To Transform the System, Change Our Brains

Posted April 26, 2022 | Sustainability | Leadership | Amplify
John R. Ehrenfeld looks to the present model of the brain, in which fundamental rationality is taken for granted, and asks if the answer to the need for systems change lies in the ways the human brain works. This argument raises provocative and (perhaps) discouraging implications. If our economic, social, and political systems reflect the biological structure and function of the brain, what is the potential for changing those systems? Does systems change require fundamental change to cognition, and, if yes, how might that be accomplished? What are the ethical implications of equating systems outside the body with systems inside the body, given the apparent diversity of human thought and behavior? Do we risk valuing one way of thinking over others? If yes, will the privileged group occupying positions of political power decide system structure and function?
About The Author
John Ehrenfeld
John R. Ehrenfeld returned to his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 1985 after a long career in the environmental field. He retired in 2000 as Director of the MIT Program on Technology, Business, and Environment. Following that, Dr. Ehrenfeld served until 2009 as Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology. He is the author of The Right Way to Flourish: Reconnecting with the Real World;… Read More
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