1. DON’T PANIC!
The climate crisis can feel like an overwhelming ‘omnishambles’ where the scale and urgency of the challenges we face creates paralysis. Running around like well-intentioned but headless chickens won’t help! So the first thing to do is breathe, be calm, and conjure up the space and time for proper reflection and innovative thinking.
2. QUESTIONS MORE THAN SOLUTIONS
Everyone wants answers. Everyone wants to do something. That’s our natural ‘knee-jerk’ position. To leap to solutions, fixes and actions. However reflexive actions often fail to tackle upstream problems, so if we just jump straight to solutions then we may actually be compounding in-built systemic problems. Far more powerful is to try and ask the really difficult questions behind why we do things the way we do, challenge our existing assumptions and then to try and resolve those first.
3. WILFUL BLINDNESS
This is a legal principle – you are responsible for something even if you chose not to see it. Every organisation has ‘wilful blindness’ – a weak spot, an intractable question that is hard to acknowledge, an awkward or uncomfortable truth. The problem is everyone knows these ‘wilful blindnesses’ exist, but everyone pretends they don’t! What is the ‘dark secret’ at the heart of your organisation that no-one wants to talk about because it feels painful or unsolvable? Find it. Together. And address it.
4. TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, WE NEED EVERYONE
Climate change is not an unfortunate glitch of atmospheric chemistry, it is a symptom of the system. It’s caused by us, our work and our lifestyles. Everything matters. So everyone has a role from CEO to supply chain contractor. We need personal and professional action. So we must link individual to collective wellbeing, align the things we do at home with what we must do at work, create a new system in which the impact of the whole is vastly greater than the sum of the parts.
5. ENJOY YOURSELF
Change is a contact sport, but it doesn’t have to be grid-iron. Be playful, mischievous, have fun, use humour. Satirise the often ridiculous ways we currently do things, use levity to lighten the heaviness of the challenge. Make people laugh at their own cognitive dissonances and illuminate the way forward. If you really want to change the world – throw a better party.
Written by Ed Gillespie
If you want to hear more from Ed Gillespie he will be speaking at our next event The SHE Show South, 11th July 2023, DoubleTree by Hilton, MK Dons Stadium, Milton Keynes
Ed Gillespie is a writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of ‘Only Planet – a flight-free adventure around the world’ a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane. Ed co-presents two leading podcasts, ‘The Great Humbling’ with Dougald Hine, and ‘Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts – Book of Revelations’ with comedian Jon Richardson and fellow reluctant futurist Mark Stevenson.
Ed is a lead facilitator with the Forward Institute where he works on responsible leadership with 40 of the UK’s biggest institutions, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Ecolibrium and Chief Futurist at the Global Destination Sustainability Movement.
Ed is actively involved in a number of pioneering ethical businesses as a Director or Investor, and has presented all over the world, giving dozens of talks a year from Hong Kong to Bratislava, Korea to Auckland. And he’s been heard by every kind of audience, from the UN and national governments, to multi-national corporations and global associations.
His speaking engagements include giving the inaugural ‘Bonn Speech’ on Global Transformation for the German Government, a keynote on ‘Fixing the Future’ in Barcelona, and an interview with a leading Spanish newspaper for this film.
Please note, the views expressed by the original article author are theirs alone and do not necessarily represent those of Washingtondowling Associates Ltd or The SHE Show and therefore we take no responsibility for the content or accuracy of this post.