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2020 Corona's invitation to a new reality

Author Jean-Paul Close became aware of the problems of the industrial, capitalist, consumer, political, economic structure and globalisation of society back in 1996. He decided to step out of his executive position and comfort zone to dedicate his life to experiment with reality for himself, his surroundings and finally the world, to finally turn up with something that suits his perception of sustainable human progress and wellness best. 

Along the way he defined entrepreneurship of the 21st century, decifred the “secrets of true wellness” and finally defined the new reality referred to as Sustainocracy, the awareness driven co-creation society. In 2009 he already pinpointed 2020 as the year of the big letting go and adopting the new reality throughout the world. Meanwhile he experimented and developed this new reality in his own surroundings with the participation of many governments, citizens, entrepreneurs and scientists. Others came and observed: “It exists, we want this too”.  

Lockdown: every ending is a new beginning

The first thing we learn from the Corona Crisis is that our health and safety are core human values. And these do not come from remedial health care, politics, economics or banks. Those core values come by taking proactive, self reflective responsibility. When we flatten the curve of exposure to the coronavirus we collectively have better chances of immunizing ourselves and curing for future resilience. Around the world we witness sudden solidarity among neighbors, helping each other, singing a song together, clapping publicly for health care people. We also see humor, creativity, relativity, discussions and dialogues appear on social media that help people deal with their fears and regain some trust in themselves or their surroundings. We also see how quickly our natural environment recovers and improves with the absence of humans.  

Many of the things that happened were unthinkable only a few weeks ago. The virus and the unprecedented government measures interrupted instantly our daily trusted comfort, cleared our possible blind spots, creating room in our busy minds to look at what is happening and react. People are in essence primarily a social creature, not the uncontrolled consumerist hoarder that capitalisme wants us to be. Our real nature appears while we face a bad spill. But soon this is over. Not because a button is switched and the virus is gone. Our reserves run out, we will need to act to create our sustainable human progress, together. We can start and practice now while we have the time to reflect. 

Why Sustainocracy? 

Because Sustainocracy places our natural human being and values, not money or political interests, at the core of our societal reasoning for wellness. It seeks our harmonic, constructive (not destructive) relationship among ourselves and our environment. It works as a next awareness driven step, not by demolishing our past but using and restructuring it from an evolutionary perspective. In sustainocracy money is one of the many means, not a goal. 

This societal “awareness driven co-creation” community structure, Sustainable human evolution & Democracy (Sustainocracy), defines two important things for sustainable (regional) human wellness:

  • Our basic core natural human values: 
    • Health (in a proactive way and not to be confused with health care)
    • Safety (including respect for each other and our environment)
    • Awareness (our individual and collective learning process)
    • Co-creativity (we, people and institutions need to work together)
    • Basic daily needs (food, water, warmth, healthy air)
  • That we take responsibility together of the above in co-creative, real time democratic communities (people, government, science, education, entrepreneurship)
Time to move on to phase 3 of human evolution

As we live through the first months of the corona outbreak we see human solidarity grow, air pollution reduce or disappear, CO2 improve, water clear with the return of fish, etc. This shows us the positive impact of eliminating our old lifestyle from before the virus crisis. We have, however, not yet created a new one, we are just put on a hold. Can we use these insights for the better? 

When we place the old reality, from before the lockdown, on the sustainocratic table of challenges we notice that we do not comply with any of the core values. We were sustaining a reality based on perceived commercial abundance accessible only through money. Noone is taking proactive responsibility or is accountable for our core values, we only react when they are not there, like now. So everyone had become blindly money driven, not responsibility focussed. Over time we tried, in our local surroundings, to show people and institutions our vulnerability but they would hardly join the table. Their comfort zone was still intact, their blind spots in place. Multidisciplinary co-creation would demand genuine regional value creation and sharing, a major transformation of thinking and handling for most people and institutions. 

In one area of attention however we managed to get the full multidisciplinary “level 4” co-creation table completed back in 2010, even until now. That was on the topic of regional air quality and human health (AiREAS). Partial sustainocratic tables (often with money controlled government lacking) were achieved in city food productivity (FRE2SH), social inclusion (COS3i) and participatory co creative learning (School of Talents & Wellness).  All together it provided us with a lot of experience in this field of work. Not just in the co-creation together but also the difficulties of people and institutions to change the context driven dialogue, behavior and societal, non financial results driven contributions.

