Patterns of Connection with Fritjof Capra

by | October 19, 2021 | Permaculture Podcast | 0 comments

It is my absolute delight to be welcoming to the Sense-Making in a Changing World show, someone I consider to be a leading ecological thinker/activist of our time – international best-selling author, scientist, writer, educator – Fritjof Capra – someone I am honoured to call a mentor, inspiration and very dear friend.

Our conversation in this episode spans a five decade history of ecological and youth movements, being part of a community of elders, the importance of permaculture and agroecololgy, peace, learning communities, ecoliteracy, earth ethics and social change.

About 30 years ago Fritjof Capra and I met at Schumacher College in the UK at a residential course he was leading with a global learning community. This experience transformed my life. I felt a deep sense of coming home in the thinking, ethics, philosophy and way of being, and this firmly grounded my subsequent actions. I can pinpoint this as the catalyst for what I do now.

I was in my early  20s, still at university, when I began devouring Fritjof’s books – The Turning Point, Tao of Physics, Uncommon Wisdom – all of these introduced to me by my father (Thanks Dad!!!!). On semester breaks, I’d head to the Gippsland Lakes to read, walk, and contemplate.

This one particular year, 1991, sitting among a pile of Fritjof’s books,  sparks literally began flying – my mind and way of seeing and being in the world was cracking opening. The ecological paradigm he described and advocated made complete sense to me and I felt totally different. Since then, I have been applying systems thinking in my daily life – both personally and professionally – through permaculture, community gardens, ecovillages, and a wide range of education programs.

Fritjof’s 2014 grand synthesis, a text he co-wrote with Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life, is the foundation of his online course, the Capra Course – which I now mentor young people through twice a year.

In this episode, we begin our conversation talking about his new book, Patterns of Connection – a collection of 30 essays spanning 50 years – and is an important history of grassroots movements from the counter culture of the 60s to emergence of the global civil society. He was writing about Climate Change in 1988 (33 years ago!!).

At the end, we were about to dive into another topic – Fritjof’s characteristics of living systems – but we decide to wait and share that when we are with the Capra Youth cohort. I’ll make sure I record and post that here too. I hope you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this conversation.

Tune in to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or any of your preferred podcast platforms.




Join me to learn more about permaculture. Come and explore the many free permaculture resources my Our Permaculture Life Youtube channel and subscribe to this blog below.

The world needs more permaculture teachers everywhere – local teachers share local ways for one planet living. Let’s work toward a climate-safe future through design, resilience and connection. For you that may be through film and story, kids clubs, workplace education, or hands-in the earth. Whatever the way that moves you to speak up and share, I wholeheartedly encourage.

If that inspires you, I invite you to join the Permaculture Educators Program with others from 6 continents to explore what that might look like and how you can make the change. This is a comprehensive online course that includes the Permaculture Design Certificate and the only online Permaculture Teacher Certificate anywhere. We are a global learning community. People all over the world encourage you to be the change you want to see in the world.


We support free permaculture education for people in refugee camps. Help by donating to Ethos Foundation– our registered charity.


If your main interest is getting a thriving and abundant food garden set up, then take a look at my online permaculture gardening course: The Incredible Edible Garden.

Much love


I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and work – the Gubbi Gubbi people. And I pay my respects to their elders past present and emerging.

Read the full transcript here.

Morag Gamble:

Welcome to the Sense-Making in a Changing World Podcast, where we explore the kind of thinking we need to navigate a positive way forward. I’m your host Morag Gamble, permaculture educator, and global ambassador, filmmaker, eco villager, food forester, mother, practivist and all-around lover of thinking, communicating and acting regeneratively. For a long time it’s been clear to me that to shift trajectory to a thriving one planet way of life, we first need to shift our thinking. The way we perceive ourselves in relation to nature, self, and community is the core. So this is true now more than ever and even the way change is changing, is changing. Unprecedented changes are happening all around us at a rapid pace. So how do we make sense of this? To know which way to turn, to know what action to focus on, so our efforts are worthwhile and nourishing and are working towards resilience, regeneration, and reconnection? What better way to make sense than to join together with others in open generative conversation. In this podcast, I’ll share conversations with my friends and colleagues, people who inspire and challenge me in their ways of thinking, connecting and acting. These wonderful people are thinkers, doers, activists, scholars, writers, leaders, farmers, educators, people whose work informs permaculture and spark the imagination of what a post-COVID, climate-resilient, socially just future could look like. Their ideas and projects help us to make sense in this changing world to compost and digest the ideas and to nurture the fertile ground for new ideas, connections and actions. Together we’ll open up conversations in the world of permaculture design, regenerative thinking, community action, earth repair, eco-literacy, and much more. I can’t wait to share these conversations with you. .

