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Birds, plants, animals, also bacteria and virusses, they all get their food directly and freely from their natural environment. They don’t disturb it, on the contrary. Normally their urge for food contributes to the ecosystem, for instance though cross fertilization, spreading of seeds or elimination of the weak and sick. Their feeding in a way is connected indisputably to healthy life.
The human world is overwhelmingly unnatural. Not only for our feeding we made ourselves dependent of economized industral processes, for everything.
Now we are being alarmed again by a virus. Again because the Corona version is not the first and will not be the last. Virusses are a natural phenomenum that feeds itself mainly on vulnerable people. We can ask ourselves when dealing with a widespread pandemic if it is the virus that is the problem or our vulnerability?
Since virusses are of all times we need to go to judge our vulnerability. We can differentiate between natural and unnatural weaknesses. We can then also work in a positive way on our natural resilience instead of introducing unnatural remedies. Locking up 7 billion individuals in isolation with 1.5 meter distance is far from natural.
Natural vulnerability is caused mainly by epigenitic transfer, (remains of) illnesses or accidents, unhealthy lifestyle and natural aging. Unnatural vulnerability comes from what we ourselves add to the natural patterns. We can think of chemicals used in our foodchain, air pollution, negative stress, radiation of all kinds of equipment and wireless networks. Due to economic globalisation motives we also globalized our unnatural vulnerability. This makes us more receptive at global scale for illnesses that lead to pandemics (Spanish flu, measles, HIV, SARS, etc).
A complex paradox is our historical creation of a parallel economic ecosystem to nature. We attached economic growth to the growth of humankind, the growth of financial dependence, the growth of fighting symptoms via care, the increase of our life expectations and the enormous increase of the costs and complexity of our care systems.
This parallel money based ecosystem is however unnatural and unsustainable from macro natural perspective. Each natural pandemonium through a pandemic comes with a huge system crisis, such as a gigantic economic recession. This brings us closer to our natural reality but also shows the painful distance we created through the fear we collectively feel and the control mechanisms that start to try to restore the old fake reality again.
The solution is to be found in our awareness that the unnatural, no matter how luxurious or safe it feels, is unsustainable. The pandemics and recessions will only grow and so will the human drama’s worldwide. They will eventually reach all, including ourselves and those who try to supposedly benefit or control the situation.
A positive acknowlegdement is that this unnatural human world gave us a lot of knowledge. Now we can try to combine the best of the two worlds, the natural and unnatural, in order to enhance our resilience without having to reduce much of our wellness.
A few things will need to change. We need to step away from our fears and look our challenge into the eyes together. We step away from the control mechanisms from above to give way at regional level to innovative adaptations of our communities. We let resilience and health guide our cocreative actions and adapt our dependence by working together on our healthy basic needs (food, water, clean air, warmth), if needed with the use of knowledge and techniques, and in symbiose with our natural environment. Gradually we take some resilience disturbing elements away from our existence.
We are than applying Sustainocracy, as precedented in Eindhoven in areas of health attention, such as air quality and social resilience, since 2009. Instead of fear we build on trust together. Instead of unnatural vulnerability we build on natural resilience. Instead of 1.5 meter distance we go hand in hand. Instead of avoiding death we work on living life ..
A lot of people feel fear and even panic due to corona, the lockdown and dramatic personal experiences with family or friends, or through the media. It is hard to develop objective awareness in this situation, especially if one is personally affected by the many consequences and impositions. A lot of speculation can be read on social media about deep state, mind control, power abuse, financial interests of a few, etc. It is difficult to keep calm.
When we look at the population and society in the Netherlands we tend to be blind for things that have been building up for many years:
- a greying population. CBS figures show that 1.5 Million citizens are over 75 years old! These are all loved mums, dads, grandparents, uncles, aunts who are in the autumn of their lives. They will die a natural death when time is come or they fall ill and maybe decease as a cause of that. Corona is just one of the possible influecers or accelerators. Numbers of many 1000s of such casualties sound dramatic but have been real and natural for years already. They were however not highlighted. More dramatic now is the impediment for people to see their sick or elderly loved ones, or moarn their death in family presence due to the corona measures.
- unhealthy lifestyle. Our consumer capitalist lifestyle produces anxiety, stress and all kinds of health problems. A large portion of society (over 50%) at age higher than 40 has some kind of chronical disorder or disease such as overweight, trauma, diabetes, cancer, OCPD, etc. They all use the care system with more or less intensity.
- stressed care system: Corona accentuates a problem that is known for years already. Our healthcare system is overworked and overloaded, already before corona. The reason for lockdown is to try to handle the situation in a system that needed revision long time ago. The system is also privatized and ecomomized, showing important flaws in the operational structuring. A mayor transition is needed here.
- layered society: Our political economic reality is based on grouping people through age and function. Young people go to school in massive conglomerates of youngsters. The middle age are workforce going to offices, care institutions, etc. Eldery are seperated and individualised. They travel when healthy or get grouped in elderly homes when care needing. A corona virus can find its way easily to the vulnerable because of this grouping by age.
These are just a few awareness issues that need attention, not just by government but all of us together. Corona alike problems will recur. We cannot avoid them. We can take steps that make society more resilient. And now is the time to do it:
- Care for health – accept health (not just health care) leading in our society and lifestyle
- Participation in cocreation of our basic needs based on health – such as food, healthy air, water, etc
- Community based society in which all ages mingle and act together. Regional communities in which “care for eachother” is the basis of our coexistence. Professional healthcare is supportive to this, not reactive.
- Restructure our economized care society from market working into a social care society with societal participatory working. Our insurrance is our community, not a healthcare number.