Level 4 implies the restructuring of level 1, 2 and 3

Applying Sustainocracy

Now, with the Corona outbreak, we see a tremendous mentality change. Suddenly there is massive awareness about health and other things that we used to take for granted. Certain core values are solved without enormous remedial public investments, just by letting go of our old structures and lifestyle (such as air quality in many places). Others, such as social cohesion, are receiving an unprecedented amount of attention due to the sudden impediment of connecting physically and emotionally with our loved ones. When what we took for granted is taken away it becomes often more important than when we had it so accessible that we forgot about it. People look for creative ways to compensate for their feelings and express themselves in a positive way. But let us not fool ourselves. The lockdown cannot last forever. Already lots of people are facing financial challenges and problems due to the impossibility to do their old jobs. They may even doubt if these jobs are going to come back once this is over. When we apply the sustainocratic 4 x Value criteria of entrepreneurship of the 21st century it is easy to make the distinction. A job or activity should comply with all four nowadays:

  1. Value creation for the human being in terms of helping sustain the core natural values
  2. Value creation for society in terms of care, reduced costs, social cohesion, participation
  3. Value creation for the environment, in terms of circular processes, symbiotic relationships with nature, no pollution
  4. Value creation economically for continuity

Money is hence just a means, not a goal at the expense of the other values. Other means, such as awareness, talent, creativity, engagement, etc are more valuable than money. In some cases a particular value creation of a job or activity can be placed on “zero”, while compensated with higher other value creation, but it should never be negative. Negative values go in detriment of others or nature and eventually create problems, even if the activity is economically successful. Entrepreneurship of the 21st century is 4 x Value driven only and accounts for all entrepreneurial actions, not just business but also of government, education and human participatory behavior.   

Old style governments are now creating funds to cushion current financial problems temporarily but these funds do not last forever. These governments are not seen (yet) in the activation of the new society. It does not invest in it because it is not money driven, only applauds the human voluntary initiatives as they are cost saving, not valuing the value created. We are really therefore for now on our own selves as we work towards a new government model too, often together with government, not politics. The most important capital of a society is its creative and participative population, not money or wrongly oriented control driven governance. Some forces will want us to go back to the old scenario, but do we? Probably not, simply because we have become aware of its negative impact. We need to keep the positive values that appear now and restructure ourselves to fulfill our needs locally as much as we can. We need to do this together through co-creation. 

Next to the health driven adjustments we can thank corona for we have two sustainocratic priorities that come to mind are food and helping the vulnerable. Let us see why….

Food resilience

It is springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. It is good to take responsibility directly for our food supplies. As our financial system tends to collapse we need to get access to food through direct means. Various farmers cannot supply to their traditional markets such as restaurants because they are not operating. They have supplies that need to get to the needed. As the fear (not yet the reality) of scarcity grows people will hoard more including life essentials. This will leave the most needed and people on low budgets in jeopardy. If no action is taken now anarchy will break out and public safety will turn into ghettos of aggression. This we need to avoid with common sense and collaboration.  

We can set up food productivity in gardens, around schools, in empty office buildings, on rooftops. This can be done with the involvement of these vulnerable citizens. We can introduce a circular reward system that accounts for the labour put into the food production, distribution, the sharing and processing once the food is fully grown. You can find on the internet many proven techniques for balconies, avoidance of polluted city grounds by growing crops on top instead of inside, etc. Don’t just go for the easy stuff, take herbs too, plants with nutritious and remedial values. There are also videos with things you should be careful with, in view of certain allergies or poisonous side effects. Even if the lockdown is lifted and everything goes back to the old stressful and polluting normal, this exercise is worth the try. It will change your community life and sense of security, abundance and freedom.

Care for each other    

In times of fear we all tend to go into survival mode. The more powerful and able will try to selfishly take what they need and even hoard. The vulnerable and less able enter into more difficulties. These groups will stand up and try to defend themselves. The atmosphere will get grim and chaos may appear, which is bad for everyone. The way to avoid this is to make sure everyone is served with their basic needs. That is the first step, the second one is to ask everyone to help, within their possibilities, and create the abundance we need all together. We are used to being able to get what we need through money, but when what we need is not available money becomes useless. Our basic needs are food, warmth (eg shelter and care), drinking water and healthy air. We also need each other to create trust (not fear) in the togetherness, warmth in the dialogue and care when needed. 

New small heroes

Regions that evolve now to level 4 awareness driven co-creation of our core human values are referred to as Small Heroes. They develop resilience against all kinds of issues because of their self sufficiency, social productivity, sustainocratic engagement and sharing with caring attitude. They develop high attractiveness, especially for families with children who seek genuin wellness and want to avoid the growing speculative criminality and forced money dependence in larger urban structures. They benefit from the corona inspiration and relative ease to transform from relative lack of identity to true authentic imaging of warmth and quality of life.

