Anthropological Sustainability


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One of the key issues that is central to anthropological sustainability is innovation. Innovation means something that is new or that which is introduced in a different way. Innovation involves combining the old and the new so as to make the old better. With this, the people improve on their systems and thus achieve sustainability.

According to Stone (2003), anthropologists have studied the ability of people to be innovative and adopt to their new strategies and found out that innovation brings change and further success. An example to show innovation is given of the Kofyar of Nigeria. They innovatively changed from generation to the other in agriculture and this included crop choice, and balancing between cash and subsistence crops. With these innovations, the Kofyar were sustained in a better way than many other farmers in the African setting.

Innovation therefore means that people implement the ideas that they generate. Innovation comes after creativity since creativity is the generation of new ideas. For instance, the Kofyar people had the idea of changing their agricultural ways. However, innovation only came in implementing and thus they improved on their agriculture.

Other than innovation improving on the specific task, it also improves the general well being of human beings. There are times when innovation can occur incidentally. This is where one gets something that they never intended or that they did not know could be the outcome. Through innovation, different people get sustainability and thus achieve success in their places whether it is in the workplace or even school.


Stone, M.P. (2003). Human organization: Is Sustainability for Development Anthropologists? 62 (2)


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