In a blog I posted back in January 2020 entitled New Reality, New Thinking, New Tools where I wrote about how understanding interconnectedness is at the heart of the new thinking we need to tackle the complex, interconnected problems we face today.
I have worked in sustainability for over thirty years as a social entrepreneur and consultant as I explain in the short video. In some ways I have come full circle. In the late 1980s I was researching brain function in the early days of neural network modelling which now underpins artificial intelligence. It is fascinating that understanding interconnectedness is dependent on how the two halves of our brain function differently, as laid out in the work of
Dr. Iain McGilchrist.
The left brain focuses on the detail (when a bird tries to catch a worm) while the right brain sees the big picture (when a bird keeps a look out for a hawk or a possible mate). In evolutionary terms it is as fundamental as ‘to eat without being eaten’. These two ways of ‘attending to reality’ have deep implications which affect our culture, philosophies, and understanding of how the world works.
As McGilchrist says, Western culture has become so focussed on the detail (and left brain function) that it is unable to see how things fit together, to see context and interconnectedness. It parallels linear thinking versus systems thinking and computer database structures (excel-type databases versus ‘graph’ or network databases). OnePlanet is built on graph database technology to create a platform which we believe helps unlock the right brain in our day-to-day work.
The world and the universe is fundamentally interconnected. It means we have to go against our cultural received wisdom to focus on problems and to tackle issues individually (i.e. in siloes). Instead, we need to look at the big picture, connect the dots and take joined-up actions. It means we have to collaborate across siloes and disciplines, to work together across professions, arts, science and technology.
Whatever you are studying – environment, literature, medicine, politics – or whatever your profession, your contribution to finding joined-up solutions is vital. We believe OnePlanet can help make this level of collaboration a joyful reality.