The Human Capacity for Transformational Change
The Future of the Collective Mind
To Be Published December 30th 2013 by Routledge – 224 pages
Pressures for transformational change have become a regular feature of most fields of human endeavour. This book presents the case that to succeed individually the power systems of society will need to work collectively. Working collectively goes further than collaboration to the development of a collective mind. Inspired by the work of Teilhard de Chardin, Gregory Bateson and Heryk Skolwimoski and the results of the authors’ research, this book offers ways and means of creating the synergies that are crucial in establishing a desired transformational change to a just and sustainable future. The collective mind is not group think nor mass hysteria, but the capacity to join all the human capacities in a common enterprise. The authors first describe how and why our current decision-making on any complex issue is marked by clashes between the different interests involved. Research confirms that the optimum conditions for an active collective mind are an inclusive language, a transformation science, a responsive political structure, collaborative leadership, and a shared imagination. This book provides theory and practice of each of these dimensions, taking account of the marked changes from current practice. In particular, the book pursues ways of bringing 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 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. Sorcerers and Apprentices 2. The Darwinian Mind 3. The Gaian Mind 4. The Networked Mind 5. The Herculaean Mind Part 2. Changing Society 6. A Collective Self 7. A Deep Democracy 8. A Transformation Science 9. A Companionate Ethics 10. A Creative Core 11. A Reflexive Whole Part 3. Changing Worlds 12. An Ecology of the Collective Mind
Professor Valerie A. Brown is Director of the Local Sustainability Project, Human Ecology program, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University.
Professor John A. Harris is a university academic, outdoors educator, and former Head of School of Environmental Science, University of Canberra.