Better Late than Never: Open Systems Theory’s Plan to Deal with Climate Change

  • Merrelyn EmeryEmail author
Part of the Translational Systems Sciences book series (TSS, volume 1)


Using Open Systems Theory’s comprehensive, internally consistent conceptual framework, this paper analyses the world’s inadequate response to increasing anthropogenic global warming. The full diagnosis involves a motivation deficit born of a cultural malaise that has its roots in the industrial revolution and later, in the failure of the wave of social change in the 1960–1970s, that wave which precipitated a backlash from elites. The third major element is a pernicious economic system based on dysfunctional values where the planet has no intrinsic value. At the heart of the diagnosis lies the first genotypical, organizational design principle which produces hierarchies of dominance, of one person over another, and of people over the planet. The paper describes a plan to cure the motivation disease in Australia which can be adjusted for any country’s circumstances. It shows the logistics and design of the two-stage model, Search Conference plus Participative Design workshop, applied across the country such that the people of every region would participate in “The Future of Australia,” taking climate change into account. The design would revitalize communities, organizations and individuals. The paper also outlines how the United Nations would successfully deal with climate change if it functioned as an organization built on the second design principle, a non-dominant hierarchy based on collective work and negotiations between peers. Finally, it provides some data on why the designs would work. The scope of the paper limits consideration of the economic changes required.


Active adaptation Climate change Genotypical design principles Open systems theory Social change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Human ScienceConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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