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According to a glossary is “a list of terms in a special subject, field, or area of usage with accompanying definitions”. For the purpose of the THRIVE Framework Glossary these definitions need to be in layman’s terms so that anyone unfamiliar with the jargon related to all things sustainable and Thrivable can understand the terms easily and fast. Eventually the idea is that it will be alphabetical to make it easier to reference. 

If people come across terms they are unfamiliar with, here is the place to put them and here is the place to find them. This list is yet to be as extensive as needed and is not exhaustive of terms relating to all things sustainable.

For the people that know the terms, if you could explain it in layman’s language next to the terms, it would be much appreciated. Please keep the explanation to about 3 to 5 sentences, or a paragraph. Also, please reference your sources.

An autophic organism is one that makes its own energy from inorganic compounds. They can either use photosynthesis or chemosynthesis to do this. An example of a photoautotroph is a tree. An example of a chemoautotroph is a volcano.

Is when abandoned and degraded agricultural lands are turned in forest. Sustainable afforestation: Feasable or fallacious?

The ‘Anthropocene’ is a proposed new geological epoch resulting from significant human-driven changes to the structure and functioning of the Earth’s system, including the climate system. The Anthropocene concept has been taken up by various disciplines and the media to denote the substantive influence humans have had on the state and future of the Earth’s system.

Biodiversity is the variability in life forms on earth. It could be described in different ways such as genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity (Owen, 2005; Maclaurin and Sterelny, 2008) Celebrating the international day for Biodiversity, The effects between Climate Change and Biodiversity.

Biomimicry is when humanity looks toward nature to emulate it in order to solve problems of unsustainability. Biomimcry: A schooling from nature, Nature based solutions to Climate Change

Is energy that can be extracted from organic plant and animal materials. Heat and electricity can be produced from these substances. Converting Biomass to micro-scale energy and by-products, Waste for energy: The power of biogas and biomass.

Is the part of the Earth that is able to sustain life. How to live sustainably: Lessons from the Biosphere 2 experiment.

(Schaltegger et al. 2012; UNEP 2017; Evans et al. 2017)

Carbon Capture and Storage is a process that involves capturing the Carbon upon emission (such as greenhouse gasses from industry), and transporting it somewhere for storage, usually underground. It is sometimes also known as Carbon Sequestration. Carbon Capture: Will it save us or end us?

A carbon credit is a permit that allows an organisation or a company to emit a certain amount of carbon or other greenhouse gas emissions and that can be traded if the full allowance is not used.

A Carbon Footprint is the amount of greenhouse gasses that is generated by a person or group. 6 ways to reduce our Carbon Footprint, Coffee producers: Is the Carbon cost too high? Fun task: Carbon calculator

Being Carbon Negative means that a person, group, or entity i.e., emitting less carbon and greenhouse gas than can be absorbed or offset. This is good. 

Becoming Carbon Neutral means balancing the output of greenhouse gas emissions with what is able to absorb it, such as Carbon Sinks. Carbon Neutral cities: Mission impossible?, What you need to know about Carbon Neutral products.

Is a misleading phrase. It means that a person, group, or entity is emitting more carbon and greenhouse gas than can be absorbed or offset. 

A form of a carbon price on greenhouse gas emissions, where certain sectors pay a fixed price to the government. Often this price or cost is passed on by the organisation to the consumers. Carbon Tax: Does it really work?

A carbon sink is a natural or man-made reservoir for CO2. Examples of natural carbon sinks are soil, forest and ocean. Artificial carbon sinks could take the form of high- pressured storage of CO2 deep beneath the earth crust (Alexandrov 2008). Did you know? Carbon Sinks.

Clean energy comes from energy that does not emit greenhouse gasses when produced. Q & A: Affordable and clean energy, Nuclear energy as a clean energy source, Clean coal energy: How clean is it really?.

The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects, in order to moderate harm or gain benefits is referred to as climate adaptation. Human intervention often facilitates adjustment to expected climate and its effects.

Climate change is a term that relates to the shifts that Earth is experiencing in weather and temperature. These shifts are long term. There is a correlation between these temperature and weather shifts and the emission of greenhouse gasses. How Climate Change affects communities, The effects between Climate Change and Biodiversity, What is the World Policy on Climate Change?, Climate Change: Global evolutions and possible impacts, Climate Change, modelling and impacts, Do you know these Climate Change buzzwords?.

Man-made interventions to reduce emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.

