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Hope and progress is an act of awareness driven cocreation
Let it be Christmas every day in our lives
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)
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)
When dealing with the City of Tomorrow as STIR Foundation we are challenged by banking people to help define the “bank of tomorrow”. New initiatives are being worked out but invariably the issue arrives at the financing of banking services, the salary of bank personnel. They keep seeing money as a product, not as a means and calculate profit by introducing an interest rate.
Money is energy
I try to explain the concept of money as energy in value creation processes. I compare money with solar energy. If we had to pay interest over the energy provided by the Sun then Earth would have to generate more energy than the Sun to pay back. That is impossible in nature.
Most bankers get confused with the term “money creation” from money, the magic of making 2 euros out of 1 so to say. This term was introduced when money became an instrument for speculation. If you lend 100 against 103 per year, you “created” 3 the first year. After 23 years you have “created” 200. 1 became 2 as by the art of magic.
This is of course no money creation. It is an illusion that is created by transforming human or material energy into money by taking it away from circulation.
If you invest 100 in a precious stone when there is a shortage of such stones then you can sell it again for 300. One may think that money is created but again it is an illusion. All that is done is a stone being taken from the circulation to create a shortage slowing down value creation in exchange for speculation. We have not created money, we made the circulation of values less accessible for progress. If the stone is a gem the hoarding would be fine because its value is mere psychology. But when this psychology is used for a house for people to live in it would be a disaster. Worst still, if it is food instead of stones life would be exchanged for death. In the end everything would come to a hold.
If we would take solar energy away from life out of speculative interests then we would not bid but cease to exist. That is what happens with progress. It disappears.
Bank of Tomorrow
The bank of tomorrow is hence the equivalent for value creation as the Sun is for sustaining life. Money is as solar energy that needs to flow freely in evolutionary processes like the transformation of light ot heat into practical energy for usage in life creating and sustaining processes. Money is a means. It does not regenerate, create itself or revalue itself. It is a transformative catalyst. We can’t eat money nor live in it.
Salary for bankers
Bank employees are only needed in the bureaucracy around speculation. In the bank of tomorrow no massive amounts of employees are needed. Money is an external source of energetic supply that is only meaningful when things are done with it. People managing that process are compensated by the values they create not the money used. They just have to assure that the energy is used and not speculated with.
In the bank of tomorrow speculation would be prohibited as it kills rather than facilitating life. That is why the bank of tomorrow will not come from the bank of yesterday. The concepts are totally different.
Basic education is now slowly reaching all people across the world even though too many are still deprived. More dramatic is the situation of access to higher levels of education. These are only available to those who can afford it. This is changing with a growing number of internet initiatives. About time!
The state of awareness of humankind through knowledge accumulation via scientific research and common social reflective evolution should not be registered as property of a single person or institution, nor should it be economized for the highest bidders only. This causes an unnatural and manipulated selection of wisdom connected to greed and speculation while intelligence resident in material poverty remains unused in human evolutionary progress. This unbalance can be the cause of future unrest and potential war due to inequality in perceiving the world’s complexities, rightful claims for universal justice and mere quests for survival.
All knowledge should hence be available to every single human being in the world and universe, not just in a sense of practical availability but also in a workable reflective format throughout living life, with support and guidance of the top intellectuals at any time. Internet is such means that can be used to establish such accessibility. However not all people in the world have access to the electronics needed to make use of it. And if they do there needs to be an unmanipulated access to as many sources of information as available, structured along worldviews and paradigms that help people make up their own mind around sustainable progress, not just through personal trial and error but also by allowing the positioning of their search along the line of consciousness towards higher awareness.
Knowledge may become then nearly free of charge but should never be freed of progressive responsibility. People are always challenged to make practical use the knowledge obtained in their lives and reflect back for forward progression. Rationalization into awareness and consciousness only occurs when situations are lived through emotionally in real and simulated life (ie. through sport, games, etc). It are the multiple types of emotions that trigger the cognitive processes that can be enhanced with knowledgeable guidance breaking though eventually into the fifth dimension of higher awareness. Every living soul on Earth should have such life long learning environment.
