It’s easier to draw attention to your opponents’ tactical errors than argue against social justice.
I guess it isn’t surprising that as OWS takes on a life of its own, critics are focusing on lack of coherence as the movement’s shortcoming. It’s true. Protesters may have schlepped across the country, enduring sleepless nights and Porta Potties, but when it comes to articulating the issues, most are unable to do so in thirty words or less. Worse, when asked about alternatives to the status quo, they are often speechless.
Why is it so challenging to talk about the problems, let alone solutions?
Protesters have trouble explaining the issue because it’s systemic. When a system goes terribly awry, listing the problems becomes an epic undertaking; fixing them is futile. Identifying leverage points is the only way to turn the ship around. This requires Systems Thinking.
BGI teaches Systems Thinking because it’s critical to understanding impact – a necessary component to changing the world for good. If you aren’t learning it in the classroom, you’ll absorb it through the passionate banter emanating down the halls of this school in the woods.
When business owns the government, media and research institutions, it becomes the defacto leverage point of a system in peril. Gifford and Libba Pinchot knew it ten years ago when they decided to postpone retirement to found BGI. Now the community they spawned is living it and breathing it each and every day.
Through understanding how businesses that run exclusively for profit have caused untold damage, we unleash our ability to explore the potential of holding people, planet and profit in equal regard. These are the triple bottom line businesses that BGI has been cultivating. This is the community that will tell you they know exactly what the problem is and what to do about it.
Standing in solidarity with brothers and sisters on the front line, the BGI community is working on innovative business models that will restore balance to our interconnected economic, social and environmental systems and carry us toward a brighter future.
Julie Mihalisin received her Sustainable MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and is currently a sustainable designer and consultant. You can find her on Twitter at @HortiScopeJulie.