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When I started to challenge students in universities or high schools to help me develop a healthy city from their study perpective all kinds of entrepreneurial ideas appear. In the School of Talents we work them out into societal relevance with target community groups. New startup business develop appears as soon as large groups of people start connecting to the persuasive invitaion to do something with their own quality of life.
Healthy city development is just one aspect of Sustainocratic resonance and accountability. If we take all the 5 core conditions then a totally new wave of 100’s of new products and services appear. We even refer to this new kind of entrepreneurship as the 4 x profit paradigm.
School of Talents is not an institution, it is a peer 4 awareness driven cocreative movement. It positions itself in the pioneersphase of a new psycho-social age that is deploying itself among our global citizenship. It is a participative educational format in which students and tutors together experiment with a new reality in four different phase:
- vision: when students and adults get acquainted with the logic of the core conditions for sustainable regional and human progress then visions appear about “how things could or should be”.
- pioneership: visions can be worked out into workable initiatives that have a potential societal impact.
- persuasion: the initiatives are tested among target groups of citizens until a positive resonance is found. Economy is often seen as a trade driven activity of growth but for entrepreneurial pioneers it is a proof of concept. When people are willing to pay for something than it fullfils a need not just an ideological vision, it receives societal support.
- marketing: as soon as a connection is made with the public investment routines then the persuasion phase develops into the traditional marketing activities of businesss development.
At this stage the School of Talents lets go and celebrates the “new ripe apple that falls from the sustainocratic tree”. Schools of Talents are appearing in many places where people find inspiration in the core values and working methods of Sustainocracy. They all form a new age network of global cooperation sharing innovations and best practice among each other.
In 2010 I was invited to talk during Inspiration Days commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the Earth Charter, a declaration of all kingdoms and leaders do take Earth seriously. Now, years later, I review my speech and still second it 200%. Furthermore. I made it happen, word for word, because I could not find anyone else:
Part 1 explains why….
Part 2 explains how…..
And we did. AiREAS, FRE2SH, STIR Academy and SAFE grow now. As they grow they introduce value driven change.
Nice to see it back.
Three Dutch events in two weeks time show a trend toward a YES…but…..
Event 1: Innovation Estafette 2013 (12.11.13): This gathering in the RAI in Amsterdam was organized by the ministry of Economy Innovation. It’s message was that “the entire population should be actively involved in the issues of the nation”.
The question then arises: “What is the issue of the nation? Money? Technology? Pollution? Health?” Different opinions show during the conference.
Event 2: ROET conference 2013 (13.11.13): This gathering in the High Tech Campus of Eindhoven was titled “Air quality, are we done?”, referring to the efforts of the Dutch government to comply with standards set by Brussels.
The question arises: “Are we just to comply with norms? Or do we need to invest in responsibility?”
Event 3: Half year members meeting of AiREAS (27.11.13): This event took place in Eindhoven where this global citizen’s initiative for healthy cities was started.
The question arises: “How can we manage the citizen’s leadership relationship with dominant institutions?”
It is interesting to note the built up of the events. Event 1 is calling for responsibility, event 2 is taking responsibility from a political, economic point of view and event 3 is turning the paradigm around to take responsibility from a humanitarian citizen’s perspective.
It shows a clear tendency towards a new global standard of awareness, responsibility and co-creative action in favor of environmental and human health. The “but” refers to the underlying stress between the reigning system of economic and political compliance and the universal system of nature that reacts to unbalance.
The real turn around is in event 3, helped by the awareness and commitment offered through the first two event. Even though event 3 is still minute, vulnerable in the magnitude of the old lobby of system’s dominance, it is extremely significant. It is not just a bunch of citizens that are standing up. The memberships contains global institutions such as Philips, ECN, Imtech, intellectuals and researchers from the Universities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, Twente, Madrid, Eindhoven and Delft, as well as local governmental officials from the city of Eindhoven and province North Brabant. All professionals interact as citizen’s first.
The three events show the usual human inner conflict:
Do we sell or buy responsibility (economics)? If so, who takes final responsibility for the “healthy city” if we prioritize our economic options (politics)?
Or do we take responsibility our selves as human beings before even considering our professional priorities (sustainocracy)? If so, are we in the ability to take responsibility in the complexity of our city development?
The duality can be clarified when we look at the way we deal with it in our homes. A family is the smallest human community in pursuit of sustainable human progress and securities. The society of which we are member is expected to provide the same, just a size bigger.
