Sustainability is commonly associated with nature and the environment but often not discussed in its economic and social aspects. The public and common good dimensions of sustainability are examined even less in the literature. While the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals included the Peace and Policy dimensions in their formulations along with people, planet, prosperity, and partnership, the common good mindset needs to be further explored to understand the comprehensive nature of sustainability. This study reviews the concept of common good in relation to other dimensions of sustainability and its implications for sustainability mindsets. The common good, which dates back to Aristotle, is central to sustainability and well-being in society because it promotes political justice, public accountability, and civic mindedness to help achieve prosperity and collective happiness (eudaimonia). The common good and public good dimensions of sustainability are examined in light of Aristotle’s paradigms enhanced by the contributions of Jacques Maritain, Elinor Ostrom, and Pope Francis reflecting the Jesuit and Catholic teaching traditions. The common good mindset contributes to our understanding of the sustainability mindset by shifting the paradigm of “me-thinking” to “we-thinking.” The common good paradigm has gone through various evolutionary interpretations which play a key role in today’s debates over sustainable human development, sustainable human security, and a sustainability mindset. These thinkers exemplify some of the essential elements in the common good mindset identified here as core dimensions for developing leadership mindsets for our collective global responsibility and our common sustainable future.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Ameriks, K., & Clarke, D. M. (2000). Aristotle: Nicomachean ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Aristotle. (1999). The nichomachean ethics (W. D. Ross, Trans.). Batoche Books.
Arjoon, S., Turriago-Hoyos, A., & Thoene, U. (2018). Virtuousness and the common good as a conceptual framework for harmonizing the goals of the individual, organizations, and the economy. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1), 143–163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2969-6.
Banchoff, T. (2016). Jesuit higher education and the global common good. In J. Casanova & T. Banchoff (Eds.), The Jesuits and globalization: Historical legacies and contemporary challenges (pp. 239–260). Georgetown University Press.
Bninski, J., & Boyle, J. R. W. (2020). Cura personalis as institutional practice. Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, 9(1), 122–132.
Carter, J. (2007). For the common good: The ethics of leadership in the 21st century. Greenwood Publishing Group.
Chojnacki, R. J. (2010). Indigenous apostles: Maya catholic catechists working the word in highland Chiapas. Brill Rodopi.
Christie, I., Gunton, R. M., & Hejnowicz, A. P. (2019). Sustainability and the common good: Catholic social teaching and ‘integral ecology’ as contributions to a framework of social values for sustainability transitions. Sustainability Science, 14, 1343–1354. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-019-00691-y.
Connor, K. R. (2014). Accompanying the student: The Ignatian pedagogical paradigm and prior learning. Jesuit Higher Education, 3(1), 40–47.
Cooper, J. W. (1988). Natural law and economic humanism. Jacques Maritain: the man and his metaphysics. American Maritain Association, 147–157. https://maritain.nd.edu/ama/Knasas/Knasas17.pdf.
Couto, R. (2010). Political and civic leadership: A reference handbook. Sage.
Crosby, B. C., & Bryson, J. M. (2005). Leadership for the common good: Tackling public problems in a shared-power world (Vol. 264). Wiley.
Daly, H. E., Cobb, J. B., Jr., & Cobb, J. B. (1994). For the common good: Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future (No. 73). Beacon Press.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Hedonia, eudaimonia, and well-being: An introduction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9(1), 1–11.
Dietz, T., Ostrom, E., & Stern, P. C. (2003). The struggle to govern the commons. science, 302(5652), 1907–1912.
Etzioni, A. (2014). Common good. In M. T. Gibbons (Ed.), The encyclopedia of political thought (pp. 603–610). Wiley.
Felber, C. (2019). Change everything: Creating an economy for the common good. Zed Books Ltd.
Fisher, C. (2010). Happiness at work. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12, 384–412.
Freund, M. (2017). Shared leadership: Research and implications for nonprofit leadership, capacity building, and education. The Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 7(1).
Gadotti, M. (1996). Pedagogy of praxis: A dialectical philosophy of education. SUNY Press.
Garanzini, S. J., M. (2020). Do we need a new paradigm? An invitation to reassess business education. Journal of Management for Global Sustainability, 8(1), 19–31. https://doi.org/10.13185/JM2020.08103.
Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162(3859), 1243–1248. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.162.3859.1243.
Hollenbach, D. (2002). The common good and Christian social ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Johnson-DeBaufre, M., Keller, C, & Ortega-Ponte, E. (Eds.). (2015). Common goods: Economy, ecology and political theology. Fordham University Press.
Kalumba, K. (1993). Maritain on «the common good»: Reflections on the concept. Laval Théologique Et Philosophique, 49(1), 93–104.
Kassel, K., & Rimanoczy, I. (2018). Developing sustainability mindset in management education. Routledge.
Kelley, S., & Nahser, R. (2014). Developing sustainable strategies: Foundations, method, and pedagogy. Journal of Business Ethics, 123(4), 631–644. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-2014-6.
Kelly, A. (2016). An integral ecology and the Catholic vision. ATF Press.
Keys, M. M. (2006). Aquinas, Aristotle, and the promise of the common good. Cambridge University Press.
Klassen, D. J. (2011). Integral humanism or exclusive humanism? Reconsidering Maritain’s political philosophy. Philosophy, Culture, and Traditions, 7, 87–101.
Korsgaard, C. (1986). Aristotle on function and virtue. History of Philosophy Quarterly, 3(3), 259–279. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27743773.
