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Both the sustainocratic ventures AiREAS (healthy cities through air quality) and STIR Academy (sharing best practice and education on multidisciplinary cocreation) have been approved as valid partners in the Smart Cities approach of the European Union. See for yourself….
We would like to thank you for your interest into the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities and the submission of your commitment for action, following the Invitation for Commitments which closed on 15 June 2014.
It is with great pleasure that we accept your proposal as an eligible commitment under this European Innovation Partnership. Your commitment will be an important part in our common effort to build a dynamic market-place for smart city projects and solutions in Europe.
Following your indication, you are invited to join the action cluster K. Please feel free to indicate if you believe that your commitment should also contribute to other action clusters or if you think that your commitment should be fully moved to another action cluster.
Please note that the kick-off of the action clusters and hence the start of the implementation phase of this partnership will happen on October the 9th in Brussels. Further detail will follow soon.
We look forward to working with your organisation in the future.
The Smart Cities & Communities Team
With reference to my previous blog I decided to visualize the situation of Europe by using my model of the human complexities (first published in 2008) expressed by two lines (to be + to do) crossing. These lines symbolize at their intersection the eternal conflict between our actions (to Do) and our moral ethics (to Be). This happens at individual but also at cultural and institutional levels, creating societies in cyclic situations of greed, chaos, awareness development or around wellness. In each country individual people and institutions can be in the different phases themselves yet what I show here is the dominant situation of the majority, not the minority.
The “saving” of countries in the chaos zone is nothing more than an attempt to pull them back into the area of institutionalized greed at the bottom right hand side. This is necessary to avoid the collapse of others in that area. It is just a matter of time for all to go down in a violent confrontation with ourselves by ending up in chaos all together. Still it is not necessary! There is another route, not by pulling back into greed but taking responsibility for wellness and sustainable human progress.
This desired European situation represents a jump along the line of ethics, responsibility and awareness. This line (To Be) consists of various levels of awareness. At the conflict crossing at the center we situate the area of self-awareness, a point where the pain of consequences are converted into knowledge and conscious understanding. We have gone through this point very often already, as individuals when we grow older and wiser through personal experiences, and as communities throughout time and the same. Chaos is often represented in society by depressions and even wars. Chaos represents a violent letting go period, painfully creating room again for renewal through awareness. Awareness often comes when the blindfold of greed and control is taken away. There is a sincere possibility that this is going to happen again, in Europe and anywhere else in the world. Enough signs are showing and can affect us at any time.
The big difference today with our past is that we can now pinpoint where we need to place society within the human complexities and act accordingly. In the past societies only knew that they collapsed or were surprised by the collapse of something else causing their own. Knowing the 4 areas in the model as a logical sequence we can also position ourselves where stability and sustainable progress occurs. This is a simple ethical choice of educated awareness. The only excuse that people can have in our current Europe is that they have not yet seen this blog. When they do, then they have no excuse anymore to make the choice and take responsibility, as an individual and as a professional. Each of us can take personal responsibility now, get educated to deal with it or we can be asked by their surroundings to do it. At first it takes guts to decide. If you do not you can be blamed in the future. What is worse? Guts now or having to give painful explanations afterwards?
The choice of ethics of all people involved is to let go of the Euro as the sole dominant goal and adopt European wellness as something to take responsibility for, not by creating it but by allowing it to be created by everyone together. This can only be achieved by working in purpose driven processes in which money is a means, just like anything else needed for this process. It is a choice but once the choice is made the complex process starts to make it happen, based on the new ruling of such wellness based self sufficient European society. This is where the need for a new European constitution comes in. Our current constitutions are based on managing greed and avoiding chaos. We need to work on new constitutions that develop and protect ethical awareness and co-create wellness, avoiding greed.
This cannot be done in the fragmented jobs and self interests of politicians, civil servants, business people, bankers, individual consumers, scientists, educators, etc. In our current society they interact through money based systems and dependencies. None of these institutionalized individuals can take the initiative, if they are aware at all at professional level. Professional blindness tends to rule making people incompetent to ethics and responsibilities beyond their professional position. The only one that can take responsibility is the human being itself, liberated from all previous dogmas, professional limitations and dependencies. This person, any person, on the verge of absolute material poverty in the old world, but totally free from burdens, can invite all the powerful fragmented authorities to come over to the new world together and become instrumental to it.
That is what I did when I created Sustainocracy. I invited all people whom I had made aware through my personal interaction and explanation. They were invited to take that personal choice to position themselves in the new wellness based society and come join me in purpose driven human co-creation processes. In these sustainocratic processes all fragmented responsibilities of the old world are represented together, in equality, without dependence of each other but through the authority they represent (entrepreneurial creativity, regional government, knowledge based science and education, and behavioral cultural populations). They come from a fragmented structure of self interest into a holistic environment of common purpose.
