I had a ‘significant’ birthday this week (you know, one with a 0 at the end), and I’d asked for ‘rocks’ as presents. They are just wonderful: an Amethyst (apparently my ‘birth’ stone), a stone from the garden of a house I lived in the 1970s, a piece of meteorite, some lava (no longer molten) and a chip from the Berlin wall…so much history in my hand!

For example, one colleague’s dad explained some rocks from Uruguay as part of basalt ‘bubbles’. His explanation begins…”the story begins a few million years ago, at the end of the Jurassic, and beginning of the Cretaceous era”. Wow. By comparison, I’m not so old after all!

Rocks help me to consider that I’m but a moment in the great flow of history and the future.  Consequently I feel better when a piece of technology annoys me…after all the World Wide Web is but 16 years old and barely crawling. We live in such interesting and powerful times…  the systems thinker and philosopher Laszlo believes we’re at a critical point in history where the future of the world can go ‘either way’ – towards much further disruption of many kinds or towards ecological and social stability.

And who better than educators in higher education to take on creating the future? The raw material that arrives in waves on our campuses year on year will become the ripples of the 21st Century to make or break, create or respond to future trends and directions.  Which rocks will roll and which sink for millions of years?

Gilly Salmon


The Chaos Point: The World at the Crossroads

by Ervin Laszlo .  “Einstein told us that we cannot solve the significant problems we face at the same level of thinking at which we were when we created them” 

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1 Comment

  1. bdra

     /  March 13, 2009

    Bravo, Gilly! And a fastastic party in Bath tomorrow.

    Laszlo is wise. So is my neighbour (younger than you or Laszlo) who works in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and firmly believes that the current international economic crises is providing great opportunities for positive change.



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