You Matter, more than you think, is a crucial core value for a change. All change starts with you. Your values, your attitudes, and your mind are the starting point for change. You can not just wait for someone else to get started, or for a policy or strategy to effect change. Making a difference requires a change in culture and systems to bring about truly sustainable change.
You have to be the change and to design the change and lead with change
Leadership is critical to change and transformation because it starts with culture. It takes a lot of courage and creativity to challenge old patterns, systems, and paradigms. But you can also learn that you can train that courage. It is critical to be trained to be a values-based leader who is able to activate the agency and potential of the people around you to develop transformative solutions. The narratives we create make a difference, and this is where you matter more than you think. So how you design projects that solve problems, change cultures and systems, and bring to life what people really care about matters. It is critical to use common, powerful language to change disempowering conversations and narratives and develop a network of deep, value-based partnerships for results. It is also important to implement solutions in ways that create and support new patterns for thriving futures.
In times of crisis, profound questions arise, and deep down we all have an idea of what is important. For many people, it is important to be alive, to feel connected, and to feel that we matter and that our lives have meaning. We share an innate longing for justice, dignity, compassion, and love." - You are more important than you think, (Karen O'Brien, 2022. p.2).
You Matter More Than You Think is part of an initiative we call The Quantum Leap Initiative. The goal is to create a space for new conversations and to support and inspire practices and paradigms that create transformative change.
Our relationship to concepts and ideas such as the self, the other, and nature has been influenced by a classical worldview and its assumption of separateness. Quantum social science challenges this assumption by recognizing that entangled quantum systems are never completely separable. When we are aware of this intertwined relationship, we can both respond to the risks we create and recognize our shared potential to create alternatives.
Values are woven into the patterns that structure our relationships with each other and the environment, and so it is the quality of our relationships that creates new patterns and opportunities. This is also true for relationships with biodiversity and with other sentient and non-sentient beings.
Change toward a just and prosperous world will not happen through wishful thinking and hope. Indeed, action and influence are essential to achieve the desired results and manifest the quality and depth of change demanded in times of crisis. Not only action, but also the quality of action is important in achieving transformative change.
Action is an interwoven phenomenon, and the results of our intentions and actions affect us all, whether we are aware of it or not. Actions based on universal values represent a shift from "us vs. them" to [I/we], and this is critical for changing cultures and systems. When we embody universal values such as justice and integrity, we experience that we are interconnected and interwoven. From this [I/We] space, we can access and use our collective intelligence to break old patterns and create new ones. This is the foundation for creating a just and sustainable world.
Art and social quantum change
Art offers unexpected, compelling, and novel ways of looking at the world. We are often able to perceive and imagine our world and ourselves differently when we engage in creative work.
The process of making art is inherently reflexive: artists observe or perceive their environment and respond to it with creative expressions that in turn shape the environment. It is an interactive process, and the creative forms engage intensely with the material.
Creative expressions can overcome common barriers such as language, geography, and time to communicate ideas in radically accessible ways. Abstract and complex concepts such as climate change and transformations can become more accessible through creative means.
Likewise, abstract concepts from quantum physics such as entanglement, superposition, and nonlocality can be conveyed by artists in ways that make them tangible, familiar, and allow us to recognize that these processes are happening all the time.
Artists are acutely aware of the way matter self-organizes. They are attuned to observe the 'field' of an environment and occupy the [I/We] space. Art can help transformative solutions, possibilities, agency, and imaginings of the future feel real.
If you want to work differently to achieve the desired effect and impact, you have to work differently. Transformational Leadership for Sustainability (TLFS) provides a roadmap for anyone who, for example, wants to solve climate change and sustainability problems, transform systems and cultures, and realize your greatest potential as an agent of change. Its comprehensive transformational framework is used globally in a variety of settings, cultures, and countries and provides practical and strategic tools to create lasting change for equity and sustainability.