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Tripping and Falling into the Future: An Eolithic Perspective
Journal of Park and Recreation Administration (2014)
  • Keri Schwab, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Thirty years ago, Dustin and McAvoy (1984) published an essay in Environmental Ethics titled “Toward Environmental Eolithism.” The article compared and contrasted two distinct orientations to environmental planning and management: the design mentality and the eolithic mentality. The authors concluded that the more popular design mentality lacked obscure eolithic mentality was a superior orientation to environmental planning and management. Environmental Ethics and then discuss how an eolithic perspective might complement the strategic planning process. We begin by describing the similarities between strategic planning and the design mentality as well as the shortcomings of strategic planning in a rapidly changing world. We then consider the eolithic mentality’s yin to strategic planning’s yang. We stress the futility of planning for a future that cannot be predicted, and, consequently, how important it is for park and recreation administrators to keep an open mind, be opportunistic, and take but unforeseen opportunities that strategic planning, by its very nature, cannot anticipate. Finally, we conclude the article by discussing the management implications of both the design and eolithic orientations to park and recreation administration. We anchor our thinking in the management writings of Drucker of Meadows (2008) and Ackoff (1983, 1979), and the contributions of other forward-looking theorists
  • design mentality,
  • eolithic mentality,
  • innovation,
  • strategic planning,
  • higher education
Publication Date
Summer July, 2014
Citation Information
Keri Schwab. "Tripping and Falling into the Future: An Eolithic Perspective" Journal of Park and Recreation Administration Vol. 32 Iss. 2 (2014)
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