Hello world! (week one)

The leap of faith began in earnest this week: the beginning of the adventure into continuing my education. Bainbridge Graduate Institute, my home for the next two years, is quickly become such through conversation, interaction and study with sixty-some phenomenal individuals in my cohort in partnership with equally inspiring faculty and staff.

My head and my heart are full in equal measure after just one week of investment in the foundation on which I hope to build a life as a change agent bridging my interests in business, sustainability & food concerns. Why this? Why now? Reading through the UNEP‘s GEO4: Summary for Decision Makers for class this week encapsulated so much of why I am here and here now.

Decision-makers can promote timely action by integrating prevention, mitigation and adaptation efforts into the core of decision-making through sustained efforts which include:

Creating enabling environments for innovations and emerging solutions by using economic instruments, new and existing technologies, empowerment of stakeholders, and more adaptive approaches which break away from the traditional segmented institutional management and production systems, and result in more sustainable consumption and production patterns” (GEO4, page 5)

From a lens of studying organizational communication, this creation of enabling environments and the relating pieces involved is fascinating to me. Already the framework of the hybrid program, and the continuing challenge of creating such mostly virtually between a broadly diverse group of people united for a common goal is an exciting taste of the change I see vital to the future.

“Leaders are imperative for establishing a vision, building trust, generating knowledge, initiating partnerships among relevant actors, managing conflicts, and mobilizing broad support for change.” (GEO4, page 27)

This is the objective I already see being lived out in my program and among my newfound peers. I have so much respect for the journey that has brought each of us here and am honored for the chance to live among those stories as they continue to enfold, as together we co-create change and bring to light goodness in a world that is facing monumental challenges. I anticipate becoming versed in the language of systems thinking to help provide the courage to face the tasks ahead of us:

“The complexity, magnitude and the interconnectedness of environmental change do not mean that decision-makers are faced with the stark choice of “doing everything at once in the name of integrated approaches or doing nothing in the face of complexity.” Identifying interlinkages offers opportunities for more effective responses at national, regional and global levels. Current gaps and needs relating to existing national and international infrastructure and capacities for integrating environment into development should be identified and addressed.” (GEO4, page 30)

3 responses

  1. Amanda,

    I’ll be reading your blog posts from now on and look forward to seeing how your journey goes.

    From this post, I’m completely struck by the one quote you pulled up:

    “The complexity, magnitude and the interconnectedness of environmental change do not mean that decision-makers are faced with the stark choice of “doing everything at once in the name of integrated approaches or doing nothing in the face of complexity.”

    This is something I wrestle with as I get deeper and deeper into systems thinking. Drawing a true picture of the system can be overwhelming (even paralyzing) and yet, just because our brains can’t grok the complexity doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist — and doesn’t mean we don’t have to deal with it. Case in point: just because we can’t figure out how to deal with climate change doesn’t mean we can ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist!

    My approach, I confess, is usually to oversimplify situations in order to be able to grasp what I hope are the most important points. It’s a flawed coping strategy…

    Ah well,


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