The city of Eindhoven and province of Noord Brabant is the first place where Sustainocracy is applied in the world of complex societies. The combination of the right people with the right ethical attitude and awareness, on the right levels of authority, were found to make it happen in AiREAS (health & environmental quality), VE2RS (self sufficiency) and other initiatives. It is first step and still far from getting the entire nation or Europe to adopt the process. But with the precedent in Eindhoven en Noord Brabant I expect that more and more will follow.
Of course, the same counts for America and China and any other area in the world.
Now that you have read this, you can choose too and take responsibility accordingly.
Since the introduction of the single European currency about 10 years ago we are now “saving” European countries one after the other from financial disaster. As this process of salvaging is going on we see the poverty and despair rise in the entire European community, not just in the countries “saved” but also in all the others. As it seems now the Euro is living a billionaire’s life of its own with a powerful group of people who believe that centralized banking and money based governance are the key to the stability of Europe. Meanwhile we see the system collapse in front of our eyes with the incompetence of those so called leaders to reinstate stability, no matter how hard they try. We also see the blind dependence of all people of an entire continent on the availability of the Euro for the fulfillment of their daily needs. Without the necessary personal Euros chaos enters the individuals life. But access to Euros is increasingly difficult even though the billions flow from here to there. At individual level nothing of this money can be seen and even worse, people are expected to contribute to giant evaporation of wealth through their saving and extra taxes. The argument of politicians is that the ones that enjoyed the boom of speculation should now pay for the disaster. The problem is in this argument that the general crowd has no clue what happened above their heads in macro economics and have no clue either why their lives have suddenly entered in hell with debts, obligations, lack of jobs and a sense of guilt that we are all to blame. Meanwhile the real criminals that thought this over and expanded it to proportions beyond control remain gathering interests and bonuses as if nothing has happened. Two worlds have appeared, the sucked and the suckers. The Europeans and the Euro managers, not just the managers of today, the managers of the last 4 decades. They are all to blame one by one. The general public can be blamed for their lack of awareness and blind following the herd. Most people don’t even know what economics is and went along with hard work to pay mortgages for the house of their dreams and a daily living. They were proud if they could have a bit of luxury and believed it was achieved by labor, not theft. So much looked and felt “normal” because the manipulating managers made it look and feel that way. The theft of these people was not just money over debt and taxes. They robed us from our dignity, morality and ethics making believe that we did alright. The wake up call reaches the Europeans hard but between waking up and understanding there is a large and complex process that not everyone will follow. People do not want to understand, they want their daily bread and butter, a house to live in and the sense of personal achievement that now is being taken away. People who worked hard to pay their monthly fees now see their perceived property being taken away after 25 years of payment out of 30. With just 5 years to go it is immoral and without any respect to apply the laws of the money driven system instead of the universal laws of human and natural ethics. The same happens with everything that surrounds us. What do the Europeans do now that we realize that we are not the Euro? It is not a financial discussion anymore but one of human ethics, imposed dependence and right of independence, freedom of self determination and self sufficiency, morality of debt and guilt, manipulation of the unaware and criminality against humankind.
We are facing a huge historical step, a quantum leap for humankind, in which the clash between good and evil will open us to a new society. To see this we need to step back into history. We will then understand the future and also what needs to be done today.
Despite the fact that we discovered the same genetic origins as a single human species we created Europe as a patchwork of conflicting human tribes around the fertile river deltas of this continent, rich in natural resources s.a. sweet water, land for agriculture and animal farming. The continent is also 3/5 surrounded by sea, making trade and fishing another source of development of societies. Water in general has been the motor of societal development. Historic confrontations between growing and migrating groups of people in search for stability and prosperity shaped our history.
The local climate, resources and geographical location of the Mediterranean showed the rise of our very first so called “civilizations”. According to our current standards of diplomacy and growing awareness around ethics we would most certainly disapprove of the way these societies evolved, grew and nurtured themselves through plundering and warfare. Even their political differences were settled with intrigues and murder. The word “civilized” refers more to the political debate and development of democracies than the way abundance or power was achieved over the back of others. The Roman empire may inspire us still in many ways but we would certainly not want to reinstate its speculative working principles. Still our current systems of laws and constitutions are based on the heritage from that particular era. And they cause the same problems today as the ones that finally ended the Roman empire. It is time for new constitutions, not based on the human having but on the human being.
