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Cities are massively redefining their functions

When we look at the development and evolution of cities we can observe an era of intense changes. While the organic growth of urban centers has historically been motivated by defense against external aggression, trade and later industrial activities, nowadays cities develop around quality of life and services. For a long time city management was conditioned by urban growth factors, building infrastructures and facilitation business dynamics. This determined the look and feel of the places, often at the expense of pollution, traffic based collapsed infrastructures, waste development, criminality, ghettos, etc. They were the playing ground of financial lobbiest, industrial giants, logistic trade lables, real estate developers and speculants, and underground activities of drug dealers, financial criminals, etc. Expensive bureaucracy, police and other measure developed to manage this dark side of city explotation.

Brave leadership nowadays is producing a massive turnaround that is motivated by a new era in which awareness of certain key responsibilities have penetrated all layers of society. Things that were held for impossible a few decades ago are now florishing in certain municipalities as a modern age example of sustainable progress. We are still living in between the two realities but the new one, the healthy, participatory, environmental friendly one, is manifesting itself with great determination and growth. Gradually urban environments can become Sustainocracies.

Jean-Paul Close

Some examples on social media:

Barcelona car free superblocks

The city with the highest car density is transforming into a green pearl along the mediterrean sea. Since the 80´s we have seen a huge transformation of this once ugly, highly polluted, industrial harbour city into a genuine urban oases of livability and quality of life.

Paris redefining the Champs Elysees

An historical location known for its traffic chaos in Paris is now being redesigned to host art, nature, recreation and health. The introduction is in French but it shows the steps that the mega city is taking to make it a livable and dynamic environment. Not quite a sustainocracy yet but a few steps closer.

City Micro Farming

Increasingly food is being produced in the cities, close to and involving the consuming people. Our own FRE2SH program is inspiring people accross the world to initiate such processes.

7 principes for building cities (Peter Calthorpe)

We at Sustainocracy tend to agree with many the views of Peter Calthorpe on city design. The only difference is that we place them specifically into a human values centered context. We introduce the participation society around our five core natural human values as a shared responsibility. This makes a city more than a set of infrastructures. It brings a city alive with an identity, authenticity and interactive citizenship, 4 x WIN entrepreneurship and facilitating governance. The city becomes a self sustaining eco-system that has a rich and dynamic inner life and a symbiotic relationship with its surroundings.

The words that trigger city development now are “participation”, “shared responsibilities” and our “core natural values”, such as health and safety, with a much broader meaning of each of these two words then what we were used to. Developing our basic needs in community based districts is key and only briefly mentioned in this video. But still the video is a good basis that can be enhanced with Sustainocratic tables and development clusters.

How to stop narcissism spreading across the world

Natural human values as a universally shared responsibility for peace and progress

Today we had the opportunity to listen to the story of Wiecza Santos, a lawyer and human rights activist from Venezuela. She arrived in Eindhoven through the global Shelter City program. This provides people like her a place to stay in a peaceful environment to come to rest for a few months and have the opportunity to tell her story without risking her live.

This the story of Venezuela…..that caused 7 million people to flee the country and has most of the country is extreme poverty. A beautiful country with wonderful people, according the words of love, with tears in her eyes, of Wiecza. The country is destroyed by narcissism. And it is not alone in it. Narcissism is spreading causing totalitalism, human inquality, poverty, suffering, etc.

The question is: How can we help people like Wiecza? How can we help humanity that suffers from narcissism, dictators and their collaborators? How can we create a way that allows the international community to interfer when human rights are seriously and systematically violated. How can we create a way to justify people in general to defend our core natural human values, such as safety in broadest sense of the word. Safety representing not only physical integrity but also respect for people, cultures, our environment, life in general and above all the citizen´s ability to fullfill their own basic needs without hierarchical impediments. Such core natural human values are our shared responsibility. They cannot be delegated to political or business hierarchies. They are human essencials for sustainable development and progress. Hierarchies are to comply as much as we do as human individuals towards each other.

When one human being suffers humanity suffers. We all share the responsibility to take care of eachother from a core human values perspective.

If we do not then we put our own safety at risk due to the streams of refugees, the human suffering and mismanagement that we allow directly or indirectly.

Our international systems of law and politics do not mingle with the internal affairs of other countries, no matter how badly they are governed from a humanitarian perspective. And, as mentioned in the video, the current democratic voting system enhances despotism, especially when there is a lot of poverty that is made dependent of vital resources managed by those in power. In our money dependent reality this dependence has become a common fact and hence an easy feeding ground for manipulation and the growth of narcissism in business and politics. Human rights are then negelected out of political or financal interests that keeps these people in power. It equally makes the international community powerless due to its own rules.

Human rights issues in Venezuela have been recognized by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The council has issued a resolution for investigation of human rights violations in Venezuela. This has been extended already once until Sept. 2022. But what will happen if these violations are officially recognized? We have seen, through other long term conflictive countries, that the instruments available, such as sanctions, hit mostly the poor again and often empower the dictators even more as they victimize themselves. So not much can be expected from that.

