In our most recent episode on the HumanCurrent podcast, we aired our interview with the brilliant Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, English author, and researcher in the field of parapsychology. He has been named one of the world’s most innovative scientists and “a pioneer who is paving the way for the future of the sciences” by Deepak Chopra.
Angie and I were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to speak with Dr. Brizendine on the HumanCurrent. We had previously read “The Female Brain” as a part of our office book club, and after having some rich and interesting discussions about it, our team felt deeply inspired by her research and desired to learn more. We collaborated together to craft some of our curious questions for Dr. Brizendine. We wanted to know more about how modern-day life affects the female brain because we are an office of mostly females, who recognize the struggle to find balance in work, home, and personal life.
So, one of the questions we decided to ask Dr. Brizendine in our interview with her was, how does she think modern-day life has influenced the female brain?
Noetic science is described as “a multidisciplinary field that brings objective scientific tools and techniques together with subjective inner knowing to study the full range of human experiences”. So much of the work at IONS is research-based, but they also incorporate a broad range of human capability that go beyond science, like imagination and intuition, into their mission. IONS holds space for understanding that the relationship between the physical and the nonphysical is far more complex than we might have imagined.
Several weeks ago, we aired the second half of our interview with Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam as a part of our podcast series on the complexity of the environment. Bar-Yam shared with us how quickly unintended consequences can ripple throughout our global systems. He provided us with examples, including some fascinating research he conducted with his school, The New England Complex Systems Institute, on the causes of increasing global food prices.
Recently, we shared our podcast interview with Yaneer Bar-Yam who is a complexity scientist, researcher, author, professor, and founder of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI). Yaneer received his SB and PhD in Physics from MIT and has an extensive background in using principles and insights from complex systems science to better the world. He is the author of two fantastic books: a textbook called Dynamics of Complex Systems and Making Things Work, which applies complex systems science to solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict. He is also the author of over 200 research papers in professional journals and has 3 patents.
Often, when we think about global-scale problems, feelings of defeat can creep in on us. The scale and scope of the problems we face as a human race can feel very intimidating and it is easy to want to break each issue down into parts so that they more digestible and less overwhelming to tackle. The problem is that this reductionist approach does more harm than good because each problem is so intertwined with the next. We soon start to encounter unintended consequences from our actions because we are operating within a limited viewpoint and understanding of what is happening and therefore we miss out on what is necessary. James described a tactic he uses to think bigger, called blindspotting. Blindspotting is the driving force behind all of his work and it is essentially an approach he uses to find what has been overlooked because of reductionist thinking. James said, "ultimately, blindspotting can address the neglected gap between the scale of our our responses and the scale of the interconnected challenges".
In our recent podcast episode, we asked a few of our guests to respond to this quote by environmental activist, Annie Leonard. And, we learned from our conversation with our guests that how we think about progress and innovation needs to shift. We need to think about how often we consider the environment as a part of our everyday life. Sustainability should be more than just a goal, or a separate field or industry. It should not be a goal we work towards, but rather an integral part of our everyday lives. It is not the environment, it is our environment, our home, and our livelihood.
In my two last blogs, I wrote about change management and added my expert opinion about starting with oneself and when to apply complexity thinking. Missing from those two blogs, and is often missing in other literature, is a discussion about how challenging change can be. Over the decades I have learned that change is inevitable, continuous, and can seem ambiguous. To help bring clarity and ease, this blog explores change and transition.
As described by the author William Bridges, change is something that you can mark on a calendar—for example, the day you met your life partner, started a new job, or a loved one died. What many people don’t realize is that change can trigger an emotional transition, which is experienced in our head, heart, and gut. It’s the transition that often makes us feel emotional, brings on feelings of vulnerability, and can be hard to comprehend. Successful change actually lies on our ability to get through the transition.