Positive Disruption

By Davie Philip – Published in Positive Life www.positivelife.ie/  Winter Issue 2016

The climate is rapidly changing, but we are very slow to. The disruption we face as the world heats up will be hugely challenging, however it will also be an opportunity to accelerate a transition to a future that is more meaningful, decentralised, local and powered by renewable resources. I believe this is inevitable, will be far healthier and more preferable to the centralized, unjust world that we now occupy.

Humans are generally frightened of change, we tend to want things to stay the same and free of danger. Disruption is rarely welcomed as it represents conflict and chaos, and disruptive behavior is usually discouraged in favour of passivity and compliance. For a long time the business world avoided disruption seeing it as a problem, now however, to stay ahead of the game, they have had to champion it.

As a catalyst for change disruption is vital. This can really help us to challenge old assumptions and could expedite new innovative approaches that will ensure we remain buoyant in the face of the turbulence ahead. In fact it’s a global community of positive disrupters engaged in transforming their local places that I think we really need.

In our use of energy we know we have to quickly move away from our dependency on fossil fuels. Reducing our consumption and moving to renewable sources is vital, however the real disruption happens when we rethink how we generate and use energy locally. Our communities have so much to gain from a decentralization of power and so much to lose if big business maintains its control of it. Locally owned and distributed renewable energy could revitalise our communities, providing much needed livelihoods and underpinning the journey to a post carbon economy

The way we produce and consume food leaves us vulnerable and unwell.  Its great to see the rise of the shop local and healthy eating trends, however we can really disrupt an unsustainable food system by become co-producers, growing some of our own and subscribing to community supported agriculture initiatives. These projects reconnect us to the land, ensure the economic viability of local producers and also build much needed social relationships in the places we live.
We can easily future proof our homes by increasing insulation and making them more energy efficient. However co-housing initiatives are completely disrupting the way we house ourselves and challenging our notions of ownership. Residents of co-housing neighbourhoods have their own private living space but share assets and common space. As well as being more affordable, this approach has proved to increase wellbeing and be much better for our mental health.

To really navigate the disruption ahead we will need to recalibrate our compasses and be willing to creatively transform the way we do almost everything. Anyone working to make this world a healthier and fairer place needs to use disruption positively to innovate new ways to live in the world, meet our needs in a more sustainable way and accelerate the transition to low carbon and resilient future.

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