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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.
“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.
Recent blog and internet discussion, and our practical living lab exercises of AiREAS in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, got us again going about the overall complexity of the “psychology of change”.
On the one hand there are the impressive challenges of a global shift, a true transformation of society to save our selves, demanding tremendous changes. On the other there is the powerful resistance and dominance of the world’s institutionalized economics that produces many powerful lobbies to avoid change all together. The latter brings a certain material wealth to the world and to the financial mighty. I already wrote various blog items on it but the complexity of “change” seems an endless and highly repetitive topic. Why? Because it affects us intensely on all levels of society.
The need for change has to do with ethics, sustainable human progress, in-dependencies, our environment and basic human rights, as opposed to nothing of that, expressed through individual and institutional power positions. It also has to do with awareness, responsibility, dominance, different paradigms and massive manipulation as part of the huge human complexities. Both sides of the problem, the desire and the avoidance of change, are firmly established inside the kernel of our individual and collective consciousness, self reflection, evolution and the ethical structuring of our choices. Despite everything there is always a dominant situation of overall avoidance of change.
Manipulation may sound unethical to you but we are being manipulated all the time. Not just through conscious manipulation of powerful institutions but also by the way we perceive our own selves in general. We react primarily to our surroundings using multiple sensory and extra sensory impulses. The way we perceive is the way we react. Within this simple action = reaction there is the “human psychology” involving fear, worry, happiness, wellness, anger, hate, education, jealousy, etc. All this can be manipulated, even by ourselves, consciously and unconsciously. In fact, it takes an intense learning process to to become aware of one’s own behavior, perception and choices, to get more or less liberated from manipulation. We call this a part of our higher evolutionary awareness. Not many people reach that state and those who do often become manipulators themselves with a large array of motives.
While I write this blog and re-read it I realize that I myself am one of them. I have grown over time mostly free from manipulation. Now (before I did not) I can see that I am being manipulated in intention by a dominant money and consumer driven system. This produces some kind of friction between me and the old generalized system. By introducing a new paradigm (sustainocracy) I also manipulate people by showing them a different truth. Despite my desire to be ethical and transparent I do create a new environment with the intention to provide people such a sense of new security that they decide to follow my views and let go of the old paradigm.
All I try to do, which justifies my motivation and passion, is to make people aware of manipulation and help them make up their own mind, without prejudice finally about their choice, not even when they decide to turn their back to me. I see it hence as a challenge to explain myself and Sustainocracy in such a way that people start believing in it, more than the other reigning system. But isn’t that what the system of capitalist consumer economics does too? And has been doing successfully for a long time? So we both compete in the psychology of manipulation presenting two different paradigms to the people. I am of course just a beginner while the other paradigm has thousands of years of experience.
Psychology of manipulation
When it is warm we buy an ice-cream when its cold we wear a pullover. We look around us and decide what we do, need, say, move, ….almost instantly. Our impressions do not just have to do with sensory perception, they are also colored by what we think is right or wrong, just, wishful, desirable, etc. In reality we have been conditioned to instant reaction right from the moment we were born and open our eyes to see the world. Normally we see the face of one of our parents at first, or a doctor or nurse. We see lights, colors, movements …. We smell and taste things….we hear noises, sounds, melodies, voices. All these first impressions reach us without giving it yet a conscious thought, they form however the basis of the big pile of sensory impressions to come that we do reflect consciously about.
After growing up in a certain environment it becomes so familiar, our own unquestionable reality, a specific truth. Every new observation and experience is being compared with circumstances we lived through before in the past. It enhances them, builds them up, or rejects them, until you feel at home right in the middle of those impulses from outside. This helps to react instantaneously on most issues of life during the day and makes you feel familiar with the way others react too. Together we form a culture, a set of values around language, beliefs, behavior, etc, that define us as a community. It gives us a behavioral identity. This gives a sense of belonging that remains united to our local natural and human surroundings. It is important to us because we need speedy adaptation and reaction when our behavioral routine is upset in any way. It is important for our mind to be able to distinguish between the normal and abnormal and react adequately, especially when in danger.
