Sustainability integrated into system becomes “systainablity”

By Edo Heinrich-Sanchez

Cleanup are welcome through Nov. 11 with entries for the Marine Debris Art Challenge accepted through Oct. 18 to be judged by the Blue October visiting delegates.

The Nobel Prizes were just announced, and we are sending a big bang of applause for the laureates. While we celebrate these accomplishments we continue to struggle with our own waste, which is washing up on our shores daily.  But there is hope.  No problems, only solutions, and with a positive attitude we pray that science and common sense (itself on the endangered list) will make the future we want… and need: No Blue – No you! With that said…

The countdown has begun for the Blue October special events and meetings starting from Friday, Oct. 20, when our first participants start arriving from around Asia-Pacific, and all the way from Estonia.

The Marine Debris Art Challenge is also open!  See for details.

Following the Shellhorn tradition, a small delegation will visit Okinawa Prefecture’s “Eco-Island,” a.k.a. Miyakojima, where a special Triton Shell will be picked up and brought to our NGO Forum.

We celebrate our 20th Anniversary of the I Love Okinawa Campaign with beach and underwater cleanups on Saturday, Oct. 26, followed by a hotdog and coke BBQ, and then a party at Coconut Moon at the Malibu Beach in, Yamada Onna Village.

Other beach cleanups are scheduled to take place in Okuma up north, and Miyakojima, Ishigaki and Iriomote islands.  We encourage everyone to join the effort and use the Marine Trash Data Card. A bilingual version is downloadble from our website

Help us reach 13,333 volunteers for this “yuimaru” effort.  From the next issue we will highlight key volunteers that exemplify the Okinawa “Yuimaru” spirit as we navigate towards a sustainable future.

The NGO Forum will feature a hands on “systainability” training by Robert Steele, Founder and Director of Systainability Asia, a Thailand based regional consultancy that works closely with national and local governments, NGOs and businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.

He has been successful at inspiring, training and helping those to enable the successful integration of sustainability into systems: therefore the “systainability” concept was born.  And no! It wasn’t a typo!

Robert is also a Senior Associate with AtKisson Group for South East Asia and currently Team Leader of AtKisson Group’s education initiative – Compass Education.

The NGO Forum will have interpretation available and participation is limited. Teachers and key students are welcome to attend.  Please e-mail

Recommendations from the workshop will be presented to the UNEP.  The UN Decade for Education on Sustainable Development is coming to a close in November in Nagoya. Our members will be sharing our results at the closing.

Coming up in November 9th, Saturday, the TEDxRyukyu@OIST is gearing up.

What is TEDx? In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local self-organizing events that bring people together to share a TED like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

Locally, the first TEDxRyukyu took place in 2010, and the third in Japan.  This was pioneered by Masahiro Kyushima.  With a dedicated team of volunteer organizers, the next TEDxRyukyu will be held at the auditorium of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST).  Details will be posted soon on

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.  What is TED? Go to to find out.

The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.  Dennis Gabor, Nobel Laureate.

23:16 27 Feb , 2024