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Interesting research upon the question “why are so many working on solving problems, but nobody on solving their root causes?”

This question was raised by Eugen Oetringer on LinkedIn. The question received thousands of views and many people responded with their particular remarks. Eugen made “yellow online post-its” of each of the remarks and subsequently tried to group them into comprehensive labeled buckets that could be seen as root causes of the impedements to address the issues at hand.

The unorganized set of remarks
Eugen’s interpretation of the patterns he saw

When he presented his analysis in the weekly School of Talents & Wellness online encounter I noted the possible bias in the interpretation caused by the way Eugen tends to structure his personal line of thinking. I wondered if someone else would come to the same or another interpretation, based on the same input? Eugen took on this challenge and I myself got motivated to do the exercize.

Indeed a totally different outcome was reveiled, one that surprised Eugen to such an extend that we decided to ask a few different people, with different backgrounds, to do the same.

Jean-Paul’s interpretation of the same set of remarks

The question and the list of responses was the same for Eugen and me. The grouping of the responses into buckets and the naming of these buckets is something subjective for both:

  • Eugen: Fear, Missing common good (common responsibility and own interests first), Our metrics incentivize symptom fixing, Lack of Training or thinking in terms of Root causes.
  • Jean-Paul: Fear, Laziness (uncertainty), Interests and Need for Professional Leadership

Now we are waiting for other people to do the same. What would be the reason (personal root causes?) of the differences in interpretation by Eugen and myself? What can we objectively or intersubjectively learn from this? At least we are now looking at a doubled interpretation, ready for a broader dialogue. On the other hand, does it bring us closer to addressing the original root causes as asked in the poll at the first place? Or have we only introduced more? If we can pinpoint root causes, who would we consider the ones to deal with them?

Another possible viewpoint is that “if we address the common root causes of our current institution or even society as a whole the entire society system may collapse”. This would mean that the root causes are original system design faults, inherent of the system. If we want to solve them we have to disgard the system entirely and build a new one based on different values and interrelations. We apply our knowledge of the past but do not attempt to repair, we reposition. This is in fact what we do with Sustainocracy. Many elements of the old system are still valid, also in the context of Sustainocracy, but with a difference. In Sustainocracy the objectives, with individual and shared responsibilities, are different, directly related to the human biological reality, resilience and sustainable progress.

Why them don’t enough people or institutions join Sustainocracy? Only partly the listed arguments remain valid, maybe 30 to 40%. In particular the lack of leadership is a mayor drawback. But more importantly is the blindness, the unawareness, the lack of openness to new options. This is a remark that Eugen also included in his analysis: the bias and inability to see things differently. This is not something we can teach, it needs time, our determination and our own leadership to expand with those that do.

Work in progress, will be continued……

Leadership is never democratic

The majority of people want to keep things as they are. They are conservative by nature. To change something one needs guts, vision or a desperate need. Than leadership appears. The rest is powerful management of what has been.


Those focused on economic growth only fear chaos and stand progress in the way

So don’t expect leadership from your politically chosen representatives. They forcefully try to please the voting majorities. Leadership and change is always outside politics.

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?