So securities are built up by ourselves and with our cultural environment to make us feel safe within ourselves. We auto-manipulate this feeling out of risk avoidance, fear control and sense of control. This can of course be manipulated also by an organized surroundings that is based on institutionalized principles. This then becomes also a paradigm, a worldview that is conditioned by certain values. Our current ruling paradigm is the one of capitalist economics. The one that I am introducing with arguments is called “sustainocracy”.
That is psychology of manipulation, the sense of providing external security to a community of people by the internal perception of security.
Psychology of change
People are of course reluctant to change when it addresses their sense of security. Nowadays we are confronted with a lot of information on climate changes, pollution, global warming, financial crises, other crises, etc. When we read such issues in the newspapers and watch documentaries on TV we become worried. We still, however live our day to day, everyday life. We are worried about the large picture and yet do what we have always done. “What do you want me to do?” you would say, “who am I to do anything?”, you may suggest. “Let the government solve it” most of us would say. And you are probably right!
Unless your name is on the list of the G7 and G20 encounter, or something like that. Which is what tends to happen. A few hundred powerful people join in global talks but fail to talk about change because they want to keep a capitalist economy going that provides perceived security to many people including the ones in power. And 7 billion people feel too small, too insignificant, too unaware, to do anything while feeling blindly secure in their day to day living experience, expecting that the big G solve it all. Until it is too late.
So if we want to change anything we have to overcome the “psychology of fear for change”. This starts with the aspect of “negation”. This feeling is normal. To accept a responsibility we have to be aware that we actually carry one. Or that we become aware that those who we think are responsible, have good reasons for themselves to avoid change and will therefor not take that kind of responsibility.
As explained above we see our direct environment as a secure cultural nest in which we were born and grew up. If we want to change we attack our inner senses of security and that creates an intense feeling of fear and insecurity. At individual level, despite the awareness that things need to change, we have the tendency of neglecting it just out of fear of the consequences. We tend to place the responsibility elsewhere, outside our own scope. You may say that this the mentality of an ostrich yet it has a strong basis of survival. If everyone would panic upon the wisdom of need for change the chaos would even be more dangerous. Human beings need some kind of leadership to address change.
The need for change grows, the negation too
Meanwhile a growing part of those 7 billion people are being incorporated into the Western example of material wealth. They feel that they have every right, just like European and Americans have enjoyed this wealth for a long time already. They are right of course. Why would they have to step back being the newcomers on the scene while the old guys made the biggest damage? Aren’t all people in the world allowed to have a TV set, a house, a car and a well stocked supermarket around the corner? Sure!
So the biggest challenge of the global shift is to change everything without changing anything. Would it be possible to keep up and expand wellness around the world without damaging it? Many scientists and business people would see a challenge in it, many local small governments also, but national large governments and bankers seem to be more than reluctant. “You can change whatever you want as long as it gives us an economy of growth” they would claim out of self interest. What they really express is their fear for loosing power, control and a financial profit. So when we introduce the need for change we also have to seriously accept the “psychology of change” as a challenge to overcome, including the powerful.
Two ways to change
There is the universal natural way, which is the traditional chaos of destruction through war, depression, recession, poverty, etc which obliges all people to change by external, non human force. When institutions keep up their opposition and negation too long they block the flexibility and adaptiveness of a population around evolutionary change and provoke a natural collapse. The human suffering is huge and so is the institutional because it collapses. It is all expressed by violence, demanding the liability of the old leaders which are prosecuted by the laws of chaos or history books.
Then there is the voluntary way, as proposed ( and demonstrated) by Sustainocracy. When we offer the current authorities the recognition of power, also in the new paradigm, then they feel secure to support change. Fear is overcome by safety, also involving the powerful. So psychology of change has much to do with communication, not just providing means for others to change but also by being the change by providing security in following. Followers show their own leadership by making choices in which we recognize the intense process of letting go of old securities. If the new securities provide a better perspective people are much more willing to open up for change, also when they have a high level position of power.
