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We had a dialogue with Paul about the near future of the world. We’re not into small topics. The meeting was preaching for the already converted but still some interesting things came up. His message: climate change will lead to a huge crisis. This triggers us human beings to start a ‘one degree war’ (all resources will be mobilized to prevent a global warming of more than 1 degree) and thereafter is a paradigm shift needed from consumption and economic growth to quality of life.

Some of my personal highlights:
– We think that we need more stuff so that we’re not going to die: more food, more money, more of everything. But more doesn’t mean you live a happier life. What makes you happy is: Being connected, being phycically active, learning, taking notice of the world around us and giving. It’s scientifically proven but we act differently (Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka, see in the archive of this blog, is based on these principles)
– ‘The end of shopping’ is needed as a favourite pastime. To consumn doesn’t help us to become happier. There is some instant gratification in it but that works only as long as we can see we have more than our peers and neighboours. We need to live more.
– We’re fearful and lack courage.
– There are great initiatives to make it a better world all over the place but these are not connected.
– New companies bring the change. Dont expect it to come from the current corporations.
– Share your lessons!
– The bottom will drive the change (just like Guy Verhofstadt said in our Visionary Leadership Program).
– It’s better to prepare now instead of contiuning to live in a state of denial. But our moral obligation is to stay optimistic. And we better be.
– He knows how to bring his message with flair. It’s not all doom and at the same time I didn’t have the feeling that we all got to the essence of what he was sharing. If so, we would not have left the room for just another meeting.

Some of my questions:
– How can we raise the awareness of individuals to see the whole system. People individually know and are convinced that things don’t work. They express this when you interview them but they act differently back in their surroundings. How to change the context they are living in? How to get rid of the denial?
– How to face reality as it is and having the dream the future could like? How to live in tension?
– How to improve the capacity of story telling so that people can better express themselves and share their hopes and longings. Like Marshall Ganz (advisor Obama, see video says: the story of me, the story of us and the story of now.

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