm thinking.

      Old fashioned “charcoal” has been re-branded “bio-char” and has gone from “carbon-positive” to “carbon-negative” in the process!

        1. People now have access to new information through sources such as Google and Wikipedia to keep up and not be afraid…

  9. A Budding Model of a Truly Sustainable Community
    January 13th, 2013

    Here at SLDI, we’ve witnessed thousands of communities heap praise on themselves for their virtues of “green” and “sustainability.” Most of these communities we’ve seen, however, are long on hype but woefully short on truly transformational action that balances the needs of people, planet and profit. Most of these communities take public pride in slowing down their unsustainable practices. While those efforts are perhaps the beginning, we often use the analogy that if you need to get somewhere and you’re driving 100 mph in the opposite direction, you’re still never going to get there by continuing in the same direction but slowing down to 50 mph. We need to stop the car and turn it around, which continues to prove to be a daunting challenge for most everyone.

    Grassroots education, not hype

    Stakeholders in the Port Orford Community Stewardship Area (POCSA) are beginning to
    take transformative action. Perhaps the most important part of their efforts lie with successfully engaging and educating not just the “industry pros,” but the public on the real meaning of the triple-bottom-line principles of “people, planet and profit”….

    1. World’s First Planting of a Champion Redwood & Sequoia Forest
      December 3, 2012

      Will Genetic Clones of the World’s Largest Trees Help to Save the Planet?

      (Port Orford, OR) The non-profit organization Archangel Ancient Tree
      Archive has announced plans to restore an old growth forest on the
      southern Oregon coast with exact genetic duplicates of some of the
      largest champion redwood and sequoia trees in the world…..

      1. Champion Tree Planting & Port Orford Archive
        On January 10, 2013 · By Bill Latka

        In its first effort to recreate a champion tree old growth forest,
        Archangel Ancient Tree Archive successfully planted a four-acre grove of
        2,000 to 3,000-year-old coast redwood and giant sequoia clones near
        Port Orford, Oregon. This living archive of trees is exactly in line
        with Archangel’s mission. There is much we still don’t know about these
        trees, and this archive will keep the genetics of these essential trees
        available to study for centuries to come….

  10. Earth911
    Planting The Future: Forest Conservation Initiative Takes Root
    By Debra Atlas on Oct 24, 2014 –

    … Sustainable land stewardship will bring new economic opportunities to small communities such as Port Orford. By carefully preserving the beauty of these areas, an influx of small businesses and tourism will be attracted to them, which will help lift small
    communities out of economic depression. Supporting Nature’s on-going recovery with sustainable land stewardship is a win all around.

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