According to Suzanne Simard’s excellent 2021 book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, that reviews her powerful, replicated, scientifically valid research, “Diversity matters and everything in the universe is connected.” Throughout her book she explains how forests generate magic through synergy. As she points out, we have missed the power of synergy and mistakenly simplified societies and ecosystems because our “Reductionist science” has been looking at the individual parts rather than the whole.
From my reading, Dr. Simard is saying that nature innately practices paneugenesis, or generates all good, by being reciprocal and helping all be better. Although not a perfect analogy, I realized something I teach, strategic alliances, may be even more powerful than I had thought. Even though I stress the importance of building them and keeping them as working professionals, I had no idea that they have their bases in evolution and ecology. I had stressed that strategic alliances were great because they not only help involved parties, now I know that when they are done right, they have even more powerful synergistic benefits than I had realized.
Strategic Alliances help generate WIN-WIN-WIN outcomes. Strategic Alliances can be defined as:
An agreement between two or more individuals or entities stating that the involved parties will act in a certain way in order to achieve a common goal. Strategic alliances usually make sense when the parties involved have complementary strengths.
What I found most fascinating was how she was able to show us that forests are like sentient beings because trees, animals and even fungi perceive, relate and communicate. She also showed us how forests cooperate, make decisions and remember which demonstrates wisdom and intelligence.
Over eons, forests built and continue to build multiple reciprocal pervasive synergistic alliances with other trees, plants, animals using mycorrhizal fungus networks so all are better. I strongly encourage you to watch her TED talk, “Natures Internet: How Trees Talk to Each Other ins a Healthy Forest“. It provides a good summary of her book, but it is important to also read her book, “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest“.
In the August 1997 Nature issue, her article, “Net transfer of carbon between ectomycorrhizal tree species in the field” described how the forest “talks” to all its inhabitants so it will efficiently use its resources so it can thrive. The Journal, as noted on the cover, dubbed the forests communication network as “The wood-wide web”. The Wood-Wide Web is how they create their strategic alliances.
As Jane Benyus made clear in Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, we need to learn from natures 3.8 billion years of experience. (see Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative and Biomimicry 3.8). Dr. SImard demonstrates many of natures genius in her work. In my simplistic ways, I have been trying to put these ideas into action with paneugenesis or actions that create all good. To learn more, please review many of my posts that include ideas of how to build synergistic relationships with people, practices, nature and organizations.
Dr. Simard optimistically documented how we can generate more good by helping nature do what it will do automatically. I encourage you to build strategic alliances with everyone and everything because as Dr. Simard’s work has demonstrated, like the synergistic relationships in nature, together we can generate MUCH more good, not just less bad. Please share how you have built and are building strategic alliances to generate more good!
On September 5, 2021, the Guardian Posted this supportive editorial, acknowledging we are all connected:
I am currently reading about Chaos Theory and in my reading they cite this about Gaia Hypothesis and something I hope to explore soon in future posts, please share if you have any insight:
James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis proponents of the Gaia Hypothesis in which the conditions necessary for life are created and maintained by life itself in a self-sustaining process of dynamical feedbackJames Lovelock and Lynn Margolis
Please share your thoughts and questions below.
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