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Creating change in a Complex Adaptive System

Miriam Huitric explains how to create change in a Complex Adaptive System.
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So we have talked about a safe and just operating space for human kind. That we want to have this for a sustainable and meaningful life- -for humans into the future. We have talked about how this is related to issues of climate and social justice- -and the need for us to shift our mindsets if we want to actually be- -able to make changes with an impact.
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That’s the purpose of this session: How do we make meaningful change when- -dealing with complex, adaptive systems? I want to start with an example we use in the everyday life. It’s the low energy light bulb.
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When this technology was developed it was going to revolutionize aspects- -of energy use, because it was going to reduce our use of energy- -and thereby be a very important step and contributor in reducing the- -long term effects of our energy use climate change. This was a very easy solution to implement- -as well, as opposed to being hard. That’s because this technology was not only fantastic in the low- -energy use required, but we could implement it in our existing technology. We could just screw it into our light fixtures we have today. It didn’t require any changes in the existing systems we have. This was fantastic. So has it had a system change? Was this system change low or high?
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Well, it was low. The impact has actually been that it had virtually no effect on our energy consumption. And that is because people buy many more lights now, because- -they can afford to have more lights, without an increase in their energy use. So the impact of this fantastic technology has remained low. Why is that? Well, the technology itself didn’t address things like where the energy- -comes from, how it’s produced, and how much it should cost, or for- -that matter what amount of energy is the right amount of energy per person?
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Who decides what that system should look like? And if we’re going to talk about social justice, who has access to these lights- -and this energy, and who does not?
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These questions are much deeper and more complicated. And if we don’t address these, then the impact of that technology will not have- -a system change - which is what we need! The other aspect is how fast these changes happen. The implementation of the low energy light bulbs was fast.
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That’s fantastic! We want solutions we can implement quickly. But these changes, which are related to what Kim talked about, they require- -mindset changes. This has to happen at the individual level right up to businesses, industry- -governments. This mindset shift is often a slow process. But our environmental impacts and challenges- -are now, and we need to act now. That means that we need these changes to take place on all these levels- -because we want to be able to bring the light bulb- -from this point right up to here. In that way it has a high system impact.

Miriam Huitric explains what kinds of changes are needed in order to have meaningful impacts on climate change.

This video was filmed in a studio in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Taking on the Climate Crisis with Social Change

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