Compassionate Systems presentation at SCARP

This is a talk I gave at the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning in 2015. Panellists were behaviour change practitioners, and I was asked specifically about Community Based Social Marketing and the behaviour of water conservation.

The harsh reality of cognitive limits.

  Want to Build Great New Habits? Interested in the Stunning Research that Changes Everything? How about The Brain Hack that Makes You a Winner? Clickbait like this is common, alongside more respectable Serious Yet Slightly Breathless News Items. I spent several years researching behaviour change and running pilot projects on pro-environmental behaviour. My reading [...]

We have enough Ideas (or, No pie for you.)

Why are we not winning the fight against climate chaos? Why was Trump just elected? Why has there been a slaughter of drug addicts this year? Because we think about change wrong, and so our efforts are often wasted. Three things are needed to make change;  we need three capacities. We need the Technical capacity, the [...]

Free Will: we (might) use it just often enough to think it actually matters.

Our cultural veneration of free will traps us in dead-end expectations that are unsupported by reality. If we want to make effective change, the idea of free will is one of the first things we should jettison, or at least put in its proper place. John Michael Greer is one of my favourite thinkers and [...]

Forest fires show the failure of democracy.

Two days ago I awoke to an eerie, silent hellsky. It was dusky dark, even first thing in the morning. The colour and brightness of the sky was all wrong, not just overcast but unnatural. Throughout the day, people described it as apocalyptic, discomfiting and especially, unsettling. Even the birds kept quiet. Of course, as people [...]