Psychological Roots of Sustainability:
The Basis for Achieving Personal, Community and Planetary Wellbeing - 2007
(presented to McGill University and John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada; 25 October 2007)
We must recognise that the numerous crises and challenges facing the planet, our communities, businesses, families and ourselves are interrelated; and that the dominant fragmented and curative (back-end) problem-solving approaches must give way to integrated, proactive (front-end) approaches that aim to design and manage systems to enable wellbeing at all levels; and our ongoing psychosocial evolution as a species.
To achieve this we must expand the boundaries of our habitual thinking and acting, and be open to major paradigm shifts and the transformation of all of our institutional structures and processes (particularly in relation to business, government, and our health and education systems). Achieving this as a species, and within our nations, communities and families, will require us to engage in profound personal change. This, in turn, will require the provision of more opportunities for transformative learning, and access to healing therapies, supportive spaces and initiatives that enable us to act on our potential.
P.A. Yeomans’ ‘Keyline’ approach to sustainable landscape design and management provides a powerful example of the kind of creative and courageous thinking that is required. The needed changes can be achieved by gaining a better understanding of the processes involved, by engaging in doable meaningful initiatives, and by celebrating the outcomes so that we may be inspired by and learn from one another.
This presentation provides relevant maps, models and case studies from over 40 years of experience by the presenter in over a dozen countries.