Latest Thoughts and Interests

November 5th, 2012

Here’s a link to my article for the EuroCharity Yearbook 2011 (which actually appeared in August of 2012, and was presented to the European Parliament on October 29, 2012): Leading the Change to a Sustainable Future (2011).


One of the consequences of having so many projects is that most of my work is now elsewhere, and I don’t have time to update this “vanity” site on a regular basis. (Who needs a vanity site anyway, if the real goal is getting things done?). But it’s probably still worth listing some of these things out here, if only for my own interest. And this is where I turn when I’m not sure where an item or an article belongs.

Take the Dead River Journal, for example. My last post there is A Common Framework for Global Change? — from around this time last year. I started something on going after the Tea Party crazies, like the one I ran into at a clean energy seminar in Old Bridge, but couldn’t see the need to actually publish it.

Maybe this really belongs there, but my current thinking is focusing more on showing how the system is rigged, and figuring out what we can do about it. As a number of authors have noted, the behavior of any complex system is a function of the rules according to which it is structured. We can’t expect it do what it isn’t set up to do; and we can’t expect it not to do what it is designed for. Understanding how the system is designed to be dysfunctional (from our standpoint, but highly functional from another), can perhaps give us some insight into the systems we need to design to avoid the crises for which we are headed.

More broadly, it seems that we need to shift the basic assumptions we have about nature and ourselves, if we are going to alter the course that humanity seems embarked on. We face not only a practical crisis but also a profoundly spiritual one, as deep and as disturbing as that of earlier ages but of accelerating urgency. Where I should like to speak of this is perhaps at the Sustainable Leadership Forum, where I’ve been seeking to engage an expanding circle of thinkers and practitioners in a conversation about creating more sustainable neighborhoods and communities, right here and right now. But this is much broader than that, and goes to the heart of who we think we are, what we think God or Nature wants from us, and how we should live our lives. In service to what? And where’s the right place to talk about this?

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