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Reflecting on his 12 volume 'Study of History’, Arnold Toynbee said that the rise and fall of civilisations was a matter of challenge and response. If life was too easy, there was no stretch; if too tough, no point in trying. When a challenge is difficult, but do-able, people progress.
 
This pandemic has been the biggest global challenge since the Second World War.  It continues to be tragic for many, tough for many more - but we feel it is a challenge we can overcome.  And it toughens us up for the bigger challenge of climate change.
 
It is a time of rapid innovation and experimentation.   Almost every system is changing shape, some parts are entirely new, some parts are modified, while some disappear. It is time to relook at the way we live, where we live and work.  In the 20 minute Africa House podcast, Mike talks about places that need repurposing, from rapidly expanding cities to  forgotten towns. While Chenai & Mike write about an ideal example of systems thinking - as practised by the Soft Foot Alliance in rural Zimbabwe, where elephants, lions and farmers live in close proximity. Freedthinkers is working on a process to develop a plan for tourism recovery and growth in Victoria Falls, for the IFC, part of the World Bank group. Chenai lives in Vic Falls and researched this story - a gem formed under great pressure.
 
Arnold Toynbee also said history is like a bicycle. The wheels go around, but the bike is never in the same place. We sense, at the end of a most unexpected and difficult year, things are moving forward.
 

CHENAI DODZO & MIKE FREEDMAN
Reconnecting the dots between people and planet


As people and planet continue on their collision course, systems thinking and doing, from an NGO in rural Zimbabwe, show how we all can turn conflict into co-existence.... Read more

AFRICA HOUSE PODCAST
Repurposing places podcast


In this 20 minute podcast, Duncan Bonnett of Africa House asks Mike Freedman what places need to be repurposed and how. Spoiler alert: from mining towns to rural communities, from cities to suburbs, the original purpose of every place has changed, or is about to...
Listen here
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Freedthinkers is a partnership that generates insights, strategies and actions to build purpose-driven cultures, strong brands and resilient places.
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