Climate Change as a complex adaptive super wicked challenge
Climate change is recognized by many to be the greatest challenge to humanity. Though there is widespread recognition of the problem, and a wide array of potential solutions, there remains very little understanding of “how” individuals and groups can catalyze transformations at the non-linear rates and scales that are called for in order to avoid dangerous climate change. Addressing climate change is a political, social, economic, and cultural challenge that raises important questions about individual and collective capacities for transformation: Do we have a sufficient knowledge base to inform strategies and actions for deliberate, ethical and sustainable transformation at the rate and scale that is called for? Although there are many theories, frameworks and approaches that provide insights on transformation, the knowledge base remains partial and fragmented, and has failed to inform and activate responses of the types and at the scales that are considered necessary and urgent. There is a need for integral approaches that bring together both the objective, exterior aspects of behavioral and systems transformations and the subjective, interior dimensions of personal and cultural transformations.
“”The trick, as with all behavioral possibilities of complex systems, is to recognize what structures contain which latent behaviors, and what conditions release those behaviors- and where possible, to arrange the structures and conditions to reduce the probability of destructive behaviors and encourage the possibility of beneficial ones.” – Donella Meadows, system theorist
Workshop on Transformative Leadership in a Changing Climate, Saturday 22 June, 2013, Oslo
If we see transformative change as a necessary response to global climate change, we have to know its processes intimately. Transformations that respond to adaptive challenges involve fundamental shifts in perspective and meaning. In order to be able to design, catalyze, foster or lead such shifts, leaders need to recognize stages, depth and width of the process, identify patterns of systemic pushback, and know what to do with immunities to change, as well as how to handle the usual resistances and escape mechanisms.
For those who are interested in learning more about leadership for change, we offer a one-day intensive workshop directly following the international conference on “Transformation in a Changing Climate” at the University of Oslo .
The workshop will lead participants into experiencing transformative processes first hand and head-on. We will look at how our evolving worldviews frame the problem in need of transformation, how to shift polarized perspectives, and unlock movement towards solutions.
The work offers insights into the more concealed mechanisms and stages of transformation and on how to detect and overcome hidden immunities to change and adaptive pushback in yourself and others. Other expected results include insights into personal recurring patterns and on how to restructure seemingly fixed conditions. The links between personal and global trans-formation, and leadership, will become clear.
The workshop is delivered by a team of international professionals in the field of transformation and leadership development: Abigail Lynam, Geoff Fitch and Anne Caspari.
download the flyer: Taking on the Future