Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Conceptual framework: scientific base for change?

Conceptual framework is a term often referred to during the Trondheim conference as the scientific base for biodiversity conservation. My doubts are on the increase. I think there is more. Quantum physicist Werner Heisenberg has said: “every concept, clear as it may be has only a limited range of applicability.” But it seems to be difficult to be aware of the limitations and of the relativity of conceptual knowledge, linear thinking and a mechanistic world view. The representation of the reality of pressures, drivers, impact etc. is so much easier to grasp than reality itself, that we tend to confuse the two and take concepts, symbols and graphics for reality. And base our policies, interventions and the road forward on the 'map' and not on the reality.

The conceptual framework presented by UNEP (click on the image to see a larger version) also maps the causes and impacts, but pays very little attention to the realities on the ground and concrete changes towards sustainable solutions. In the same way most speakers focused on the analysis of problems, or the white boxes. It is really high time to get down off our mountain tops and start paying attention to the blue box and focus on the 'chemistry of change'. That is what comes to my mind if I think about the conference almost a week later. At the same time the music and art that warmed and colored the conference come to mind and the networking with so many people eager to contribute to positive change. And for me it was a good learning experience.

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