According to a closed loop system in reference to sustainability is “a recursive concept, process, or system in which there is no beginning or end point, but rather the products of one phase become the materials for the next, whose products themselves are the materials for the original phase.” It was a term coined by American economist, Kenneth Boulding, in 1966. See also TF – Linear to Circular Economy. The Circular Economy.

These are funds fed back into the community by the Fair Trade Certified companies. This enables the people at the extracting end, such as the farmers and workers, to invest in projects to develop the necessities in their community such as education, health, clean water, housing.

A wicked problem often refers to a social, cultural, political, or economical problem that is impossible to solve. This happens due to incomplete or contradictory information and knowledge, multiple number of actors and the people involved as well as a large economic or financial burden and the intersectionality of these problems with other problems and dimensions. Climate change has been deemed a ‘wicked problem’ due to the mammoth challenges ahead of us. (Breuer & Ludeke-Freund 2017). The effects of population growth on human wellbeing 

(Haffar & Searcy 2018; UNEP 2015)

Is a business model that business use to self-regulate. It ensures a business is accountable to the relevant stakeholders, including members of the public. There are four avenues of CSR which include environmental impacts, ethical responsibility, philanthropic endeavours, and financial responsibilities. Corporate Social Responsibility explained with examples, Corporate Social Responsibility for poverty alleviation.

Decarbonisation are action plans for altering CO2 emission rates within a geographical space. How will Decarbonisation tackle Climate Change?

The practices or processes that refer to the conversion of forest lands for non-forest uses (often commercial purposes). Deforestation is a major contributing factor to the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide.

Is a system of ecologies. An ecosystem comprises of all living organisms in an physical area interacting with each other and the non-living components (such as weather).  Did You Know? Sustainable ecosystems: Self sustaining, adapting and thriving, Sustainable ecosystems: Self sustaining, adapting and thriving

What the term Electrochemical means that it is a process using an electrical current through chemicals to generate energy. Electrochemical energy is what powers batteries. Electrochemical batteries: A solution for energy wastage? Electrical vehicle battery technologies: The key to transition.

The release of a substance (usually a gas) into the atmosphere. Emissions could be direct, for example burning fossil fuels for energy (Scope 1), or indirect, such as consumption of electricity (Scope 2) from other sources or transport (Scope 3) purchased or that are owned by another source/company. Radical ways to address the GHG emissions challenge through Carbon Sequestration.

Fairtrade is a global trading partnership. Fair trade certification means that the people involved in the making of the product have safe working conditions, that the environment is being protected i.e. it is being made ethically, peoples livelihoods are sustainable who are involved in the process of creating the product and it is made from community development funds. Fairtrade means the resource was sourced, extracted, manufactured, and produced in a sustainable and ethical manner ensuring that the methods involved are harmless to both people and planet. Coffee: Exploitation and injustice in your morning cup, Sustainable development: Closing the gap in developing nations.

Considering our planet is a closed system, there is a finite amount of matter in its atmosphere. Finite resources are non-renewable natural resources present on Earth (Rockstrom 2009; Steffen et al. 2015; Raworth 2012). Earth Overshoot Day.

A generic term for organic materials in decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years. Fossil Fuel subsidies and Climate Change.

Geothermal is a renewable energy that is extracted from the Earth’s core.  Geothermal Energy: Empowering women & communities.

Greenhouse effect is a term that describes how the natural gases in the Earth’s atmosphere allow infrared radiation to warm the Earth’s surface, but they also prevent heat from escaping the atmosphere of the Earth. This is contributing to climate change.

Any gas that absorbs infrared radiation in the atmosphere is called a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Radical ways to address the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions challenge through Carbon Sequestration, Greenhouse gases. Is it just a lot of hot air?

The ongoing global average increase in temperature around the Earth’s surface. Global Warming: What is it and how do we stop it.

Also known as ‘green sheen’. Greenwashing refers to false or misleading impressions given by a company with regards to their products or processes being environmentally sound or friendly. Eco-friendly labels: What’s really in the package.

(Eccles et al. 2018; IIRC 2013; Elkington 1997)

The linear economy is all about taking, making and wasting, when it comes to products. Materials are extracted, farmed, fished, etc. Then they are produced or processed, and made available to the consumer. At the end of their life the product, in whatever state it is, gets tossed away, only to end up in landfill. Transitioning to a Circular Economy brings in the Closed Loop principal and instead of take, make and waste, the product is designed to be recycled at the end of its life. This reduces the amount of resources necessary to be extracted from the planet and also cuts down on GHG emissions in the refinement and smelting of the raw materials. See also Closed Loop. (Geissdoerfer et al. 2017, Webster 2015). The Circular Economy, Brakes and levers to circular economies.

