Gentle Action: Bringing Creative Change to a Turbulent World by F. David Peat (2008, Pari Publishing)
This small but powerful book is likely to change the way one thinks about the potential for systems transformations. F. David Peat presents ideas, concepts and examples of new, creative and inspiring measures and actions that can spread within a system or across society. Through fascinating stories, he explains why it is time to replace the fragmented, mechanistic view of nature and society with one that acknowledges complexity, creativity, coherence and connections. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter make this a perfect book for groups of people interested in new approaches to tough problems. Peat offers occasional courses related to this work at the Pari Center for New Learning.
This book presents a refreshingly different approach to climate change responses, showing that instead of looking for solutions, we should perhaps be asking different questions. Drawing on chaos theory and systems thinking, Peat shows how individuals and groups can make a profound difference, with each ripple eventually contributing to a larger soliton wave of change.
“I began to use the term, Gentle Action, several years ago to describe the creative sorts of activities and actions that could be taken when people are sensitive to the dynamics of their surrounding environment. It could be a form of minimal but highly intelligent activity that arises our of the very nature of the system under investigation.” (p. 141)