The Europeans are people that developed multiple cultures around their unique geographical locations, with their own language, manners and beliefs. The many conflicts have also taught the people to become tolerant to differences and use these in a social interaction that benefits the entire European community. The Europeans see the local differences generally as a virtue not a threat. For thousands of years we fought our shortages and traded our surpluses. The rise of the Catholic church in the middle of the Roman collapse has become a symbol of the power of morality versus immorality that developed side by side on the continent. Each had its own infrastructure and hierarchy and both dealt in a similar currency: debt and guilt. This duality has both split and united the cultures in cycles of dominance and crises. Despite the periods of violence and attempts to piece together a single European unity the true identity of Europe is based on diversity in the European commonality. We are all equal yet totally different. It has been our continuous inner conflict to deal with this apparent paradox until we discover that it is not a paradox at all but a virtue of unity. It is like a field of summer flowers that is only a field of summer flowers because of the beautiful diversity of its colorful population.
Influences from outside Europe
Certain influences from outside Europe try to disturb the flower-bed. This should of course be no problem if these influences contribute to the diversity and stability, even in its flexible changes over time. Yet these influences, being financial (American consumer economics and single currency), religious (Islam) or natural (new flora and fauna), disturb at first but finally adjust to these European origins and roots too. As these foreign influences try change the nature of Europe the deeply rooted character of Europeans reacts back to try again find harmony and balance in its diversity. Europe is in climate, geography and history different from America, Middle East, China, Russia, etc. You cannot unify what has always been a kaleidoscope or put old religious norms and rules in that have long before already been suffered, dealt with and eliminated by this community. Not because these norms are wrong in its abstraction but because they do not fit the historical and geographical evolutionary context anymore of this part of the world. To survive and create a sustainable human context the lessons from our local history can not just be eliminated because of some over flying success story from elsewhere. Influences from outside Europe temporarily disturb our community and may create a crisis but in the end a richer, stronger Europe comes out. It has absorbed the influences, learned to take the best out of it and integrate it all in an evolutionary step forward using the intrinsic flexibility and stability of this multicultural adaptive and experienced population. Today the disturbance is very large and the impact extreme but the European reaction will be equivalent.
A single currency was copied from the American dollar that had grown strong in a unified open consumer market of 220 million people last century. It was the American recipe for success and made American industries and risk driven capitalist entrepreneurship extremely successful world wide. The large unified home market provided a rapid commercial basis for initial growth that could back the global proposition and rapid expansion. The Americans became true artists in globalized business processes. Many American local business gurus developed leadership and marketing tools around it trying to explain and coach the working of this powerful functioning. They were of course popular also elsewhere.
Europe was lagging behind because of its patchwork of countries, borders, currencies, local protectives rules, etc. The American way seemed lucrative and dominant, it demanded a new competitive mindset of Europe. Instead of being creative with the historical basis of the Europeans, the local politicians adopted the American way. Europe had to become a single open market fast too, larger than the USA, with an equivalent consumer driven, money based system and a single currency. What the USA had done we would do bigger and better. It was successfully initialized by the creation of the Benelux. Soon it expanded across the continent in Euro based steps, not based on Europeans that needed to adjust too to this new Europe of financial speculation and consumption.
Now we see that Europe cannot be standardized into generalized terms such as a single value system. The single currency that had worked so well for America is disastrous for Europe and in competition eventually also for America. The open markets are excellent for the traditional interaction between local cultures and the single currency makes it easier. But the true value creation, that made each region of Europe strong and potentially unique in its positioning, was eliminated through standardization and centralization. Europeans need their differences to be strong together. The unification took the attention away from value creation and placed it on speculation. This slowly separated the financial world from the real world. Self sufficiency of the past became a financial dependence of today. Value creation based on local virtues became value evaporation due to speculation and generalized optimalizations around debt systems. Consumption became the key, standardized across all human cultures, making every human being an eating puppet in the standardize system of the Euro. The Euro rules, not the European.
China benefited when all big industries started manufacturing in the East. Low wages were key in de speculative process for growth in volume of consumption. Local added value in the consuming countries was based on logistic and retail processes with tax on the consumer end. A larger local content was needed in macro economics. Risk avoidance in Europe and risk taking in America both discovered the real estate market to grow the local financial economies by creating shortages and compensate it with a flexible debt system through liberated banking. Housing and consumption became the Euro world of debt with energy as power position to connect it all together. The financial bubbles were created through a flexible banking system with a tax collateral over the speculative future of unlimited financial growth. Now all Europeans had become the same in the Euro world, a bank account and social security number to exchange loyalty to the Euro through labor for food and housing through money. The human being had become hostage of the organized human having.
Internet fueled in America still some speculative volume business opportunities with wizzkids that created genuine value such as Google, YouTube, Facebook and the rest of social media. That was the only remains left of an American culture of creativity and value creation that had made the continent so powerful. Even Apple noticed that their creativity was cashed in China where the final value was created through labor in manufacturing.
Apart from those remaining value creations, the focus on creativity had disappeared from all cultures. All that was left were decades of value destruction in favor money, private banking and growing national debts to keep consumption going.
