Finding the Critical Path to Sustainable Development

Critical Path is the strategic planning arm of Sydney's Thumb and involves innovative interdisciplinary problem solvers in such fields as ecology, systems analysis, healing arts, economics, business, architecture, engineering and transpersonal psychology. We are especially interested in working on difficult "tangled" problems that cross normal disciplinary boundaries.

A special focus of Critical Path is rapid assessment, using the various tools of systems analysis. In the past, we have played a pivotal role in the following policy initiatives:

1. Puget Sound Ecological Assessment (a major author of the "State of the Sound Report")
2. The Impact and Permit Review of the Northern Tier Pipeline (major contributor, expert witness, case coordination)
3. The Development of Watershed Analysis and Management--a rapid assessment methodology successfully used in over 400 western watersheds
4. Interdisciplinary Water Resources Analysis in the Snohomish River Basin
5. Development of a Social Contract Approach to Saving Puget Sound (unfunded)
6. Review of the Washington State Coastal Zone Management Program
7. Assessment of the Impacts of Farm Activities on Snohomish Basin Salmon
8. A large number of other interdisciplinary problem-solving initiatives, either as principal author or principal investigator

System modeling as well as visual representation are two of our strengths. We also work closely with organizational and psychological theorists in framing, assessing and solving problems with important interpersonal, social and organizational components.

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