How do we deal with health at home? Who is the boss? What happens when someone gets sick? Do we go to work (economics)? Do you prioritize our sickness with other issues (politics)? No, we deal with health first.
So: Will “health” become a standard? Yes!
BUT: We all need to give it the same priority as at home.
Let’s do a little exercise. A bit of awareness development does no harm. Feel free to interact when you are done.
4 unique phases
There are four universal phases in the cyclic patterns of life that have been identified. Each affects the way we perceive and deal with life’s circumstances. The phases are reflected in the drawing above. For the sake of awareness and understanding I have given them simple names that can be replaced by many other with a similar significance as you can see in the brackets:
1: Change (also: a new life, pioneer, awareness, young, renewal, hope, innovation, space, birth, adaptation, spring)
2: Balance (also: harmony, togetherness, adult, co-creation, trust, love, peace, construction, optimism, wellness, equality, stability, summer)
3: Stress (also: fear, bureaucracy, control, hierarchy, systems, old, growth, automation, speculation, greed, negation, pressure, autumn)
4: Crisis (also: break down, death, depression, competition, confrontations, theft, criminality, hate, distrust, individualism, discrimination, chaos, winter)
These four phases have also teased many economic, philosophical, mathematical, spiritual, anthropological, biological, etc analysts that you may have heard about. I am going to ask you to define where you stand and where you find your surroundings to be? Please decide at first sight where you feel you stand personally today as an individual? If you have difficulties with the bold names to identify your own status you may find it easier to refer to some other word in the brackets. You may feel in winter (referring to a cold spell in your life with crisis, problems, etc) or maybe a new period of passion and idealism (number 1)…
The four situations are not static. They follow each other up in the chronological, numerological order with 4 jumping into 1 again: 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4….. It does not always start at 4 nor 1 of course. It starts when you become aware of the cycles and start to use it for guidance. Your own starting point today is the number you chose at the poll.
So if you chose 2 (balance) you know that 3 (stress) will follow. This will lead to a crisis (4) and eventually to some kind of change (1). The cycle begins than again with a new moment of balance (2) for you. One situation always leads to the other. Sometimes slowly, sometimes very fast. Out of all four situations we always desire balance (2) most yet no matter how hard we try there is never a status quo in life. To achieve balance we need to accept the other three states also.
Life is on the move
Our life is far from static. We are influenced and challenged all the time by a large variety of impulses. Life is an adventure. We need to act to provide ourselves with the (primary) resources to stay alive. There are moments of abundance and scarcity. When abundance occurs we fear loosing it. When scarcity happens we become inventive to try to get back to abundance. We never really have balance because living life is by definition a permanent search for it through adaptive interaction with our surroundings. The amount of personal security we find in our surroundings determines also the amount of willingness we display to challenge it through change. When there is abundance we react relaxed to change, when there is a situation of crisis we are likely to suffer one too.
Where does your surroundings stand today?
If your surroundings influences our situation, behavior and decision making by providing abundance or shortages, opportunities or threats, how would you judge the current situation? You may take your family life as a benchmark, your job, the society you live in…..whatever determines your current situation today most? Don’t worry, the polls are anonymous. They are simply for the sake of awareness building while showing that you are not alone, what ever your specific situation would be.
When you compare your personal answer with that of your surroundings, how do they relate? Do they coincide (1 -1, 2 – 2, 3 – 3, 4- 4)? Are you ahead in the cycle (1-4, 2-1, 3-1) taking a crisis as a breaking point? Or are you lagging behind?
What are you going to do about it?
With this simple exercise of two projections on a universal cycle you make up your mind on how to deal with the situation. The exercise adds the cyclic view to your awareness, a kind of predictability that can be influenced by your level of self awareness and acceptance of these universal realities. So far it has just been a rational exercise of interpretation of these realities through a model by picking a number. The question “what are you doing about it?” draws you into the field of emotions.
Just imagine that you are happily living a harmonic life in the stability of situation 2 (balance). You suddenly now become aware that this situation may not last for ever. This may already be enough reason to enter the phase of stress (3). You will blame me for causing this stress and may want to get back into the dormant state of satisfaction.
