Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great Interview of Paul Hawken From WorldChanging

WorldChanging recently posted a fun-to-read interview of Natural Capitalism visionary, Paul Hawken.  It's full of colorful quotes on everything from technology to future predictions to localization of economies and natural resource use.

Among my favorite quotes is Hawken's response to a question about David Holmgren's book, "Future Scenarios," (where the author outlines four different scenarios that could happen to human civilization as we hit the peak of the Industrial Ascent: 'Techno Explosion'; 'Techno Stability'; 'Energy Descent'; and lastly 'Collapse').  Asked to comment on which of these four scenarios he sees humanity heading toward, Hawken says the following:

I do a lot of scenario work with Peter Schwarz at Stanford Research Institute, and wrote a book with him. One thing you discover with scenarios is you figure out what's not going to happen. In other words, they never happen. What happens instead, is almost more surprising and unpredictable. How so many smart people can have so much info and so much data and so many resources, and come up with scenarios that are never true, is one of the fascinating things. Its not a slam, I'm just saying that its one the fascinating things about change. Which is, change is fundamentally unpredictable. And because it involves people, makings choices and human behavior, on a minute by minute bases, we are dealing with an organism here, human civilization, that is innately unpredictable. Even though there are tendencies and the sweep of history, and things we can go back on when we say this is what people do when they are starving, this is what people do when they do that, when you are talking about these scenarios you are basically reaching from science fiction to basically apocalypse. The only thing I can say about the future is that its really going to surprise us.

As I say to those who ask me how I get by as an expert who knows the in's and out's of of the challenges humanity faces right now: all we can do is our best, and then have fun...

Read the full Interview>>

No comments:

Post a Comment