Title of contribution:

Beyond the floor boards and the glass ceiling: working with stages of consciousness in a changing climate

Where & when:

Ibiza II.

Sunday, 27th May

Project: Beyond the floor boards and the glass ceiling: working with stages of consciousness in a changing climate

Climate change is distributed massively across time and space, difficult to grasp cognitively, and almost impossible to directly experience. Meaning regarding climate change is made differently according to a diversity of perspectives. This presents a complex challenge to humanity–a challenge which continues to evade resolution despite the excellent scientific research, supportive intergovernmental processes, and growing citizen concern. Integral theory provides some important insights, particularly from its central tenant of developmental psychology, which is currently absent from the climate change discourse. This presentation will examine three reasons why developmental stages of integral theory are important in climate change: 1) to disclose why people make meaning of climate change so differently, which in turn could reduce conflict and assist in finding mutual understanding between worldviews; 2) to align better with the diverse spectrum of meaning-making and thus help in crafting pathways for adaptation from within each stage; and 3) to hold open the probability spaces for later developmental stages that are more commensurate with the full complexity of the issue. As such, not only does an understanding of stages help us to meet the challenge of climate change in a spectrum of ways across a developmental unfolding, but also staying in step with an issue like climate change could itself generate emergent ground for transformation.

About Gail Hochachka:

Gail worked for 17 years in sustainable development globally and co-founded Integral Without Borders. Today, she is PhD student at the University of Oslo, working on the AdaptationCONNECTS project. Her field work focuses on coffee in Guatemala, researching developmental stages in individual and social transformation; the emotional impact of climate change; the potential and processes of collaboration across sectors; and, the possibilities of global value chains as vehicles for transformation.


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