Over the last three decades of personally making sense of the multiple crises we face. I always returned to the practical and positive world of permaculture with its ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. I’ve seen firsthand how adaptable and responsive it can be in all contexts from urban to rural, from refugee camps to suburbs. It helps people make sense of what’s happening around them and to learn accessible design tools, to shape their habitat positively and to contribute to cultural and ecological regeneration. This is why I’ve created the permaculture educators program to help thousands of people to become permaculture teachers everywhere through an interactive online jewel certificate of permaculture design and teaching. We sponsor global PERMA youth programs. Women’s self-help groups in the global south and teens in refugee camps. So anyway, this podcast is sponsored by the permaculture education Institute and our permaculture educators program. If you’d like to find more about permaculture, I’ve created a four-part permaculture video series to explain what permaculture is and also how you can make it your livelihood as well as your way of life. We’d love to invite you to join a wonderfully inspiring, friendly, and supportive global learning community. So I welcome you to share each of these conversations, and I’d also like to suggest you create a local conversation circle to explore the ideas shared in each show and discuss together how this makes sense in your local community and environment. I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land in which I meet and speak with you today, the Gubbi Gubbi people and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

It’s my absolute delight to be welcoming to the Sense-Making in a Changing World show someone I consider to be a leading ecological thinker activist of our time, international bestselling author, scientist, writer, educator, Fritjof Capra. Someone I’m honored to call a mentor, an inspiration and a very dear friend. Our conversation in this episode spans a five-decade history of ecological and youth movements being part of a community of elders, the importance of permaculture and agroecological approaches, peace, learning communities, eco-literacy earth ethics and social change. About 30 years ago Fritjof and I met at Schumacher college in England at a residential course he was leading with a global learning community. This experience transformed my life. I felt a deep sense of coming home in the thinking, the ethics of philosophy and way of being, and this firmly grounded my subsequent actions. I can pinpoint this as the catalyst for what I do now. It was in my early 20s. I was still at university when I began devouring Fritjof’s books. The Turning Point, The Tao of Physics , Uncommon Wisdom, all of these introduced to me by my father. Thanks dad. And on semester breaks, I’d head to the Gibson Lakes to read, to walk, to contemplate. This one particular year in 1991, sitting amongst a pile of Fritjof’s books, sparks literally began flying. My mind and way of seeing and being in the world was cracking open. The ecological paradigm he described and advocated made complete sense to me, and I felt totally different since then. I’ve been applying systems thinking in my daily life, both professionally and personally through permaculture, community gardens, ecovillages and a wide range of education programs. Fritjof’s 2014 grand synthesis, a text he co-wrote with Pier Luigi Luisi, The Systems View of Life is a foundation of his online course, the Capra Course, which you can access twice a year. And also is something that I now met young people through, each time it runs. Anyway, in this episode, we begin our conversation talking about his new book Patterns of Connection, which is a collection of 30 essays spanning 50 years. And it is an important history of grassroots movement from the counterculture of the 1960s to the emergence of a global civil society. He was writing about climate change back in 1988, 33 years ago. So I hope you enjoy this conversation just as much as I did having a chance to sit down and talk in depth again with Fritjof. Thanks for listening. Well, thank you so much for joining me today Fritjof. It’s wonderful to have you here discussing your new book. What number book is this? This is

Fritjof Capra:

