Sustaining Capabilities is a blog covering the intersection of energy and global development, managed by Ryan McGuine.

Sustainability, defined by the 1987 Brundtland Commission as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” refers to the ultimate goal of the way we produce and consume energy.

Capability refers to the “capability approach” established by Amartya Sen — that considering the number of alternative combinations of states and activities that one could feasibly achieve provides a richer understanding of one’s well-being than personal income alone.


Keeping the site going takes loads of time and effort. If you get some value from Sustaining Capabilities and can afford to pitch in, please consider donating some beer money (which you can do here). There is no member-only content. However, donations show your appreciation in a very tangible way, and I do take patrons’ input into consideration when deciding what topics to cover.

Contributing Authors:

Ryan McGuine

Anna Wangen

Erica Petersen