Trump and Climate Change: Can crises be opportunities?

Trump’s policies of deservedness Experiences of powerlessness, defeat and crises can be gateways to deeper perceptions of reality. The most disconcerting experiences sometimes help us to access a deeper sense of life in all its possibilities. For example, Donald Trump’s order to end to all federal action on climate change as well as his preliminary budget proposal challenges us in many ways – especially with regards to our worth as human beings. His proposal cuts right back on funding for many important social structures and support programs such as infrastructure, rural and urban housing assistance and homelessness programs, nutrition for
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Iterative learning: the core of a sustainable future.

Collaboration initiatives for sustainability are collective learning journeys – with no final answers to the challenges ahead.  The complex challenges of sustainability forces us into setting up iterative learning structures that everybody can participate in.   We therefore need to build a  culture of iterative learning, characterized by an openness  to adjust plans and strategies as we learn from the past. Moves we make in the right direction today may not be the right moves for tomorrow. As a result we must constantly adjust our strategies in order to find higher level solutions – which in turn probably require more complex collaboration structures. It is
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Why we need diversity

We know collective action toward sustainability requires bringing actors with different perspectives and diverging interests together But what if diversity becomes a threat? How do we deal with the complexity of diversity? It is very human to assume that everybody is like us, and if not, should become so. When you take a deep dive into complex collaboration initiatives for sustainability,  you will observe this phenomenon. Diversity is a constant learning curve of processing difference into progress. I think we can learn from large multinational companies operating on several continents. There is always a point when they notice that sending
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The quality of our dialogues matter

It is not only our conversations that matter, it is the quality of our conversations that matters. We know we are engaging when we experience meaningful conversations that tap into our desire to make a difference. We feel satisfied, when a meeting leads to clarity and results. The intention of stakeholder engagement in collaboration is, in essence, dialogic: to get people from different walks of life and with different perspectives into a conversation that will lead to a practical outcome. Dialogue allows for the integration of different perspectives, standpoints and interests into planning and implementation processes. That’s the theory, and
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COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE

“Why would we stay locked in our belief that there is only one right way to do something, or one correct interpretation of a situation, when the universe demands diversity and thrives on a plurality of meaning? Why would we avoid participation and worry only about its risks, when we need more and more eyes to be wise? Why would we resist the powerful visions and futures that emerge when we come together to co-create the world? Why would we ever choose rigidity or predictability when we have been invited to be part of the generative dance of life?” Margaret
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THE EMERGENCE OF COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE

When people think of dialogue, they often imagine an original form of dialogue where participants sit in a circle and open up to meaningful conversation with each other. The purpose of such a conversational format often is to slow down communication. Not only are words and their meaning listened to, but the space between the words also gets attention. People who have experienced open dialogue sometimes report an impactful experience: new insights occur, their positions shifted, their judgments about other people changed, or they see new paths opening during the conversation.   It is important to keep the original purpose of
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STAYING IN THE COLLABORATIVE FIELD

The meeting room is much too small for almost 45 people. It is hot, the tiled floor does not help much, and the ordinary plastic chairs are not particularly comfortable. Little wind is coming through the open door that leads to the street. The occasional car driving past worsens the acoustics in the room. Down the hill is the sea, the vast Atlantic Ocean of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, the invitation to a swim is ignored. Despite the almost unbearable heat, the group concentrates on a written document that is projected onto the wall. Step by step we work
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The Future of Humanity

  ‘The Future of Humanity’ is a small text which captures the conversation between the philosopher J. Krishamurti and the physicist David Bohm. The text concludes that humankind’s biggest problem is the human thought process itself. This process creates unnecessary separations between people, denying each other their deeper humanity. When people see the story behind a tense situation or difficult to understand behavior, when they see the humanness in another person – they develop compassion that often leads to revolutionary change.   The knowledge of our shared humanity is what allows us to transcend  cultures, nations and organizations. For example,
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Finding Balance

Our lives often tend to be unbalanced for long periods. We experience high workloads, the discontent of not enough time to attend to family life or relationships, and often a lack of mindful stillness. At the same time we all know the symptoms of an unbalanced work life: dwindling relationships, a sudden lack of passion for life or the first signs of a burn-out syndrome.  Everything seems overwhelming. Yet when this happens a deeper force within us often pulls us back into balance. For example, we can experience a broken arm which forces us into not-doing, a good friend who turns away from us, a
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Empathy – Walking in another’s shoes

There is an African pro-verb saying “don’t judge people unless you have walked for a couple of miles in their shoes”. Yet discernment is human; it is part of our life. We often need it to walk our path with clarity. Can we learn discernment while simultaneously also learning to suspend judgment? Judging inappropriately and denying ourselves our shared humanity is a tendency we all have. It shows up in the inner struggle to walk past or help a beggar in the streets or in making or not making the time to ask our staff – how are you? If
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