Today I listened to a profound and fascinating conversation between Daniel Wahl and Fritjof Capra (The Systems View of Life). There were many moments of epiphany throughout the discussion for me, but the one I want to talk about right now is that of participation.
During the conversation, Wahl refers to Sir Brian Goodwin – sometimes referred to as the ‘father of complexity theory’. Goodwin, he says, made a statement along the lines of:
We live in complexity. Complexity by its very nature is unpredictable and uncontrollable. We must stop trying to exert power over it and control it and instead learn to PARTICIPATE appropriately within the system.
Wahl then goes on to talk about how true participation requires contribution. And it is that point that struck home for me today.
Just turning up is not enough. It is not real participation if all one does is attend gatherings and listen. That is an important first step, but one is only really participating when one moves from a passive position of hearing and receiving, to one of actively contributing.
Contribution can come in many forms and may be as small as helping to set up the food at a gathering – or as big as taking the stage as a key-note speaker. It may involve leadership, or it may be one of service behind the scenes. It is not about WHAT you do. It is about doing something – however small it may seem to you. After all we all know that the sum of the whole is greater than the parts themselves – which means all action, big and small, adds up to something more than the individual acts themselves.
Without active, intentional contribution you are merely part of the audience. To be part of the solution requires CONTRIBUTORY PARTICIPATION.
So ask yourself:
What can you contribute next time you participate in an event or gathering – whether it be online or in person? How can you contribute and be actively part of that community?
And if you are already a leader in that space – then ask yourself. How can you make space and opportunity for those who are less confident to take a step into contributing to the group?
Let’s step up together and see how our collective contributions can make the world the one we want for our future.
#ecosystems #ecodesign #design #systemsthinking #regeneration #participation #contributing #smallthingsgreatlove #TheIntentionalActionist #dosomething #makespaceforeveryone #complexitytheory #complexity #wickedproblems