Power of the people

Following my offer to discuss the company I mentioned in yesterday’s lecture, I decided that it is not appropriate for me to use them in this forum. I felt it may breach the trust we are working on developing. So I found the following site:

Note the quote they use by Paul Hawken. Jeremy referred to this yesterday. Also the Module 4 readings refer to this as well. It is based on an assumption that business is the only organisation powerful enough to achieve change. I tend to support this claim given the extreme difficulty we would have to build a comparable organisation from scratch and achieve the change we need in a timley manner. Remember this is not about “getting it right” but engaging people in critical dialogue, distilling some fundamental principles and then having a go.

Working in a science organisation but being trained as a social scientist and systems thinking, I see first hand the restrictive practise of reductionist scientific discipline. Paradigm shift is critical but at what cost? Are individuals going to be prepared to give up their academic identity for the sake of the planet?? Who knows but what I do know is that to be successful, the players (and that’s us too) must be able to hold multiple and often conflicting views of reality at the one time. A tall order and quite confronting but that is the nature of SDCA.

Changing paradigms, in my view, requires critical dialgoue to determine boundaries and frames of reference and then working on a process of “deframing” which allows individuals to deconstruct their current world view and reconstruct SDCA worldview.

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Posted in corporate sustainability, sustainable living
2 comments on “Power of the people
  1. Dan says:

    I saw a great story on the ABC’s 4Corners program tonight. (see
    It was about the effect that particle pollution is having on global warming. The particles are preventing solar radiation from reaching the earth’s surface thus having a cooling effect. This cooling is masking the real impact of global warming. They were saying that it is much easier to reduce particle pollution, and as this occurs, we’ll see an exponential rise in temperature. They predict 10 degrees celsius by 2075. Pretty scary I reckon.

  2. jeremy says:

    Dan, To provide you with a recent example of the ‘restrictive practice of a reductionist scientific discipline’ you might like to refer to a blog of mine on Ruminations recently that draws attention to the myopia of the UK National Audit Office (NAO) in their analysis of the impact on consumers’ electricity bills if the British government is to meet its targets on renewable energy.

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