Net-zero emissions are a result of emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period. Where multiple greenhouse gases are involved, the quantification of net-zero emissions depends on the climate metric chosen to compare the emissions of different gases, such as the global warming potential, the global temperature change potential as well as the chosen time horizon. Net-Zero Emissions: Can market based instruments save us?, Eco building: Concrete ways to cement Net-Zero goals

It is an organisation that is separate from the government. Some things that define an NGO are that it is run by volunteers and may be a charity. Some of these organisations have a special code, such as 501 (c) for taxation purposes. What is an NGO?

Ocean Governance has to do with the legal and policy making aspect of ensuring the worlds oceans are adequately protected and kept sustainable. It is global and multi-institutional including governments, public and private companies, along with NGO’s and conservation societies. Can we save the Great Barrier Reef?, Stopping overfishing in the high seas: 30% by 2030. Rethinking our global ocean.

Going or living off grid means that a person, group or entity has adopted a way of living and doing business where they are not connected to public utilities. Living off-grid.

The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in December 2015 in Paris, France, at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. One of the goals of the Paris Agreement is ‘Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels’, understanding that this would effectively reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Is the Paris Agreement working?

Is a form of energy that comes from a natural resource such as sun, wind, or water. These resources renew frequently and there is little danger of running out of them. Breakeven renewable energy, What is Wind Energy? The advantages and disadvantages, The intermittency of Renewables: Challenges and solutions, Is Solar PV the energy of the future?

Science based targets are ones informed by the sciences, such as the IPCC “Paris Agreement”; an international treaty on climate change that is legally binding. 196 countries and territories agreed in 2015 to address the climate crisis through the implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. (SBTi 2018).

Strong sustainability is about non-substitution and no monetization(Upward & Jones 2016).

Are a set of 17 global goals with 169 targets spread between them to create a sustainable future for every organism within the Earth’s biosphere. In 2015 all the United Nations Member States adopted these goals. It is also known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change and the SDG’s: What are they and how do they help?, Sustainable Development Goals.

The WEF describes The Great Reset  as “a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of our economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient future” (2020). The Great Reset has been the subject of conspiracy theories. It is all about changing as a person, people, and place how business is done, in order to create a sustainable future with a resilient economy. The Great Reset: What does our future look like? 

The systemic holistic model brings together the 12 foundational focus factors operating across the four quadrants depicted below. Using leading backcasting techniques, it develops the trajectory and guidance towards a more prosperous future for the benefit of all of humanity. 

THRIVE Platform is a unique first-of-a-kind world-class online modelling platform aimed at informing and guiding humanity towards thrivability. It achieves this by providing context-based performance measures linked to strategy, e.g. business model as informed by the sciences. Using big data analytics and advanced machine learning techniques, it utilizes sense-making algorithms to assess performance within norms, relative to thresholds and allocation of available resources. THRIVE Platform Walkthrough, THRIVE Platform.

THRIVE Project is a for-impact social enterprise whose mission is to ensure the long-term well-being and ‘thrivability’ of all humanity. Our vision is a world beyond sustainability, where all life forms live in harmony. It includes the THRIVE Platform, the 12 THRIVE Framework Foundational Focus Factors, and education through publications, blogs, and various kinds of videos. It is run by volunteers from all around the world and involves partnerships with other sustainable entities. About THRIVE, Meet the THRIVE Project.

“The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation” (WEF, n.d.) It is a global institution comprising of both public and private enterprises across the globe. WEF: Our Mission, The Great Reset: What does our future look like?

Is the ability for a natural or artificial person, group or entity, to go beyond the boundaries of simply surviving and becoming prosperous, thriving, in a sustainable way. Did you know? The meaning of thrivability, What is thrivability?, Consumerism, sustainability, and thrivability, The trajectory towards Thrivability.

The THRIVE Framework is a trans-disciplinary, holistic model which aims to investigate the likely outcome of actions well before they occur. The purpose of the THRIVE Framework is to help us measure the potential of initiatives taken today to help transform society towards a better future: a place that is ‘Thrivable’, or beyond mere sustainability. The THRIVE Framework.

(Breuer et al. 2017)

Water scarcity happens when there is not enough water to supply the demand. There are multiple reasons for this. There may not be enough fresh water available, the infrastructure to provide fresh water may be lacking, the water may be too expensive, or they may be more population than can be adequately supplied. Solutions for drought: Managing water scarcity, Clean water and sanitation, Water purification systems: How effective are they?

Is when there is enough affordable fresh water available in an area to meet and supply the demand. Tips to save water, 15 tips and tricks to save water at home.