It’s about maybe a dozen or so I’ve I’ve stopped counting, but here it is, it just came out and it is called Patterns of Connection. And it is a collection of essays. The subtitle of the book is essential essays from five decades. And so over the years. I wrote, as you know, I wrote a lot of books. I taught a lot of courses and seminars, and I wrote a lot of articles and essays. And some of the ideas that I discussed in those essays never made it into any of my books because I’m just a passionate writer. You know, I write all the time. So when I don’t write for two weeks, I miss it and I have to do something, you know, write a page or two. And so I wrote a lot of essays about various themes that you won’t find in any of my books. And some, some of them never even appeared in print. And so these essays really reflect the evolution of my thinking over the years, the first one is I think, 1972 or something like this. So there was a very long time ago till, you know, up to 2020. And, uh, I should also say that these essays combine and interrelate the two sides of my professional life. One side is my work as a scientist and writer. And the other one is, is my work as an environmental activist and educator. And so because I have never been a pure theorist and have always been concerned about social change and written about social change. Um, these essays also reflect not only the trajectory of my career, but also the history of several grassroots movements of which I have been taught. And so from way back in the sixties, the counterculture in the sixties, then the new age movement in the seventies, the rise of green politics in the 1980s and, and rise of the global civil society beginning in the late 1990s up to today. So there is an I think important history of movements. Now, as you know, my research ofthe change of paradigms in science and society culminated in a textbook, which I wrote with Pier Luigi Luisi, a biochemist in Rome, good friend of mine. It’s called the Systems View of Life. And it is really a grand synthesis of this emerging, systemic understanding of life. Now, the new book Patterns of Connection, it’s not a book about my world view. It’s not a summary of my worldview, but it’s a summary of the journey of how I got to this world view. And it’s a journey documented in this series of essays, quite a few, 30 essays. And there are extensive commentaries that interlink the essays. So the essay is a group in chapters, according to subject matters that were at the forefront of my mind at particular times. And they are interlinked with a narrative with an ongoing narrative. So every chapter starts with three or four pages, narrative giving the philosophical context and the historical context. So it’s, it’s a story that I’m telling, and it’s a, it’s a very personal story. It shows the evolution of my thinking. When I worked on it, I was surprised, at how early, sometimes I wrote about certain things. I wrote this down. Let’s see if I can find this to give you a few example. I projected that a political party would arise as a coalition of environmentalists, feminists and peace activists. And I wrote this in 1981 while the green party in Germany was just beginning to form. So I sort of had this in mind already at the time. And then of course I met them and then wrote another book with another colleague of mine about green politics. I wrote about climate change in 1988. I was not the only one, you know, other people wrote about climate change at that time. Uh, but it was very early. No, it was, uh, you know, long before this became part of the public consciousness. I just discovered when I wrote the book that I had a lecture in 1986, where I advocated an earth ethics corresponding to the Systems View of life, and this is more or less exactly what the earth charter does. Earth charter was published in 2000, it originated at the Rio earth summit in 1992. So 1986, that’S six years before the idea originated in Rio de Janeiro. And so it is quite surprising to see, how am I thinking evolved in, in, in this way? So, so that’s I think of, you know, additional historical interest. So the first part of the book is about the 1960s. I have a long essay about these formative years of 1960s, about the influence of the thinking of Werner Heisenberg in his book Physics and Philosophy on my whole scientific career and trajectory my encounter with Eastern Mysticism. And then the culmination of that in my first book, The Tao of Physics then subsequently my shift of emphasis from physics to the life sciences in the mid 80s and the long history of formulating the Synthesis of The Systems View of Life, which took me about 30 years. And of course also my my activist work in education with schools in the peace movement, various other social movements in the green movement and so on. So it is, it is quite rich in various dimensions and I really enjoyed writing it and I’m very happy with the way they produce the book. It’s a beautiful book.

Morag Gamble:

I can’t wait to read it, you know, because for a very long time your works and being at Schumacher college has been a deep source of inspiration. Like you’re saying, it’s, where is it that we’re needing to be thinking, and where is it that we’re needing to be focusing our attention? And they’re the sorts of things that you’ve been writing about. One of the books that I really loved reading early on was your series of conversations.