Small Regional Heroes

Fear for corona contact

If fear of corona contact is an impediment to initiating the above, just consider that your trip to the supermarket may get you in touch with more people than working in open air in your vegetable field or back yard. We need to get to immunize ourselves somehow so some minimum exposure will always happen, just like any other flu. There are all kinds of remedial precautions circulating already on the internet to protect you. Don’t fear and lay back for all to pass, stand up, be precautious and act, preferably the sustainocratic way: health and safety first. 

You can find publications for free download on https://sustainocracy.blog/publications. Through my Instagram (@jeanpaulclose) and Facebook accounts I share daily inspirational statements and information. It will not be easy to learn to work from the new context, especially if you are an institution or government that used to rely on the old dynamics. But it can be done with great satisfaction when your new societal ecosystem starts working in the sustainocratic way.

Good luck and if in need of any help, just let us know.

Brexit is a wake up call to redefine Europe

We need to seriously rethink the fundamental basics of our European Union as a modern evolutionary step within the context of the times we live in today. But first we should regain respect to the original motivation to get to a union in the first place.

This first motivation was PEACE, not economics!

In 1950 the political discourse developed around the avoidance of war. The experiences of worldwar II had lead to the understanding that the continuation of conflict and competition would only damage the communities as war technology had reached a status of mass destruction, proven by the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The constant conflicts between France and Germany (and the UK) around resources also gave rise to new solutions. Resource based competition was to be avoided at all times, a modern insight of deeper awareness after painful war lessons. The European Coal and Steel Union was established among six inner circle countries as a first treaty for peace. The purpose of the Union was directed by a core human value which was needed to create cohesion, productivity and progress through peace.

Liberalizing trade of key resources such as coal and steel would do the trick so that speculation around shortages and self protection was eliminated and replaced by open dialogue and sharing for mutual benefit.

In subsequent steps the freedom of trade, movement of people, goods, services and capital became dominant in the political discours and developed purely from an economical point of view, justified politically by the perception of financial needs to provide social securities and infrastructures. Economically is was also justified by the growing amount of money driven self interests among bankers, politicians and spinoffs. They had been given near to carte blanche to speculate. Risk and investment became a public issue of the crowd, profit was reserved for the private interests.

The original purpose element of peace reduced to the background. Economic trade, labour and services could be taxed and created a huge field for the development of bureaucracy of control and regulatory measures in which the hierarchy of money and power became leading. Time passed by and the European institution became self protective at the expense of it origins. Control and institutional self interests became more important than the core human and regional values that had been the origin of the establishment. Governance and banks and institutions became “partner in crime” rather than “servants to human progress”.

Huge issues demand redirection of Europe , back to its core values
European citizens have been made slave to mortgages, tax and insurrance costs. Most of these contributions were once thought of as measures to avoid social uprise and war but now are systematized hierarchies for institutional self interests. Justice has become an instrument to sustain the hierarchy, not human values.

Meanwhile huge issues demand Europe to get back to its core, its original value driven dialogue and enhance it with even more. The political economic steering on trade, economic speculation and salarized jobs (taxable and controlable by the authorities) has put us in the hands of economic and dictatorial preditors, producing gigantic pollution and destruction of both our habitat and our life expectations.

Our lifestyle also devastates other areas in the world. In the last 40 years more than half the marine population disappeared. We reduced the amount of trees by half in that same period. All this is producing conflicts and massive migration patterns that are being answered with cold political reflection not anywhere near the humanitarian and planetary responsibility that we share among each other.

Climate change affects our overall safety perspectives and sustainable progress. It requires the involvement of all hands and minds to save or adjust what we can through awareness driven cocreation.

Our own STIR research has reached a poin that we can state firmly that the current political economic context is largely responsible for the human made catastrophical issues and that the response of those in charge is insufficient due to their steering from the wrong priorities.

From an anthropological point of view we follow the usual cycle of human complexities. In the 50’s, when the first basis was laid for the creation of Europe, the awareness driven motivation was peace. This introduced the changes in border management, free trade and transparant policies between the first member states. It became consolidated in the organizational complexity of the region through cocreation. It worked so well that others wanted to join.


Then new generations of politicians and economists came on board that forgot rapidly the origins and motivation of the union and only resonated with managing the field of economic growth, greed and control. We have been occupying the field of organized greed (growth economy) ever since we let go of the gold standard in the 70’s as colatoral for our money based systems. We placed the burden of value against labor and resources of the future placing a mortgage on our selves that only grew exponentially.

Since the credit crisis in 2008 we have been in confrontation with our lack of morality. While citizen’s and social entrepreneurs were forced into new awareness driven change, often after a phase of personal chaos, the political agenda evolved into saving whatever they could through capital injections, more control measures and blocking the ethical evaluation of their programs. Gradually tension builds up in Europe due the growing leadership at civilian level and lack of a change mentality at political level. Chaos seems inevitable.

