Buckle in, the ride is going to get worse and worse until we use basic common sense and address the cause of the problem.
Allan Savory isn’t sugar coating the fight against climate change and extreme weather events with these words, instead he is summing up the reality of where the world finds itself. The multi-award winning ecologist, recognised as the father of holistic management – which takes a systems thinking approach to resource management, is also the co-founder of the Savory Institute, a global movement of regenerative farmers and land managers.
“I think we’ve had almost every sane person calling themselves a scientist acknowledge that humans are causing climate change,” he said. “That acknowledgment means that if we are causing it then coal, oil, gas, corporate greed – all the things we’re blaming, are not the cause. If we are causing it, it is our management of resources. It is how we manage coal and oil, how we manage livestock and have for thousands of years, that is what is causing it, not the resources themselves.”
A former Member of Parliament in the latter days of Zimbabwe’s civil war, Savory went on to form a non-profit organisation in the country with his wife, Jody Butterfield, called the Africa Centre for Holistic Management. And in 2009 the pair, along with a group of colleagues, co-founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado to serve the world through an international network of entrepreneurial innovators and leaders committed to serving their regions with the highest standards of holistic management training and implementation support. The Africa Centre became the first of the Savory Institute’s locally led and managed hubs.
Savory’s impact has been recognised with numerous awards and in 2003 he received Australia’s International Banksia Award for the person or organisation doing the most for the environment on a global scale, and in 2010 he, and the Africa Centre, received the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Challenge award for work that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. While his 2014 TED Talk: how to fight desertification and reverse climate change, which has been watched by nearly eight million people, was voted one of the 50 most intriguing TED talks of all time.
“My life has been spent trying to understand how to manage complexity,” he added. “In other words cultural, human, environmental, economic complexity – that’s my sole area of expertise.”
In his 2016 book, Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment, Savory shares some of what he has learned on this journey, as he describes his effort to find workable solutions people can implement to overcome many of the problems besetting communities and businesses today.
For more on these solutions, and a unique insight on the critical importance of holistic management, take a deep dive with me and Allan Savory on today’s episode of the Inside Ideas podcast.