Sustainability Research Institute, (SRI), is a not-for-profit public company, and since 1997 a CSIRO approved Research Institute. Based in the Byron Shire of NSW its aim is to research and promote sustainable technologies and best practice for human activities with respect to the physical, social, political, cultural and economic environments. In particular the focus is on the integration of knowledge across these fields towards the design of a wholistic sustainable society.
SRI is an Eastern word for highest respect or sacredness and illustrates the intention of balancing knowledge of the physical world with knowledge of the spiritual world in developing a sustainable society. This choice of name for the Institute was made in recognition of the importance of social design and human activity being based on an attitude of respect for all people, all life-forms and the natural world that sustains an evolving living system.
SRI is now preparing to establish its first sustainable community village as a campus of the Institute. Sustainable technologies and practices will be developed and demonstrated as elements of an integrated evolving life sustaining ecological system. It will incorporate physical, social, economic and spiritual perspectives. Income needs of the resident staff of the Institute will be derived from various sources including, research & development activities, conducting workshops, learning, healing and personal growth programs and site tours for visitors to this unique ‘walk-in’ experience of a living environment and lifestyle that is optimal for both humans and planet.
This will be the first step towards building a network of sustainability-learning communities towards a sustainability-learning society. It is to be noted that building a sustainable future will require rehabilitation of people as well as regeneration of nature’s ecological order. An important aspect of the design is the legal and financial infrastructure, which addresses the need to accommodate State Planning legislation regarding rural settlement and the need to provide affordable settlement opportunities for all regardless of their access to financial capital.
The philosophy of SRI communities is that the purpose of community is to support each member in achieving fulfillment of their highest potential. The highest priority of each member is therefore, to at all times act according to their inmost truth and to respect that right for all their fellow members.
Any family or anyone interested in becoming a participant in these first community settlements or in assisting in the funding or provision of a suitable property are encouraged to contact SRI, which as an approved charity, has Deductible Gift Recipient status with the Australian Taxation Office, meaning donations towards its research work are 100% tax deductible. Donations of property or funds towards the purchase of suitable property are also 100% tax deductible; the titles of such property will be held in perpetuity in the Natural Capital Protection Trust.