Brexit is a clear wake up call, no matter the outcome. If the political economic agenda does not transform rapidly into one of core human values the catastrophy will be unprecedented and with just one to blame: the EU political economists. The instrument of capital injections is useless when health or safety cannot be bought. We cannot buy our evolution as a species we need to adjust to it. The key resources of our region are our people, not the money in the pockets of bankers or the stack of IOU’s they wave with.

The only way to jump chaos is to accept change as a fact and act accordingly, like so many do already. Yet change needs a powerful and robust reason. Overcoming a crisis is a reason, using our self aware wit too. From self awareness we provide our list of core human values (Sustainocracy) that will unite Europe in cocreation for the next few 100 years:

  • health
  • safety
  • local self resilience
  • applied awareness
  • fullfillment of our basic needs in food, drinking water and healthy air

If we don’t address these issues together then European will fall apart. If we do then cohesion is essential, not a escapist issue anymore for the Britisch or anyone else. In fact, the British isles are very vulnerable because they cannot be easily self sufficient in terms of food and drinking water for the enormous population on the isles. Change in food productivity is an issue for the entire world but people on islands have more at risk than those on the mainland. Nevertheless, the connection with Europe cannot be sustained from the old money and power driven governance context. To solve this a new pact is needed, one based on cocreation guided by the core human values that unite us. We call it Sustainocracy, a change for which we can choose. It will also change our empathy with Africa and the Middle East. Peace will become a driver and human core values lead. Every one participates.

Sudden repositioning of societies

The sudden swap from growth to change is not necessarily motivated by a moral burst of awareness but a self reflective sense of self preservation

The sudden global leader’s swap from growth to change is not necessarily motivated by a moral burst of awareness but a self reflective sense of self preservation

When we read news issues on the internet these days we see a significant change. For decades the climate change, pollution issues, migration and poverty problems, water and food manipulation, misuse and shortages, etc had been denied and overruled with reassuring messages by the economic forces that were looking for unlimited growth. Now we see that denial has changed into acceptance of the problem with the tsunami of scientific reports and studies proving the damage we are doing to our environment and subsequently to our selves. Within 250 years scientists expect that there will be no economies anymore because there will be no human beings left to uphold this invention to value transactions.

Formally recognizing the problem is a first step to finding solutions even through we are still far away from letting go of the ideology of economic growth in favor of the sustainocratic economy of balance. So why this sudden change in political leadership and media coverage?

The problem world leaders encountered recently was not their sudden burst in sense of responsibility for our planet or people. Their problem was that the drive for unlimited economic growth was getting them into a position of severe competitive aggression among each other. It is a natural phenomena that when growth is blocked tension rises until it explodes, unless an escape is found. If one is nit sure that one can win a competitive encounter one should not even enter the battle but challenge the opponent(s) by changing strategy. The current moves demonstrate that global leaders have become aware of the potential point of singularity (eminent collapse, war and chaos) of their economic potential caused by the dependence of their systems on resources of the other powerful nations. When these resources are suddenly blocked in an encounter then politics is not about showing strength but finding each other’s weaknesses.

Leadership changes to finding ways to become self sufficient enough to minimize the dependence on other nations of the world and hence reduce the amount of weaknesses that can be misused in times of stress. Recognizing the need to transform and re-position one’s own society sufficient innovative impulses can be generated to build up strength again. Finding a new balance with nature through the acceptance rather denial of the global issues and threats can than provide labor and local economic development for many decades ahead. It takes the tension away from the world while leadership turns into itself instead of against each other.

Since world war II the focus was placed on  growth. The tension has been building up gradually producing an exponential increase in recessions, depressions, chaos and threats around the world. Now time has come to change and focus on co-creation, harmony and symbiotic relationship with our environment on a local for local basis. What world leaders do is re-position their own society in a natural way causing the shift of attention to happen also in business, science, media expression, etc. This is what we can observe now and it shows the results of an intense and sudden shift at policy makers level based on self preservation rather that morality. The next five years will be extremely relevant to see the changes have their effect on the societies, the human beings and the system complexity that governs us. Will it be sufficient or a prelude for more to come, adding perhaps a new phase of moral awareness and true stability in nations?



Awareness breakthough

Have you ever heard of the “gateway to heaven”? It is real. Not many can see it though. Experience shows that the gateway is only reached after a phase of pain. It is clearly visible then but gradually fades away again until we reach a new passage through. That is how we evolve. It is a spiral shape, or sinus wave when we add time. Understanding this is new. Evolution has long been considered purely physical. It is however spiritual. It only adds up to our awareness when passing through the gateway.