- Let go of control based governance and focus on harmonizing for health based on core human values and innovative adaptiveness.
Creating Sustainocratic tables now, that deal with this transition “society, health and healthcare”, can start the process. Alleviation of suffering is based on the reassurance that things are done with our awareness in order to avoid similar problems in the future. Happiness is based on cocreating a society in which we share our responsability and results.
Sustainocracy, our new democracy
Inspiration 9: Sustainocracy suddenly makes sense
Just look at the five statements in the blue picture carefully. How much sense does it make now for you during the corona situation? Have you also been taking for granted these core values while doing all kinds of other things? How about now?
Then look at your usual daily activities (work, entrepreneurship) before the corona crisis. How much does it contribute to these five conditions for sustainable human progress? If it does not you can ask yourself if it may even be damaging your own or that of the world?
The next question you could ask yourself is: what contribution could I myself, with my talents or with my job, put on the Sustainocratic table to enhance, sustain or improve these core condtions? I am sure you can find some. If not, think how you can support those who can…..
(Photos: Peter de Koning)
We are all human beings. Our professional functions in our institutions should be supportive to the core natural values for sustainable human progress. Our institutions then become powerful instruments for sustaining our wellness today and for the future generations. In the past money driven economic parameters may have determined our choices and investments. Now it is our (own and environmental) health, awareness and safety, that leads us. Money is a means, just like technology, our talents, insights, commitment, etc.
“It is significant that I, a simple human being as citizen of this region, not in representation of any institution or government, just through the invitation to our cooperative, multidisciplinary initiative for health, air quality and regional dynamics (AiREAS), is formally asking the leading most knowledgable institutions of our region and country, to engage and help with their expertise and means, the health challenge and projects that we all (citizens and institutions) share in this world, country and region.”
As we sign and cut the cake we turn the world to what it should be, institutions as powerful instruments for wellness and sustainable human resilience in the hands of human awareness and prioritized health challenges. The photo is significant because all institutions, with people in leadership and management function, symbolically gather BEHIND me as the representative of our core natural human values in act of support and commitment. A beautiful and significant moment.
We will be rolling out a measurement network for air quality and sound. This will be done to support citizens and institutions of 21 municipalities in the region to take measures for health insights, improvement and maintenance. Three research actions have been formulated. City air quality, airport impact and rural (specifically cattle holding impact) pollution. We will be working on air quality and health through citizens and institutional engagement. AiREAS and its sister COS3i (social inclusion and engagement into our core values) already work with various municipalities on very local challenges through participation.
AiREAS was set up as sustainocratic cooperative in 2010 within the context defined by STIR City of Tomorrow. It does not wish to be another institution, therefore has no resources of its own. It ‘s function is to connect in a multidisciplinary way resources and people to our common challenge, in this case for air quality, human health and our regional dynamics. All necessary resources are brought in by the diversity of partners, based on projects and expected results, formulated together. The biggest challenge being our citizen’s engagement to our own health with the support of the institutions. AiREAS shares its results worldwide through open access publications.
Since 2006 Eindhoven colors with lights during its GLOW event. In order to gain more insight I decided to accept the invitation to act as official GLOW guide. It triggered me to go deeper into the stories behind the creative expressions of the artists, meet several personally and extend their messages to the visitors and groups who walk with me.
Most of the 750.000 visitors walk the 5 km route with 32 official light objects with just an Ohhh and Ahhhh experience. Photos are shared through social media with expressions in the range of “beautiful”, “best ever” or “I thought it was Christmas”….The enormous presence of people hardly gives time to really connect with the art or the message contained.
This year the overall concept is Living Colors, an allegation to the broad scatered spectrum of light colors that we experience in our visual world. But this definition is not enough. When talking to some artists we note multidisciplinary combinations of artistic specialties, such as light, with 3D and sound. They all experience a deep engagement in cocreating among the disciplines and make something truly unique by applying 1 +1 is much more than 2. The results are truly remarkable and best appreciated if someone draws attention to it. As a guide I have the opportunity to transmit some of the artistic energy.
Students from different highschools used the opportunity to pick up sustainability issues and design a light experience around it. We see references to water scarcity, air pollution, plastic pollution, making the city together, multidisciplinary cocreation, inner rest, global networks, etc. all expressed in combinations of light, interactivity, sounds and a sensory experience.
All this together makes GLOW 2019 into a communication platform, an opportunity to engage artistically with the modern world of observation, awareness, experience and reflection. The route also takes us through the modern expression of city development, the city as meeting place, with cosy (COS3I) social engagement place, some doing special things around GLOW to show themselves. Life music, nice family restaurants, cosy terrasses, make it more welcome to eat out than at home. Eindhoven transformed in recent years from a small industrial, sleepy technology town into a lively multicultural city for social inclusion and professional engagements. GLOW made this visible for the first time and guests from outside the city reacted with a sense of approval and enthousiasm. This GLOW became thus also a true integrator of social design and engagement.
The next level of human society development is the establishment of sustainocratic health zones. These zones are a cocreation of local residents, entrepreneurs, science, education and government. It is a commitment to Wellness Continuity through participatory engagement.
This is a real time example of our efforts in the region of Brabant (Netherlands)….
Sustainocracy is becoming the new instrument that solves world issues defined by the United Nations in their Sustainable Development Goals. In order to understand how it works we increasingly do roleplay exercises. Participants are asked to resolve a complex problem in the current societal way. Subsequently they are asked to do the same in the Sustainocratic way. The same people, the same problem, the same challenge, just a new working context. It has amazing results.