One common thread we discovered throughout the different themes of our research is, that the way in which we as individuals are in life - our being - is of essential importance for everything we engage with.
We live in a world that has become polarized on many societal issues. Within the work of the lift-project, our team has also experienced polarization in our dialogues and explorations. It has indeed become essential to learn how to deal with these polarized conflicts in order to create a new politics.Polarized conflicts require a new initial step before two opposed parties are able to sit together. This step is about creating a human connection as a foundation to rise above the different realities the polarized parties inhabit.
Solving polarized conflicts requires moving from the transactional thinking that is used to resolve classic conflicts to a transformational thinking. Instead of settling for a win-win solution that suits the parties involved, overcoming polarized issues and solving our global, complex challenges require the involved parties to embrace a shared, higher purpose. This requires a transformation in thinking. And this requires a certain degree of introspection regarding our own mindset.
In the context of this project, Katrin Muff has focused on exploring this new positive impact mindset. Her book provides leading-edge research insights on mindset transformation. She differentiates between the individual mindset of leaders and change makers and the organizational mindset of the institutions they represent.
The transformation is about overcoming the traditional egocentric, competitive worldview to embrace a higher-purpose vision that is developed in a co-creative approach. In her book, she has outlined the transformation journey in all available detail and enriched it with stories. It builds on ground-breaking scientific work and is complemented with research insights from other fields.
Further Readings - Katrin's book is available here - below are some chapters that might be especially interesting:
- Chapter 2: A Practice Case - Polarization in Society
- Chapter 6: A Practice Case – Trans-sectoral stakeholder collaboration
- Chapter 9: The transformation from “me” to “we”
- Chapter 11: The transformation from competition to co-creation
- Chapter 14: The individual positive impact mindset
- Chapter 15: The organizational positive impact mindset
- German Summary of the book
How do we consciously transform at the scope, scale, speed, and depth that is called for to meet interlinked global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and social inequality? Transformations that are both equitable and sustainability call for a different approach to politics -- one that move us beyond binaries, dualisms, and fragmentation. Such transformations call for rethinking the ways that we organize ourselves and our societies; this involves reimagining how we generate social change.
Within the LiFT project, we have considered the role that paradigms play in politics. Paradigms can be thought of as the concepts, metaphors, and patterns of thought that underlie theories and methods of science. However, paradigms also inform how we relate to ourselves, each other, the environment, and the future. To explore the potential for transformative changes that are both equitable and sustainable, we need to consider paradigms that help us to transcend research as usual, business as usual and politics as usual. Is it time for a quantum leap?
In You Matter More Than You Think: Quantum Social Change for a Thriving World, author and leading social scientist Karen O’Brien explores the extraordinary potential that lies within people to create meaningful changes in the world. Drawing on metaphors and meanings from quantum physics and quantum social science, Karen considers the relationship between mind, meaning, and matter and its implications for social change.
This approach to politics explores the potential for conscious, non-linear, and nonlocal transformations that are grounded in our inherent oneness. It recognizes that we are entangled through language, meaning, and shared contexts, and that our deepest values and intentions are potential sources of individual change, collective change, and systems change. Karen’s inquiry into the possibility and potential for quantum social change invites you to engage practically, politically, and personally with transformative change. When it comes to transformative change, you matter more than you think.