It was suggested (in something I was reading) that the key to democracy was "speaking truth to power". There was a special role in the old royal court and that was of the court jester. The court jester was the only person the king could not order to death and it was the court jester's job to tell the king the truth no matter how bad or unpleasant it was to the king. Freedom of the press is a very important thing to do that job in our modern society. It appears that the news in some western countries is being self-edited to be "patriotic" or because of pressure from the secret security bodies of that country (like CIA and FBI in the USA) for purposes of national security. Here in Canada there is a lot of self-editing due to hate crimes legislation. I am all in favor of eliminating hate and discrimination BUT using speech restrictions is not an acceptable method as far as I am concerned. We must always be able to say anything to anybody but especially to be able to speak to those who have power. Our modern version of democracy gives us a single "yes" or "no" every few years... this is not the court jester! Polls are a somewhat good way of talking back to government but the questions are still slanted and manipulated by the lobby group that did the poll. I think there needs to be an independent and uninfluenced polling body and to have the results be required reading by those in power. Modern democracies also have too few people in power (so too much power in the hands of too few people). I think there should be a person in power that you as a citizen can approach on a first-name basis and say your idea or complaint and there needs to be alternative people with equal power and voice to go to if the first one does not "get it".
"Sustainability" means different things to everybody but basically it means the status quo can be maintained indefinitely when things are "sustainable". I am looking at sustainable energy use (energy self-sufficiency) or sustainable governments (less and set up so nothing i relying on structures the succeeding governments are able to dismantle) or sustainable lifestyles (someone can continue to have healthy food and supplements and clean water even without money or technical knowhow). The thing I was listening to was talking about a different sustainability that I must now consider and that is sustainable social issue funding if I want to save the world by teaching the world how to be the other forms of sustainable I just mentioned. The method to do this is to create partnerships with businesses... to provide a service for a fee. My basic idea is to make money making and distributing the educational materials and demonstrating how beneficial such resources are to a country's welfare so governments will buy such materials for their citizens. Companies may also be convinced to buy these materials for their employees. I cannot rely on begging my own country's government to provide research funds but I can convince bankers and financial backers to help me create more and improved content for the educational materials through my ongoing research.