Fritjof Capra:

Yeah It’s called Uncommon Wisdom, my most personal book. That tells the story actually from my childhood to, the writing of the Turning Point, which was published in 1982. There’s an overlap. So Patterns of Connection in the sense continues the journey, but it is less intimate than Uncommon Wisdom, less personal in the sense that the personal part is about my ideas and how they evolved. But in uncommon wisdom, I focus on the people I met and how I met them. And the times we spent together, and it has a lot of emotional scenes too, it’s just a full spectrum.

Morag Gamble:

How was your, cause for a very long time, you’ve been teaching at Schumacher college. How did your time at that college influence or contribute somehow to your work?

Fritjof Capra:

Well, it was a very significant because for several reasons Schumacher college has been a place where you could try out new ideas, often radically new ideas in a very safe environment. So as a scientist and philosopher I would otherwise go and give a seminar at some university, but the climate there is very different because our academic world is not only fragmented, but also very competitive. And I remember, well, from my days as a physicist, I spent 20 years doing research in theoretical physics, and I would go to hundreds of seminars. And the mindset people have at those seminars is when you give a talk about some new ideas, some new theory, they listened to it, but they listen to it with the intent to shoot it down, you know, and to challenge it. Now, challenging is all okay. But they do it in a very aggressive and competitive way. Whereas Schumacher College, what is unique at Schumacher College is there is an atmosphere of a great intellectual challenge combined with complete emotional security, emotional safety, because it is a community. It is a community sharing the same values. Underlying is, is a sense of spirituality, which Satish Kumar very, very lightly, you know, inserted into the culture of Schumacher college without being very heavy. So there’s an underlying spirituality. There’s a great sense of ethics. And in addition, the community, Schumacher College is an international, a global community. And that was by design that Satish didn’t want just, you know, Europeans or north Americans, but people from all over the world. And this community not only learns together, but also lives together and works together, which means that they’re talking all the time. So it’s a 24 hour conversation almost apart from the time that you’re sleeping, but it starts early in the morning at cleanup and kitchen work and finishes late at night at the bar. And, you know, in between you have lectures and all kinds of other activities. So for me, this has been a tremendous influence. I think you and I met in when 1992, something like was either my first or my second course. And from that time on, I have taught courses there for about 20 years. I taught courses about let’s see which, which of my books, The Web of Life which was published in 1996, and then the hidden connections was published in 2002. And those are two key books in this synthesis of mine. And I also taught courses about the signs of Leonardo DaVinci and, all kinds of other things that also wrote about, so for me, this has been extremely valuable in trying out and testing ideas in a safe environment and also in experiencing communal learning and transformative learning.

Morag Gamble:

Yeah, I think, I think everyone who experienced that, and particularly those extended stays, you know, there was a five week course that was quite an intensive period of time. So I wanted to ask you a little bit more about your activism.I think as a scholar activist, I think this is a really powerful place to be. It’s like an activism with ideas, but in your, in your education activism and peace activism, can you describe a little bit more about what you think it is to be an activist and particularly within the context of the situation we’re finding ourselves in right now?

Fritjof Capra:

