Creating sustainability? Join the Re-Generation!

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Author: Daniel Christian Wahl

Faced with multiple converging crises humanity is challenged to redesign the human presence on Earth within the lifetime of present generations, writes Daniel Christian Wahl, and so transform our impact from degeneration to regeneration. We are capable of creating diverse creative cultures elegantly adapted to the uniqueness of place.

After the post-war Baby Boomers came Generation X, followed by Generation Y – the millennials – and Generation Z – the iGeneration. So what’s next?

Creating a viable future for humanity on an overpopulated planet in crisis requires all of us to collaborate, across generations, ideologies and nations. We all will need to join the re-generation!

How do we keep the lights on, avoid revolution and turmoil, keep children in school and people in work, yet still manage to fundamentally transform the human presence on planet Earth before ‘business as usual’ leads to run-away climate change, a drastically impoverished biosphere, and the early demise of our species?

Rather than rushing for solutions we’d better make sure we’re asking the appropriate questions. Albert Einstein supposedly said:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask. For once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

It is time to step back from our cultural predisposition to want solutions and answers as quickly as possible. Do symptomatic quick fix solutions – rather than systemic transformation – actually serve the necessary culture change? Or are they merely premature responses to mistaken problem statements created within an outdated way of thinking, based on a cultural narrative that no longer serves humanity?

The right questions can reshape our perception of the world

By daring to ask deeper questions we begin to see the world differently. As we engage in conversation about such questions, we collectively begin to contribute to the emergence of a new culture. Questions – and the dialogues they spark – are culturally creative. We need to make sure we ask the right questions if we hope to bring forth the thriving, resilient, regenerative cultures and communities most of us long to live in.


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