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Stable Planet Alliance focuses on affecting people’s mindsets. We have identified four drivers of people's behavior that we can affect. These are people’s:
 

  • Mental maps.

  • Intentions.

  • Modus operandi – folk’s way of going about carrying out their intentions.
     

…and people’s:

  • Emotional drivers


Each of these can be improved. Let's go into the details.

 

Mental maps

Stable Planet Alliance has two primary tools for expanding people’s mental maps:
 

  • Escalating Disasters

    We use images of global warming, biodiversity loss, falling freshwater tables and the like to enable people to feel the reality of disastrous ecological trends.

    This provides a reason to accept otherwise uncomfortable changes.

     

  • Kitchen Table Conversations
     

Kitchen Table Conversations enable people to see the connection between economic growth, population growth, and ecological destruction, including climate change. As a result, folks know what needs to change.

For more depth, a long list of resources is here. However, we do not think it is necessary that folks become experts in everything. That would be impossibly time-consuming. 

People already know a lot… albeit perhaps with important gaps. Our aim with Kitchen Table Conversations is for people to very quickly develop an integrated overview that covers the main ground of the drivers of ecological damage. We help folks shift from silo thinking to seeing the system.

Climate Fresk is another helpful tool.

Intention

The dominant intention of our globalized society is economic growth. Economic growth requires ever increasing industrial production of consumer products, and this is a major driver of ecological damage.

Our economy is also structured in a way that makes the rich richer and squeezes the poor. See the Leverage Points tab for more information.

Stable Planet Alliance champions the positive intention of creating a compassionate ecologically sustainable world.

Embracing the goal of creating a compassionate ecologically sustainable world will release enormous constructive creativity at every level.

Modus operandi (the way we carry out our intentions)

Systems thinker Riane Eisler observed that there are two fundamentally different ways of relating. She contrasted domination-control relating with partnership-respect relating.

Domination-control relating is about patriarchy, wars and empires – power over others. One way it shows up is domestic violence.

Partnership-respect relating manifests as caring for the well-being of family, community, and now the Earth. Partnership-respect relating typically involves listening and collaboration. As a parenting style it includes helping kids develop in their own way, rather than molding kids to parents’ expectations. Hierarchical organizations can embody partnership-respect relating.

Given that the possibility of nuclear war has returned to the forefront of public concern, and countries invest massive amounts into the military, it appears that we will either evolve as a globalized civilization to embody partnership-respect relating… or do ourselves in. This is why Stable Planet Alliance is keen about fostering healthy cultural evolution.

To put it plainly, we think there are two paths to the future. The path of continued domination-control, to put it starkly, leads to ecological collapse and possibly nuclear annihilation.

The path of partnership-respect, working collaboratively for our common well-being (including other species), means the human enterprise can continue, even though no doubt many will suffer greatly as the Great Unraveling continues.

Embodying partnership-respect relating is not trivial. The predictable conclusion of continued domination-control thinking is nuclear annihilation.

We can embody partnership-respect at a personal level by training in disciplines such as Parent Effectiveness Training, Conflict Resolution, NonViolent Communication, the martial art Aikido, improvisational acting, and professional training in any psychotherapeutic discipline. They all develop the skills of partnership-respect relating. And some of us do this quite naturally.

In addition doing the psychological work to resolve our own emotional triggers liberates our innate capacity for care and compassion.

Prevention is better than cure. A high leverage point for cultivating emotional well-being is to coach parents in bringing out more of their nurturing side than their punitive side with their kids.

At a societal level, countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and America would be wise to reduce or eliminate poverty pockets, reduce the wealth gap, and develop modest but adequate social safety nets.

At the level of international relations, America in particular would do well to scale back its military investment, invest in the well-being of other countries, and use diplomacy to further peace and ecological sustainability.

Which brings us full circle. Our future survival as a species requires profound changes in the mindset of our political leadership…. or, perhaps more plausibly, mobilizing public will to elect new, wise leadership.

 

Emotional drivers

Unresolved trauma makes many people (although not everybody) aggressive, and sometimes cruel. It can lead to violence towards children, women, and nature.

There is also the addictive nature of money.

Trauma can be reduced by backing off from war, eliminating poverty pockets, and coaching parents in bringing out more of their nurturing side than their punitive side with their kids.

Highly effective experiential techniques for resolving trauma have been developed. Some of them can be used by individuals to resolve their own trauma, if they have the motivation.

For kids today who are aware and anxious about climate change, we think there is only one real world solution for them. It will be when they see that adults are going all out to change the system that drives fossil fuel emissions, on the one hand, and invest massively in regeneration of the land on the other. Neither calming techniques nor local action will suffice.

Inner Development Goals

A group called Inner Development Goals underscores the need for internal changes as well as external technology.

Our own mindsets

We would like to think that you grasp intellectually why affecting mindsets is critically important. However, we do not assume that you have an intuitive sense of how to do that... or that you want to.

We have noticed that most people who accept the devastating reality of climate change, for example, tend to either protest or jump into practical action (both their place!).

Academics tend to analyze our dilemmas.

As you may have guessed, we think that affecting mindsets at scale is even more important. And, although there is much that can be done through blogs, articles, webinars and the like, we think it comes down to this:

If we are going to catalyze a movement to shift public thinking at scale
… we have to talk to people.

There are two levels. On the ground, we have personal conversations with friends and business colleagues. 

And if we have the communication skills (they can be developed), we talk to leaders.

Experience shows that many people have resistance to doing either of these things.

The resistance is understandable. If you are a lecturer or run advertising campaigns, you can simply talk at people (skillfully, of course), and they either get it or they don’t. No direct personal interaction is required.

When we talk to real people, the conversation can be uncomfortable. People will not necessarily accept our ideas. They have their own opinions. Folks may push back, distract, give counter arguments, and find all sorts of reasons not to agree with us. Some will have strong emotional reactions. (And some will appreciate the conversations right away, and some appreciated after they have mulled things over for a bit.)

So – we encourage you to be proactive, reaching out talking to people even though the process may feel uncomfortable at times. We get better with practice.

What sustains us is our recognition of the grim prospects of ecological collapse and nuclear war, and our personal willingness, with others, to do what we can to turn things around.

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