The aim of this project is to tackle greed and climate change by using different words and framing. We can tackle greed by encouraging people to “be symbish not selfish” (win-win not win-lose). We can tackle climate change by changing climate targets and aiming to swap a million emitting assets a week. A key incentive to do both of these things is to lead better lives.
The idea of using words to solve problems is nothing new. John Dewey, the famous American philosopher, was known for saying “A problem well put is half solved”, and he had a point. Careful use of language can reveal faulty assumptions, find new connections between concepts, frame new angles on a problem and introduce new perspectives. The trick is to do it in a way that people respond to, and that sticks. This requires persuasion. It also requires resources.
I’ve been passionate about tackling both of these problems ever since 2008, when I realised that very smart people can sometimes overlook very obvious things. However, I lack the skills and resources to solve them on my own. So I’m adopting the lean startup approach, which means sharing my half-formed ideas with the public as I go. Your feedback will help me to develop my ideas and make them easier to act on.
This blog is a tool to help the process. I’ll post short updates every now and again, and would welcome your input. I’d also value your thoughts on other people I could talk to. Victor Hugo was wrong when he said “No one can resist an idea whose time has come”. It takes effort to reach people, and effort to convince them that the idea has value. I’ll need all the help I can get.
This is an unusual project, and it is ambitious. But it’s not an ego project. Collaboration would be great :-). Join in!