Why is it important to get our questions right?

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend 55 minutes to determine the proper question.”
— attributed to Albert Einstein

We live in a world that favors quick answers, silver bullet solutions and elevator pitches. What doesn’t fit into a fast-paced 3 minute youtube video is going into too much detail.

What if we have got it the wrong way around when we focus on solutions rather than paying more attention to the kind of questions we ask?

What if questions are not transitory means to get to solutions and answers, but solutions and answers are actually transitory means to teach us to ask better question?

Would a culture guided by the right questions act more wisely and hence prove more able to chart its course into an uncertain future?

If you think about the course of history, more often then not, yesterday’s solutions served us for a while and then unforeseen side-effects or a changing context turned yesterday’s solutions into today’s problems.

What if the appropriate cultural guidance system towards the creation of diverse regenerative cultures is not a set of solutions but a series of questions that we pass on from one generation to the next?

We are participants in a constantly transforming and evolving whole, we can refer to as life, the biosphere, Universe, or Cosmos.

Would we not find better ways to adapt to this constant change and transformation, if we payed more attention to asking the right question?

Maybe in uncharted territory we need a compass and not a map?

Maybe rather than blueprints, masterplans, or a catalogue of solutions it is a set of questions we can ask over and over again that can offer us such a compass?

Questions invite participation. They bring people into relationship and can guide co-creation. They can help people in place to make solutions and answers relevant to their place, their culture and the times they live in.

I firmly believe that the community and bioregion focussed practice of living the (right) questions together will lead to the emergence of diverse regenerative cultures elegantly adapted to the biocultural uniqueness of place.

I believe such a practice could guide and ensure local and regional action in the transition towards a thriving future for all of humanity.

A future in which human beings have rejoined the regenerative community of life and have found the maturity to meet human needs in ways that create conditions conducive to all forms of life.

How do we redesign the human impact on Earth from being predominantly exploitative, destructive and degenerative, to being collaborative, restorative and regenerative?

More: Living the Questions (excerpt from ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’)

Daniel Christian Wahl — Catalyzing transformative innovation in the face of converging crises, advising on regenerative whole systems design, regenerative leadership, and education for regenerative development and bioregional regeneration.

Author of the internationally acclaimed book Designing Regenerative Cultures

Twitter: @DrDCWahl

Medium: Blog with more than 280 articles

Facebook: RegenerativeCultures and Ecological Consciousness