Freeing the Luwaks and Escaping the Iron Cage: Vignettes on Surviving in the Anthropocene by Joining Up the Social, Economic and Environmental Policy Dots—An Application of Critical Systemic Thinking to Areas of Concern

  • Janet McIntyre-MillsEmail author
  • Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes
  • Rudolf Wirawan
  • Ida WidianingsihEmail author
  • Inez Saptenno
  • Novieta H. Sari
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


This chapter suggests alternative approaches (alternative to ‘business as usual’) which build on the capabilities of young people at risk of leaving the land premised on a non-anthropocentric approach that fosters sustainable development through job creation. Non-anthropocentrism refers to the approach where human beings appreciate that they share one habitat with other living systems. Binary oppositional thinking results in anthropocentric policy and governance practices that do not protect the habitat of living systems and that frame development in terms of profit by the minority elites at the expense of the majority within this generation and the next. This transformational research is based on the assumptions of gender mainstreaming (Presidential Instruction No. 9/2000 on gender mainstreaming) and the capabilities approach (Nussbaum, Creating capabilities: The human development approach, Harvard University Press, London, 2011) that protects the right to a decent quality of life for all sentient beings. The paper develops non-anthropocentric options for socially and environmentally just development inspired by Gunter Pauli’s approach, but with greater emphasis on local participation, in line with the Paris Agenda on Development and Shiva (Making peace with the earth, Fernwood Publishing, Winipeg, 2012; Monocultures of the mind: Perspectives on biodiversity and biotechnology, Third World Network, Penang, 2012) which emphasizes the need for local people to participate in decision-making to support biodiversity and protect the Earth. The research is relevant and timely as it strives to not only merely address the UN Sustainable Development Goals but also to regenerate opportunities for women and the environment by providing them with a practical, life-enhancing opportunity that will reduce their vulnerability to poverty and prevent human trafficking and inhumane incarceration of civet cats. The case study using multiple mixed methods and a participatory design with the women provides a valuable means to assess their training needs.


Systemic challenges Indigenous collective knowing Ecosystem governance Anthropocene 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet McIntyre-Mills
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes
    • 1
  • Rudolf Wirawan
    • 1
  • Ida Widianingsih
    • 2
    Email author
  • Inez Saptenno
    • 1
  • Novieta H. Sari
    • 1
  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Center for Decentralization and Participatory Development ResearchUniversitas PadjadjaranBandungIndonesia

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