At a certain time we may equally our level of evolution and break through to add something to it. This drawing may help you understand. You are right in the middle of it (the drawing and life)

Can you see the awareness breakthrough? It's the gateway to a new world

Can you see the awareness breakthrough? It’s the gateway to a new world

Some call the area below the line of self awareness “hell” and above “heaven”. The gateway is referred to the “the end of suffering” and a new beginning. Every time we pass through into a new cycle we add new awareness to our evolution. Societies evolve like this too. I expect a global breakthrough. But not before a lot of pain.

21st century society
“The new, emerging society (I call it “Sustainocracy”) situates itself permanently into this heaven of wellness (symbiosis) through understanding life instead of killing it. It will be an historical breakthrough that is happening right now.” (Jean-Paul Close)

The STIR loop

Global issues, local solutions, global application
Redefinition of our system’s complexity: holistic, governance, technological and social innovation for sustainable human progress.

This documentary of Rebecca Hosking about the “farm for tomorrow” is a well worked out case and example of one of the challenges we face now and the coming decades: food and energy. This we call a “global issue” that needs local solutions. But there is more…

Food and energy is key but there is more. Air quality, climate change, pollution, migrations, rising sea levels, poverty, water shortages, etc. I refer to these as “global issues, local solutions, global application” as a transformative process.

Unprecedented complexity
(Introducing the Eindhoven precedent with sustainocratic ventures)
If we want to do something about it we face challenges that are unprecedented in human history. The documentary of Hostings is quite clear about this. Knowing this what can we do? Ms Hosking may have an idea on how to deal with it on her own territory. She can make her own choices. But how do we transform a country full of cities, people, culture, politics, economics, expectations, opinions and relationships? Even the most powerful, selfaware business, government or religious leaders tend to find themselves trapped in a system’s-culture. It takes a certain mentality to take on the challenge, another to avoid it. In any case, it involves us all.

But how do we solve the riddle? My own contribution is called “Sustainocracy”. As part of that I present the practical “STIR loop”. Let us go through it in a few steps.

Understanding where we come from and its shortcomings.
Look at this picture. This is how we have seen our reality for a long time. Our surrounding national systems provided us jobs, healthcare and other securities.

Systemleaders are blindfolded to reality

System’s leaders operate from their own perception of reality

The current national systems are mostly based on a culture of economies of growth, consumption and consequence solving. Inside the system we find a tremendous fragmentation of interests based on economic relationships. Business, government, science, population, etc all interact through an economy of mutual interdependence. “Nature” plays no significant role. Economic growth, efficiencies, relationships, protecting self interests through globalization are the key instruments. Humankind has never experienced a larger growth in population ever before in history. Many individual people experience a level of wellness and life expectancy that is equally unprecedented. It is mentally extremely difficult to place this all in the temporary context of a small time frame of several generations referred to as “the oil-people”. Most disturbing is that we, the current adult population, are probably the last of that unique group of generations. Our children and grandchildren will have to deal with change much more and intense than we. The more we can anticipate today the better.

What is the reality that we have neglected?

The human systems develop within the limited confinement of planet Earth within the universal laws of harmonic natural progress

The human systems develop within the limited confinement of planet Earth within the universal laws of harmonic natural progress

When we become aware of the huge unbalance between system’s dominance and universal natural leadership realities we need to “transform”. This means that we need to (voluntarily) let go of one system to co-create a new one that better serves our sustainable progress as a species.

But how can we transform when all human dependencies and securities seem to be firmly anchored inside the system? Within the fragments the issues that arise may be addressed as good as they can. But it is not just the fragment that causes the problem, it is the way the fragments relate to each other to form a destructive whole for humankind, while it was perceived and experienced as very constructive before. The current system’s executives trust they can get that back by applying the same measures that caused the problems in the first place. We are now even in the hands of speculative materialists that have dangerously changed from globalization of volume productivity and marketing into keeping shortages for inflation, debt exposure of the needed with control over the limited resources and those who get access.

One of the options individual people choose is to step out of the old system and start a new one of their own, facing problems and challenges like Ms. Hosking does in the documentary.

The STIR loop

The application of the STIR loop is relevant to complex transformations of entire communities. In 5 steps it can clean up systems, making them sustainable in progress again. The key is that every relevant person and institution needs to be involved. The whole loop is focused on the quality of sustainable life in a particular territory (a city, a province, an island, an autonomic region, etc.)

The 5 steps to get back into productive balance
Sustainocracy describes the process of taking multidisciplinary responsibility locally around global issues. This can only be done in a particular way:

Step 1: Awareness
In the picture I have drawn the two systems (local human dominance and leading universal natural responsibilities) next to each other. I place the human being in between, with active selfaware citizenship and productivity as choices between both systems. The human system has human hierarchical leadership, fragmented structures, relations based on money and transactions, etc.

