Leadership beyond denial of our climate tragedy

Bendell, Jem (2018) Leadership beyond denial of our climate tragedy. In: The Poetics of Leadership Conference: Creativity, Art and Story in Enabliing Meaningful Change, 7-8 September 2018, University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The topic that we will explore in this session is in the ether of our conference. Which may reflect how the topic is increasingly in the minds of some people in recent years, particularly in the environmental movement. It doesn’t feel right to me given the serious nature of the topic to just present a summary of my paper. We can’t avoid the emotional impact of this topic. And shouldn’t try to. Although my attempt to develop a “deep adaptation” concept was partly to take some of the sting out of things by inviting reflection within a framework, perhaps a life-raft for despair, I don’t see there is any way to just jump into this as a technical or philosophical discussion. Because it is such an important topic, connected to the most important questions of existence, and an emotional journey for me, I want to be more precise than I am usually. Therefore, I will abandon a habit of a few years, and actually read my talk. What I want to do in this session is to invite you to consider simply: “What If?” What if it is too late to avert a catastrophe in our own societies within our lifetimes, due to the impacts of climate change, particularly on agriculture. What might that mean for my life and work? Only if we consider that it could be too late could we explore implications for life and work - and deepen our dialogue on adaptation. I am no expert in that field. Instead, my role here is to invite more people to engage in that dialogue. Most people don’t engage, as they raise many arguments against the view that we now face a probable or inevitable collapse in our societies within ten years. So, to encourage more of us to move into that “what if” space to consider this and let it generate new insights, I will summarise some of my own story in arriving at this point of view.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 14:58
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2018 21:43
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4165

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