Well, I think, my contribution has been to, to show how the major problems of our time are all systemic problems, which means that none of them can be. addressed or solved in isolation. Whether you talk about energy, the environment, economic inequality, uh, the climate catastrophe climate emergency, and now also the COVID pandemic. All these, all these problems are global problems, and they’re all interconnected interdependent. And, uh, they need systemic solutions, which means solutions that do not deal with any problem in isolation, but all always in relationship to other problems. And so you really need a kind of systemic thinking, uh, to, to address and solve these problems. So, you know, for instance, in the early 1980s, I spoke at peace conferences and I would, and this is this by the way, is in my essay book because these lectures, then I transformed into essays for the book. So for instance, I made a comparison between what I called at the time, holistic approach to peace, to and the holistic approach to health. And, and there are quite a few surprising parallels and they also analyzed the nature of peace beginning. Let’s see whether I can recall this, this wasn’t a very long time ago, but beginning from peace as the absence of war to the absence of a threat of war, sort of just the stress and security of a threat of war. And then the kind of Gandian spiritual approach to non-violence as the absence of a possibility of war. So, so to go deeper and deeper. And so I would speak about this, or I remember a seminar I gave somewhere in the United States about nuclear power. And again, you need a systems approach to understand the dangers of nuclear power just still today, less so today. But until recently, I think there were many people who thought, well, nuclear power doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases. So that’s the green solution for the future, but, uh, you can show from a systems approach that this is not true because to get to a place where there is a production of energy in a nuclear reactor, a lot of things have to be done before, you know, the mining of the uranium, the refining, the milling, the building of the power plant and all this produces greenhouse gases. There are many, many aspects to it. One other one is that uranium is finite. It’s not like solar energy that is infinite. Uranium is finite, and the more difficult it gets to mine, the more energy you need. And so you come to a point and this has been estimated, you’ve come to a point where you need as much energy to mine the uranium and prepared as you produce in the power plant. So you need to look at these things. And then of course there is the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. I remember a statement by Al Gore from the time when he was vice president who said that every problem with a proliferation of nuclear weapons that he remembers from his, work as vice president, every problem was linked to a nuclear reactor somewhere. So there are all these connections. There’s also the question of democracy. A highly centralized high-tech energy source needs a lot of protection because of the threat of terrorism. So it needs essentially a police state, and it just goes on and on.

Morag Gamble:

Dealing with the waste at the end of it too.

Fritjof Capra:

On the positive side, and this is more closer to what you’re working on. I have worked a lot on agroecology and have had lots of discussions with permaculturists, are you calling yourself a permaculturist and agroecologists to present a systemic view of agriculture because systemic solutions typically solve several problems at the same time. And so a sustainable regenerative agriculture contributes significantly to solving the energy problem, because it doesn’t have these massive energy inputs that industrial agriculture has. The organically grown food has a massive impact on public health, because we know that so many chronic diseases are linked to our diet. And finally the organic soil is a carbon rich soil, which means it pulls down carbon from the atmosphere and locks it up in organic substances and therefore contributes significantly to solving climate crisis. So that’s just one example of a systemic solution. So in my activist work, I would apply systemic thinking to the global problems we have, and I would attend conferences with fellow activists, like Vandana Shiva, Hazel Henderson, or Jerry Mander and Bill McKibben and Paul Hawken, many, many others. So I would, I would be the interface and I would, I would present the scientific view, but also learn a lot from activists. I remember when I wrote the turning point in the early 1980s, I was teaching a course at McAllister college, which is in Minneapolis two twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul and in Minnesota and Macalester College is a well known college in St. Paul and I spent a semester there. And while I was teaching, I prepared, I was doing research for writing the turning point. And I was doing research on agriculture and food. And I realized something, which I had not known before that in Minnesota that there a lot of activists farmers. So I went to a conference about sustainable farming in Minnesota was attended by farmers. And I met several of them. And then subsequently I visited them on their farms and it was winter. So I went on skis, so it was, it was quite, uh, quite an experience. I borrowed some skis and some people that I met took me from farm to farm, you know, skiing along. And those that was the, the sort of substance behind what I wrote about farming and agriculture in the turning point, which is, you know, significant about at least 10 pages. So I was ready to, I was always willing to hang out with people in education. It’s the same time I spent, you know, probably a hundred hours just sitting on the floor with a group of teachers, listening to them and their problems in schools and so on. So that I would say is part of my activist work.

Morag Gamble:

Do you want to talk a little bit more about the education side of things? What are some of the key issues that you were hearing from those teachers? I don’t know if I’ve heard you speak about that before. I know that you were part of, you founded the center for eco literacy, but out of your conversations with the teachers?

