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The Next Generation “Our Common Future”

You may recall that on 12.12.12 we started a debate with Dutch high school students on their views of their own future in Europe. At age of 17 – 19 they respresent the next generation that deals with tomorrow using yesterday as a reference. The outcome of the discussion was blogged by me in December.

Challenging their own generation

STIR expressed our desire to make Europe a co-creation between all, involving this next generation with their fresh and unconditioned ideas. We explained that we wanted the mission to be ongoing with a returning gathering every year somewhere in Europe. 2013 would probably be Hungary.

The students reacted spontaneously with the co-creative effort to tape a video message for their own generation in Europe, challenging them to come to the next event. The 35 second message “Our Common Future” can be seen here. Soon I will publish also the video of the discussion on “Europe of Tomorrow” that these youngsters did.

With different partners in the field of education we try to get student teams to prepare themselves locally and then meet during the encounter of 2013 to continue the co-creation that was started on 12.12.12. The 12.12.12 teams and hero’s will be present to defend their own cocreation title and lift up the leverage of the purpose driven interaction.

Follow us on http://www.stir-global-shift.com for the time being with the news on this forthcoming event. I will also spend time on it in my blogging here. It is exciting to see the creativity of these young people at work and help them to make the world a better place.

Students today (121212) define their own challenge for Europe

“If you can dream it, you can do it” (Walt Disney)

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement”

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” (Ralph Marston)

Eindhoven (Holland) 12.12.12 at 12.12 a small group of students, age 17 and 18, taped their own video message. It is destined at their own generation in Europe asking them to take also “responsibility for our own  future” and meet in 2013 in Hungary.

A challenging call was formulated to meet in the course of 2013 and joinedly discuss and step up their vision for a strong self sufficient Europe and unite together to make the best of it. The recorded videomessage can be seen here and will be distributed across Europe. It will be used to invite students and their institutions to team up and come to a purpose driven encounter in which “our common future” will be defined and expanded further, taking this 121212 encounter as a first stepping stone.

The challengers

The challengers

Jason, Shari, Veerle, Randy, Bas, Koen, Willem-Jan, Simon, Bart, Arjen

The students’ encounter started at 09.00 a.m. in Fontys Highschool with scholars from both the ROC Highschool and Fontys Eindhoven. An open discussion followed on general issues that concern us individually and all together. This discussion will be summarized on video too. It was impressive, Topics that were dealt with were:

  • Multicultural society – the need to adapt to a region, learn the language and show commitment to contribute to the region’s prosperity. There was a sharp disapproval of the growing aggression and a call for tougher punishment measures. Local languages and cultures should be respected even in a broader context when dealing with a united Europe. Shari suggested that we should try to understand each other better even in communication as interpretation of the same words can be different by different cultures.
  • Crisis – a strong need was felt to recover stability in terms of jobs and opportunities. The lessons learned from history and our past should be taken seriously. Those who misused the system (bank and government officials) should be punished severely. Willem-Jan: “We accept to take our responsibility and even take our losses as long as we can be confident that these same mistakes and missteps are not taken again”. Banks and governments should develop an ethical responsibility and code of conduct.
  • Responsibilities – every single person is him and herself responsible for their own future, not government or some institution. We should show solidarity with the Greek, Spanish and maybe consider one single European government to establish a balance with China, Russia, USA, etc. It is not about money only.
  • Sustainable societies – this should be our common goal, not economies or growth. Arjen: “Sometimes one step back means that you can go forward”. Governments should not accept lobbies out of self interest from eg. oil companies but accept change and invest in using technology for our self sufficiency and sustainability.
  • Willem-Jan: “We need to learn to live and work together”

The whole interchange of impressions was filmed by Hein, owner of CityTV.nl Eindhoven.

Hein filming this unique event

Hein filming this unique event

The openness and transparency of these students was heart warming while they all really had significant views and something to say. Their worldviews had been developed through international visits and projects.

