Friday, November 4, 2011

Finding work that needs doing – Preserving the environment

Good morning everyone! I trust the previous posting, where we took a brief look at the constructive use of technology was interesting and made you think differently about the impact of technology on people and their career and life development. We are sticking to the same broad topic – Finding work that needs doing – but will move along to the second area identified by Hansen, which talks to preserving the environment.

I am sure some of you will immediately conjure up images of Greenpeace, who have an interesting core values statement. On their website, Greenpeace state that their work is based on key principles, which are used to guide their actions. These core values are “bearing witness”, “non violence”, “independence”, having “no permanent friends or foes”, and “promoting solutions”. Some of us may think of their campaigns and actions as being of little consequence, others may think that Greenpeace is contributing to the greater good. I prefer to think of them as an (extreme) example of the attitude we all need to have when it comes to thinking about the impact we have on ourselves, our fellow man, and the physical and spiritual world around us.

In terms of the ILP approach, reference is made to the introduction of so-called new-paradigm thinking about preserving the planet. Hansen refers to the work of theologian Matthew Fox, economist Hazel Henderson, and Peter Plant, a Danish career development specialist. I will strongly recommend a visit to the websites of the above individuals, since their way of thinking is echoing the very typical ILP sentiments…if I may call it that!

To give one example of their work would be an injustice, but to then there is probably nothing wrong with whetting the appetites! Amongst other descriptive words, Hazel Henderson is defined as an independent futurist, advocate for and consultant on equitable ecologically sustainable human development and socially responsible business and investment. Now, if you have been following my blog postings, you will agree that the above description resounds of the ILP model. If one starts reading more of her work, you will see that Hazel Henderson is someone who is very critical of traditional economics and the Western focus on GDP. Take one moment and turn to current news…At this time, there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of protestors occupying Wall Street in New York City. Why? Read the following quote taken from the “official” website of the “Occupy Wall Street” group:

We demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.

It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we're doomed without it.

I think the parallels between ILP’s principles, the work of Hazel Henderson, and Occupy Wall Street is clear.

Before I forget, another at-this-moment occupation is also taking place in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London…reason? Pretty much same as the above. Again, if you have some time and interest, read an article posted by a freelance journalist who is part of the occupation in London.

I'll admit I'm no full-on radical subversive - indeed I'm solidly middle-class, thanks to my parents' hard work and commitment to their children (both were teachers, and they managed to raise three of us to have better prospects than they enjoyed). But, I am also part of the 99 per cent - those excluded by the current capitalist system and whose economic mobility is pretty much zero.

Those of us living in South Africa have also very recently seen an example of another (peaceful) march. The ANC Youth League’s March for Economic Freedom took place a short while back and has been described as successful by some because of the March taking place without any incidents of violence.

This is really an interesting topic – considering how our actions are impacting on the world we live in. When I started writing this posting, I was planning to introduce you to the topic of Preserving the Environment – which is a subtheme of our discussion on finding work that needs doing – and move along to the next topic…but alas, it is so interesting and topical that I have decided to dwell some more on the issue. In the next posting I will take some time to introduce you to the work of Danish career specialist, Peter Plant with the intention of showing how his work has also influenced thinking encountered in the Integrative Life Planning model.

Until we meet again, take some time to think how peaceful (and sometimes not so peaceful) demonstrations are impacting my / your / our worlds!

Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life Patterns