Universal natural human values and shared responsibility

Accepting our core natural human values (health, safety, awareness, basic needs) not just as a right but also as a shared responsibility to enhance and protect, does give us the means and justification to interfer. When health is in jeopardy due to natural disasters or other problems we already have operational means to help nations out. But when safety is at stake we don´t, simply because we have not leveraged safety to the level of our shared humanitarian responsibilities. This is difficult because the political hierarchies that normally have to take such decisions are infested with such power hungry structures that want to avoid at all time such potential interference. It is therefor not up to hierarchies to adopt such agreements but we as human beings together. A core human values manifest in which we declare this common and shared responsibility at human level, extended to the institutional levels as a consequence. We do not only help build our constitutions and systems of law around those values but we also behave accordingly by creating communities among each other. And we demand from our functional hierarchies their compliance as instruments for human wellness, not human deterioration or suffering.

Like this we help people like Wiecza. Instead of fighting the suppression we unite the shared responsibility locally and internationally by building safety based communities and bring those who disturbe it to justice. This is also democracy, one based on our shared values, not on our forced and blackmailed dependence. We base our reality on our natural right to build communities around self sufficiency. No government or dictator can take that away from us nor feel safe from international interference.

Most of our international interactions will be dealt with through the open dialogue and diplomacy at institutional level and cooperation at human level. But when safety is at stake for millions of people we cannot hang back and wait. It is an equally shared responsibility to take corrective action. Key is to determine for ourselves the threshholds when dialogue is not delivering human respect anymore and interference is necessary. Tools like our core human values, 4 x WIN institutional governance, acceptance of our right for self sufficiency, etc are key to establish the corrective forces.

Are you ready to become part of the COS3i global PEACE network?

The COS3i worldwide peace challenge is easy, highly satisfying and engaging with your natural environment of fellow citizens. It is emotionally and spiritually very rewarding. And it is free.

Key to peace is our open, positive and inclusive social interaction. This is also the secret to bluezone long livity, happiness and sustainable human progress. In times of excessive narcissism, hierarchies of inequality, intercultural migrations and social unrest….. it is key to establish a networked countermovement of community building, mutual respect, social engagement and open dialogues based on equality, curiosity, acceptance, cohabitation, care, joint social ventures and projects. If we give it a common expression, a logo, a sign, then we can make this visible everywhere, on every corner of the street, every participating restaurant, music center, community center, local coordinator, sponsor, etc.

The more we show these intentions, our efforts, the common commitment to peace and progress, the more it will become our common reality, our common mindset and way of life.

The COS3i logo is a unifying image, representing our colorful diversity and commitment to each other for peace and progress.

(Jean-Paul Close – Sustainocracy)

Examples of local COS3i initiatives:

Intercultural encounters: Make arrangements with a local community center, restaurant or theater to use their space. The spaceholder provides maybe access to drinks while we invite people to join and get acquainted with a particular culture through its food, music, traditional costumes, open dialogue, photographs, information, etc. With these events we try to establish the open dialogue, the respectful interaction between cultures, the elimination of prejudism.

The uniting properties of food and musical events

Social engagement events: People get triggered by different social activities. The diversity of interests, talents and wishes of people is enormous. Organizing different low cost social, easily managed events attracts a diversity of people. The common denominator is always the social encounter, engagement and interaction. This can be through creativity (painting together, working with textiles, expressing ourselves through theater, etc), the social meting (a picknick in the park, a jambee session together, a dance event), excersize (biking or walking event, yoga in the park, a firewalk, etc), spiritual encounters (full moon events, brother or sisterhood circles, seasonal rituals) or work space encounters (repair shop, handicraft, recylcing activities, waste reuse, etc).

A social picknick for newcomers, including speed dating execized and fun

These events are all organized around the social inclusion and engagement of people. People may pay a minor contribution but in essence there should be no barriers to participate.

Combining international and local initiatives: COS3i international organizes worldwide events that build on the local COS3i initiatives. Like this we create a sense of universal belonging, positive interaction and community building. These international events are always related to a particular theme. Examples are:

  • Equinox and Earthday: celebrating the start of springtime or the end of the summer, both periods of abundance and happiness due to light, food abundance and warmth.
  • World Peace Jazz: online participation in the peace concert of Nigeria on July 9th 2022 with local social encounters and peace dialogues
  • World happiness bird: our permanent engagement with shared positiveness and interconnectedness.
  • Organizing health and mind opening trips among each other
Intercultural COS3i trips for health and peace (photo: Chata Mirdada in Poland)

How does it work?

You are probably already a socially active person, NGO or otherwise. By doing COS3i like things you gain personal appreciation in your network and get to meet many new people. This is often a wonderful award for the energy you put in it. You get used in thinking in terms of reciprocity instead of budgets.

By joining COS3i you increase your visibility through our combined efforts on social media, blogs, etc. Being part of COS3i is not a cost, it is a commitment in sharing the same mindset of developing our core human values, empathy, social interaction, conflict avoidance, resolution and proactive development of peace through cooperation. What to do:

  • Contact me on jp@stadvanmorgen.com with your contactdetails and motivation to join.
  • You will receive the logo that you can use in your local communication. We have made stickers locally to identify our partners in the field of hospitality and social interaction.
  • Connect with eachother´s social media channels to show and share each other´s COS3i events.
  • Twice a year we will engage online with the community to exchange views and successes.
  • We can also organize social engagement and health trips among the network for further expanding our activities also through physical encounters.
  • COS3i is based on equality. Our commitment to peace unites us. Initiatives can be born everywhere and shared across the network. We develop a code of conduct together to make best use of each others efforts and engagement.