Hi Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy,
This week I had a Zoom call with a colleague regarding the importance of hope in addressing wicked problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. After our call, I reread a brief essay I had written for the anthology, Global Chorus. I’ll return to discussing identifying barriers next week, but here is that essay.
From Here to There
Humanity will make the transition to a sustainable future. Nature bats last and, ultimately, will dictate that we fully embrace sustainability. While we have no choice regarding whether we make this transition, we do have a choice regarding how gracefully we make this transition.
The grace with which we make this transition will be primarily determined by how we envision the future. At present, we are rudderless. We have no compelling, broadly understood visions of a sustainable future. Without such foresight, how do we mobilize seven billion to work in concert?
Without a clear understanding of what is to be gained, how do we build broad support for the difficult choices that need to be made? These shared visions must be both inspirational and collective in their origin. They must also clearly articulate a pathway from here to there.
Just as our collective actions presently undermine the world’s ecosystems, collective action catalyzed by shared purpose can heal not only the Earth but also humanity. Who hasn’t been heartbroken by the gulf between what we know to be possible and what humanity has settled for? Acting with a shared purpose can embolden the human spirit to expect and strive for more.
We can story our present circumstances as dire and intractable, and in so doing, ensure the very future that we hope to avoid. Or, we can story our circumstances as dire but surmountable, and in so doing, mobilize the very actions that sustainability requires. How we story this inevitable transition will in large part determine the grace with which we make it. . .
If you find the Minute helpful, please consider sharing it with colleagues. I’m delivering virtual workshops in October for Australia and New Zealand (learn more here). In addition, I am currently planning fall community-based social marketing virtual workshops for North America. Click here to be alerted when we announce the North America training. I am also planning virtual workshops for Europe and Africa for the fall. Click here to be notified when we announce the Europe/Africa workshops. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, learn more here.
Thanks for reading this week. Take care and stay safe.
Doug McKenzie-Mohr, Ph.D.
Founder, Community-Based Social Marketing
Author, Fostering Sustainable Behavior
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