Systems Change? How hard will it be to live sustainably?

Onur Ekinci, NSW Assitant Director for the Oaktree Foundation and attendee of the first SIBSYD gives us his perspective into system change, poverty how we can live sustainably:

Most of my current time is served as the NSW Assistant Director for The Oaktree Foundation. Underlying a lot of my work with Oaktree is the belief that poverty is a by-product of poor systems and that mindset change and education is the solution to end poverty. Facilitating transformational change with two management consultant companies has been a key access point to systems thinking and systems change. My corporate background in the resource and manufacturing industries have provided insight into the need for balance between the spiritual and physical worlds. I am deeply passionate about continuous improvement and see evolution as a natural notion at both an individual and universal level.

1. Can we continue to support minor amendments to “business as usual” or must we now embark on radical transformation?
Minor amendments could have been possible if we had been working towards sustainable practices since the birth of the industrial era. Since we haven’t, we are now faced with the challenge to create radical change as we race against a stopwatch that is measuring the amount of irreversible damage we are doing.

2. What is the feasibility of implementing such transformative change?

Humans are extremely adaptive creatures, coupled with the fact that we live in exponential times, transformative change is a lot closer to reality than one may initially think.

3. What are the strategies that will generate system change?
To recognize that we are beyond the ‘what’ and now need to address the ‘how’- to generate system change. Strategy on the ‘how’ will need to be developed through a diverse group of people, including a gender and age balance. A top-down, bottom-up, multi-sector, multi-industry approach that will prioritise on identifying the power supplies that feed the system/s and empower the public to switch these off.

4. What is involved in shifting the national mindset?
Education and awareness to heighten public consciousness through a participatory-based, self- realized approach. The exchange of content needs to be values-based as it will help us access our blind-spots that can reveal a new way of thinking.

Values-based marketing through various mediums of media that reach the wider public on a regular basis.

5. What incentives will lead mainstream opinion leaders to change direction?
Rather than looking at it as incentives, I would rather see it as what will influence them. In which case, proof that non-mainstream opinion leaders, the true innovators and leaders (2.5% to 3.5% of the population) back a changed direction that is clearly painted, along with evidence of wide public support. This will hopefully lead to the birth of new policies and laws, which will accelerate the rate of change.

6. How do the values reflected in the present Transform Australia Manifesto support or conflict with the current values of mainstream Australia?
Mainstream Australia has a more individual and shorter-term serving values system.

Thanks Onur.


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