Yes, I can
Sustainocracy builds a new society directly in a new new paradigm using the same instruments of power and authority of the old paradigm. It is interesting to see that sustainocracy offers more security to the powerful than the crumbling paradigm of consumer economics. Executives that are value (not money) driven are the very first to support the transformation, which is also becoming a transformation of securities, not just of values, economies and ethics. Now executives have a choice and when aware of their own responsibilities they can claim: “I know I can”.
Like every situation when a choice is presented between two paradigms, a new issue arises: “explain why you made your choice”. That will be subject to subject of a new blog.
Nicolai Kondratieff (1892 – 1938) introduced a theory about cycles of 50 to 60 years in capitalist economics. The cycles show a sinusoidal shape that can be divided into four different “seasons”: prosperity, recession, depression and improvement.
Those of you who know my model of human complexities (see below) will also recognize the same four situations or states, named in a similar but different way and also following each other in a chronological way, despite human tendensy to counteract the flow in certain stages. Rather than showing a sinus timeline I show a cyclic movement that evolves into an evolutionary spiral (not drawn in this particular drawing that represents just a single cycle showing the phases we go through).
Using my own model I relate a number of human variables to the cyclic experience, as individuals and as communities. Each phase and change among them has much to do with the human psyche which would explain the linear fluctuations in time in both the Kondratieff and my (Close) model. We can also map generations on both models to see where they stood in relation to economic development or recessions and what emotional or cultural environment supported each phase. In the Kondrakieff sinus this is easily done against very specific chronological data. It is easy to plot also very specific events as points of reference, s.a. World War II for instance.
The points of reference help to relate the different models by synchronization in time and region. World War II got us (large parts of Europe) into a state of chaos for instance. It would be a “starting” point in my model due to the time reference that can also be further extended to a specific regional location. This you can read for Holland, Spain and the USA in chapter 11 of my ebook on the Global Shift (2011)
Then we could observe how generations evolve, one after the other, with the effects of the cycles of human complexities and the Kondratieff sinus of economic seasoning on them. In my model I show that people who grow up in a situation of wealth are being educated accordingly. This means that we are being educated with wealth as a matter of fact. I remember my own growing up phase in the midst of the post war culture of prosperity of the late 60’s early 70’s in Holland. We all wanted to be a millionair by the age of 30. What we were really doing was to create our own crises by mere cultural mentality caused by the environment in which we lived. Generations follow each other up every 20 to 25 years which would show another sinusoidial wave based on culture and mentality following Kondratieff in a different phase. We could probably draw the technological peaks with the mentality ones on the models, just to see how they influence each other.
In my model I do not relate necessarily to periods of 50 or 60 years for one cycle to complete as this may have to do with administrative economics rather than human (generational and environmental) complexities. I have even suggested that in prehistorical times a complete human complexities cycle could take hundreds or even thousands of years, affected more by natural environmental periods of abundance, interaction with hostile encounters or the chaos produced by natural disasters. When we look at the Chinese dynasties a direct link can be made with such cycles. Economics did not exist nor did therefor the Kondratieff sinus. My model did apply though.
Only now, the recent few hundred years we have found the cycles shorten to such an extend that we live through one or two complete cycles in an entire lifetime. My model hence relates to environmental circumstances (culture, war, periods of peace, nature, catastophes, crises, etc) as key influencial factors on human behavior and a historical clear reference with which we can relate human reaction and evolution both technologically and socially.
My model also introduces the line of sustainable human progress along which the traumatic human events can be plotted. This is new in any documentation. I use my transition phases (greed and enlightenment) while economists would only refer to entering and leaving the chaos quadrant as two seperate phases (bull and bear markets respectivily). The line of sustainable human progress is an evolutionary straight line that moves from chaos to wealth and beyond. The transition phases (greed gets us back into chaos and enlightenment gets us back to organized wealth) can also be seen in the sinus of Kondratieff.