The cannot society
The financial debt imposed on the population also increased the bureaucracy needed to get it back. At the same time the consequences of a consumer driven society became evident in the growing secondary economies on health care, police. Pollution, illness, behavior disorder etc became a burden in all societies and grew in costs faster than the benefits of consumption. New creative vultures appeared in the immorality of societies, addressing the secondary economies of consequences. Pharmaceutical industries started the lobby to create public dependence through money based lawful impositions. Self sufficiency in nature based health exchanged into manipulated scientific pharmaceutical services with Euro interests. The extreme costs of the consequence driven economies tend to become dominant in all society. Health care has become another instrument of power over people with a pure financial speculative focus. Ethics, morality and trust evaporates. People have no choice anymore. The system wants cash no matter what and eliminates any initiatives that step out of the system. We have entered the “cannot, may not society” where every step and actions is valued against financial prosperity and taxability. A large control system is in place to manage society and eliminate leadership. Meanwhile humankind gets sicker and sicker in many aspects creating a unified Euro with unified Euro dependent Europeans. The European flower bed for once looks the same. All weak flowers with the head down, fearful, sick and in debt, affected by the Euro virus of system greed that sucks life out of them.
What comes next
We already see many reactions in the flower bed. Americans get back into their culture of speculative freedom and discover “sustainability” as a new impulse for local value creation, away from poverty. The nation is still developing debts and intents to exert further system power by creating health care systems instead of providing a healthy environment. The system and the people are not the same anymore, not even in America. But America has not reached yet the point of ethical constitutional dispute, Europe has. Our awareness has reached a point of culmination thanks to the American external capitalist influence. The undercurrent of the medieval religious discussion of the islam from the middle east is doing the rest. We are reminded again of the struggles we had ourselves in the Christian world and the atrocities that we organized in name of God for the sake of power and control. Also this is opening up the evolutionary step of morality and ethics, not by eliminating religions from our lives but placing them in the right learning perspective. It is a final quest for understanding our external and inner securities by believing in our holistic selves as part of a universe of matter, energy and conscious life.
In Europe we observe that smaller communities step out of the Euro and create local value systems of their own. Europeans discover again their own authentic nature and when the wake-up call reaches their awareness the reactions are two fold: aversion against the immorality of the Euro system and a search for ethical dignity again of European sustainable human progress. The flower bed is showing again single flowers in diversity rising up and spreading seeds of a new society. While the ethical incompetent forcefully try to uphold the dying system a new public discussion arises about constitutional ethics and moral structuring of societies. The power is building up. Europeans are not the Euro because of the difference between the power of human awareness when it awakens against the human greed that systemized our lives. Europeans want an acceptable life and future not an unacceptable Euro and past. This difference will result in a new tough step in human evolution that will shape a new Europe with a new European constitution based on diversity and high level human ethics through holistic conscience. This society is based on universal truths that we discover and adopt together, and which eventually reach out to all corners of the universe. The human being, starting with the European, will become dominant over its Euros ( Dollar, Yen or RMDs), whatever the currency will then mean in terms of true human values.
“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.
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.
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:
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:
“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…….
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: email@example.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.
What will happen to Europe (or USA for that matter)? Will we find ways to remain united or will we fall apart again. Will history repeat itself or ……?
The Euro? Will is remain a strong currency or will it die a rapid death after just over a decade of its existence? Will we remain living in centralized urban structures? Or will food dependencies create a new exodus to the country side? Or will we learn how to create eatable cities? What is the role of money, business enterprises, governance, science, education in our Europe of Tomorrow?
All these questions will pop up in the minds of the European student teams when they play the game “entrepreneur of your own life” with the challenge to propose their own future for Europe.
It will not be easy for them to make up their mind. They will be challenged by the existing institutional powers which will try to “sell” them their own current world views. Scientists will provide contrasting information while visionary intellectuals will walk around and speak in public about society, risks and chances. But out of all this the students will have to make up their own mind, their own vision and present it to the world.
Will they go for a technology driven world full of robots or green self sufficient do it yourself culture? Will they go for a global solution of a patchwork of fragmented communities? Or both?
The public presentation of all teams on 15.12.12 will tell. But between idealism and realization there is often still a confrontation with present day reality. 2013 will surely be used to make steps to bridge those realities and make things happen, not because institutions want this but our upcoming generation. They will stand in the middle of everything and will get support of the wise elderly who will use their knowledge and networked influences to make change happen. This may be what the Mayas anticipated when they made their calender: a new beginning on 12.12.12, not by war or disaster but human awareness, youthfull creativity and the applied wisdom of the 5th dimension.
Personally I am looking forward to it very, very much.
PS. Just realized that this my 100th post!