Fritjof Capra:

Again, there’s an essay in the book, which is taken from a presentation I gave to teachers, and this essay is different from the other essays in the book, because it is in a conversational tone. It’s taken from the seminar in a very relaxed, conversational tone. And what I heard from teachers was, first of all, that school children, are often very isolated in terms of their experience of nature. They don’t get out into nature much. They often grow up in urban environments and some of these kids, especially in poorer urban regions don’t have a clear idea of where their food comes from. They think it comes from supermarket shelves, they’re not educated about it. So the first thing, and, and of course I was promoting ecological literacy, being educated and literate about the principles of organizational ecosystems, the principles of sustainability. So in order to really experience those at the level of a school child, you need to get the kids out into nature, and you need to organize, say in a school garden, for instance, or on a beach on the cvreek and so on. And then you need to organize the school curriculum around this experience. And if you want to have a systemic approach, it has to involve the entire school. It cannot be just one, one teacher, one classroom. It has to be the entire school because you know, these issues are interconnected. Systemic thinking is thinking in terms of connections until, in most of our public schools teachers are very isolated. They don’t talk much to each other. They sometimes don’t even have lunch together. They have lunch by themselves. They don’t talk to each other. And so at the center for Ecoliteracy, which I co-founded with a group of friends in the mid 1990s, when we had teacher retreats for the first few years, most of what we did was community building, you know, not teaching ecology, but community building, because that was a prerequisite. And so, I learned a lot from teachers also about leadership, about a kind, what I would now call the systemic leadership, which consists in preparing an environment where creativity is enhanced, where new ideas emerge and this kind of leadership is best practiced in a distributive way where you have many leaders. It’s not just one leader. So I had some very impressive among the teachers I met of this kind of systemic leadership. I also learned that I started out in 1992 when I, well, you have to stop me when it gets too long, because when I get into telling my stories. So in 1992, I gave a lecture in Portland, Oregon about something or other, and I at some university. And I was asked whether I would be interested in helping a school, a high school develop an environmental education curriculum. And I said yes, I would be interested in it, but it would have to be more than that. It would have to be systemic. It would involve the whole school. And from that time on, I realized not only that the whole school has to be involved, but when I got home from the trip and assembled, some colleagues, some educators and other people, I knew, we had the idea of developing a curriculum and yes, it would be systemic and so on, but we will develop it and we will present it to the teachers. And in the next few years, I learned that this is not the way to go about it because teachers get presented things all the time. You know, the, the school has certain rules and regulations. The state has regulations there are federal regulations there are, you know, science associations and all kinds of organizations that suggests school curriculum to teachers. And the teachers usually take them and put them on the shelf and they stay on the shelf until what you have to do is to develop a curriculum with the teachers. And this is why I spent so many hours just sitting on the floor, listening to them, because only if they have a hand in developing the curriculum, will they buy into it and use it? So those are just some of the things, but this is a very, a very rich field. And part of it is in the essay book.

Morag Gamble:

Oh I wonder too, you’ve touched on a number of different things here from an activist perspective and looking at, you know, where is the change? I mean, the change is everywhere by the sounds of it from whether you were an educator, that’d be the focus, whether you’re a farmer that’d be the focus, but I also hear you talk on many occasions about there needing to be a shift in political will. We have everything that we need, but yet there needs to be a shift. Now, I wonder whether, like, I guess the question is where is the change? Where is the change that we need?

Fritjof Capra:

Let me give you a recent example of significant change that happened in the United States and actually around the world. It didn’t start in the United States. It started, um, with the occupy movement, which I think was about 10 years ago. And the Occupy Movement was a spontaneous movement. Was first called Occupy Wall Street, but it built on movements in the middle east, Indonesia, I think it started Indonesia. And, uh, there was a grassroots movement in Spain. They called themselves the Indignados and there were various protest grassroots movements protesting against social and economic inequality. And they were very spontaneous and seem disorganized, but had their own principles of organization which they developed very creatively. And they didn’t last very long. And many observers, political observers of a more conventional sort, you know, said that the occupy movement was really a failure, but what it achieved was that in talking about economic inequality, it coined that phrase of the 1% and the 99%. And it coined that slogan ‘We are the 99%’ and the 1% of the super rich who don’t pay taxes, who control politics, you know, these super rich people. The occupy movement exposed them with this slogan of the ‘1% versus the 99%’. And this was taken up by many youth movements and became part of the American political dialogue. And in the last presidential election, this was a significant part of the political dialogue driven by Bernie Sanders, who you will remember was one of the democratic candidates who ran against Joe Biden. Bernie did not win the nomination, but he had a very strong youth movement behind him who expressed these values of, ecological sustainability, human dignity, and the rights of the 99%, exactly the kind of thing the occupy movement initiated. And Joe Biden was smart enough to realize when he became candidate, that he could not win the election without Bernie Sanders and without the youth vote, which was in Bernie Sanders camp. And so Biden organized a working group, a task force. I think they called it from people in, in the Bernie Sanders camp and in the Biden camp to talk about future policies. And so now, right now, the Biden administration has two policy packages in going through Congress with a lot of difficulty, but trying to make it through Congress. The one is a policy package about improving infrastructure, which is the easier one, and it will cost $1.5 trillion. And the other one is a social policy and climate policy package, which is the more difficult one because there’s huge corporate opposition, but it will cost $3.5 billion. And the only way to finance it, there are several possibilities of finance, but the main part is that you have to force the rich to pay taxes, which most of them don’t do or do very reluctantly. And so the package includes a very slight increase of corporate taxes and taxes of the so-called 1%. And this is, you know, it’s the most radical package of social policies since, Roosevelt’s new deal. And this goes back directly to Bernie Sanders and from Sanders via the youth movement to the occupy movement. So you can see how activistsm, protest and creative social movements can be successful. I think it’s, it’s quite dramatic.

