Food System

The food system includes all processes involved in providing for human caloric and nutritional needs: growing, harvesting, processing (or transforming or changing), packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food and food packages. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each step. The food system operates within and is influenced by social, […]

Financial Capital

One of at least four forms of capital used by people, organizations, corporations, and governments, to build and maintain their livelihoods. Financial Capital includes all financial assets, instruments, and resources (including loans, bonds, stock, expenses, assets, equity, and cash flows) used throughout the the organization’s activities. Sustainable organizations seek to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency […]

Fair Trade (Fairtrade)

A system of trade in which workers receive living wages and employment opportunities for the goods they produce. This system serves as an alternative approach to conventional international trade for producers who are typically economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers from developing countries. The producers partner with international organizations that help them build their skills to […]

Factor 10

The goal of being ten times as productive with half the resources (materials and energy), leading to a factor 10 improvement in efficiency. Alternatively, practices that are just as productive while using only 10% of the resources also qualify. This is an escalated challenge from the concept introduced in the 1998 book, Factor 4, written […]

Factor 4

The goal of being twice as productive with half the resources (materials and energy), leading to a factor 4 improvement in efficiency. Alternatively, practices which are just as productive with 1/4 of the resources or 4 times as effective with the same resources also count. The concept was introduced in the 1998 book, Factor 4, […]


Metaphors that serve to structure our experience and understanding of the complex world around us. Made famous by professor George Lakoff. More information:

Flat Organization

An organization with few layers of management in the hope of achieving organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Flat organizations or hierarchies often use a more team-based approach that is more flexible and responsive.

Fiduciary Responsibility

The moral, and sometimes legal, responsibility one party has to another in relationship to specific duties, such as those held by investment advisors or trustees.


Any system that taxes socially undesirable activities and products and uses the money to support more desirable ones. For example, transportation taxes for gasoline or tolls often support public transportation that has less environmental impact and eases traffic congestion.