Here we are in an Autumn, meteorologically and economically, the like of which we have not seen before, as climate change affects our weather and the oil painting we thought “perpetual growth” was, is cracking, peeling and in desperate need of renovation.
How might we go about restoring our world?
It seems unlikely to be through working harder, going back to our offices, and carrying on where we left off before the pandemic – that’s what got us here in the first place. Nor will we achieve it through blame, division, and populism. Bluster, “charisma”, and wild eyed optimism have their limits and last no longer than autumn leaves in a storm. Finally, making questionable claims of how much money we are spending on the problem is as shallow as it is pointless – money is inert. Money doesn’t do things, people with ideas do. Money is merely lubricant.
I think it comes down to relationships and the responsibility that goes with them. We cannot do relationships at scale; there is a form of “inverse square” relationship with them – individual relationships dilute the more there are of them, and I wrote in an earlier blog that eight people determine our futures.
So we may not affect the weather, but we can change how we prepare for and come through it safely.
As our politics becomes ever more bizarre and our organisations distant, we would do well to look not upwards for safety but sideways to those alongside us. We are in a transition that is as inevitable as necessary, and it will be the coherence and cohesion of small, tight groups that will create and build what emerges. It is unlikely it will come from extended supply chains supplying us with cheap consumables we do not need, or from corporations who see only money, or politicians flailing around for short term popularity by selling ever more unbelievable stories.
Weathering what is coming will come down to simple things – good friends, great conversation around shared values, humour and an idea worth following.
Spring is coming.