Let’s not try to save the world | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. | 13 Min Read

May 1, 2023

Those who “believe” they have the answers to present urgencies are terribly dangerous.

—Donna Haraway

When we try to solve problems, when we see ourselves as change-makers, and when we endeavor to save the world, we play the role of a tinkering celestial watchmaker who holds the universe in their hands. Rather than believe we take action to set in motion changes that will make the world a better place, create action plans, and meet objectives, we would be wise to appreciate that there are some challenges: we are entangled in our worlds, inseparable from these very worlds, and unable to create linear and sequential chain reactions of events. We can, however, leave our marks in noticed and unnoticed places, opening up spaces for emergence and response-ability.[1]See Donna Haraway

It is little surprise we experience the opposite: a separation from ourselves, each other, and the natural world, given that we so often see the world as made up of things. We see things everywhere. You are reading this article on a thing. In the morning, you drink your coffee (a thing) out of a thing (a mug). Late for an appointment, you…

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1 See Donna Haraway

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, an advisory that supports schools and learning organizations to co-create, co-develop, co-stress test, and co-implement ideas that nurture the conditions for emergent learning. Benjamin is also the Head of Upper School at Green School, Bali. He was previously the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, one of the most prestigious and high-profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice-Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and now Bali, Indonesia. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin's outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.