Invitation #1: In just two weeks, I’ll be kicking off my new series of intimate conversations with some of the most provocative thinkers I know. We’ll start with the remarkable Nora Bateson and the Commonwealth Club of California. Please join us! And stay tuned for the recording—and the follow-on workshop, TBA! (And see below for a second invitation.)

Gil Friend and Nora Bateson: A conversation at the edge of now

It’s pitch dark. There’s no moon. You can’t find your map. The ground shifts beneath your feet. You grope tentatively to detect sure footing, or the edge of a precipice, and long for a hand to hold.

Welcome to the Anthropocene—perhaps the most uncertain era in the human evolutionary experience.

Underlying the climate crisis and other pressing dilemmas of our times is the problem of how we think, and how we encounter the world, others and ourselves.

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.”
Gregory Bateson

Join Nora and me as we explore warm data, the patterns that connect, the dilemma of purpose, and the ways our words shape the worlds we inhabit, and the possibilities we generate, in each other and in ourselves.

Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, and President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?” Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in the ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles, released by Triarchy Press, UK, 2016 is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity.

Gil Friend is a strategist, author and businessman, named “one of the top ten sustainability voices in the US” by The Guardian. As CEO of Natural Logic, he has challenged and guided some of the world’s leading companies to build value and competitive advantage by applying nature’s 3.8 billion years of open source R&D to today’s biggest problems. He served as the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Palo Alto, and is founder of Critical Path Capital. Gil is author of The Truth About Green Business (FT Press, 2009) and numerous articles for GreenBiz, Sustainable Brands, and the LA Times Syndicate. He began his sustainability journey at Buckminster Fuller’s “World Game” nearly 50 years ago.

Invitation #2: I intend Conversations at the Edge of Now to be a continuing (if irregular at the start) series. You can help, by telling me: Who are the most provocative thinkers you know? People you’d like me to consider for a future conversation? People who haven’t been heard from widely in the sustainability/regeneration conversation, who bring a distinctive and challenging perspective to climate chaos, business innovation, ecosystemic vitality, reality-based finance, the power of words, and how to live creatively, powerfully, and well in this crazy world?

I welcome your nominations. 


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