Kondratieff shows an organic human logic in time phases with a build up of technological highlights and the economic effects. The same complex origin for progress can be found in the human complexities (psychology, education, culture) within the phase of chaos (war, depression) and enlightenment (the left hand side of my model). Humankind apparently needs stress to be inventive while in times of wealth and greed little to nothing new is added. Instead we see then an increase in risk avoidance, bureaucracy and hierarchies, which translates into a measureable increase in costs of society. This is also the reason of sudden collapse into a recession in cycles of about 7 years (domino effect).
- Year 1: market crisis (consumer crisis for whatever reason)
- Year 2: business crisis (expected turnover not reached)
- Year 3: government crisis (expected tax income not reached)
- Year 4: government dependent instances crisis (education, police, etc)
- Year 5: business downsized, fused, innovated, went broke..builds up again
- Year 6: government gets more tax income
- Year 7: government dependencies get more air
During those seven years all economic institutions go through reorganizations, eliminating bureaucracy and trying to open themselves up for innovation. Costs are eliminated and they are downsized, renewed their structures to get a positive impulse. The impulse gets everything into a new investment round that results in 7 perceived good years and then it starts falling back again. This would suggest that the traditional 7 bad years, 7 good years, 7 bad years, 7 good years could be expalined in a sinusoidal wave of 49 years. With economics we created an artificial environment that shows a more organized sinuswave than when interacting with the multidimensional complexity of nature and the chaotic tribal confrontations of the past.
Sometimes the economic years are stretched a bit after a capital injection, an overenthusiastic increase of national debt, etc. The figure we see returning all the time (“about 50 years” – equivalent to an ancient average generational lifetime) is just a logical reflection of our administrative economic organization of one natural year and our human “perception” of what we believe is good or bad. This would also suggest that if we would half the administrative year or extend it to two years we would see the waves shorten and lengthen respectively. This may be something for further study by someone even though natural seasons may still have some significance in our, otherwise highly automated artificial productivity.
It also has to do with our fragmented structure of society along a chain of economic dependencies. If we set up society differently (eg a Sustainocracy) then the economic world would never collapse. Sinusoidal waves would not exist because we eliminated the duality in our progress by concentrating on a single higher common purpose (sustainable human progress) with highly flexible, dynamically adaptive non fixed, hierarchical organizations. We unite our knowledgeable awareness with our adaptive productivity towards a permanent never ending goal.
What the Kondratieff model does not foresee is the piling up of an exponential curve within the current artificial sinusoidal. This is effect is caused in the last 40 years after the liberation of money for speculation around shortages by the entire, global institutional world. It coincides with the “information technology” era of the 5th Kondratieff wave, which is why it confuses the analysts. Taking also the limited Earth resources into account, the dip of the 5th Kondrakieff wave coincides with my crossing over from greed to chaos and a point of singularity of overall financial collapse.
The creditcrisis of 2008 has been just a warning signal. Banks will never recover despite the huge capital injections and government finances collapse all together. The Kondratieff’s winter and my model’s point of chaos are this time expected to be more dramatic then ever, making the Russian natural winter feel warm, and the Arab spring feel peaceful, compared to previous events. Some think that the solution lies in a new technological phase s.a. nano-technology. I personally believe that the next phase has nothing to do with technology or capitalist economics but awareness and a totally new type of society.
And that is where I come in with Sustainocracy. I cannot create a Kondratieff sinusoidal counter wave now to avoid a mayor crash, nor prevent local poverty from rising, or avoid a potential new world war. I can however introduce a new paradigm that can instantly transform current society, situated structurally in greed (recession) on the way to chaos (depression), into one positioned permanently in wealth (prosperity) by taking institutional responsibility today. This would maybe break or interrupt the sinus or introduce a new aspect that actually supports the sinus but from a different point of view. My own shortcut, interrupting the traditional ups and downs of society, has to do with our current state of collective understanding (awareness, consiousness).
We now collectively understand the above and the consequences of continuing. By introducing sustainocracy we now have a choice. We could trust the sinusoidal wave as an external matter of fact and realize that a new generation of prosperity is hopefully being born today to grow up and make it happen during the Konfratieff dip. We can also take responsibility and use what we know now to create a society based on new facts, a higher awareness, before it’s too late. Like building a Sustainocracy right now in ever city or region in the world.
How powerful will people remain when the collapse continues and the point of singularity makes the sinus wave the deepest ever? What interest can people have in total collapse? How powerful can these same people become when they assume sustainocratic responsibility and turn the ship with consiousness and planned wisdom before organic logic does it with brutal force? If you are in a position of power today just ask yourself that question.
It can be done through human ethical behavior, leadership and awareness. It is difficul but worth it. I am doing it with people around me who have fragmented authorities and power (government, business, science, civilians) and they use it with me in purpose driven social and technological innovation. We do not place money in the center of attention but sustainable human progress, a clear environmental and social balance in circular economics of value creation. By doing so we create a rapid change in mentality and see a period of many decades and even centuries in reformatting and organizing our civilization with a positive consequences for economies. That I call the second quantum leap of human kind. Not by chance but by willpower and awareness.
Sustainocratic transformation is a voluntary act of responsibility
Now that Sustainocracy is positioned and put into practice as new paradigm of societal complexity, affecting everything, it becomes interesting to reflect openly on the different ways of reasoning from the different worldviews. This may be a critical view because paradigms are based on totally different values. Someone who has lived both (money driven economics and value driven sustainocracy) can distinguish by experience and choice. Yet someone active without point of comparison inside the old paradigm will consider his or her views as the only truth.
Let us take this article for instance, that has been tweeted around the world today by many people, published by Forbes on Nov. 21st, 2012, written by a SAP specialist, Ray Rivera. It is titled: 5 Myths Of Human Resource Management (even though the link to the article refers to Human Capital Management) http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/11/21/5-myths-of-human-capital-management/
The article is a valid reflection about general practices in traditional business hierarchies. Seen through my old eyes of chief executive officer in a multinational I would most certainly review our internal policies with my HRM after reading the article. I remember our internal global policy back then to provide 10 training days per year to all our personnel. It was a hell of a job to find those days and get people motivated to do something with it. From a performance point of view it was useless, cost a bucket full of money and created constant absence in departments that needed to be filled up with people doing overwork.
All other remarks in the article are also valid. Take those of the financial incentives as perceived motivators. I remember sales people that tried to trick the system by submitting fake orders at the end of the year to collect their bonus. The fake orders were cancelled early the next year. In times of a crisis taking away any of the incentives becomes a burden. People leave a company simply because another one offers a nicer car. There is no commitment nor loyalty, just self interest. In fact, that is exactly what such hierarchies and policies attract: people with an individualistic, opportunistic, selfish attitude, equivalent to that of the company itself.
In a previous lifetime these issues were indeed of my concern. That was 20 years ago and they are still being published as novel and tweeted around as of general interest. Now, after crossing over to a new paradigm, the entire article becomes a reflection on what a Dutch author called “effective keeping of human beings” in a similar way as keeping chickens, pigs or cows. A particular sentence in the article struck me especially:
“How human capital becomes transformed into business value is still a black box”
When we look at the current world of business entities, performing around financial goals, we can easily recognize the “human farming” attitude. In the traditional paradigm this is normal and even worshipped by media, trading floors and governments. Human resources is a modern way of slavery where the business value of a human being is expressed by turnover per person or something equivalent. Such organization does not get the best out of people but the worst. Surrounded by short term financials, greed and more greed one becomes greedy and selfish automatically.
In the new paradigm there are no financial goals but purpose driven objectives. It is not the workforce that is asked to take responsibility, the company does, providing some kind of true added value to society. People do not come to work, they contribute. They do not need training because they train themselves. They do not need an incentives because the work itself and the achievements are a driving force already. People do not work in a hierarchical structure, they have a functional responsibility in a result driven team. The goals of the company are measurable through external progress. New people in the group assume responsibilities but change when the balance of the group requires the repositioning of the members, even when dealing with functional leadership. Leaders step back into the pack when they are done or when the group takes another direction for the benefit of the company and the purpose in persuit. There is equality and trust, no judging departments just connecting values among professionals for effective teamwork. People correct eachother.
Now that I know that such different types of organizations exist it is my choice to decide where I feel safest. Even if a sustainocratic organization is not yet functional in my neighborhood I can still behave accordingly and become the change that I want. I can also decide that I prefer such culture of hierarchical demand on me. Important is that one has a reflective choice when one knows.
Just like the other tweet today of someone claiming that it is nice to know that he didnot know certain things. One only knows that it would be nice not to know when one knows. This phylosophical reflection in reality states that when you do not know you cannot be held responsible for your actions seen from another paradigm. When you do know you may wish you didn’t, just to avoid responsibility. Now you know that different paradigms exist. What do you do? What responsibility to you take?
With the kickoff of the first sustainocratic initiative in the city of Eindhoven (the Netherlands) the first step is made to create a “purpose driven economy”. What is the difference with what we have today? And why is it important for the rest of the world to follow the experiment in Eindhoven and, better still, start one of their own?
Our current economies are not purpose but consequence driven. The human being is positioned as compulsory consumer. The entire institutionalized society is focused on creating a mountain of wealth around this consumer that gives a sense of abundance at all times. The only way to access this abundance is through financial means. Some of these means are individually obtained through the production, logistics and sales infrastructure necessary to maintain this mountain of abundance. Other get paid out of the hierarchies funded through taxation on this consumer organization. Or through speculation on material resources contained in this “having” type of culture. And finally also debt.
The consequences of such consumer economy show a growing tendency of (negative) influences that need attention through investments. Think of infrastructures, healthcare organizations, police, etc attending the attitude of greed and its effects on the human being, physically and mentally. This also shows an exponential growth which is equally reflected in the world economy through the costs of societies. At the same time we see our environment and human behavior deteriorate fast.
The model of economies of growth purely based on unlimited consumption and the consequences thereof, is obsolete because we use our natural resources wrongly, destroy our environment, sicken ourselves and eventually eliminate our evolutionary chances.
Fragmented complex society
We know this now, including scientific proof, but have difficulties in changing the course of society. We created a very complex mesh of fragmented financial entities with dependencies and interests among each other on which powers and influences are being based. Each institutions has a perceived right to exist and defend its own interests. There is not one single institution that takes full responsibility for sustainable human progress. The institutional mesh is based on fragmented self interest and competition.
Key is the understanding that no institutional specialization can take holistic responsibility for human safety, health or sustainable progress. It is the human being itself that needs to take this responsibility. What went wrong in the consequence driven consumer economy was that the human being delegated its wellness through fragmented institutionalized structures that grew into tremendously inflated organs like an abscess or cancer would do on a sick body. Instead of serving humankind they try to serve themselves. This fragmented type of human organization is institutionally sick with the risk of the cancers to develop themselves further and destroy our evoutionary chances.
Purpose driven economies
The big difference with the old consumer economy is that it is not based on consumption and growth but on true value creation (purpose). It is not based on massive productivity and distribution but on local content. It is a circular type of economy where “purpose” is defined according local human needs, obtained through local effort and using local resources in a circular way.
To achieve a purpose driven economy an intense transformation is needed. But it can be done using the same institutional instruments of the old society. Each participant needs to cure its cancer like development and abuse and become functional again within the scope of local for local requirements. It requires a different mentality and true transformative leadership in each institution involved.
Abundance is not presented through logistic channels from around the world, it is created by local cooperative efforts. In such local cooperation we see the four traditional human values come together: attitude, creativity, environment and wisdom. Those values in the old economy were split into separate institutions that do not act locally but globally, not in an integrated way but based on self interest, greed and fragmented excellence. Now we bring this global expertise back to the local context.
Using what we have learned
The great advantage of today is that the old consequence driven consumer economy has left us with a huge amount of accumulated experience and material knowledge thanks to the concentrated specialized, fragmented functions of expertise that developed over time. This would never have occurred if this phase of humankind had not taken place. For a long time it was very constructive. Now it has become destructive.
We hence do not criticize our past but use the best of its elements in our new progress. We can of course be critical to those old time forces that try to prevent us from creating purpose driven progress. It is just a matter of time for that opposition to disappear. Eventually the purpose driven economies will develop there where the old one has become obsolete, entered into a crisis, providing room for renewal, not just in a physical, organizational sense but especially emotionally, spiritual and rationally when people become aware.
Complex transformative process
It is a complex process that is typically developed locally and bottom up with executive support to make it happen. The reason that it happened in Eindhoven first and not yet in another region is simply because this small Dutch town unites the essential ingredients to make it happen. What are these ingredients:
- Awareness at executive level
- Open democracy of true equality
- Level of education and experience
- The right people at the right time
These qualities produce the necessary flexibility that can address the future with adaptive determination in a complex modern world. People take responsibility individually, convince their surroundings to support change and find ways to make it happen. The purpose is found in the essentials of human existence: food, health, security, wellness (housing, energy, etc) and knowledge. When it becomes clear that the global consequence driven consumer economy is obsolete speed is required to create a new sense of reality and responsibility, including a change in behavior. When the time of old abundance is over, new abundance needs to be created, preferably on time.
Wellness is not a cost or right but the result of a responsibility and hard work (purpose) together. When circumstances change stability is found in change too. In a sustainocracy the purpose driven economy is initiated together. We do this by making human wellness a purpose driven issue of the local population with the support of the accumulated institutional excellence and enhancing potential.
Purpose driven economic development based on sustainocratic complexities is needed to save humankind from the present day destructive expectations caused by the consequence driven consumer economy. If not we will face disaster. Yet if we assume responsibility individually and institutionally we also face a huge transformative challenge that will upset everything that we have known so far. The choice between destruction or working together on a healthier perspective is easy for me. I have become self aware and dedicated more than a decade to come to these views and initiatives. It is a start, giving comfort that humankind has a choice indeed. A choice that simply depends on one own and not someone else. But I realize that it is a difficult one, not only when one has to make it, but also for me to reach out to the world and make the choice known to all. If one does not know than no choice will be made. My personal challenge is hence multiple. Make it happen for myself, provide proof to my surroundings and reach out to all of you with sufficient clarity that you take sufficient confidence in the course that I have taken in order to let go of old securities and create new ones for yourselves and your direct surroundings.
Awareness of the need of a paradigm shift is the beginning of a complex personal process. The problem resides in the fact that the rest of the world is still wound up in the old pattern that one wants to take a distance of. The next step is to take responsibility. Instead of trying to convince other people of the need of the paradigm shift one gets to a point of taking personal responsibility. It is impossible to tell others what to do so one ends up doing it oneself. But starting the pre-phase of a new paradigm is a huge responsibility that is not yet backed by your own surrounding. In a practical sense: if you take a distance from a money driven paradigm to start one based on human wellness or human sustainable progress you find yourself totally disconnected from the ruling (human) life supporting system that surrounds you, without an alternative yet to support the pioneer. That is one of the reasons why one finds hardly any support for a paradigm shift. One stands alone. Letting go of old securities before new ones are installed is work of “fools”. One can easily crash in the attempt or be crushed by the old system that does not want paria like you disputing the system. You become an outcast, an outlaw, a paria, a loner, an idealist, at the worst “a weirdo” or at the best “an adventurer” ……
When you anyhow decide to take the responsibility of a paradigm shift you enter an empty world. This world needs everything to be created still. The paradigm you envisage is in your head but does not yet materialize in true reality. You have become a sort of Amundsen, Scott, Stanley or Livingstone, a Niel Armstrong, a person who set out to discover and create a new world out of nothing, just a dream….. You are an unsupported conquerer, a single handed constructor of a new world, a first seed of a new civilization landing to find fertile grounds. It may sound dramatic, romantic even but the emptiness, loneliness and hugeness of the environment and challenge is both scary and exciting. The drama of being such pioneer is in the paradox of where one comes from and decided to leave, and the idealism that made one start the venture. The old world that one leaves behind is totally opposite, a miror image, another dimension. Having the possibility to compare one finds the enormous contradictions that also reside within the pioneer himself and made him finally choose. Living and taking responsibility in the transformation is hence a magnificent adventure of tremendous inner and outer contrasts. It becomes a spiritual and realistic voyage of wisdom and idealism, a “can do” experience based on fundaments of inner trust in abilities, purpose and motivation. The driving force is so strong that fear becomes the first challenge that is overcome.
When I defined sustainocracy and started implementing it I realize that I am taking people and institutions on a round and maybe even one-way trip to an empty new world. This world is empty for their awareness as well as their practical reality. I ask them to help construct a new reality as if we had landed on a new planet, not copying our old rules from home but taking the opportunity to start a new civilization based on ideals, views and lessons learned. As these people work with me on this new planet they know that they can fly back continuously to the old world to go get materials and support, or to stay again after the work is done. This simple security gives them comfort to be with me for a while. The first loads of people and institutions come with disbelieve and discomfort, arriving at an empty space but with the inner reassurance that it is only temporary. For me however it is different. I am there to stay. Why they travelled with me has to do with their own choice or some imposition by the old hierarchy of the old world that seeks some old speculative values in the venture. They often carry their old habbits and manners, finding it difficult to let go and learn to behave in a different setting.
Conducting such new human world in its state of birth feels impressive. I become the creator in a way myself. A creator who is deprived of everything yet has everything. A paradox of the Wholiness where duality comes together in the All. It sounds romantic again but it is not. Spiritually it feels very rich but in practical sense it is bloody hard work with very little aparent reward or recognition. Who cares? I do, and that is enough.
While we work like aliens in the new paradigm people get acquainted with the new settings and the warmth of constructing something together. Some decide to stay permanently and slowly the community grows. Institutions that participate start new initiatives based on the new rules and situation, or decide to transform entirely into the new world. When that happens the creations becomes of everyone and not just of the creator. The pioneer can step back and enjoy the development of the new paradigm, concentrating just on the format and letting content flow freely and creatively. A new world is born and ships full of newcomers arrive to offer their help and their own pioneership to further enhance and grow out the new world within the paradigm.
On October 11th 2012 the very first small colony of the complex sustainocratic paradigm makes itself known to the old world. AiREAS is the first ever sustainocratic venture of the world and initiates its activities in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Its purpose is to create new human dynamics in the city that makes itself healthy and vital instead of heaving to depend on the consequence driven regulatory activities of governance when unhealthy dynamics cause discomfort and economic problems. The initiative is like building a community on Mars. It is a colony that is still fragile, consisting mostly of people that have a return ticket home and enjoy the adventure of the novelty of the challenge. Some believe that old Earth rules still apply and others are not even aware that they are in a new world. Yet it is a start. The next step is to develop the fragile situation into a more solid and permanent setting, a true precedence for the rest of the old world to relate to. The new paradigm has to prove itself by providing sufficient comfort and security to the early participants for them to wish to stay and not go back. AiREAS relates just to the environmental issue of a sustainable human society as defined by me. When it proves its worth to the participants it is only a small step to expand its mission to the other human values. Then we will see that the paradigm expands rapidly, attracting massive amounts of new people that overcome their personal fears of letting go of the old world to enter the opportunities of the new one with trust, ideals and ideas. They have all become creators and the new paradigm becomes a common good.