Awareness means that we manage to place the human system as instrumental, not dominant in our human evolution

Awareness means that we manage to position the human system as instrumental, not dominant for our human evolution

As human beings we ARE nature. Everything we do that affects our environment negatively reflects in our natural systems of life. We show growing health problems that affect us much deeper than medically and scientifically (human system dependent) acknowledged. At one time I even wrote about the genetic anthropocene (the unprecedented damage we cause inside our genetic structures with lasting consequences). So it is not just food we need to take responsibility for. It goes much further.

When aware we face the tension between the old system and the new one we need to develop

Step 2: Choice of priorities
Within the context of global issues, such as food, water, health, security, self sufficiency or awareness, it is imperative to find local self supporting solutions. Rising seawater, food shortages, pollution, migrations, climate changes, dense populations, fossil energy disappearance, etc give rise to important local catastrophes, caused by globalized human systems, the local demographical situation, nature itself or a combination of all three. There is no generalized priority. Every territory has its own unique combination of threats. The local awareness has to have led to a generalized consensus “that something needs to be done urgently” and “we need to do this together”. This opens up for the initiation of the loop:

The need for action has to be acknowledged as well as the impotence of the fragmented parts to do this "alone".

The need for action has to be acknowledged as well as the impotence of the fragmented parts to do this “alone”.

In Eindhoven (Holland) by experimental persistence and chance I arrived at “air quality, public health, regional dynamics” in 2010. A financial threat from the European Union (air pollution norms) got the local government to open up to new experimental formats. AiREAS became the first precedent world wide of Sustainocracy. In other places around the world different priority choices can be made, not necessarily air pollution, in any combination of the key issues of sustainable human progress (health, safety, self sufficiency, awareness and food).

Step 3: Establish the Sustainocratic commitment within the system of nature.
The essence of this step is to take the priority outside the human system, away from politics, economics, justice, etc. into the area of natural responsibilities. It is the start of the loop. The only representative of both systems is the natural evolutionary human being. So it’s the biological human creature that invites the powerful instruments to unite in a multidisciplinary way. This inviting person is the Sustainocrat, a key independent player. It is referred to as “the world upside down” for the participants. They are forced to reason through the views of the paradigm of nature, harmony and change.

The group consists of the Sustainocrat, local citizens, leaders from science, business and local governance (see picture below). The group concentrates on all aspects of addressing the chosen issue:

  • Why are we starting the loop
  • Create a vision for change (dot on the horizon related to Sustainable Human Progress)
  • Initiate the stip-step process
  • Apply innovation (Social, technological and structural)
  • Develop the knowledge that can be implemented elsewhere
  • Contain the unique values for the stepping back process

Top down and bottom up processes come together in AiREAS "Healthy city"

Top down and bottom up processes come together in AiREAS “Healthy city”

Step 4:  the loop back
While dealing with the system from “outside” all the blocking bottlenecks and impediments become visible with each of the partner’s normal functioning as well as in their system’s imposed relationships.

The values that are co-created outside the system can be expanded again within. But also the many handicaps can be addressed and resolved in a documented, argumented and programmed manner.

The expansion of new unique values have an important economic potential that can be used to keep the loop going for as long as it is needed. In fact the loop itself becomes a competitive added value of a region and its local partners that make it happen. The values are always locally proven and then presented for world wide application.

Global issues thus have changed from a tremendous unsolvable problem into a local challenge and global opportunity. Local loops may seemingly get to compete with each other in the world wide context but always deliver uniqueness because of the diversity of local situations that each will have to deal with. Uniformity in the problem does not mean that uniformity will ever be found in the solution.

The loop back is significant as a transformative economy of change but also confrontational with the old system

The loop back is significant as a transformative economy of change but also confrontational with the old system

Step 5: local consolidation
For the partners this 5th step is perhaps the second most difficult phase, after the letting go phase of step 1. Consolidation means that adjustments described in step 4 need to find their way into the old system, change it up to a new workable situation. The process is well received in the relevant parties that are still part of the progress. Those that need to be phased out, or were part of particular context and loose that context in the new setting, will of course oppose. In some cases they are powerful conservative blockages that avoid no means to keep their interests alive.

It takes guts and leadership to do the mayor cleaning up. At least the STIR loop backs the leadership with powerful instruments and indisputable reasons to do what needs to be done.

Solutions are at hand. They have been described AND put into practice with early precedents. They are a new instrument in those areas where change is key but too complex to be dealt with in the traditional way. The STIR loop then become a powerful method to make change happen, gain support for it first as an experiment and assure that the right steps are taken afterwards. During the start of the loop “nature” leads, the return is in human leadership hands bringing it back into the practical human reality.

The STIR loop is educated through the STIR Academy and associated partners.

