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Full-Spectrum Sustainability:
Indigenous Wisdom and Modern Science

The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level at which we created them. – Albert Einstein

In recent history, there has been a chasm between the worlds of material or modern science and Indigenous and other ancient wisdom traditions.

Material scientists have too often derided Indigenous and other wisdom-tradition practices and findings as “primitive” and “superstitious,” and have held the opinion that such practices and traditions have not met material-science’s empirical requirements.

At the same time, Indigenous and wisdom-tradition elders and adepts have often characterized material science’s reductionist approach as “seeing only the tip of the iceberg,” and thus not seeing interconnectedness and related whole-system solutions.

It’s more and more evident that the scope of contemporary challenges requires new ways of thinking and being.

Thanks to horizon-edge leaders opening pathways of dialogue and collaboration about sustainability, the chasm is being bridged so that we might advance the outcomes of sustainability by applying the very best offered by modern science and ancient wisdom traditions.

After all, Living Systems theory, Complexity Science, and related advances in modern science over the last few decades have much in common with traditional Indigenous and other ancient-wisdom values, priorities, practices, and understandings.

Paths to Change Founder and President, Lawrence Ellis, and many of his Paths to Change colleagues are thought-leaders engaged in exploration, experimentation, and practice in the area of bridging Indigenous wisdom and modern science to raise awareness, and to enhance the processes and effectiveness of transformative change and courageous leadership.

Below are several examples of the work of Lawrence and other Paths to Change consultants in this vital and emerging area of expertise.

For more information, we invite you to contact us.

Indigenous Wisdom and Modern Science Global Tele-Summit

Sustainabiilty Summit Panelists Lawrence had a multifaceted leadership role in the planning and implementation of this visionary global event, which was part of the 2012 Spring of Sustainability program sponsored by the Sustainable World Coalition and The Shift Network (see below for more information and the event flyer).

He served as the executive producer, emcee, and panel-discussion moderator, contributing to a unique and leading-edge global tele-summit focused on surfacing and sharing insights from Indigenous and Complexity Science luminaries.

As the executive producer, Lawrence designed the conceptual framework for the summit; secured alignment of the executive sponsors; led the presenter-recruitment team, as well as the team-leads responsible for marketing, operations, and other functions. Lawrence also oversaw the daylong summit itself, and handled key post-event activities.

In addition to his behind-the-scenes leadership roles, Lawrence emceed the event and moderated one of the four main panel discussions.

The IWMS summit was one of the key successes of the Spring of Sustainability program, which drew over 12,000 participants from 148 countries on six continents.

Learn more about the IWMS Summit and its noteworthy presenters.

Healthy Native Communities Partnership Consulting Project

Paths to Change worked with the Healthy Native Communities Partnership, in a collaborative-style consulting partnership that enabled key community stakeholders to arrive at an optimal approach for achieving program outcomes.

The HNCP project combined Indigenous perspectives and practices as well as modern health and scientific approaches to best meet the challenges and needs of the community.

The HNCP client said, “We needed a consulting firm that could help to manage a significant project aimed at large-scale change, that was masterful in change leadership, and that could work in a culturally sensitive way. Paths to Change was a natural choice.”

Learn more about the Healthy Native Communities Partnership Consulting Project.

These selections offer just a snapshot of our work at Paths to Change.

We invite you to contact us for more information and a more substantial conversation about our experience and expertise in these and other consulting and thought-leadership areas.

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