The Human Capacity for Transformational Change
Harnessing the collective mind
Routledge – 2014 – 264 pages
Pressures for transformational change have become a regular feature of most fields of human endeavour. Master-thinkers and visionaries alike have reframed existing divisions as connecting relationships, bringing together as dynamic systems the supposed opposites of parts and wholes, stability and change, individuals and society, and rational and creative thinking. This reframing of opposites as interconnected wholes has led to realisation of the power of a collective mind.
This book offers ways and means of creating the synergies that are crucial in influencing a desired transformational change towards a just and sustainable future. It describes how and why our current decision-making on any complex issue is marked by clashes between the different interests involved. More optimistically, the book pursues a mode of thinking that brings together government, specialised and community interests at the local, regional and personal scales in a collective transformation process. Practical examples signal the emergence of a new knowledge tradition that promises to be as powerful as the scientific enlightenment.
Written in accessible language, this book will be insightful reading for anyone struggling with transformational change, especially researchers, students and professionals in the fields of administration, governance, environmental management, international development, politics, public health, public law, sociology, and community development
Part 1. Changing minds 1. Living with transformational change: a future for the collective mind 2. The Darwinian mind: the next step in human evolution 3. The Gaian mind: people and planet as a self-organising system 4. The cybernetic mind: human social networks in cyberspace 5. The Herculean mind: seven challenging tasks 6. A collective mind: asking reflective questions Part 2. Changing society 7. Inclusive language: hearing all the voices 8. Transformation science: a science of change 9. Collective governance: democracy for the next millennium 10 Collaborative economy and gift relationships 11. Life-long education: learning without limits 12. The collective self: asking introspective questions Part 3. Changing worlds 13. Utopian thinking in a connected world
Valerie A. Brown is Director of the Local Sustainability Project, Human Ecology program, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
John A. Harris is a university academic, outdoors educator and collective action researcher with the Local Sustainability Project and Alliance for Regenerative Landscape, Agriculture and Social Health in Australia.