Jean-Paul Close

Reality is a confrontation with yourself

“I do not challenge the reality of others, I created a new one and invite people and institutions to join. This brings them in confrontation with themselves”

(Jean-Paul Close, Sustainocracy – the new democracy – 2012)

The reality we perceive is an interpretation by our rational awareness.  We interact with our surroundings according to the interpretation of reality. We learn to perceive a particular stability as “normal” and will not easily challenge it when it provides us with what we think we need.  When things happen that are out of the ordinary our perception is challenged. Our reality changes and we enter in confrontation with ourselves when need to deal with change. This confrontation contains a learning process that has been the essence of human progress through periods of creativity and change. We tend to be conservative in order to provide is with a sense of safety and control yet are especially good as a species in adapting to new circumstances when the need presents itself. This adaptation process is filled with emotions and meaningful awareness development.

Many people are now experiencing such a personal confrontation as the money based human world collapses. It opens up our minds to a new reality. At first we see our trusted reality fall apart.  The old reality is unstable but a new one has not yet been created in our awareness. I already wrote about the fear for change of people, the process of letting go of old securities and the acceptance of new responsibilities. We may at first look at the world with apprehension and distrust but in reality we are looking within ourselves for the energetic ability to address the forthcoming insecurities. A new reality needs to be dealt with as it unfolds in front of our senses and reaches our consciousness. We first project the new circumstances on previous experiences and old abilities to see if we can re-establish our stability by applying the old reality. When we see that this does not work we come in the new world of creativity, emotions and meaning. We start experimenting with our awareness and feelings by discovering and applying other talents or even develop totally new ones. Our worries go to the primary fulfillment of our needs first (such as food, housing, clothing, etc). We open up to new methods and approaches to reality. We also look at risk in a different way.

When we deal with our old and proven reality we have the tendency to avoid risk but when a new reality needs to be taken care of risk avoidance is exactly what we do not need. In the process of search for primary needs everything is possible, from self-sufficient initiatives to theft and criminality.  Renewal and innovation are values that both have to do with the process of letting go and creating something new. The whole event of change is experienced as a risk, but a different one in each of the stages. The emotions around letting go have to do with fear of what we loose. The emotions in our personal chaos lead us to fight for survival. The risk felt to gain new stability using our creativity has to do with what we can gain in terms of safety and wellness. When we establish a creative dot on the horizon we have less problems in letting go then when we have nothing to go for. A dot on a horizon can also get others to join into the process allowing change to occur in co-creative manner.

An entire society

The confrontation process of dealing with individual change and fear in changing realities is also true for institutions s.a. business, government, schools, etc. The confrontation is more complicated because many more people are involved and the institution in caught up in a chain of dependencies with others. The surroundings of a human being are not just artificial yet the surroundings of institutions are man made with financial systems, risk management an chains of liabilities. The old reality of an institution is “managed” in a day to day comfort. When a crisis occurs that changes the reality of the system, the new reality requires institutional “leadership”.

In our current financial world of fragmented institutional interests we see many worldviews interact through the management of chains of relationships. When the chains break up or enter into a crisis only leadership can open up to new realities. Then institutions are not fragmented anymore but open up to new relationships. Organizations that are reluctant to change due to excess bureaucracy and self interest based on old remaining values are for sure entering in chaos and  mortal stress. The ones that are open to change, and receive freedom to do so by the people involved, will assume experimental risks by confronting themselves with themselves through a changing reality. This reality change is an open interaction between the surroundings and the institution. Both change in the process

Sustainocracy is the dot on horizon for the global society

In Sustainocracy we deal with the confrontation between perceived realities with all the participants of society, and society as a whole. It is exciting to see how it works when the dynamics of a large community, such as a city, gets into a proactive mode of risk taking progression with all parties involved. Leadership develops where least expected and confronts itself with the old power positions of managerial risk avoidance that remain in the surroundings. We see managerial people hanging on to old positions of power while leadership acts with new age authority. The process of letting go and developing new creativity for change becomes visible and fills the environment with energetic passion. Sustainocracy then adds our definition of sustainable human progress as a common dot on the horizon. It helps people to define profound challenges that become workable and recognized by all. The energy of change gets focused and changes the world.

The confrontation with ourselves then changes fear into trust, insecurity into passion, conservation into progression and confinement into a sense of freedom. When reality change we learn through the confrontation with ourselves how to deal with it for our safety, stability and progress. Without change no progress, nor positive human evolution. Some of even take immense joy in riding these waves of transformative change and create a network of world changing initiatives. Sustainocracy requires such network of people active in the different fields of leadership authority.

