by Paula Williams
Dr. Williams wrote her dissertation on “The role of social paradigm in human perception and response to environmental change.“ She is the director of UAA’s Office of Sustainability. Her previous post on this topic appears here: http://prosperouswaydown.com/williams-not-economy-paradigm/.
If not a stupid paradigm, then, as previously described, what might a smart paradigm include?
Many people who live in societies that embrace the western industrial dominant social paradigm don’t subscribe to that paradigm in whole or in part. Many realize, or sense, that our current paradigm threatens our ability to survive long-term. Our current paradigm tells us that the economy must continuously grow; that the role of government is to enforce contracts and keep it’s regulatory hands off of business; that technology will save us, particularly from our environmental sins; that humans are the most important forms of life; and that competition is the best way to manage systems and people.
Because this paradigm shapes the way most people think about how the world works and even shapes our living space (for example, with an emphasis on roads and driving) it won’t be easy to change. But since not changing it will clearly impact whether we survive into the future and what future life for our children and grandchildren will look like, changing the paradigm, or trying, is a moral imperative. First we need to consider what a new paradigm should look like. Continue reading What might a smart paradigm include?