What goes through Peter Parker’s mind when he first realizes he has superpowers? This scene in the original Spiderman movie sent chills up my spine. What goes through your head in a moment of vision? ‘I am alive, I am empowered, I have the capacity to think, feel, act, and experience life in some way’. In a moment of vision, we understand our sources of power and our powers themselves. We realize that we are empowered through having the capacity to think, feel, do, and be.
Dan McAdams, a narrative psychologist at Northwestern University, studies the personal life stories of people. His research shows that our personal identities do not come from personality traits or the issues that concern us at any particular time in our lives. Our identities come from the stories we tell (often unconsciously) that bring the episodes of life together into a coherent unity. These stories incorporate our concerns and express our interpretations of inherited dispositions (e.g. outgoing and sociable), but do not become an identity until they are brought together into a narrative.
This is where we can begin to think about the cultivation of ‘green’ identity. It has to do with the stories we tell ourselves about how we relate to our communities, purchases, nature, and so on.
A major obstacle to the environmental movement has been the use of stories to discredit environmental concerns. A heavily funded series of campaigns have been waged to paint environmentalists with negative stereotypes.
Seattle based JOE BREWER is one amongst a rare and emerging breed of interdisciplinary experts around the world. In an era of specialisations, what’s missing is a holistic view that cuts across various discipines, whether it comes to addressing climate change or societal change. Brewer steps in with his unique perspectives on ‘cognitive policy.’ As Founder and Director of Cognitive Policy Works, he paints a sweeping and fascinating canvas covering the human mind, human behaviour, public policy, social media and societal change.
"Perhaps you have also heard of Rupert Sheldrake and his term morphic resonance. We are all in the field of shared experiences and many of the concepts bounce from genius in the past to contemporary voices. Two or more individuals in completely different communities will all of a sudden have the same “epiphany” due to a “cloud of wisdom.”"
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