Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Sustainable Development and Social Power

What changes would be needed in current structures of social power to support sustainable development?  What alternatives can we learn from women and nature? Dr. Valerie Luzadis shared her thesis that:  the current dominate structures of social power limit our ability to live sustainable with nature and among ourselves.  Dr. Luzadis briefly discussed the difference between "power over" and "power to do", and provided additional background information that has shaped her thinking on the subject prior to inviting responses (and there were many!) from the participants.  Participants added that although hierarchies are not necessarily bad, but they are often too rigid to be effective, and by relying on "majority rules" rather than consensus, non-majority members are often overlooked.  Other participants related social levels to trophic levels, and considered the impact of reciprocity and co-evolution of members, as well as the opportunities presented by gaps in biological systems.

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