It always seems impossible, until it’s done.

How to get from a simple, single string to a complex, beautiful pattern? String Figures are intriguing: start simple, end complex. By just looking at the finger movements, creating loops in the string, it is hard to anticipate the pretty outcome. With this metaphor in mind, we shall explore the weaving of a necessary lifeline in these dire times of the ecological and climate emergency: An alliance that unites tenths of thousands of people behind a common cause, the social and ecological transformation. I will present the current state of this work in progress named “Climate Action South Tyrol” and pull theory and metaphor strings to craft a pattern that tries to put this effort into words to elicit a discussion about this formidable challenge we got to face. Despite the need for unity, the alliance keeps a space for all the individuals and individual groups present in this flurry of a socio-political biotope, that one could call a growing movement. Setting the right boundary conditions will facilitate the emergence of a beautiful and effective alliance – but what are these? I’ll provide fragments derived from practical experience as a basis for further discussion.

David Hofmann is a physicist and neuroscientist by profession and a climate activist in his spare time. He co-founded Climate Action South Tyrol, the largest local alliance that pursues climate justice and is active member of Scientists for Future South Tyrol and Extinction Rebellion.

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