Over the first few weeks, since we made the Agile Sustainability Manifesto public, one particular value has become apparent that may need a shuffle to become more clear and useful.
Scarcity can come in many flavors, and when it comes to climate change, time is a key ingredient. We’re in a race against it, no doubt. We need big changes, and we need them now. Today “Scarcity” seems to be the name of the game. We keep hearing that there’s just not enough of anything. Time, money, knowledge, resources, influence, care, fancy tech, solutions at scale… IF we surrender to this scarce thinking leads us to try to hoard and gain that which is scarce.
You can draw a parallel from the ‘scarcity vs. abundance’ to the work of Carol Dweck and her exploration of the ‘growth mindset vs fixed mindset’. A scarcity mindset aligns with the fixed mindset, where there is a belief that our abilities and resources are limited, while an abundance mindset aligns with the growth mindset, where there is room for growth, learning, and abundance in every aspect of our lives.
In nature, for an ecosystem to thrive requires “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, which brings us to the concept of abundance.
When thinking of nature and natural governing laws many of us have heard the phrase of the “survival of the fittest”, as a notion that in nature competition overtakes cooperation; as being the way the world works. That is a sentence that has been reinforced by years of repetition of certain narratives with a certain intent, only just about 75 years ago. The truth is that in fact, Darwin argued for the “Survival of the fit”. Fit to your habitat, attuned and adaptive to your local conditions, fit to do what you ought to do. Fit is very different from fittest.
A result of how positive interactions facilitate thriving ecosystems, a space of abundance. A highly cooperative and mutualistic space and behaviors, where we are benefiting each other (beyond just the single species of homosapien), to coevolve together. Healthy ecosystems thrive in abundance.
Therefore, it is key that we consciously move away from repeated narratives and intent where if I win you lose, away from aim wider market share that is taken from others, away from pointing at each other as the problem and instead go side by side to tackle the actual problem together.
We recognize that global challenges require working together across boundaries, tapping into abundance, and positive intent.
We require cultivating cooperative relationships and collaborative efforts to find sustainable solutions and most importantly put them into practice.
We know that is better together, especially because we want to go far on this quest.
To be able to do so in a sustainable way we must foster transparency so that we can leverage trust, and knowledge sharing and face challenges in an open and honest way.