Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 2019/06

Today we have some exciting news to share with you. This is a very short newsletter focused on two announcements about two new important publications by the Lab.

New guide on systems thinking

Front cover of the Systems Thinking WorkbookWe are glad to announce the launch of our new ‘Systems Thinking Workbook: Practising the art of systems thinking in a complex world’, written by Sonia Fèvre in collaboration with others. The workbook provides a guided process to help enable and create conditions for practising systems thinking.

Systems thinking is a core skill in our current and evolving world. In order to deal with the complexity of our current world, we need to be able to understand the unpredictable, interconnected and complex nature of the world. But while there is much talk about the need to think and act systemically, we are often not sure how to do it.

The aim of this workbook is to give activists and change agents committed to transition the ability to apply principles and ideas from systems thinking in a way that helps to develop strategies that are more effective in tackling systemic challenges like climate change and inequality.

We hope that it will help you think slightly differently about what you are doing and how you can use reflection and planning tools in the way you conceptualise, execute and adapt your ongoing work. Above all, the workbook will guide us through how to ask different sorts of questions, and how to integrate knowledge from different sources and from different people.

New book: Switching off the autopilot: An evolutionary toolbox for the Great Transition

During the first week of July we are going to launch new book. This book is about the ecological crisis that threatens to collapse our entire civilisation. It is about the crisis of liberal democracy unfolding before our eyes. And it is about a new approach that aims to tackle both crises.

Campaigns and activist approaches to tackling systemic problems too often divide the world into friends and enemies. Instead of bringing us closer to tackling our most pressing issues, like climate change, they contribute to further political polarisation and increase the risk of authoritarian regimes. The current political climate might set us back many years from tackling climate change, years we don’t have. It might also reverse some of the enormous social progress made in recent years instead of contributing to a fairer world.

Switching off the autopilot coverThe book argues that activism would gain much from taking an evolutionary worldview. Evolutionary science teaches us how we got to where we are now, and how understanding our gene-culture co-evolutionary heritage will make it much easier to switch off our destructive deep-seated tendency for tribalism and design a good society. We have to shift all our attention to tackling the hard problem of evolution: figuring out how to adapt to the new conditions on Earth much faster than humanity has ever done or has had to do.