My Worldview is different from yours. We have had different experiences, read different words and hold meaning and value in different places. When I envisage the future, through this Worldview that I hold, it will inevitably differ from yours. How can we make peace in this space, hold it open and accept dynamism?
These are some of the questions that I’ve been tasked with thinking about this last week. Big, meaty questions that need work. I visualise ribbons as pathways of different futures unfold away from my centre; they flow and warp outwards. Our Worldviews have changed over time; humanity has moved from being part of nature, with nature as a giving parent, through the segregation and hierarchy of the agricultural revolution, to the nature-as-machine viewpoint that is largely held within an increasingly polluted planet.
Interrogating our Worldview allows us to be open to others. My consumption of the news and world events differs dramatically to that in Asia, India, Africa and other areas. What is given importance within our cultural context is defined partly by geography and place. And yet, we all share the connectedness of our planetary systems. The carrying capacity and planetary boundaries of healthy natural systems, ones which allow us all to thrive, weave across definitions laid down by our ancestors. They are not beholden to us and our limited Worldviews.
Our ingenuity and innovation has flooded our world, allowing me to write this for you, allowing our ingrained Worldviews to be held as the dominant world urbanised and developed. Milk and meat, once gifts and precious, are now gift-wrapped and processed. Culturally we have retained this history, without noticing the toll that it was taking on our wider living world. A trip to the supermarket so far removed from the place our food is produced.
My Worldview about our divergence from food is gathered from books, conferences, papers and articles. I feel that we have diverged from many aspects of life that we are connected to; our waste, where our stuff comes from and the conditions it is made in, our stories and communities. Late-Capitalism with the constant pursuit of growth has diverged from the realities of Earth’s resources.
The threads of all these aspects, the myriad of belonging, where they come from and go, are all connected. They are deeply connected, through time as minerals come to pass, through the transference of energy from our Sun into life. Spiralling circles of connectedness dance within and through each other; these are the theories of chaos, complexity and systems-thinking.
Our world systems are now complex. Each part calling on another to function. Manmade processes are primarily linear, most do not contain the natural cycles of recycling death into life. We buy, we use, we throw away. We scratch the surface of reclaiming used materials, but more than often our waste is buried or dumped. Circularising these linear processes will bring them back towards natural patterns.
Considering our current burden on our living world, humanity has a duty to react to the ills it is causing. Whatever our Worldviews we have the opportunity to be part of a dynamic and optimistic conversation — how can we bring back balance, regenerate and create a bright and exciting future? With all the Worldviews we hold on this planet, the conversations about our homes, communities and places will be diverse, innovative and open. No one single solution will exist, instead the myriad of ideas and projects will each form a better complex system. This will be research in action and we can all play our part.