There are 3 crucial questions you pose to bridge from story to a call for action, but not as far as taking action itself; they are (1) Why is the story of how we achieve sustainability and protect humankind, the biosphere and our planet not enough to get people going? (2) So how can we create a story about our present that adequately reveals the need for action? (3) And why is envisioning a better world simply not enough to inspire action?
Considering answers to each in turn: (1) The story of how does not spell out the how itself (2) The need for action is not an action itself. (3) Inspiring action is not the defined action itself. The solutions, the methods, the actions, the 'how' - are not step-by-step processes that people can follow. Where do they go? What do they do?
It is not enough to stimulate intrinsic motivation en masse, there must be practical processes beyond 'protests' or 'voting'. What would Stan's process be - a crypto-currency? If yes, then where do people go to buy some? The vision needed is for means and ends - processes for beneficial actions en masse.
The book "Drawdown" spells out many solutions, but the reader is left pondering how they can personally act on it. It is better than most, for most only spell out and reprosecute the super wicked problems over and over. The story of how to implement super virtuous solutions for the climate has yet to be written.
How's this for a pragmatic solution? In every article, blog, story, media statement, research paper, etc. search for an actionable solution within it - if it is not there, then cast it aside. You'll save 90% of your research time, and gain far more time to find those that do.
Sadly, even more rare, those that report actions that have had a proven beneficial impact on the planet (past tense).
Hello Rachel and Robert,
There is a process called SCAN FOCUS DESIGN which is sometimes used for thinking through complex business problems. SCAN is developing a big picture overview of the current situation. FOCUS is identifying your way forward – your approach to dealing with the situation. DESIGN is about designing everything required to make your new approach work.
In a business context, of course, this process is followed through by practical action.
I think we certainly need to ramp up practical actions such as permaculture, better child rearing and the like. Robert, I think your comments are pertinent here.
I think there is something bigger as well. We have a global fossil fuel driven economic-industrial system that is environmentally destructive and cruel. Collectively, we have to tone down this whole system. This, in turn, involves a profound shift in people’s mindsets.
In Leverage Points: Places to intervene in a system Donella Meadows pointed out that most influential leverage point in any human system is in people’s mindsets. As a philosopher, Feldenkrais practitioner, psychotherapist and creativity trainer – and now social change agent – I’ve been the business of affecting people’s mindsets for more than three decades.
I have applied the SCAN FOCUS ACT model for thinking through how to inspire public commitment to transformational change. And I set up Inspiring Transition as a platform to support citizen-educators. The platform has everything from an integrative positive aspiration (evolving a life-affirming culture) down to practical communication tools that people can use with little training.
Colleagues and I are setting up a League of Evolutionary Catalysts to champion a fresh approach to sustainability communication. Steps to Becoming a Member of the League of Evolutionary Catalysts tells the story https://app.box.com/s/j0wwhkr27r9mzxbn6jw7hhtj65ivqtro it has three longform articles that introduce new ways of thinking about catalyzing healthy social change.
I would be happy to talk!
Greta Thunberg will have reason to hope when she sees that mainstream society is committed to turning things around.