Coach Wim Grommen added that there are 5 basic issues that need to be attended always to create a stable, sustainable community:

  • Food
  • Health
  • Security
  • Prosperity
  • Knowledge

There is no money in this list and examples were given of communities that develop prosperity without using money.

One of the two girls, Veerle, proposed that the group would make their own videostatement for the 2013 event. One of the students already had one prepared. He also supplied the one-liners at the start of this blog:

**********Jason Clarke**************

“Do you want to change the world we live in today? Are you up for the challenge of making the world a better place to live in? Do you have perseverance, courage and will to reach your goals that will benefit society? The Europe of Tomorrow challenge is the event where you should show your unique talents and share your knowledge, skill and experience with others.

Playing a key role in your team and show your uniqueness that will make the difference! It’s about what you stand for, what you want and how to reach your goals. Share your belief, passion and enthusiasm with others. “Together we can change the world forever”

Making the difference starts with believing in yourself.”


The statement was received with applause and it was decided to use it here and on the forthcoming event site. Veerle took the lead in defining a shorter message specific for the video, the “call to their own generation”. After some group discussion the definite version was written on the whiteboard. Then this co-creative group decided to make the statement together in front of the camera…….

The final statement and challenge

The final statement and challenge

Conclusion 12.12.12 of these students:

All:”We do not have a choice, we need to change our economies and societies into sustainable self sufficiency, applying innovative technology and vision by working together and eliminating misusage of power that blocks this progressive transition.”

This was the admirable conclusion in a morning’s debate of a small group of European 17 and 18 year old students, the “next generation”. It certainly gives the satisfying feeling that  our future is in good hands with this generation. It was questioned if students across Europe would have a similar sensitivity? So the challenge was formulated for the 2013 event to check this out and get them to react and join.

The 2013 event:

In September 2013 we will all gather in Hungary. Students from all over Europe are challenged to make this happen. Students and European schools that wish to participate can ask already for the instructions for pre-subscription and preparation by mailing to:

Jean-Paul Close       email: jp@stadvanmorgen.com

Thanking all those who participated today in this small but significant event, also part of the global “Day of Interconnectedness”, we certainly hope that we have created a stepping stone for a great event in 2013 and beyond.

Purpose driven economy

With the kickoff of the first sustainocratic initiative in the city of Eindhoven (the Netherlands) the first step is made to create a “purpose driven economy”. What is the difference with what we have today? And why is it important for the rest of the world to follow the experiment in Eindhoven and, better still, start one of their own?

Current economies

Our current economies are not purpose but consequence driven. The human being is positioned as compulsory consumer. The entire institutionalized society is focused on creating a mountain of wealth around this consumer that gives a sense of abundance at all times. The only way to access this abundance is through financial means. Some of these means are individually obtained through the production, logistics and sales infrastructure necessary to maintain this mountain of abundance. Other get paid out of the hierarchies funded through taxation on this consumer organization. Or through speculation on material resources contained in this “having” type of culture. And finally also debt.

The consequences of such consumer economy show a growing tendency of (negative) influences that need attention through investments. Think of infrastructures, healthcare organizations, police, etc attending the attitude of greed and its effects on the human being, physically and mentally. This also shows an exponential growth which is equally reflected in the world economy through the costs of societies. At the same time we see our environment and human behavior deteriorate fast.

The model of economies of growth purely based on unlimited consumption and the consequences thereof, is obsolete because we use our natural resources wrongly, destroy our environment, sicken ourselves and eventually eliminate our evolutionary chances.

Consequence driven consumer economy

The consumer economy grows while destroying our selves and our habitat

Fragmented complex society

We know this now, including scientific proof, but have difficulties in changing the course of society. We created a very complex mesh of fragmented financial entities with dependencies and interests among each other on which powers and influences are being based. Each institutions has a perceived right to exist and defend its own interests. There is not one single institution that takes full responsibility for sustainable human progress. The institutional mesh is based on fragmented self interest and competition.