Poverty of old rich changes the world, not money

Geographical poverty

In the world there are roughly three economic “worlds”, the old rich, the new rich and the poor. These can be seen horizontally per region in the world. The old rich regions speculate with value, the new rich countries create some of the value still through industrial process with cheap labor, and then there are the poor that have nothing but themselves. Meanwhile climate changes and pollution of the rich make the globe more inhabitable affecting the rich in their quest for resources using greed, and the poor who are being  robbed of their chances for survival. Some try to get to the rich parts of the world by hazardous migration, others just perish, accepting their destiny in some way as inevitable.

This has always been the case ever since industrialization began and even before. Nowadays the old rich suffer crises because they cannibalize on their own wealth, the new rich do not learn the lessons of the old rich and go into the same direction while the poor remain poor, exploited by the rich, die and don’t know much better by lack of reference. What is “rich” anyway? That your children survive beyond age 2 or 5? That you have a car, a house to live in, two TV sets, a mobile phone and access to the supermarket every day? Peace at home or in the street?

Poverty among the rich

Then there is this other way of looking at the same three worlds but vertically, within the confinement of the rich countries. We find the same  mix of poverty, wealthy and rich but within the same region. The difference with the general poverty around the world is that this type of poverty has known what it is like to be rich in material sense and sees it around them all the time. In the area of poverty within rich regions we see three ways that people deal with it:

  1. Solidarity, meaning that fellow people, families, friends and surroundings help the people out voluntarily for their primary needs. Often people who are being helped just need some support because they thrive to be self supported and need no official help. They are the entrepreneurial types of society that do their best. They normally see their situation as temporary and part of life, trusting to be able to deal with it.
  2. Social welfare, a government caring system to assist people who have entered in some kind of misery until they can find their way back into the system by themselves or through pressure of the government. Often these are people who have suffered a loss, a divorce or whatever mishap. It can also represent a cultural problem of employment diversity.  Social welfare is the social cushion that provides them with rest and material peace of mind for a while.
  3. Criminality and chaos, is when people do not trust the system or themselves anymore and abuse the system through rebellion acts, criminality and chaos, out of mentality or need.

In new rich countries we see governments trying to deal with the newly growing rich, taxation, equality and old poverty through education programs and welfare creation. In the current old rich societies however we see a general raise of poverty that covers all three situations. Yet the mix tends to alter due to the development of the collapsing richness. The crises that the culture and paradigm suffers develops an explosive situation that eventually will provoke a paradigm shift. It is these poor that upset the old system and introduce new conditions for stable progress, but not before some chaos and collapse is created in the community. It is not the money that will change the world, it is the poverty among the old rich.

The traditional solidarity of local people goes to their own relatives or close ones. Many rich countries have opened up their borders so much for the entry of cheap labor that foreign poverty mixes with local poverty, both with a different mentality around scarcity. The local poor start to believe that the  chances are being taken away from them by the foreigners. The newcomers come for work and see the rich society as something to take their chances no matter what. Some come with a genuine interest to take benefit, others with a hit and run opportunistic attitude towards the abundance in the materially rich environment.

Crime rises among all populations groups  simply because of the masses in jeopardy, the distrust between locals and foreign groups and the declining “can do” culture in the region. When social security funds dry up as the old rich country cannot keep up the old standards the welfare support is taken away gradually and causes more poverty. The solidarity in the community slows down and finally stops because people lose faith and ask their people to take responsibility. They do that by finding ways to rise against the inequality through marches, protest or attacks, yet they also develop new pre-paradigms and paradigms. The significance of have lived through different worldviews as an individual is key for progress. Poverty then is a way to let go of the old securities that the remaining rich try to defend. But this defense,  even with the powerful support of the law, is not enough to withhold the demanding forces of the people who want to introduce change. We have seen this happen in Northern Africa and the Middle East. We will see it happening across the globe.

The following questions arises:

  • When, with what proportion of poverty in the mix, does a stable economy of old rich collapse into chaos prior to renewal
  • Can a country take precaution before? Eg by allowing social innovation by the poor instead of defending the situation of the rich
  • Is social welfare always an adequate cushion? Or should it be limited only to the new rich while the old rich should focus on paradigm shift through social investment rather than protection?

As poverty in the rich countries grows we general see the difference between rich and poor grow too. The speculation at the top end of the social pyramid is showing economic growth while the bottom is reaching a point of starvation. The differences grow and so does the social stress. Yet the new poverty has the insight, knowledge and education to produce change that can move the old rich into a new phase of development through fundamental changes. The growing rich out of the old paradigm will try to influence change negatively. I also referred to this in the blog entry of the route of least resistance. The only problem any country deals with in this situation is its governance. What side does government chose? The conservative rich out of tax interests and their influential lobby? Or the innovative poor understanding the need for social innovation? Can a middle way exist?

Looking forward to your reactions……