We find our way out of the climate crisis by seeing the world as an interconnected web of which we are a part.
We find our way out of the biodiversity crisis by seeing the world as a web of which we are a part.
We find our way out of the pandemic by seeing all humans connected in a web of which we are a part.
Each node of a web is special and sacred, but no more special and sacred than any other node. Pyramids, though...in pyramids the nodes at the top are more special, right?
Webs sound great, as does addressing climate change and ending the pandemic, but here's the thing - a web has no "top" and no "bottom".
A web is not a pyramid.
More than that, a true web can't even incorporate pyramids within itself.
You can't fully join an ecological web but hold on to privilege in a gender pyramid, for instance. Here I am, a node in a web of relationships with other species, but superior to women of my own species. Nope.
Just like, as so many Black feminists articulate, you can't be a feminist without grappling with whiteness.
It's not just rejecting one pyramid, it's re-organzing your map of the world into a map without pyramid. And acting from that.
Maps, it seems, are package deals. Is the world a web or a pyramid? Really choose. What do you believe? And if you choose web, there are implications. What positions in pyramids do you need to climb down from?
On the other hand, if you think the nature of the world (ecologies, cultures, human interactions) truly is web-like, staying in pyramid formation just prolongs all the crises, doesn't it?

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More from @bethsawin

13 Jan
Systems are multi-potential.
The efforts of so many people bore fruit in Georgia on the same day as the attack on Congress.
Beware of conclusions that are black and white.
All is neither lost nor saved.
And, in self-organization, systems evolve and shift. Small actions snow-ball.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
Every day I understand more about why, for almost 50 years, my field has been shouting “there are limits to growth” and not getting through in a way that leads to substantive change.
After all, its a simple matter of math and physics. And the consequences are by now so devastatingly apparent.
Why has the existence of limits never truly sunk in at a mass culture level?Why was that 1972 work pushed back against so hard?
Read 9 tweets
9 Dec 20
Today, my energy towards unregulated capitalism is "irritated mom." What's yours?
Tbh that's my energy most days.
Standing on my porch with a dish towel in my hand shouting, "Don't run with those short-term returns, you'll poke someone's eye out."
Read 4 tweets
8 Dec 20
Hear me out: maybe a system that looks to be delivering us to catastrophic climate change and can't even keep us safe from a pandemic could benefit from some tinkering.
Oh no, don't possibly change anything about this highly evolved and carefully designed global economy whose primary behavior mode is to turn flows of life energy and mind boggling biological complexity into stockpiled wealth for a tiny fraction of humanity.
How frightening, all your proposals for aligning the economy with what we understand of how life works.
Read 5 tweets
8 Dec 20
Systems thinking can help us navigate tumultuous times. We can predict momentum and prepare for ripples of impacts. Yay!
Except that's not enough is it?
If we just surf these waves without addressing root causes of dysfunction in our systems of government and economics, not to mention our shared beliefs and assumptions, the waves we will have to surf will just keep getting higher and steeper.
But that's OK. Systems thinking helps identify root cause drivers and flawed mental models.
Except that's not enough is it? Identifying the roots is helpful, but not enough.
Read 6 tweets
8 Dec 20
Stop with the headlines and articles that imply to people that it's the turning of the calendar year that's going to make things better. That's not it.
We will make it better by changing how we act, what we believe, and who we hold accountable.
We will make it better by acting on root causes.
Read 5 tweets

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