A missing link

Gregory Bateson told us that:

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.” — Gregory Bateson

He spent his life working to uncover these two things: how nature works, and how people think.

Although I agree with this statement, we will find it easier to convert into actionable results if we realise that between “The way nature works” and “The way we think” there is a missing link, a gap.

This gap, the difference between “How nature works” and “How people think”, shows up most clearly in the difference between How nature works and How we think nature works:


It is when there is a difference between the way we think nature works and the way nature actually works that the outcomes we get are different from what we expected. And those different outcomes are what we call ‘problems’.

In other words, we can reword Bateson’s statement to say:

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way people think nature works.” — Finn Jackson

This gives us a slightly different, more concrete focus. It also seems a good description of the situation we currently face.

This website starts from the hypothesis that part of the reason that the 29 major global risks we face are increasing rather than decreasing is because there is a difference between the way the world works and the way people think the world works. And Bateson says, the more fundamental reason for that is because of the way people think.

As we seek to uncover what those differences are and what to do about them, we now have three areas of focus:

  1. the way nature works
  2. the way people think
  3. the way people think nature works

You might now find it useful to look at some specific examples of how the kinds of changes of thinking I am talking about have proved beneficial in the past.

You can then move on to the Contents List.