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Posted - 05/12/2016
Words With Friends by Maggie Kaplan

140527_yale_gw_climate_change_1339_a85d7210f833cc82f26a3026edf476d1_615x376.jpgMay 12, 2016  By Maggie Kaplan - Founder, Executive Director - Invoking the Pause

A few weeks ago in San Francisco at former ITP Grant Partner Chris Desser's studio, I was privileged to attend a Salon entitled the Bureau of Linguistical Reality created by Heidi Quante & Alicia Escott -- 2015/16  ITP Grant Partners.  I was particularly excited, as this was the first time I've had the opportunity to experience first-hand part of a Grant Partner's project in real time! They created this Salon evening for local Bay Area  ITP Grant  partners and friends, after many successful Salons in Paris at the COP21 last fall and other venues around the Bay Area. About 15 people showed up for a remarkable discussion, enhanced by wine, cheese and other nibbles.  Among us were a few scientists, artists, a linguist, an anthropologist, a picklemaker, a B Corp solar energy founder and executive, and an investigative reporter and writer.  

These two artists were at a loss for words to describe the emotions and experiences they were having around climate change. They created the Bureau as an ongoing piece of  "interactive artwork" -- bringing people together from diverse disciplines to share experiences  around climate change and other Anthropogenic events. They believe that until we have the language to describe the changing world around us, we will not be able to fully grasp what is happening.  To this end the Bureau is tasked with generating new words and inviting others to create new words that reflect our relationship to our rapidly changing environment.   

In advance of this Salon, we were invited to bring a word that reflects some of our emotions on this crisis.  I created the word "Anthrobiosphericide" to reflect my feelings about the human devastation we are creating to our planet and its biosphere.    We each discussed our words and shared our feelings and thoughts among the group.  Some other words we discussed included:  "Corinho" as a verb or noun -as the desire to keep & preserve; "Urgentful"—how to take the urgency and slow it down; and "Stationarity"—where we can no longer look to the past to predict the future—and what are the implications of this.  In addition, there were discussions about our role as regenerative forces on the planet versus extractive ones.

This evening exemplified how  ITP's mission to advance public awareness around climate change and its hallmark of a "creative pause" have led to some exciting new, creative ideas and developments!   Our terms to measure ITP  impacts—from "ROI" (return on innovation) to "ROR" (return on relationship) and "ROC" (return on collaboration, community, connectivity, conversations, cross sectors, & collective consciousness) are truly playing out.  They are yielding a series of "Collateral Delights"—the nexus where collaboration, connections, and exploration and producing some positive and unexpected results!  

Stay tuned for the Bureau's next steps in creating this new lexicon!!