“If I have learnt one thing from my work in the future scenario planning and working with governments, is that the systematic connections that are now running like domino pieces are falling and running in different chains, also criss-crossing and effecting the other chains,” said Daniel Wahl, Consultant, Educator, Activist, in a recent webinar hosted by SOIL Institute of Management.
The scenarios the pandemic has led to are so complex that they are now unfolding our response to the pandemic and changing behaviours for the time to come. The global community is now reflecting on its systems, supply chains, and structure and thinking how non-resilient it is. However, the way people have started to respond to change and come together to face the crisis together has been exemplary.
“There is immense power in human commitment and intent to collaborate, locally, or globally and responsibly to battle a common challenge. The lessons learnt during the current global health crisis can, in fact, be taken to solve the crisis prevalent even much before the COVID era,” said Wahl. For instance, access to drinking water, climate change, and several other issues.
Daniel Christian Wahl originally trained as a biologist, and holds degrees in Biology (BSc. Hons., Univ. of Edinburgh), Holistic Science (MSc.,Schumacher College) and Natural Design (PhD., Univ. of Dundee). He is a member of the International Futures Forum and H3Uni, an avocation partner of r3.0, and on the advisory councils of Ecosystems Restoration Camps, Commonland, the Ojai Foundation, Future Planet Europe, the Centre for the Future and the Overview Institute of Australia, as well as, a Findhorn Foundation Fellow.
Author of the book 'Designing Regenerative Cultures', Wahl believes that it's important for more and more people to leverage their unique talents and strengths to contribute their best to society.
We are dealing with the complexity of a profound societal change and the transition towards diverse regenerative cultures as manifestations of not only a different way of being in the world, but also a different way of seeing the world.
“What is the new normal we want to create?” asked Wahl.
Becoming the vest version of yourself: Managing the crisis of perception
“The only way to be fed by the whole is to give more than you take,” said Wahl.
Without the cultural ability to see our actions and the changes around us from a systemic perspective, combined with the wisdom to evaluate any proposed solutions in the context of their effects on the health and resilience of life as a whole, even well-meant attempts to create sustainability can have ill-fated results. People have to go beyond their need to take from society and the environment and to be able to become the best version of themselves; they have to think about how they contribute. They have to think how their actions and response impacts people and communities and other elements around them.
Holistic thinking is the new way of thinking needed to (dis)solve the problems created by reductionist thinking. “But we should not over-swing the pendulum and favour holistic thinking in all circumstances over reductionist thinking,” said Wahl.We should regard reductionism as a useful method to be applied if and when appropriate and within a whole-systems context that acknowledges the valuable contributions of diverse perspectives, as well as the limits to our knowledge. We might prefer definitive answers and solutions, but what if they simply cannot be given?
As Wahl believes, what matters is, “becoming conscious of the role of how-we-experience and what-we- pay-attention-to in the experience itself — paying attention to how we are bringing forth a world together.”
Image Credits: Curso MAIA