TED Conversations

Linda Hesthag  Ellwein

Communications, Change, and Photography, Oikonomia, Inc.


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How attached are you to your deeply held beliefs? If solutions to global problems challenge your worldview, how do you react?

Allan Savory's recent TED Talk introduced an unlikely and politically incorrect solution to reversing global desertification and climate change with the use of livestock as a tool, and different decision making.

Well-meaning laws, bureaucracies, and activists at the mercy of public opinion have stifled this work from moving forward on a large scale in the US. Belief systems and the fear of being wrong often prohibits change.

How do you respond to ideas that challenge your belief system? How do we stop our paradigms and prejudices from unfairly shaping decision making, and allowing us to take real risks for lasting change? What's your reaction to cows helping save the world? What idea have you believed and been completely wrong?


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    Mar 19 2013: There is a fascinating book by Stephen Jay Gould, titled "Wonderful Life" that illustrates some of the forces in scientific dialogue that can lead to a stifling dogmatism...Mr. Gould was not, I believe, intending to castigate Science in particular, but to illustrate that science shared this pitfall as a human created institution. The greatest challenge of successful thinkers is to disregard the allure of their own ideas sufficiently to allow "the other" to enter ones precious domain. I love this subtle art.

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