Judith Ford recently defended her PhD dissertation: ‘Climate Change as Metaphor and Catalyst’, a trans-disciplinary study inspired by experiences and observations made during two decades of working in global advocacy, policy making, and commerce throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. This heuristic inquiry looked at how notions of culture, universalism, power, and history influence worldviews, which, in turn, frame political discourse.
A case study of climate change illustrated how the dominant worldview shapes our understanding and attempts to solve the wicked problem of our age. Her research concluded that solutions to climate change lie not within the same narrow worldview from which it emerged but from an older, yet perhaps most universal, worldview, which sees humankind as an inextricable component of an enigmatic natural world where communities are defined by naturally-occurring bio-regions entwining food, economy, health, and society. Despite centuries of marginalization, her research concluded that this alternative worldview survives and thrives because it answers humankind’s universal quests for meaning, purpose, community, and visceral contact with nature.
Her research has been well-received by a diversity of audiences, such as Slow Food USA, the Bayview Salon, California Department of Water Resources, Marin County Climate Action Planners, the National Park Service, Sonoma State University and the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative in the US, as well as radio and print media outlets in the Netherlands. After thirteen years in Paris and Amsterdam, and prior expat experiences in Malaysia and Australia, Judith recently returned to her native California, where she relishes the natural beauty, community scale, and local food so revered in Marin County. Her work with local youth and faith organizations entwines social justice and food literacy to address the growing homelessness and hunger found side by side the waste of abundance in her community.