Morag Gamble:

They shift, how we think and how we, our perception about things. Yeah, that’s right.

Fritjof Capra:

You know, to talk a little bit more about these youth movements, we have several youth movements now who are very strong in the United States. We have the sunrise movement, which, just a few years ago was just a bunch of kids. And now they have representatives in Washington. They talk to the media, they are a strong political voice in the country. We have in the UK, we have the extinction rebellion. And then we have this little girl, who is no longer a little girl, Greta Thunberg, who is now 18 who sat in front of her school striking for climate and sparked a worldwide movement, Fridays for future. So we have these youth movements. And let me tell you what my concern is. My concern is that, I know that the values and ideas of these youth youth movements are completely consistent with the kind of systemic thinking that I’ve spent most of my professional life developing and teaching. And, so I would love to be able to establish a bridge between the community of elders, to which I belong, who have spent the last 40 years developing a conceptual framework for a new worldview and a new value system and the energy and passion of the youth who are very successful in making the voices heard. Now, in previous years, you know, I took part in ant-nuclear marches. I went to, I actually went to occupy meetings. Uh, my daughter was active in the occupy movement, leading these circles or groups or whatever they were called. I went to Bernie Sanders, rallies and so on. But, you know, as I’m getting older, I’m not going to continue to go out in the street and protest that I can make a valuable contribution by showing the young people that their values and their ideas are totally consistent with some of the most advanced thinking in science. That’s what I would love to be able to make this bridge and in the online course, I teach the Capra Course I have plenty of room for young people, not only your Permayouth group, but if somebody from the sunrise movement comes and says, we have five young leaders who would love to learn about systemic thinking, you know, they can take my course. I would be very glad to offer them scholarships.

Morag Gamble:
So excited to hear that. And one of the things that we’re trying to do with Permayouth too, is to connect with sunrise, with all of the different youth movements. And there’s an organization called Climate 2025. I’m working with to try and see if we can bring together these different groups in a way that this conversation could happen. And I would love to help in any way to host that bridging, that’s extremely exciting because like you’re saying, understanding that depth of science and thinking that where they’re standing now, they’re not alone. They’re thinking and their action is based on this huge wealth of knowledge and experience and that they’re supported. I think that would be so powerful.

We were about to dive into another topic, Fritjof’s characteristics of living systems, but we decided to wait and share that when we’re with the Capra Youth cohort. So I’ll make sure I record and post that here, too. I hope you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. Make sure you read the show notes below for more links about Fritjof’s work and also a transcript. And don’t forget to subscribe. So that’s all for today. Thanks so much for joining me. If you like a copy of my top 10 books to read, click the link below, pop in your email, and I’ll send it straight to you. You can also watch this interview over on my YouTube channel. I’ll put the link below as well, and don’t forget to subscribe, leave a comment. And if you’ve enjoyed it, please consider giving me a star rating. Believe it or not, the more people do this the more podcast bots will discover this little podcast. So thanks again. And I’ll see you again next week.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More articles: