The Polarization Effect: Healing our Worldviews

Anneloes Smitsman, Pim Martens, Alexander Laszlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Our current sustainability crisis reveals a deeper systemic behavioral pattern, discussed in this paper as the polarization effect that gave rise to our mechanistic worldviews. This effect is in part
driven by our attempts to control our natural world to suit our economic needs via technological advancements that have decreased our reciprocity with our natural systems. This has also resulted in a loss of evolutionary coherence in our human made systems and increase in entropy. Although there have been attempts to negate this by forming and imposing agreement and regulatory mechanisms, a far more fundamental change is required. This paper proposes that it is time to acknowledge that many
of our conventional human-made systems are based on a systemic design error. An ancient Australian Aboriginal teaching called Kanyini is explored, to better understand the nature of this design error to offer this understanding to heal the system dynamics of our worldviews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • worldviews
  • the polarization effect
  • systemic wholeness
  • reciprocity
  • healing

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