Maybe you are in stress (3) of having to work in a job that you intensely dislike simply because you need to pay your mortgage. Your family is living in harmony (2) thanks to your salary. You may not dare to go out to find something else out of fear for a financial or relationship crisis (4). Many risk a burnout like this and enter a mental or physical crisis instead.
There are plenty of other situations thinkable in which you voluntarily or involuntarily have to deal with choices. At hindsight you often say “if only I had known” or “if I had done this or that”. This “if I had…” is of course frustrating but even more complicated is to take action with foresight when at first sight no action seems to be needed. We may call this leadership but we also often call it obsessive worries. Where the differentiation lies has to do with your own wisdom, vision, determination and guts. You are considered crazy or stupid by others when you fail and a hero when you succeed. Does that prevent you from considering action?
As an individual you determine your own life’s adventure. It becomes a different emotional story when you have responsibilities over other people. How do you deal with all this when you are a father or mother taking care of young children? Or the CEO of a large company with many employees? How does a city council deal with this responsibility or the country’s president? Or me, a person who wants the current societies to convert into sustainable human progress with Sustainocracy?
Understanding where you are is very helpful. Awareness about the cycle is key to take proactive action when time has come. Many organizations invest in a R&D to produce position 1 opportunities of change but find that the world has grown too complex and fast to come up with novelties alone. A good understanding of the psychology of human complexities is key, not just for business or political structures but for humankind as a whole.
The transformation from an economy of growth into a content economy also claims an entirely new role for government. Current governments are generally “in charge” of the wellness of a country by determining what has to be done and what not in just about everything that concerns a country. In a democratic government the governance is determined by the public that chooses for its favorite representative. The other political powers, the opposition, are then confined to a political debate and by rule “against” any statement of government. This has its logic, challenging government’s moves and propositions with counter arguments even when these seem far fetched and highly artificial when one watches the debates. The problem we face with any government in an economic growth scenario is that all the discussions tend to go about money, growth and money again, since everything has been translated into financial parameters. That is no democracy anymore and we see that any political party, no matter what color or signature, when in charge does exactly the same as the others simply because there is no other choice than the standard middle way around money. In other times when there was indeed a difference, eg. the left wing parties defending the interests of the working class and the right wing parties the interests of the industrials that provided the jobs, there was still a fanatic debate to be observed and hot emotional encounters in the streets. Now that the jobs have been exported to low wage countries and all the individuals also only care about the amount of money one can spend every month, no matter where it comes from (salary, debt, credit card, heritage), the democratic debate has just one senseless signature everywhere.
The entire political organization has evolved into a machinery to try to create economic efficiency in their own territory and negotiate or even demand forcefully from the weaker around the world, the support to keep that machinery going and growing. This is not something of the last few decades, it is an evolution that is reaching its highest point now but started thousands of years ago. Back then the planet Earth was huge, people has no real awareness of any potential scarcity of resources unless it affected them in the small scale of their own territory and got them to set out to get it from elsewhere, often with violent encounters. In the early 17th century the Dutch started the very first multinational to travel and deal with the East Indies. For over 200 years it traveled the world and is still admired by many. In reality the monopolistic nature, the aggressive speculation, power struggles, self enrichment of the leaders and corruption are equally interesting to see as they can now still be found in the boardrooms of banks, industries and also governments when they obsessively deal with money, power and growth. When one takes on the job of a ruler over such enterprise, political or business, dealing just with money, one automatically becomes a representative of this mentality. Back then it affected over a few 100 years the Portuguese (15th century), the Dutch (16th and 17th century), the Spanish and finally the English (18th century) when they started to “rule the waves”. Now it affects the entire human world with 7 billion individuals in the hands of a few 100 speculative families and political groups that keep up the culture of humanity, producing disaster over humanity for the sake of personal wealth. But then again, it was all possible, they had the opportunity and took it. It is all part of the mentality of an aggressive species that has the morality similar to a cockroach.
The fact that we now talk about footprints, CO2, dirty air, plastic in the oceans, etc only started about 40 years ago. But this awareness does not change the inherited, historical culture of greed and growth that we translated into economies and that drives the political discussion and also the public interest. So why should this suddenly come to end, transforming the selfish cockroach into a (spiritual) butterfly?
Combination of unique factors
We can relate to the results of the Dutch VOC that went down under in corruption, scandals and greed. That was just a minority of people compared to the amount of people that try to outsmart each other today on the world market of speculation, tricks and misbehavior. In the end they will go down the drain, just like the ones that preceded in history and for exactly the same reasons. Especially in time of global crisis in just about every hierarchy that we can think of the secrete codes of conduct that bind the people who pretend to pull the global strings will be broken by themselves. Evil tends to punish itself.
