Paradigm Worker

"Paradigm Worker" is a place for monthly reflections on how we think about things, and why it matters.

Apprenticene Part 3

Disillusionment of the Apprentice

January 2024 Column - January 31, 2024

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

“The Anthropocene is helpful in describing our disruption, but perhaps not helpful in describing a desired destiny. If we need a new story, … what is it?” – From Domination to a Caring Ecology


Apprenticene Part 2

Choose your climate adventure narrative

March 2023 Column - March 31, 2023

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

It may seem strange to think of choosing something as deeply embedded in society as a cultural narrative about human-nature relationships. These understandings are so ingrained they can go unnoticed. But the future of how we address climate change is shaped by how we perceive our relationship with the rest of nature. 


Apprenticene Part 1

We are love, we are one, we are smaller than we think

November 2022 Column - November 30, 2022

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

One night earlier in November, I visited my childhood home for possibly the last time. There was lots to do, and lots to move. The stress of the to do list laid a filter over what I wanted to pay attention to which was my good bye’s to the trees that I grew up with. I lifted my eyes above the belongings and there above the layer of “stuff” were the trees, holding my childhood home on Earth.


Climate Change Theater

Myth and Truth

September/October 2022 Column - October 31, 2022

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

“Mythology is not a lie; mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth –– penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words.”

--Joseph Campbell from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers 


Abundance at the Edge of Wilderness

From Possibilities to Projects

July/August 2022 Column - August 29, 2022

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

“In a context of scarcity, it is easy to mistake abundance for all you can imagine."
After the initial thrill of finding yet another inspiring artist, writer, or making any new connection between ideas, I often have a second reaction of overwhelm...


Series: Postcards from the Pandemic Essays

Three Pandemic Marches, Aprils, Mays, and Junes.

For March-June 2022, Paradigm Worker shares a series of four essays published out of Full Spring Studio about a project called Postcards from the Pandemic. You can follow these links to view them at Full Spring Studio:

Time Capsules: Postcards from Three Pandemic Marches

Memento Mori: Postcards from Three Pandemic Aprils

Rupture and Response: Postcards from Three Pandemic Mays

Reckoning: Postcards from Three Pandemic Junes

You can also find these and other Paradigm Worker Columns  on Medium

Brave Enough

Speaking the Dream

December 2021/January 2022 Column - Feb 12, 2022

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

When I look back over 2021 at the crystalline moments when hope and resolve were affirmed in response to fear and resignation, I think first of Amanda Gorman...


Doomsday Blues

Stop Telling me the Earth is Dying

November 2021 Column - November 30,2021

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

January 27th, 2021 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said, “It is 100 seconds to midnight.” This is part of their sound-the-alarm strategy for getting the world to wake up and do something about all the impending disasters we face. 


Regeneration Stories

A Seventh Framework for Action

September/October 2021 Column - October 31, 2021

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

I am a huge fan of Paul Hawken. I have trusted him for decades to deliver powerful narratives that help us shift toward greater sustainability by reframing the human-nature story and pointing to new opportunities to repair our relationship. 



Opening to the World

August 2021 Column - August 24, 2021

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

“… in a storm people shelter under a bridge, in a tornado they might shelter in a ditch to escape the wind, but where do we seek shelter from our isolation?”


Natural Habits of Hope

Do Turtles Believe in the Future?

July 2021 Column - July 25, 2021

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

June 6th, 2020, after visiting a local park, my brother sent me this email:
Subject: Turtles still believe in the future.


Where'd it go? Paradigm Worker was on hiatus from July 2020 through June 2021 while I completed a certificate program in Learning Experience Design. 

Planetary Health

Naming the Goal, Naming the Patient

June 2020 Column - July 1, 2020

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

...What is appealing to me about the name (and invitation to paradigms) of “Planetary Health” is that it could be a design goal with the potential for a unified and cooperative model of well-being ...


Epic Alignment

Jane McGonigal and Stephen Covey walk into a bar...

May 2020 Column - June 1, 2020

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

I am a fan of big thinkers and I like to imagine them in conversation with each other, perhaps in a bar over drinks or coffee. I would be sitting nearby, taking notes and enjoying the alchemy of intersecting approaches. Recently I have turned to two favorite thinkers (via their books) regarding this question: Can we ever really get all the way “there?” To that someday when we are living in full integrity with our highest values? If so, how? READ MORE

The Braided Breath

Healing the vision of life on Earth

April 2020 Column - April 30, 2020

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

People are sewing masks. They are doing it out of love for their fellow humans. The masks connect us by offering some degree of separation, in hopes of blocking virus droplets floating through the air. Whether between a grocery clerk and an elderly shopper, or a delivery person and a family of five. In this moment of isolated quarantine, our interconnection is made more visible by its withdrawal and restriction. READ MORE

Crossing Edges, Shifting Centers

Water maps of belonging

February/March 2020 Column - March 22, 2020

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

One summer Saturday, my son and I were driving on Highway 36 from the Twin Cities going east. We passed the sign that said “Thank you for visiting Minnesota,” and I told him we were about to cross into Wisconsin. As we drove onto the bridge over the St. Croix River which divides the two states, my son said, “Now we are nowhere. We don’t exist. We are not in Minnesota or Wisconsin.”      READ MORE

Paradigm Workers Unite! ...Or Not


January 2020 Column - January 31, 2020

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

I’ve been meaning to write this essay since about 2011, when I first coined the phrase “paradigm worker” as a way to describe how artists were part of systems change. I’d been reading an article by systems analyst and thought leader Donella Meadows ...

Interview: Reflections on Sustainable Design

Generations and Re-generations

December 2019 Column - December 29, 2019

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

With Brayden Kirk

 In mid-December I received an email from Brayden Kirk, a high school student about to enter the architecture field next year. He is interested in sustainable design and asked me some very good questions. By the time I was done answering his email, I realized that he’d given me an opportunity for a career-spanning reflection on sustainable design ...    

Names for Time

From Daylight Savings to the Anthropocene

November 2019 Column - November 1, 2019 

By: Jonee Kulman Brigham

 As daylight savings time approaches this weekend, I think of the elusive nature of time, and also how time has lost its innocence for me, and yet I trust it more. From minutes to millennia, the names we give time matter, both personally and collectively.    


© Jonee Kulman Brigham