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Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: Pivoting for Another Day?

Peter Nicholson

Licking My Wounds
The damage was done. One word, “boondoggle,” recently killed an idea I had just presented. My toolkit lacks sufficient resources to engage arguments that have drifted out of the realm of the rational. Direct, well-reasoned, rebuttals are usually fruitless. Different tactics are required. Rather than refute, the trick is to accept, understand, and parry in a way that circumvents resistance. "We need better metaphors,” a prominent environmentalist recently said to me, referring to climate change. “We need ways to make what is happening become more visible, because everything we see around us falsely confirms that everything is okay.” Framing is crucial. However much I might have disagreed with it, the dismissive comment represented a perspective undoubtedly shared by others. Rejecting it will get me nowhere. The challenge is to remain flexible, to be ready to erase and transform and make the same colors look more palatable. It’s not my natural impulse. But then what’s the advantage of being right, if you can’t get others to believe it?