Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What is Possible?

When I launched this blog under it's current name, Possibilitator, it was with the sentiment that for change to happen the thought of possibility must precede and therefore stimulate the action. This approach evolved out of list I began in the mid-1990's originally called Tlinkster, that evolved to Mindfulness in 2004. All of the postings have been triggered by thoughts that emerge from discussions, reflections, readings, and other experiences that have stimulated some new 'possibility', at least as recognized by this limited mind.

I remain convinced that ideas have power and in fact they EMPOWER us to move beyond where we are. The flip side of this equation is that without ideas, we are constrained to seeing the world as Margaret Thatcher famously proclaimed - "There is No Alternative". The hope implicit in this blog is that, perhaps - just perhaps, some linkages I share might feed some emergent possibility in others that might otherwise lie dormant. In an essay i read earlier this morning from Ken Worpole in Richer Futures: Fashioning a New Politics, he argues that ideas emerge from the margins and are generally a response to the shortcomings of the dominant systems. My hunch is he is correct.

Our world grows increasing complex, so much so that our limited brains can't drink it all in. We use education to train our minds to reduce the whole to parts (disciplines) to try and get a better grasp of the details. But through that process we become less able to see and experience the whole.

I stumbled last week into several books that are opening up new windows from which to view all this. The first is a book co-authored by a grandfather-father-grandson team of development professionals - Empowerment on an unstable planet : from seeds of human energy to the scale of global change

Book Cover For the encyclopedia I have been working on the author who was supposed to complete the essay on "empowerment" defaulted and we needed to find another suitable replacement. Thus identifying this recent work by the Taylors.The Taylor's are the primary force behind the SEED -SCALE approach to development, that believes that sustainable development must be place specific, built predominantly on social capital and human energy, and nurtured with some outside assistance where available. At the core of their change model is the idea of ASPIRATIONS.

We do so much too dampen ASPIRATIONS that as we get older it seems to be more difficult to move beyond the status quo. We don't begin life that way, but we are often told that the 'real world' demands we constrain our aspirations, that we diminish our view of what's possible. If anything our collective fate is tied to how well we can cast off this yoke and awaken the creative possibilities to adapt and design resilient approaches to a quickly changing world.

For who's to say what's possible or not.