Climate Change: From Alarmism to Anti-Fragility

Diane Musho Hamilton Integral Justice Warrior, Perspectives, Sustainability, Video 1 Comment

W

hat is the difference between being “resilient” and being “antifragile”?

In this fascinating episode of Integral Justice Warrior, Diane and Corey are joined by Gail Hochachka and Rob McNamara to explore anti-fragile approaches to climate change. We are also joined by fellow integral enthusiast Deb Collins, who offers her own perspectives around the tragic wild fires that swept across the Australian continent.

Antifragility is a concept made popular by author Nassim Nicolas Taleb in his book, Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder, in which Taleb posits three different characteristics any given system can have:

  • Fragile systems tend to fall apart when hit with a system shock.
  • Resilient systems (or “robust systems”) tend to stay the same when hit with a system shock.
  • Antifragile systems actually change and evolve when hit with a system shock.

As it becomes increasingly clear just how fragile our ecological, economic, and political systems have become, it is also becoming increasingly important that we begin to meet the many fragilities of our time with a genuinely anti-fragile response — after all, fragile reactions only produce more fragility. We are looking for solutions that are far more comfortable with volatility and uncertainty, and that can actually help systems and organizations evolve in the face of ongoing disruption. Solutions that do not deny the existence of fragility, but rather seek to increase their own anti-fragility by working to reduce fragility in the world, wherever we find it.

In this episode we discuss how naturally anti-fragile the integral sensibility is, thanks largely to its fluency with multiple perspectives and value sets, as well as its access to meta-aware cognition (awareness of awareness) that allows integral practitioners to bring far more presence, patience, humility, and humor to conversations like these. After all, it’s hard to think of a better slogan for our own capacity for anti-fragility than Ken Wilber’s famous line, “Hurts more, bothers you less” — an integration of both tender fragility and unshakable resilience, allowing us to respond to the needs and pressures of the moment with both bottomless compassion and unwavering equanimity.

So join us in this fascinating discussion of fragility, resilience, and anti-fragility in the heart of the Anthropocene.

Be sure to join us for our next episode, on the last Saturday of each month (see Integral Live for the full calendar!)

Text by Corey deVos

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Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart

The definitive guide to learning effective strategies for engaging in open and honest conversations about divisive issues.

When a conversation takes a turn into the sometimes uncomfortable and often contentious topics of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and politics, it can be difficult to know what to say or how to respond to someone you disagree with. Compassionate Conversations empowers us to transform these conversations into opportunities to bridge divides and mend relationships by providing the basic set of skills we need to be successful, including listening, reframing, and dealing with strong emotions. Addressing the long history of injury and pain for marginalized groups, the authors explore topics like intersectionality, power dynamics, and white fragility, allowing us to be more mindful in our conversations. Each chapter contains practices and conversation starters to help everyone feel more prepared to talk through polarizing issues, ultimately encouraging us to take risks, to understand and recognize our deep commonalities, to be willing to make mistakes, and to become more intimate with expressing our truths, as well as listening to those of others.

Purchase Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart on Amazon.

Diane Musho Hamilton

About Diane Hamilton

Diane is a uniquely gifted, playful, and awake group facilitator, consultant and teacher of Integral Spirituality and Zen. She is a lineage holder in the Soto Zen tradition, and has collaborated with the Integral Institute and Ken Wilber since 2004, developing the Integral Life Practice seminars and the Integral Spiritual Experience global events.

Gail Hochachka

About Gail Hochachka

Gail has 20 years of experience bridging research and practice in sustainable development in Africa, Latin America and North America. Her enduring interest is on how to better understand and integrate the human dimensions of global environmental change, in approaches that are commensurate with the complexity of the issues today.

Rob McNamara

About Rob McNamara

Rob McNamara is an author, advisor, consultant and leadership coach with an expertise in adult development and human performance. He is a co-founder of the advisory firm Delta Developmental and is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at the World Communiversity educational initiative.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is the proverbial "man behind the curtain". He is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996.

Notable Replies

  1. I love conversations when one of those rare “stopping the world” moments occurs, when someone says something pointed that is contextually relevant to the discussion, but that instantly expands the conversation, making it more inclusive of ‘other’ or ‘others.’ Deb did this for me in this conversation, when she questioned ‘how to talk about the environment being anti-fragile.’ Everyone then began to “speak Earth,” from burnt flora to wombats, and this grounded the conversation less in concept and theory (which I love), and more in an embodiment of felt-loss, for the planet and inclusive of all its inhabitants, which is, imo, an aspect of climate change effects we shouldn’t drift too far from in our talks (without becoming too morbid or alarmist, of course). So thank you Deb, and thanks to all of you. It was a great conversation and I appreciated being introduced to Taleb’s anti-fragility theories, which I do think KW sums up quite well with “hurts more, bothers you less.”

Continue the discussion at community.integrallife.com

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