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Thought for the Day #2: Evolution isn’t a destination. It’s a process

Sensemaking / Thought for the Day #2: Evolution isn’t a destination. It’s a process

We like to think we are in control of the world and our destiny, and so resist the prospect of radical change - says Melissa Sterry.

By Melissa Sterry / 11 May 2017

Many of the visions we create to describe humanity’s future push away the idea that radical change can and will happen, instead reassuring us that we are in control of the world and our destiny.

The intelligence of living systems teaches us a very different story of change and how to navigate it. In many of the oldest, living macro species we find fauna - and in particular flora - that have evolved to not merely survive, but to thrive on environmental change. Take for example, the world’s hardiest species, the Tardigrade, which despite being one of the world’s smallest animals is amongst its foremost resilient. Commonly known as the water bear, this tough little creature can endure temperatures as cold as −272 °C and as high as 150 °C. And, if that’s not impressive enough, despite its microscopic size, it can withstand years without food or water, ionizing radiation many times that of a human, and can even survive in space.

In nature, change is a constant. It can’t be controlled because it’s borne of complex relationships and there are innumerable ways forward. What would happen if, rather than fearing change, we embraced change in this way? As far as our energy system goes, I think we’d be managing the system very differently: rather than seeking to maintain stability by tweaking the system in the belief we can accomplish a gradual transition, we’d be intentionally fostering resilience, rebirth and renewal.

How might we adapt our energy system to persist through different environmental states? What would the energy system look like if, like nature, we explored how disruption may enable the emergence of more evolved solutions that enable us to mimic life’s efficiency?

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‘Thought for the Day’ is a Living Grid Explorer series where we've asked to members of our community to contribute their first-hand experience or discovery related to the Living Grid. 

Why don't YOU share your 'Thought of the Day' with us? You could share a frustration you have with the energy grid or offer a suggestion about how to change the grid to make it work better for you and others.

What might the implications of this be? What related articles have you seen?

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