Key is the understanding that no institutional specialization can take holistic responsibility for human safety, health or sustainable progress. It is the human being itself that needs to take this responsibility. What went wrong in the consequence driven consumer economy was that the human being delegated its wellness through fragmented institutionalized structures that grew into tremendously inflated organs like an abscess or cancer would do on a sick body. Instead of serving humankind they try to serve themselves. This fragmented type of human organization is institutionally sick with the risk of the cancers to develop themselves further and destroy our evoutionary chances.

Purpose driven economies

The big difference with the old consumer economy is that it is not based on consumption and growth but on true value creation (purpose). It is not based on massive productivity and distribution but on local content. It is a circular type of economy where “purpose” is defined according local human needs, obtained through local effort and using local resources in a circular way.

To achieve a purpose driven economy an intense transformation is needed. But it can be done using the same institutional instruments of the old society. Each  participant needs to cure its cancer like development and abuse and become functional again within the scope of local for local requirements. It requires a different mentality and true transformative leadership in each institution involved.

Abundance is not presented through logistic channels from around the world, it is created by local cooperative efforts. In such local cooperation we see the four traditional human values come together: attitude, creativity, environment and wisdom. Those values in the old economy were split into separate institutions that do not act locally but globally, not in an integrated way but based on self interest, greed and fragmented excellence. Now we bring this global expertise back to the local context.

Using what we have learned

The great advantage of today is that the old consequence driven consumer economy has left us with a huge amount of accumulated experience and material knowledge thanks to the concentrated specialized, fragmented functions of expertise that developed over time. This would never have occurred if this phase of humankind had not taken place. For a long time it was very constructive. Now it has become destructive.

We hence do not criticize our past but use the best of its elements in our new progress. We can of course be critical to those old time forces that try to prevent us from creating purpose driven progress. It is just a matter of time for that opposition to disappear. Eventually the purpose driven economies will develop there where the old one has become obsolete, entered into a crisis, providing room for renewal, not just in a physical, organizational sense but especially emotionally, spiritual and rationally when people become aware.

Complex transformative process

It is a complex process that is typically developed locally and bottom up with executive support to make it happen. The reason that it happened in Eindhoven first and not yet in another region is simply because this small Dutch town unites the essential ingredients to make it happen. What are these ingredients:

  • Awareness at executive level
  • Open democracy of true equality
  • Level of education and experience
  • The right people at the right time

These qualities produce the necessary flexibility that can address the future with adaptive determination in a complex modern world. People take responsibility individually, convince their surroundings to support change and find ways to make it happen. The purpose is found in the essentials of human existence: food, health, security, wellness (housing, energy, etc) and knowledge. When it becomes clear that the global consequence driven consumer economy is obsolete speed is required to create a new sense of reality and responsibility, including a change in behavior. When the time of old abundance is over, new abundance needs to be created, preferably on time.

Wellness is not a cost or right but the result of a responsibility and hard work (purpose) together. When circumstances change stability is found in change too. In a sustainocracy the purpose driven economy is initiated together. We do this by making human wellness a purpose driven issue of the local population with the support of the accumulated institutional excellence and enhancing potential.

The purpose driven society develops local for local using the institutional excellence of the old paradigm


Purpose driven economic development based on sustainocratic complexities is needed to save humankind from the present day destructive expectations caused by the consequence driven consumer economy. If not we will face disaster. Yet if we assume responsibility individually and institutionally we also face a huge transformative challenge that will upset everything that we have known so far. The choice between destruction or working together on a healthier perspective is easy for me. I have become self aware and dedicated more than a decade to come to these views and initiatives. It is a start, giving comfort that humankind has a choice indeed. A choice that simply depends on one own and not someone else. But I realize that it is a difficult one, not only when one has to make it, but also for me to reach out to the world and make the choice known to all. If one does not know than no choice will be made. My personal challenge is hence multiple. Make it happen for myself, provide proof to my surroundings and reach out to all of you with sufficient clarity that you take sufficient confidence in the course that I have taken in order to let go of old securities and create new ones for yourselves and your direct surroundings.