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Rutherford-and-Marx-on-Donella-Meadows'-"Leverage-Points"

Page history last edited by Steven Marx 11 years, 7 months ago

Hi Rob

I'm glad to hear that you'll be able to be part of this after Winter Quarter.  Your long standing and deeply considered involvement in this movement will enrich our discussions and hopefully help propel us to action.

Thanks for this reference to Donella Meadows, whom I never even heard of.  I found the wikipedia summary a place to get started thinking about her points, but the article it cited much clearer and better written:

http://www.sustainabilityinstitute.org/pubs/Leverage_Points.pdf

It has the same kind of bite and lucidity as the David Orr piece and, read in retrospect, eleven years after its publication, has a similar prophetic quality.

Best,

Steven

 

On Jan 2, 2009, at 6:47 PM, Rob Rutherford wrote:

Thanks so much for organizing and orchestrating this effort, Steven...

Upon thinking of the time issue, I realize that I really only have a conflict during the Winter Quarter (at least as far as I know) and it appears that there is apparently a good fit for the overwhelming majority of the group. There will never be a perfect time for everybody.

I also got to thinking that much of what we were discussing today was about efforts to shift a system. That took my mind to Donella Meadows and her now famous list of Leverage Points to Move a System - starting with things like numbers (taxes, etc.) at one end that are easy to impose but very poor in terms of causing system change - up to the point of transcending paradigms - very difficult to do but by far the most effective. I don't know how many of the group are aware of this list of 12 leverage points - but it might be a convenient add-on for some quick reading before our next group gathering. Of course, as with many things, quick reading leads to extended thinking and conversation. Her original text can be found on her foundation's website - however, Wikipedia has a very good, simple, and clear summary of the 12 leverage points. As our conversations continue to try to come up with strategies to cause movement on campus, it might be a good idea to consider Meadow's thoughts.

Rob

 

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