By Gary Lawrence. The problems of our time, belief in the value of specialization over generalization and the history of educational praxis inspire people to become ever more “expert” in their chosen field – to delve deeper into technical understanding, to focus more narrowly on one specific application, to create niches within already specialized niches. Our expertise in the fields of water, energy and agriculture is growing more sophisticated every day. We can analyze, predict, model and innovate at an almost molecular level in each field. What we are not good at is the big picture.
Gary Lawrence was Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for AECOM Technology Corporation, a $20-billion global provider of professional technical and management support services. Gary leads AECOM’s sustainability efforts by managing its extensive resources and skills in sustainability for projects across the enterprise. In addition he is a Senior Fellow at the Design Futures Council, a Senior Fellow at the EastWest Institute for Water, Food, Energy, Security Nexus programme, and he is on a number of advisory boards related to sustainability and resilience.
The Water, Food, Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and an agenda for action. Edited by Felix Dodds and Jamie Bartram. London, New York 2016, pp. 117-124