By Terry Chapin, Roundtable Core member
We know a lot about resilience at levels from individuals to communities to the planet. I’m looking forward to the conversations in Sitka that will bring together many of these threads. However, many of the discussions about resilience have been stronger on ideas and theories than on practical solutions. I worry that we no longer have the luxury to just think about resilience. We need to begin identifying and implementing pathways toward solutions—even as we continue to learn about resilience and stewardship—our personal and societal responsibility to shape the future of our planet toward sustainability.
How do we get there from here? Some of this may involve expanding the dialogue from a comfortable conversation among the converted to a dialogue that engages broader segments of society. We need a social movement to which a large proportion of society can subscribe. There are at least a couple ways to start this process, first by shifting from a focus on the problems to a focus on solutions, and second by listening to, and engaging with, concepts that form part of the moral fabric of a broad spectrum of society. For example, stewardship is a fundamental moral code in most of the world’s religions. The majority of Americans consider themselves active members of a church. Can we work with churches to re-invent a civil rights movement for the integrity of the planet and its human residents? If we could turn the United States around, wouldn’t that help the world? However, there is a lot of trust that must develop before this dialogue will be effective. That requires a lot of listening and a thoughtful and transparent strategy.