Below are a series of curated and ongoing research articles and books about climate change, Complexity science, and dialogue, contributed by Center for Emergent Diplomacy personnel and colleagues. Stay tuned as more will be listed soon!
Books, Online Articles, Academic Papers, and More
"When We Are Kind", Navajo Children's Book by Author Monique Gray Smith and Illustrator Nicole Niedhardt, Board Member of the Center. Published October, 2020.
"Groundswell: Indigenous Knowledge and a Call to Action for Climate Change." Ed. Joe Neidhardt and Nicole Niedhardt. Second Edition, 2019.
Opportunities and Challenges for Canada in the North American Artic, Paper written by Merle Lefkoff, published Spring 2021 in the Canadian Army Journal, Volume 19.1.
Transforming: Applying Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation Book, Published January 15th, 2021.
Merle Lefkoff, Founder and Director of the Center for Emergent Diplomacy contributed Chapter 18, "Sacred Diplomacy as 'The Adjacent Possible Praxis'", Transforming Peacebuilding to Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet
"Global crises—from pandemics to climate change—demonstrate the vulnerability of the biosphere and each of us as individuals, calling for responses guided by creative analysis and compassionate reflection. Transforming, building on its companion volume, Awakening, explores actions that create paths of understanding and collaboration as the groundwork for transformative community. The community of scholars in this volume offers perspectives that collectively form a complex tapestry of resources. The volume engages with the complex range of challenges and possibilities across a variety of sectors, and provides an interdisciplinary approach to the prospects for transformative healing of human and non-human communities, and the global environment we inhabit. Spirituality is essential to this, and, as such, the work explores vital dimensions of emerging spiritual concepts, methods, and practices that harbor interfaith potential for genuine reconciliation and communion."
Sacred Diplomacy in the Emerging Ecozoic Era, Untangling Global Trauma Essay, by Merle Lefkoff. Published in the Winter of 2018, Kosmos Journal for Global Transformation.
"Even though Western science searches for knowledge through experiment, and Native science through experience, at the heart of both cosmologies is the principle of nonlinearity. We students in the West, separated too long from Nature, are still largely taught to think in linear ways: one cause produces one predictable effect. In complex systems like a classroom, a city, a nation, a universe, one cause—even something very small—can have multiple, mostly unpredictable, and sometimes mysteriously large unanticipated effects: the hummingbird flapping her wings in Brazil affecting the vortex that brings a massive hurricane to Florida.
What if traditional global diplomacy used the principles of complex dynamic systems to transform the possibility for a just and lasting peace in our universal valley?"
John Maynard Keynes died 70 years ago. We ignore his wisdom at our peril by Justin Talbot Zorn and Merle Lefkoff. Published April 21st, 2016 by The Guardian, Economics, Opinion.
"When John Maynard Keynes died, 70 years ago on Thursday, he was a man with serious unfinished business. While he achieved much in his lifetime, he lost out to the American delegation at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. Against his objections, the US dollar was made the global currency, and Keynes’ foresighted idea for a new institution to more equitably balance the interests of creditor and debtor countries was rejected.
What we got instead was the IMF, structural adjustment policies and more than half a century of largely unnecessary pain and suffering for the world’s poorest countries.
Looking back at the final years of Keynes’ life underscores an important point about the world we live in today: some of the key decisions that define it were made more than seven decades ago by an elite group of white men in a meeting at a swanky New Hampshire ski resort.
To steer away from an economic system marked by rising inequality, environmental devastation and a lack of accountability, we need to do what Keynes tried to do 70 years ago: imagine a different kind of Bretton Woods."
"The field of what is increasingly called Conflict Transformation devotes a lot of attention to the role of the “expert” intervener in facilitating constructive change in relationships as well as in dysfunctional social and political structures. But what if the interveners are a “swarm” of ordinary citizens forming networks and mobilizing social movements to demand political, social, and environmental justice across a range of issues? This paper proposes the science of Complex Adaptive Systems as a new lens through which to understand mass citizen mobilization as a form of conflict intervention using a case study of “Idle No More,” an indigenous group of First Nations protestors catalyzing a peaceful revolution to protect land and water. The paper examines the utility of expanding peace research to include complex systems principles such as self-organization, social entropy, distributed leadership, and the networked world of conflict transformation."
"Catherine Ashton and Wendy Sherman navigated through the diplomatic shoals of the Iran nuclear deal. Media pundits and academic analysts have been slow to realize that a very different kind of diplomacy is at work in the Iranian breakthrough, and it is worth considering that its success was due in part to a negotiating process I dare call more “feminine” and “emergent.” At risk of over-simplification, I’d like to report that neuroscience research suggests that women are better at communicating than men, and that advantage results in the formation of more trusting relationships. The ability to “navigate relationships” as Ashton suggested, may have been one of the key elements in the success of the negotiations. Navigation needs patience to arrive at the proper coordinates, “a 360-degree view” according to Sherman."