This paper describes the form and function of environmental memes. Memes are ideas, symbols, and practices that are transmitted within and across cultures from generation to generation. Environmental memes are a special category of memes that inform our view of nature. It is suggested here that environmental memes create principles in the minds of people, and we then use these principles as benchmarks to judge and mediate our interactions with nature. Memetic phenomena considered include Gaia, Pachamama, the concepts of stewardship, and the “green” movement. Some of these memes inspire us to experience a natural world with inherent value above and beyond the utility of her resources, whereas others cause us to judge our actions in light of the long-term environmental consequences. The transmission of these memes within organizations is of particular import because day-to-day decisions by leaders of organizations are crucial for environmental protection. Organizational carriers for memes and the decision-making process will be explored. It is concluded that while environmental memes vary in the principles they inspire, and even though differences do arise as to the appropriateness of our actions, the rapid proliferation of these memes may be reason for optimism.
|Keywords:||Memes, Leadership, Gaia, Pachamama, Green Movement, Stewardship|
Professor, Graduate Studies, Alvernia University, Reading, PA, USA
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