- Jun 2022
The experts were asked to independently provide a comprehensive list of levers and leverage points for global sustainability, based on the potential for disproportionate effects to address and reverse the deterioration of nature while meeting societal needs. They were asked to consider actions by the full range of possible actors, and both top-down and bottom-up effects across various sectors. The collection of all responses became our initial set of levers and leverage points. Ensuing processes were then informed by five linked conceptualizations of transformative change identified by the experts (Chan et al., 2019): ● Complexity theory and leverage points of transformation (Levin et al., 2013; Liu et al., 2007; Meadows, 2009); ● Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems (Berkes, Colding, & Folke, 2003; Folke et al., 2010); ● A multi-level perspective for transformative change (Geels, 2002); ● System innovations and their dynamics (Smits, Kuhlmann, & Teubal, 2010; OECD, 2015) and ● Learning sustainability through ‘real-world experiments’ (Geels, Berkhout, & van Vuuren, 2016; Gross & Krohn, 2005; Hajer, 2011).
Set of levers and leverage points identified by the authors.
Creating an open public network for radical collaboration, which we will call the Indyweb, can facilitate bottom-up engagement to both educate the public on these levers as well as be an application space to crowdsource the public to begin sharing local instantiations of these levers.
An Indyweb that is in the form of an interpersonal space in which each individual is the center of their data universe, and in which they can see all the data from their diverse digital interactions across the web and in real life all consolidated in one place offers a profound possibility for both individual and collective learning. Such an Indyweb would bring the relational nature of the human being, the so called "human INTERbeing" alive, and would effortlessly emerge the human INTERbeing explicitly as the natural form merely from its daily use. One can immediately see the relational nature of individual learning, how it is so entangled with collective learning, and would be reinforced with each social interaction on the web or in real life. This is what is needed to track both individual inner transformation (IIT) as well as collective outer transformation (COT) towards a rapid whole system change mobilization. Accelerated by a program of open access Deep Humanity (DH) knowledge that plumbs the very depth of what it is to be human, this can accelerate the indirect drivers of change and provide practical tools for granular monitoring of both IIT and COT.
Could we use AI to search for levers and leverage points?
Given that the fate of nature and humanity depends on transformative change of the human enterprise (IPBES, 2019a, 2019b), indirect drivers clearly play a central role.
Key statement supporting transformative change of indirect drivers - ie. Deep Humanity and other work to bring about inner transformation
indirect drivers have yet to receive comprehensive directed attention in the context of their impacts on nature and its contributions to people, despite recognition of their importance in some literature oriented towards sustainability transitions or transformations
indirect drivers have not yet received a lot of attention.
To address these complex social–ecological problems, our focus must expand beyond the direct drivers of change (i.e. processes directly affecting nature, land/sea-use change, direct exploitation, climate change, pollution, invasive species, etc., Brondízio et al., 2019; Díaz et al., 2015). In particular, our focus must include indirect drivers (including formal and informal institutions, such as norms, values, rules and governance systems, demographic and sociocultural factors, and economic and technological factors
Indirect drivers affect direct drivers and become crtical in system change.
- human INTERbeing
- indirect drivers
- collective outer transformation
- leverage point
- Deep Humanity
- interpersonal computing
- individual inner transformation