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Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (Emergent Strategy, #0)
by Adrienne Maree Brown


The book explores the idea of emergent strategy - a framework for shaping change and creating more just, equitable futures by applying lessons and patterns from nature and science. Key principles of emergent strategy include:

  • Engaging in small-scale interactions and experiments that lead to systemic change over time (fractals).
  • Adaptability and embracing constant change.
  • Practicing deep, interdependent relationships in decentralized networks.
  • Utilizing nonlinear and iterative approaches focused on continuous learning.
  • Centering resilience and transformative justice.
  • Working collaboratively to create more possibilities.

brown grounds these concepts in a variety of natural phenomena that model emergence - from flocks of birds to mycelium networks. She argues that we can apply these relational, adaptive, fractal approaches to our social change work to imagine and manifest liberatory futures.

The book weaves together brown's personal stories and facilitation experiences with a variety of practices, tools and activities for movements to embody emergent strategy. These include visionary fiction, collaborative ideation, equitable decision-making models, conflict transformation, and more.

Ultimately, brown asserts that emergent strategy is fundamentally about "moving towards life" - practicing love, interdependence, creativity and possibility in the face of oppressive systems and apocalyptic realities. She invites movements to align their means and ends, shaping the futures we long for through how we are in relationship now. The book serves as a philosophical and practical guide for organizers looking to "be the systems change we want to see in the world."