The world would gain support for world peace and human progress, jumping into a new era of cooperative interaction based on talent. Wisdom as a human evolutionary right will make a difference that is unprecedented in history. It is made possible thanks to the state of educational progress today, initiated and manipulated in origin by pure material interests (educating people for simple work in factories). Now that this period is left behind us with all the obvious benefits it brought humankind, its time for a new step. Letting go of this phase of “having” we enter a new one, in which spirituality “the being” is a new science to be explored, not from a dogmatic religous point of view (which is also based on the manipulation of the unaware), but by giving true meaning to our existance through higher levels of individual awareness, interconnected to create a new kind of collective consciousness and related social progressive complexities.
Sustainocracy is a pioneers phase of such type of society where multidisciplinary cooperative ventures need to be built around commonly available scientific and spiritual wisdom to succeed. It provides a transformative challenge to us all, individually and institutionally where it is in the interest of all that no one is excluded. A new society is born based on “the being” with talent developing progressively through forward reflection and instant educational guidance.
The STIR foundation wants to be a transformative portal to this new world, making knowledge available to everyone, everwhere, not just in theory yet also opening sustainocratic processes up for everyone’s involvement and reciprocity. Also those that share their knowledge should receive reciprocal means back that cover and go beyond food and shelter. New exciting discoveries for scientific challenges will be picked up along the line of progress and executed in new research programs. We will partner up with all the world initiatives that think alike, that offer network capacity, access or knowledge to be shared. Humankind is ready for this quantum leap. We are too.
Putting Planet, People, Profit, Passion and Progress into Practice
Recently we played the entrepreneurial “City of Tomorrow” game for the first time. In the STIR foundation we support the idea of integral human development as expressed in the chapters 15 and 16 of my free book last year, not just the rational side of it as our system is educating our children today. As Sir Ken Robinson so beautifully stated in his much applauded TED talk “the current education systems kill creativity” and Mitra shows in his “hole in the wall“, children have a much higher self-learning ability than our schools appreciate or even stimulate. Yet despite the famous anthropological and anthroposophical views and knowledge on the development of the human consciousness through spiritual, emotional, physical and rational experiences, the system remains the system, locked up in bureaucracy and self supporting prejudice.
We see that current educational formats serve a paradigm in which politicians see the human being as a little robot in the machinery of money driven/dependent economies of growth. Such robots need to learn how to behave like robots within a system, brainwashed about the importance of money, a job, debt, fashion, consumerism, the state, their dependence on the system, etc. The learn to calculate and write a letter but nothing about the importance of social relationships, feelings, spirituality, sustainability or responsibilities.
The paradigm that we support is totally opposite which is why both are difficult to match. The way a complex human society is structured in either paradigm differs enormously which is why the current educational system will sooner see our propositions as a threat to them rather than an opportunity. It is even worse than that. The current education system has no identity of its own because it is chained in dependence to the money which allows it to exist. This comes from central government which dictates the normatives that the schools need to comply with. So the education system has hardly any opinion of its own, just a hierarchy controlling that what is done is done according to the guidelines that allow them to stay alive financially. They are themselves expensive robots in a system.
So we are not seen as a threat to the educational content (who cares?) but for their financial continuation. That is why the system remains closed to all influences from outside, even common sense.
If we cannot change the system we can in fact stand next to it. We should never forget that even the most locked up human organization consists of people. And individually people do become aware of the need of a new society and other ways of education. Some, not all, are willing to use this personal awareness and influences to take action within the structures in which they are employed. They become the internal transformative hero’s that link already with change and seek internal opportunities that make a difference.
We positioned our initiatives on human awareness right at the place where the young adults would leave school to start their life in the real world. Our program is called “entrepreneur of your own life“, linking the increasing requirement of entrepreneurship in the old money driven economies with the self-leadership and sense of responsibility in the value driven society that we are trying to develop. We asked the high schools to allow us to give their students a view into real life with a bit of our counselling. It is also in the interest of the school to pay attention to this even though they find it difficult to let the real world enter their world. When we propose to provide a low cost bridge through our game they become enthusiastic.
We had done one of such days already before in a multicultural setting trying to show the tremendous opportunities of cultural diversity in a community if you choose to make the best of it together. It had been a great day . Now we were facing a highly technical setting with 500 students in two groups.
One of the coaches, Jules Ruis, suggested to make the day into an adventure and the students into hero’s. Overnight he developed a simple game but with great educational value. It was based on economics but could easily and secretly be changed into buddinomics by me.
The ingredients of the game are:
- a large bunch of students 17+ years old
- technological innovation companies that show their innovations
- coaches that carry specific information
- a bunch of camera’s
- a value system in exchangeable cards
We played that day with about 200 students that started without knowing much more than that they would have to collect information at the stands of the enterprises and the coaches that walked around as wild cards. They had been teamed up with people from different years, whom they did not know personally, and the elderly student was made team leader.
They had to assemble the team, work together towards the end of the day, trying to figure out what they had to do to win? During the evolution of the day and every encounter with a coach the complexity of the game would rise, requiring the teams to perform and place the product exhibitions and information into new perspectives.
Watch the filmbook (in Dutch) of the day here
The end of the day was spectacular from an awareness point of view. It was amazing for us to see how self-leadership and adaptability got these youngsters on their way and how fast they managed to adjust their views with new input. At the end of the day they were allowed to present their views in public and with cameras present. For the highest years present the presentations were key because they were invited to continue the game for another year. Their prices:
- a job
- a scholarship
- a starting capital for a new business
The effects of the game had not just affected the students. The high school had become so motivated that it started to open up for reorganization and further partnership with the foundation and others. The game will be played now at least twice a year and every year again with all the students. While we do so we are going to step up the challenge every time inviting the students to deal with real life complex problems within the simulation of the reality of the game.
The business enterprises also started to readjust their activities and organization inspired by the game. Most found each other during the game to partner up in purpose driven ventures. They also committed to further invest in the initiatives led by the foundation and based on local for local cooperatives between government, technical innovations, education and science, social innovation.
And even the local government representatives were so enthusiastic that they proposed to open up their structures for more student involvement and participation. At the end all participants will become partner and judge of the final game of all students: defining their own city of tomorrow, based on their own home town and for which they can take responsibility themselves with what they have learned at school and are triggered to learn by placing their knowledge into their daily reality, simulated in complexity by the game.
The entire process is sponsored by the partners to maintain our independence and avoid any client/supplier relationship or chain dependencies. This way the game can be purpose driven in which the virtual reality transforms into reality.
Expanding our ambitions:
On 12.12.12 we now wish to play the game for 4 consecutive days in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) with students from all over Europe. The game will then be called “Europe of Tomorrow” giving already away what the main topic of the event will be. The game will be combined with an international congress on sustainable progress. It will again be great fun to see how our young adults will react to the modern reality and eventually change the world through their own new levels of consciousness and adaptability.
When we place business development in the context of a content economy and focused on sustainable progress, it develops some very unique characteristics that are very different from what we know from business today. The era of industrialization has taught us how to produce products in standardized manufacturing processes in local competition. Globalization has made us efficient in these processes adding supply chain management, open border competition, cost optimization and consumer marketing to our business processes. Modern communication techniques with the end users has changed our life with constant consumer information on choices that we can make among seemingly equal products. The global productivity and consumption has eventually become so speculative that it has crossed some natural lines of the acceptable introducing a totally new paradigm for business too: business that does not use humankind and our planet but starts serving it meaningfully.
It is very interesting and logical that the transformation of business and society both coincide in time and space. They both depend on each other and both enter in crisis together, even influencing each other in that. So far they evolved together in the era of material growth to support the money driven processes of centralized power structures. For many years the financial balance of consumer growth was higher than the consequences of overconsumption in society but this has changed drastically. The costs of our imposed lifestyle have become structurally destructive for our health, vitality and stability affecting directly the stability of the economies as we have all been able to witness for years now, not to mention the climate and resource issues that keep us busy too. When an economy cannot grow anymore it will have to base its existence on different parameters. When we start working on a content economy based on sustainable progress business necessarily has to reposition itself as a consequence. It has become a chicken and egg issue. What transformation comes first? Business or Government?
When I started to become aware about all this back in 2001 I was convinced that business would have to take the lead in the process of change. Entrepreneurship is in my view the creative spirit of humankind, the type of institution that is always ready for change to outwit competition and position itself on a winning track through foresight and proactive vision. So why hadn’t they reacted long before the credit crisis created the first chaos? Well maybe they were not so entrepreneurial after all.
And I did not see democratic government to become the motor of change either because they are elected by a population that want the same as before and no change. Sustainability is a great hype but far away from the individual who may feel responsible but not really powerful enough to make a difference. If you ask a people to choose between a tree in the rain forest of Brasil and a pack of money they will go for the money. The tree is far away and the money can be touched and used. Politicians that promise the sky in financial stability and conservative continuity have everything to win in elections by manipulation of the public conservative mind, placing the responsibility of disaster on individual lifestyle and not on the system that they try to keep up with capital injections.
But now things have changed. In the money driven economies business entities became like speculative banks run by financial experts rather than creative entrepreneurs. For decades they would have had an opportunity to position themselves in a global shift and take the lead. But now the consequences of the money system have dug so many holes in the governmental budgets that it is politics that is taking the lead in looking for change while everything seems to crack under their manipulative feet. While capital injections are still being used as main instrument to keep processes going, the public is increasingly becoming aware of the giant flaws in the system and governments are frenetically looking for alternative solutions behind the scenes. Europa has every chance to fall apart temporarily due to the budgetary crises of all the members of the union and the deep debts they get into over the backs of their populations. They are forced now to look at the other values that keep the European Union together, other than the financials. How about social cohesion? Security? Immigration? Wellness? Partnership or Competition between the members? But nothing can be done to avoid the bursting of the large economic bubbles and governments need to react now by taking proactive actions for the first time thinking of true values rather than fake money. How to compensate with 80% speculation in the currencies that hold up the old economies? You cannot let go and cannot hold them up.
We still hear calls for economies of growth but they do not grow anymore, they deflate under our noses because there is nothing anymore to sustain them. Governments are not ready yet to adopt the strategy for developing a content economy but they are close. They will have to open their eyes to reality and place a big cross through their finances and concentrate on social and government innovation. Banks and stock exchange represent no value anymore just insecurity and speculation. They should not be listened to anymore.
Meanwhile the business executives are still concentrating on squeezing their financial sponges trying to make a short term positive impression on their greedy and blind stakeholders. They lost the opportunity to take the lead when they still had a comfortable financial basis. Now they get to deal with rapid declining public spending and a rapidly changing consumer attitude to personal safety measures. Sustainable progress is not a competitive issue but one to take corporate responsibility and reposition the company accordingly. That takes time and above all, it takes the shaking off of the short term pushy attitude of speculation to start concentrating on true meaning. Large corporate entities are expected to fall fast and have no executive backbone to deal with it. We are facing a fast shake out of old executive power positions by real entrepreneurial new comers in the field. The credit crisis brought a financial crisis to the markets and a collapse in business that produced in turn a collapse in government finances. Now the government instability and remaining bubble in all financial institutions create the next business collapse which will again have a domino effect on everything else. Our economies of growth have ceased to exist. It is over. Back to the drawing boards, not just business or government, everyone.
As explained in my previous blogs the content economy is based on a society that has no economic growth but a quest for the highest (100) level of public wellness in which the population (business and public) is challenged to maintain it through constant meaningful modernization, experimentation with sustainable progress and adaptation to external influences and (un)expected natural challenges (s.a. climate change, lack of resources, natural disasters, etc). In such a community the business development is not related to product sales or competition on price, availability or quality. In a content economy people tend to search ways of being independent of external power positions through a high level of self-sufficiency in their own productivity for their own needs. Lessons learned from the centralized power positions of the old business paradigms were that they had the power to speculate with shortages to raise the cost price or even cut people off from supplies all together. This was in cases immoral and even lethal for large groups of people living in poverty around the world. The morality could not be questioned when the culture and paradigm justifies such behavior. The only natural counter reaction of populations in fear of being cut off from supplies or perceived abundance is to become either angry, invest in self-sufficient or search for alternatives that are abundantly available. This is a natural process that eventually turns into a content economy where the population has the higher purpose to assure their own living standards by being productive and inventive themselves. People have no problem in laying off excess external material wealth if they can keep control of the basics of their own quality of life. They tend to take responsibility fast. We have seen the capacity of organization of populations against their dictators. There is no reason to assume that they will not do the same against financial or other dictatorship when the time has come.
Such a population is entrepreneurial through all their members as all interact together to produce sustainable progress for their ongoing wellness. The satisfaction of being able to decide for oneself is of course very high and the social interaction makes progress a challenge for the entire community. This works fine for the productivity that requires average knowledge and physical abilities. Social innovations are introduced through the free, purpose driven interaction within the community but when we wish to introduce technological innovations it has to be related to the results that we want to achieve.
The very first thing for technology to evolve is that there has to be a motivation to invent anything new, meaningful. Military encounters have mostly been the trigger for the inventiveness of humankind creating tooling to kill or defend. In ancient times the worshiping of Gods has also been a stimulus to find solutions to the challenges of building huge monuments. So our fear for shortages, for each other or for the unknown has been an ancient engine for innovation and technological progress. Now that we have reached a point that we can eliminate fear by using and implementing technology for abundance in all content driven wellness communities there is a potential lack of motivation to invent anything new. This in my view is not entirely true. Also now we face sufficient challenges to innovate and implement it:
1. Result driven entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship that is developing is one that concentrates on the effects of innovations on human wellness, not the innovations themselves. Within a holistic approach any change would have to be positioned within the local complexities of the human organization. This means that the technological supplier will have to become so adaptive as to include the ability to modify the innovations to suit the integration in an unique local situation. Every change induces new changes and this works both ways. The challenge of the innovator is to become as motivated to change as the community introducing new wellness aspects all the time. They become local partners and learn to work together.
2. The sustainability issues of a growing human population in a content economy are not related to sales of novelties but the modification of the existing within the context of environmental challenges. The competition is going to change into the level of access to natural resources to sustain the content economy. Even self-sufficiency is an entrepreneurial challenge that requires the wit and innovative powers of a community to enable them to maintain a high level of wellness. There is no reason anymore to produce goods and services in a globally centralized way because this leads to speculation and vulnerability for all involved, even the power position. But producing local for local self-sufficient securities is to be learned and needs modification of national and regional jurisdiction and mentality. Getting the public involved again in producing their own needs creates commitment and investment of local talents and energy but also a new business elan that helps community to become self-sufficient instead of selling them the goods. Business that serves people and our planet will become booming positioning themselves as partners of local government and the public rather that self-centered structures driven by their dependence on obsolete money and sales of products. The latter are facing a hard time to come. It is all a matter of attitude.
3. Technology is abundantly available to challenge us to look beyond the horizons and confinement of our planet Earth. We are already undertaking exploratory voyages to nearby planets for scientific purposes but in reality we are looking to see if we can expand beyond the confinement of planet Earth. We can become much more ambitious when we decide to work globally with the content economy as driving force. Wellness and sustainable progress has also an evolutionary component and our fear of disappearing as a species because of our local vulnerability by our cosmic dependence on a small rock in space can get us to invest in such purpose driven progress too. We would not need a war or confrontation to advance but the sense of responsibility to prove to ourselves that we can live and work properly and in peaceful progressive harmony in a small place (Earth) to validate our journey into the vastness of the universe with the highest awareness and wisdom of a conscience.
