By Evert Jan van Hasselt
Climate change is not a threat to this planet. This planet will survive, one way or another. Climate change is our planet’s way of cleansing itself from the devastating effect the human species has on this planet.
Climate change is a threat to the human species. The only way we can escape from it is to switch to a higher form of intelligence. A form of intelligence that can be referred to as collective intelligence, or swarm intelligence. This form of intelligence can be found in nature.
Humans tend to regard themselves as supreme beings. The human species is arguably the most intelligent individual species on this planet. We totally disregard, however, that collectively we might well belong to the least intelligent species on this planet.
Our individual intelligence is causing what I call decision making fetishism: we will not collectively act until we get to a collective decision. And this is where nature outperforms us. Nature acts and takes decisions while acting, instead of deciding first before going into action.
Participatory Action Research (PAR) helps us to move away from this decision making fetishism. PAR supports a process in which groups of people get to collective actions fast. And in this collective action our individual intelligence is used to form collective intelligence. PAR celebrates our individual intelligence in such a way that it contributes to our collective intelligence.
Our planet will survive climate change. The only hope for the human species to survive climate change is to move from individual intelligence to collective intelligence. Thus our only hope is moving away from decision making fetishism. There is one decision though we can safely take before going into action. That is the decision to choose for a process that will boost our collective intelligence. That is the decision to boost Participatory Action Research worldwide!