Tag - resilience

Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement

Rob Hopkins tells us the story of how the Transition movement started and how he uses stories and innovations to paint possibilities and reposition the way we see ourselves in relation to nature and the future.

Rob has created the world-wide network of positive engagement he imagined to himself a more than a decade ago. People rebuilding local agriculture and food production, localizing energy production, rethinking healthcare, buildings, waste management and more.

Rob visited Sweden in October 2017. He was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Swedish Transition Network, Omställningsnätverket, that took place in the town Växjö. After that he visited municipalities, universities, local entrepreneurs and transition initiatives in southern Sweden.

Rob is very inspiring. He knows about the problems we faces, but even so he manages to feed people with hope through his thinking and storytelling. He challenge the world to bring innovation, to imagine a thriving future and to try out things you didn’t think was possible.

Rob uses the water flowing through a forest as a metaphor for local economy. From a presentation in Örebro, Sweden.

He does it by telling stories about what other people have achieved, and by using vivid metaphors. He compares money and economy with rain in a forest. And imagines the Queen throwing bricks through his window because she might get pissed when Rob introduced a local currency.

Kevin Anderson once said: ”The largest obstacle is the human lack of imagination of what a better world would look like”.
In Robs words that is: ”What if?, Let’s try!”

Punk had a big influence on Rob. The spirit of punk, if you don’t like the music on the radio, make your own. If you know 3 chords, form a band.

And in his 20’s he got a book about permaculture, and that’s where he started to question the way we use energy and grow food. And eventually out of that grew the Transition movement.

This interview with Rob was recorded in Uppsala, October 10, 2017.

/Martin Hedberg

Will Steffen. Anthropocene, Great acceleration and Feedbacks

This weeks episode is an interview with Will Steffen. He an Australian Earth system scientist and he knows a lot about things like the biosphere, glacial cycles, ocean acidification, fossil industry, geo-engineering, complex system, feedbacks, resilience and tipping points.

One of the stories Steffen will share with you is the situation when Nobel prize winner Paul Crutzen invented the name and concept of The Anthropocene. Will was one of the scientists in the room as it happened in at a workshop in Mexico 2000.

He will also describe the The Great Acceleration, another concept that was born with Will and his colleagues at IGBP.

He shares his top three high-level tasks that we need to manage a lot better than we’ve done so far, Radiative balance, Human Equity and our connection to the Biosphere.

We also talk about metaphors, energy, tipping points in nature as well as in the social-political system and the post-truth era in society.

Conclusions… a lot. For instance tipping points. Both in nature, for exemplet with the Arctic ice melting and it’s albedo feedback… But also the tipping points in renewable energy. We are so locked in to the view that the price of oil sets the price of all energy, consumption, travel, inflation and people worrying about their energy bills etc. But what happens if/when it is cheaper to build solar farms and put up solar panels on your roof-top than to dig up fossil carbon and build big infrastructure like coal fired power plants? That is a shift, not only in how we produce electricity, but in the way the price is set and who is to get the money. It is a shift of power, in many different ways.

I also find the discussion about the feedbacks in system very interesting. You have feedbacks in all complex systems. They take different forms, for example the feedbacks from society to climate, the climate negotiations and the UNFCCC, trying to keep the climate system in a stable situation.

And the resilience of the fossil industry threatening the resilience of both climate and civilisation as we know it (and hence of course also the fossil industry itself).

I slso ask Will about his favourite metaphors, for example to describe complex systems, feedbacks etc.

Martin Hedberg

Risk and Resilience

Interesting video on risk and resilience. As the author says ”Moving from a system designed for robustness to one that supports resilience represents a significant strategic shift.” 

Dealing with black swans, moving from a Gaussian world to a Pareto world. Moving from probable events via possible to plausible events.

/Martin Hedberg