The big difference today is that the speed of backfiring of evil tricks is very fast because of the global interconnected nature of all we do. We see that the bank’s greed exploded into our face after only a few decades of speculative actions. Dictators in Northern Africa and Middle East suddenly face the rise of their populations and within a year disappear from the scenery. Those who feel safe and in power today can be confronted with their own evil tomorrow. That is the effect of the growing educational basis of vast amounts of people that form self-conscious communities willing to claim freedom and auto-determination. Internet, twitter, gsm, fast travel, etc make the human world transparent to everyone including the mismanagement of those who believe in their own power. The borders are opening in a firm step to globalization and even now that politicians start seeing that this undermines their old positions of power it is too late. We are becoming rapidly global citizens that have a growing solidarity between all people. Many people have tasted the wealth of wellness through capitalism and become aware that the same wealth is also possible without the centralized power structures of the few. No one wants to be controlled by the banks, tax offices or dictating commodity speculators, which are the same few that make us vulnerable through their speculation and debt systems. When people cannot pay their debt because of the immorality of the debt system the reaction will be against the system to maintain their wealth but without the impositions. The same goes with food, energy, etc. To avoid (civil) war against banks, governments, business or personal power positions, all these organizations become aware of their own growing vulnerability and need to change attitude. There is no basis anymore to keep up the power positions and the most logical and even wise decision is to use their wealth to invest in their own transformation rather than trying to stop it.
New role of government
In a content economy the full attention of government goes to the wellness of its population within the context of a globalized world. This new focus is a very simple statement which will result in an in depth transformation of government. The very first question one can ask is what role a central government would play in all this? Centralized country governments are the structures around speculation and self interests of a territory but have hardly a role in a situation of bottom up self-sufficient wellness creation. On the contrary, even while they would have the natural tendency to try to avoid interference of their own public.
In a globalized human world around content economies the emphasis is on the small, local communities where social cohesion and self-sufficiency produces purpose driven human interaction. The smallest community with government attention is hence the village or city quarter. What kind of government would be needed above that? To control or govern what? Nothing really, except maybe a cooperative structure among the self sufficient communities for trade among the communities, infrastructures or the strategic interaction to exchange goods, experiences or help each other in aspects related to safety, calamities, migrations, etc. The multi-dimensionality of regional sustainable progress involves the local based interaction of different responsibilities as already introduced in the previous blogs. There is no hierarchy anymore just focus on key responsibilities s.a. applied technology, applied scientific research, local health & vitality and local self sufficient dynamics, all people interacting together on the basis of sustainable progress.
Regional government hence will be small, concentrated on local regional development based on sustainable progress but connected to the global network of communities (local 4 local 4 global or glocalization). Government takes territorial, facilitating responsibility in co-creation with the other pillars for progress. The structure of government will be defined by the community itself without politics but from the individual proven drive and insight of the holistic picture.
The transition has already been happening for some decades as cities started to resemble small countries within the countries, with their own positioning in the world economies and an image of their own. In Europe we see more and more central, general decision making being dealt with in the European Union while provinces or local autonomic regions take more and more responsibility through auto-determination and self-sufficiency. Most government combine now social responsibilities with their speculative origins, creating tremendous bureaucracies over time that are now collapsing because one cannot speculate with human health and prosperity anymore. Global humankind is too well informed to allow new pyramids of power to develop so the financial collapse of the bureaucrats will place the responsibilities back with the public. These will organize their own governance using the know-how, techniques and adaptive flexibility that modern tooling provides us today. The steering that is necessary to manage the freedom effectively is already being experimented with in various scenarios. Sustainable progress is the perfect leading trigger to keep everyone focused. It is only a matter of time for the transformation to show its effects, eliminating the old power structures and hierarchies without excessive violence and with determination. The new government already exists, it is only not yet fully effective or visible because of the old dominance of the hierarchies that still exist and try to keep themselves in place. The more the financial and other crises expand and take their toll the more renewal we will see around us, and many who are now sitting home watching all this on their TV sets may suddenly find themselves standing up and taking the initiatives for self-sufficient sustainable progress in their own street. It can happen just like that.