Key in any ambitious content economy is that entrepreneurship is a way of progressive life with genuine, sensible purpose as key motivators. There is no need for money in such environment since value is measured in wellness and abundance that is maintained through the investment of talent and energy of the population itself. If therefor these ambitions are raised it is the population itself that gathers the talents and means to achieve it. Creativity, intelligence and purpose driven energy of the human being in teamwork is endless and the most important asset of humankind. Being paid back with wellness and evolutionary progress is probably the most satisfying salary that one can achieve simply because it is the direct fruit of one’s own efforts. If a value system needs to be put in place then it would most certainly have different characteristics that what we know today. It would value our talented contribution to the end result.
From a business point of view the human world is wide open for those who are willing to join in with no strings attached to the old hierarchical formats. A new era of cooperative, result driven, innovative entrepreneurship has started and governments are opening up to partner up, not for the sake of economics but for sustainable human progress. No one is in the lead now, we are all in the same mess and share the same opportunities. Let’s go for it.
For many decades emancipation has claimed equal rights for women but meanwhile the global cultures have totally defeminised. Even the most emancipated countries have hardly any feminity left in them despite equality among the sexes. This may sound like a contradiction but it is not. Women and men are equal but not at all the same. Cultures that center around money and the material independence of individuals show a systemised masculine culture based on external securities, excessive tooling, competition, hierarchies of power and a lot of individualism. The cultures grow cold, materialistic, authoritive and bureaucratic. Such masculine culture has nothing to do with any discimination of women. Even the women learn to behave with an independent masculine nature in an emancipated way. This excessive masculinity has been caused by our growing dependence on money based structures that have taken all feminine sensitivity out of our human organisation. These masculine cultures, resident in large corporate multinationals, money based democracies and social communism are all in severe crisis. The only solution here is to feminise the cultures again.
What then is a feminine culture?
Connected to the unique ability of women to give birth a feminine culture is based on identity, family warmth and evolutionary long term reasoning around survival, protection, safety, health, stability and quality of life. A femine culture is more holistic, spiritual and emotional than purely rational. In a feminine culture our relationship with our environment makes sense, our self-sufficiency and self-preservation within the mistique of eternal life itself. The morality of our choices become an important measure for our actions, just like equality, respect and trust.
Such feminine culture is not just exercised by women of course, also by men, just like the masculine cultures. It is a way of life, an acceptance of certain values above others that have to do with inner feelings instead of external wealth. The current world is in crisis due to the excessive masculine structures that have gradually eliminated emotions, warms and community feeling. There is no relationship anymore between what we contribute to life and what we get. We have endebted ourselves for values that we have not yet contributed in with our creativity or supportive energy. It is going to be increadibly difficult to get our lifes back to a true reality in which we enjoy prosperity from our personal initiatives. A purely feminine culture will not do the trick either….
Pure masculine societies will always enter a crisis while pure femine societies will never progress. Both mentalities always require to interact to produce sustainable progress as shown in the drawing below. Together they form a Whole….
There is nothing wrong with a masculine organisation as long as it is lined up with a feminine equivalent too. The key of wellness can be found in the warmth and depth of emotions feeding and guiding the rational awareness and organisation. The femininity makes us aware of our relationship with our environment, the need for human interaction and true equality among all people. The masculinity will get us to understand, learn how to organise ourselves and get scientific insight. Together the feminine and masculine nature will interact to apply knowledge with true meaning to human progress in a complex creative manner (not destructive as we suffer now). The feminine culture will avoid the masculinity to grow above sustainable proportion while the masculine drives pull the feminine morality into progressive action and permanent change for new balans.
To achieve this we need to feminise our masculine cultures. The current huge masculine outsized complexities (banks, multinationals, political organisations) will crumble into chaos as the crises do their work, creating room for feminine awareness to develop and take a position in our minds. This process shapes a new future for humanity based on smaller, purpose driven communities that use high level knowledge and technology to progress in a constructive, evolutionary way. The day that this has happened humankind can look back at a brief period in our evolution when we were about to distroy everything and thank our wit and consciousness to have reacted on time, voluntarily or not, to get back to sustainable wellness and progress for all. Men and Women meet again in the garden of Eden called planet Earth with the knowledge and understanding that beauty, abundance, love, eternity and wealth is not found in the apple we take but the tree that we sit under.