Kramer, M. R., & Porter, M. (2011). Creating shared value. FSG.
Kraut, R. (1989). Aristotle on the human good. Princeton University Press.
Leighter, J. L., & Smythe, K. R. (2019). Ignatian pedagogy for sustainability: An overview. Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, 8(1), 3–11.
Maritain, J. (1958). Reflections on America. Scribner.
Maritain, J. (1994). The person and the common good. University of Notre Dame Press.
Mazzocchi, F. (2020). A deeper meaning of sustainability: Insights from indigenous knowledge. Anthropocene Review, 7(1), 77.
Meinzen-Dick, R. (2012, June 14). Elinor Ostrom’s trailblazing commons research can inspire Rio+20. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2012/jun/14/elinor-ostrom-commons-rio20.
Nyssens, M., & Petrella, F. (2015). 10 The social and solidarity economy and Ostrom’s approach to common pool resources. Civil society, the third sector and social enterprise: Governance and democracy, 178.
O’Connell, G. (2020, September 9). Pope Francis: Defeat covid-19 by working for the common good. America Magazine. https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/09/09/pope-francis-defeat-covid-19-working-common-good.
Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press.
Ostrom, E. (2010). Beyond markets and states: Polycentric governance of complex economic systems. American Economic Review, 100, 1–33.
Pigg, K., Gasteyer, S., Martin, K., Apaliyah, G., & Keating, K. (2015). Community effects of leadership development education: Citizen empowerment for civic engagement: Vol. First edition. West Virginia University Press.
Pope Francis. (2015). Encyclical letter Laudato Si’ of The Holy Father Francis on care for our common home. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html#_ftnref122.
Pope Francis. (2020). Encyclical letter fratelli tutti of The Holy Father Francis on fraternity and social friendship. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html.
Quinn, K. (2016, May 3). Teaching that transforms: The distinctive heart of Jesuit higher education. America Magazine. https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/teaching-transforms.
Raskin, M. G. (2019). The common good: Its politics, policies and philosophy (Vol. 49). Routledge.
Rimanoczy, I. (2017). Big bang being: Developing the sustainability mindset. Routledge.
Russell, S. (2019, August 15). Cura apostolica revised. Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education. http://www.conversationsmagazine.org/web-features/2019/8/15/cura-apostolica-revisited.
Sfeir-Younis, A., Tavanti, M. (2020). Conscious sustainability leadership: A new paradigm for next generation leaders. Planet Healing Press.
Sison, A. J., & Fontrodona, J. (2012). The common good of the firm in the Aristotelian Thomistic tradition. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2), 211–246.
Stackman, R. W., & Connor, K. R. (2016). The management exercises: A way forward with purpose. Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, 5(2), 40–55.
Still, C., & Rompré, G. (2018). Turning to the world: Social justice and the common good since Vatican II. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Sweet, W. (2019). Jacques Maritain. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2019 Ed.). https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/entries/maritain/.
Tavanti, M. (2003). Las Abejas: Pacifist resistance and syncretic identities in a globalizing Chiapas. Routledge.
Tavanti, M. (2012). Integrity for the common good: The missing link between neoliberalists and the ‘occupy’ discontents. In A. Stachowicz-Stanusch & W. Amann (Eds.), Integrity in organizations: Building the foundations for humanistic management (pp. 82–104). Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.
Tavanti, M., Brennan, M., & Helgeson, S. (2016). Management education for sustainable development: Integrating ecology and community values in social impact practicums. Journal of Management for Global Sustainability, 1–25. https://doi.org/10.13185/JM2016.04106.
Tavanti, M., & Davis, E. B. (2018). Integrating sustainability mindset and impact competencies in management education: Directions, models, and strategies. In Fostering sustainability by management education (pp. 223–241).
Tavanti, M., & Vendramini, E. A. (2014). Fighting poverty through practical, integrated and multidisciplinary education: The case of master programs in development practice. In M. Gudic, A. Rosenbloom, & C. Parkes (Eds.), Socially responsive organizations and the challenge of poverty (pp. 197–208). Greenleaf Publishing.
Tavanti, M., & Wilp, E. A. (2015). Globally responsible management education: From principled challenges to practical opportunities. In D. E. Palmer (Ed.), Handbook of research on business ethics and corporate responsibilities (pp. 196–220). IGI Global.
Tavanti, M., & Wilp, E. A. (2018). Experiential-by-design: Integrating experiential learning strategies into nonprofit management education. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (JNEL), 8(4), 375–402.
Trevenna, S., Rappaport, S., Lowe Steffen, S., & Rezmovits, J. (2019). Evolving leadership for collective wellbeing: Lessons for implementing the United Nations sustainable development goals: Vol. First edition. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Tsao, F. C., & Laszlo, C. (2019). Quantum leadership: New consciousness in business. Stanford Business Books.
Waheed, H. (2018). The common good. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2018 Ed.). https://plato.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/encyclopedia/archinfo.cgi?entry=common-good.
Waterman, A. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 678–691.
Weimann, J., Knabe, A., & Schöb, R. (2015). Measuring happiness: The economics of well-being. The MIT Press.
Editors and Affiliations
© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Tavanti, M., Wilp, E.A. (2021). Common Good Mindset: The Public Dimensions of Sustainability. In: Ritz, A.A., Rimanoczy, I. (eds) Sustainability Mindset and Transformative Leadership. Sustainable Development Goals Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76069-4_12
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-76068-7
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-76069-4