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Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Climate Change Video Set

The Council on Foreign Relations has an interesting little video set about Climate Change.  Those of you who attended the Summit this year might compare this with the presentation given by Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute, looking at Climate Change, energy, and carbon emissions.

One of the interesting things you find in the climate change/sustainability discourse is the tension between those who are looking at large scale changes and those who are looking at small scale changes.  There emerges from different quarters a difference in the basic strategic approach advocates for change have adopted for addressing both climate change and sustainability.  Some see the challenge as great in scope and advocate for major structural changes, such as new generations of technologies or significant shifts in infrastructure and processes.  Others believe in advocating change on an individual basis, promoting the implication that what’s needed are only small personal changes in order to address the roots of climate change or unsustainable lifestyles.

But a reliance on only either of these approaches is likely incorrect.  If observing complex systems has revealed anything, it is that they usually do not produce the outcomes we desire simply in response to a single strategy of change.  Complex adapative systems are composed of many agents, each involved in different relationships with other agents.  When we act, that input resonates through the system in usually unpredictable ways.  Unlike making a single great shot as we do in billiards, when trying to effect change in CAS we probably need to take a much more tentative approach, one comprised of many experiments with lots of feedback and adjustment.

One of the things that Hawai’i lacks is a really good strategic framework that presents a number of strategic approaches to effecting change to deal with both climate change and sustainability.  We need approaches that address the structural realities of modern living, as well as approaches that galvanize individuals to make their small (in-system) alterations in behavior.  Change on the scale that we talk about here requires us to address the many different levels of modern living, and eschewing the traditional and outdated belief in single strategies or ‘silver bullets.’

If you can dig this kind of thinking, then join us on Summit Net, the network for people who are concerned with the big-picture, rule-changing possibilities for Hawai’i’s futures.

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Filed under: Change, Climate Change, Hawai'i, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Control and Certainty

ScienceNOW online had a recent article that discussed human psychology and perception as it relates to issues of control.  Humans are extraordinary pattern recognizers, and it turns out that when people express loss-of-control sensations, they seem to have a greater tendency to see patterns in random things and to attribute cause-and-effect relationships to events that have no necessary relationship.

Why is this important?  It should alert us to what may be very common failures in thinking and judgment when we’re under stress.  Humans are greate story tellers and we seem geared to needing to create stories to help make sense of and even remember things, so we often place value and meaning into what are really unrelated and random events that occur around us.

And importantly during times of ‘crisis’ like extreme stock market fluctuations or natural disasters, people often feel a need to make sense of events, to find a reason and purpose for them.  But many of the events that arise unexpectedly and exert significance do not necessarily have a human purpose to them: it’s simply life.  And our strategic conversations, those that we conduct to keep one eye on the big picture and long-view for our organizations, needs to take into account this uncertainty and unpredictability in life.

Related:

  • The Black Swan: a very interesting exploration into the unpredictability and randomness in real life
  • Brain Rules: a cool new book on how our brains learn and remember
  • Break Through: a provocative book co-authored by Michael Shellenberger, a speaker at our second annual Hawai’i Futures Summit this past weekend who impressed the audience with, among other many other ideas, the understanding that ecological change and natural disasters are not divine punishment for human sins

Filed under: Change, Economics, foresight, Summit

Hawai’i: the Reboot

2 days. 200 innovators. A new future for Hawai'i.


The Hawai'i Futures Summit 2009 October 16 and 17, 2009


SummitNet

Vision Foresight Strategy

We work with organizations to anticipate strategic change and to craft the strategies that will shape their desired futures.


To learn more about how we can help you, visit www.kikilo.biz

SummitNet

Summit Net is the network for people who are concerned with the big picture, rule-changing possibilities for Hawai'i's futures.
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