Monday, December 14, 2009

Bangle for the Bard

I had an incredible My Dinner With Andre style encounter last night with Kimo Goree, from the International Institute for Sustainable Development, his co-worker Liz Willetts, and a zingy powerhouse of a gal named Velma MCColl, a high-flying Canadian political consultant.

We talked strategy, philosophy, personality, inherent genius, wu wei (active inaction). Though I must admit I interrupted the flow for a Girlie Moment to complement Velma on her very beautiful bracelet.

We talked about knowing who has "valence," the person in any situation who can make things happen, and being clear that when you're trying to make change, that's who you should be dealing with.

We talked about the U Theory Of Change. This is the idea that to make change, you have to have an open mind, an open heart, and an open will. There are moments when each of these components are open, and they can be engaged, and you come out the other side having been transformed. Imagine moving down one stem of a U and coming up the other side.

Velma said that she's really interested in engaging people just as they're coming up from the bottom of the U.

Velma also talked about how she feels like something is really shifting here: valences, debates, influences, paradigms, institutions.

Kimo pointed out that Copenhagen is self-selecting for the most passionate, the most engaged, the most creative and committed people working on climate change at all levels. He also said there has never been a time in our history when this many top leaders came together in one place for 36 hours to try and fix a problem. It's an enormous amount of concentrated world power, of people who have, to borrow from Malcom Gladwell, blink energy. Rapid, immediate cognition.

We talked about how the inherent role of countries is to look out for the self-interest of a specifically defined collective of people, but that this Moment requires a re-constitution of the inherent purpose of government. These world bodies must now be infused with altruism, compassion, and generosity as the only means of ensuring our survival. We need to take half-formed thoughts in half-formed realities, and vast contradictions and complexities, and at a quantum pace, transform them into immediate and seemingly impossible action.

We have to storm the status quo, crack prime numbers, and remembering that we live on a pale blue dot in an infinite sea of black. We need to go Micro, Macro, Meta, Mundo because it is not acceptable for us to wait for global catastrophe before we act.

It was a heady, invigorating, elevating conversation when went on for hours. We closed down the restaurant and got free wine from the manager, who thanked us for our work.

On the way home in the taxi, I told Velma
about what my friend Shyla said to me about my current Purpose. She said I am in the lineage of the Bardic Stream, a storyteller of this Moment. What Joanna Macy calls The Great Turning.

As I got out of the taxi, Velma gave me her bracelet - the one I had admired early in our night together. She said it was a Bangle for the Bard.

This moment is the reason I came to Copenhagen.

No comments:

Post a Comment