Economics, personal work, and systems change

As current Groundswell participant (and incredibly gifted intuitive healer) Andrea writes, when wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone Park, they caused a "trophic cascade" - a series of chain reactions that changed almost the entire geography of the park, including the rivers. "The reason why the extent of this trophic cascade was impossible to predict is because we had no previous knowledge of the extent of the wolves' relationship with their environment. We didn't know its possibilities – it's the same with the ecosystem of your life."

We could add - it's the same with the ecosystem of our current economy.

photo credit Tambako the Jaguar on Flickr

At Groundswell, one thing that makes us unique is our focus on personal development. One of the many things that differentiates us from a traditional business school is that we focus on helping participants find a deep sense of their own capacities, strengths, passions and goals. We believe that "people are at their best and are happiest when they have a project they are working on: a project that they are truly invested in, is genuinely important to them and their community, where their own best energies, values and skills can be realized."

Andrea's alternative-to-business gels beautifully with Groundswell - she focuses on supporting people in doing personal work and self-exploration using archetypal imagery. This requires her clients to go deep, and to see the possibility for trophic cascades in their own lives:

"That conversation with your brother might resurrect a forgotten memory, which makes you question the way you think about yourself, which – after considerable introspection and healing – ends up with you behaving differently at your workplace and being offered that next promotion."

A life, a park, and an economy are all complex ecosystems with many moving parts and possibilities that we can't foresee - hence the failure of much mainstream economics to predict things like the trickle-up of wealth to the 1%, instead of a trickle-down to the poor. Setting over 20 brilliant young people out into the economy equipped with alternatives-to-business that harness the best of their energies, values and skills starts to create the potential for the best kind of trophic cascade: a domino effect that can take us into a new more just, more democratic, and more sustainable world.