September 4, 2015
“Innovation is as much a function of the right kind of relationships as it is of a particular kind of individual vision.”
I generally cap off the summer with a post about some of my summer reading. I am still working on something to capture take-aways from one of my favorite reads – The New Science of Sustainability: Building a Foundation for Great Change – and am offering here a revised post from a few years back that focuses on a still very timely book.
I ended my summer reading with what was for me a fascinating book – Evolutionaries by Carter Phipps. Phipps is the editor of EnlighteNext magazine and enthusiastic about what we calls “the evolutionary worldview” and how it is showing up in many different fields, from biology to sociology to philosophy and theology. He sees this perspective as transforming understandings of just about everything. Evolutionaries does a great service by deepening and broadening as well as bringing much more nuance to what I see as a very important perspective for the work of social change. Read More
July 14, 2009
Of course we can! It’s what we do! But can we evolve at will? Can we be a conscious part of our evolutionary process? I’m not trying to get trippy here; it just seems to me like we have to evolve and we have to do it fast. A few weeks back Nicholas Kristoff wrote a piece titled “When Our Brains Short-Circuit,” he tells us that “evolution has programmed us to be alert for snakes and enemies with clubs, but we aren’t well prepared to respond to dangers that require forethought.” His point is that we might be quick to freak out about terrorism (things blow up right away), but terribly slow to act when it comes to global warming (it unfolds over decades) – but which is more deadly?
And our big problem is that the political process we have forces lawmakers to move swiftly on whatever is freaking out the most people, even if it is at the expense of the long-term, or civil liberties for that matter.
We were intelligently designed to run from a saber-toothed tiger, but we have not yet evolved to deal smartly with the massive problems our own “advancement” has created –seems that we evolved unevenly, very fast industrially but very slow morally. And this is where my question comes back in. Is there anything we can do to advance our own evolutionary process? Are there modes of engagement with our selves that might help to catalyze radical shifts in our awareness? Alarmist communications only take us so far. Technical fixes are moving too slowly. Global warming can only be stopped by a radical shift in what Ron Haifetz would call the level of our values, beliefs and assumptions. I call this an evolutionary shift.