chapter  8
Solving for Pattern
Pages 23

The past seven chapters have examined the pesticide business in the context of sustainable agriculture and the greening of industry. The journey has been discomforting. Our preconceptions of business and science feeding the world, or of uncaring business empires despoiling the earth, have been rattled and shaken. We are obliged to redefine the basis on which we recommend changes to the system, be they changes by business, by policy-makers and government agencies, or by individuals. Clearly, we are looking for leverage within composite problems (see Clayton and Radcliffe, 1996) at all levels - industry, agriculture and ecosystem. Because of the complex systems that underlie composite problems, there are repeated instances of unintended and sometimes undesirable consequences when companies, farmers or government agencies take a direct and linear approach to solving those problems. This gives us advance warning that the most powerful leverage points could be counter intuitive to industry and its regulators. If we are to address the causes rather than the symptoms of these problems, we will have to think beyond efficiency, towards redesign (MacRae et aI, 1993).