Growing up, my mother used to tell me that I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too.  I’ve never accepted this and throughout my life I have always been drawn to such paradoxes and searched for just this in all that I do.  From a business perspective, “Sustainably Free” encapsulates the notion of “have your cake and eat it too”. However, perhaps not in the simple notion of giving away something for free (purchase price = $0), which might not be sustainable in the long run; though perhaps, through the notion of free in terms of the cost to produce, which indeed could increase sustainability and long term profit.  For example if I love my job, then it costs me nothing to go to work and deliver upon my responsibilities.  When I get paid for my efforts, my personal profit margin is 100%.  That’s Sustainably Free!

Sustainably Free: fosters explorative discussions on the theme of “have your cake and eat it too” in the context of environmental and cultural sustainability, hybrid business models, community – from ad hoc to formal, appropriate use of technology, and joyfully fulfilling our human potential.

Microsoft’s Encarta Dictionary defines Sustainable and Free as follows (selected definitions):
Sus.tain.a.ble (adjective/transitive verb)
1. able to be maintained
2. maintaining an ecological balance
   exploiting natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of a particular area
3. nourish
   to provide somebody with nourishment or the necessities of life

Free (adjective/transitive verb)
1. self-ruling
   not ruled by a foreign country or power
2. disregarding traditional limitations
   performed or written without being subjected to traditional conventions or restraints
3. giving something readily
   giving or expending something generously
4. open and honest
   spontaneous, open and without awkwardness or reserve in speaking to or dealing with other people
5. make available or enable
   to make somebody or something available for use or able to do something

When we are able to maintain an ecological balance, nourishing ourselves and our families; self-directed and interconnected; without regard for known limitations and beliefs; giving readily in an open, honest and spontaneous fashion which enables others to succeed; we will be closer to sustainably free.

Michael Thatcher