Radical Uncertainty.It is unclear who coined the term but Joanna Macy uses it in her work with Despair and Empowerment as part of The Work that Reconnects. It is the generative idea that we don’t know the outcome. The idea underpins her inspiration for the Great Turning, where collectively we shift from the unraveling systems to life-sustaining ones. The natural sense of fear of negative outcomes is natural, when we are facing harsh realities like rising seas, biodiversity loss, floods, the end of oil or depleted soils. These patterns impact the places we live and our very identities.
|"Resilience" by neil cummings is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.|
Resilience is often presented as a bounce-back-ability. This elastic quality describes a system taking a shock and rebounding back to its previous state of being. What if the bouncing is bouncing-with, or bouncing-forward? This is exactly what Dr. Chris Johnstone suggests in Seven Ways to Build Resilience. There are four ways that we can bounce. We can bounce-back, -with, -forward and -outwards.
Bouncing-back is a recovery process. Bouncing-with is an adaptive process, like the roots of a plant growing below ground when the above-ground is not suitable, or our bodies storing energy, or learning from our struggles. When we see the transformative capacity in living systems of the chrysalis, the seed, and the seasons, we are seeing bouncing-forward. The power a community finds to organize and feed itself, sharing tools and time, practicing mutual aid and setting up support when faced with challenges. Bouncing-outward is this radiating ripple in a network system. Think, fungi in the forest, allowing plants to share biochemical information instantaneously to make the whole more resilient. In this type of resilience relationships and the emergent properties of the relational field is important to cultivate. What we define as our scope of work only be part of the story. As we approach resilience work as supporting community wellbeing, these types of resilience are important to consider.
- Dr. Sará King & Dr. Dan Siegel found consensus and expanded on this idea with Thomas Hübl in a talk titled the Science and Healing Power of Interdependence at the Healing Collective Trauma Summit 2022. With a paywall, this conversation was recorded and is available befind a paywall at https://www.thomashuebl.net/products/collective-trauma-summit-2022-upgrade-package/categories/2150673206/posts/2160415124.