Random Inquiries on Cultures of Change

Image from IndiaFor the past week, I've been visiting friends, colleagues, and potential partners in Delhi. This has proven to be an intense experience of one of the HSD simple rules "teach and learn in every interaction." I leave with a profound sense of respect for people who see opportunity emerging from challenge, consensus emerging from diversity, and actual change emerging from the potential of hope and passion.

I went to India with two questions: How can HSD support sustainable change in India? and How can Indian perspectives and experience inform Adaptive Action in HSD? Of course those questions were answered, and of course those answers generated many more questions. Thank goodness the trip also created generative relationships that will continue shared inquiry as the current questions find answers and set conditions for future ones.

So, what are the current questions?


  • What is the role of power and privilege in enabling, as well as inhibiting sustainable change?
  • What lessons can Indian culture bring to the West, as we struggle to deal with uncertainty and uncontrollable change?
  • What does it mean to leverage massive and multiple differences into the right levels of openness without falling into hopeless chaos?
  • What can spiritual experience, belief and practice contribute to empowering personal choice in complex environments?
  • What can spiritual experience, belief and practice contribute to constraining personal choice in complex environments?
  • What is the "right" level and kind of consensus to empower collective action without constraining personal action?

So what?

  • So what from the Indian experience is or can be generalized to a global context?
  • So what facets of Western culture welcome or repel fundamental assumptions of the East and East of West? North and South; South and North?
  • So what lessons can be transferrable from there to here and from here to there?
  • So what is the role of the “other” (youth, culture, gender, power, location) in setting conditions for sustainable change?
  • So what is given, essential, necessary to sustainable thought and action, and what is incidental or accidental?
  • So what is my individual, collective or corporate responsibility to see, understand, and influence global patterns for the future?

Now what?

  • Now what investment do I/we make that will be most significant in individual, local, global transformation?
  • Now what can our networks do to support and elicit support from their networks?
  • Now what can we do to make the flexibility and power of Adaptive Action available when, where, and how it is needed?
  • Now what are the most urgent things that will set conditions for sustainable change in the future?
  • Now what can I/we do to understand and leverage difference within the Indian culture to support sustainable change here and there?
  • Now what else do I/we need to learn about the similarities and differences of sustainable change for humans in incredibly diverse contexts?

So these are my questions today.  What are yours? What might ours all be in the future? 

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