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Power of citizens networks, my presentation

My introduction of the Sustainocratic context was not taped during our online encounter about the power of citizens networks. I hence reproduce the slides here with some underlying text for them to make sense.

Sustainocracy stands for Sustainable HUMAN progress and our realtime Democracy. Sustainable Human Progress refers to our evolutionary existence as a selfaware species within (not at the expense of) our natural living environment.

As human beings we are a living expression of our natural environment.

As human beings we are member of two ecosystems: the natural biological one, through which we evolved, and the financial/political one that we have created ourselves.

We tend to express ourselves in three ways, often in this priority: our function in society, as citizens and sometimes as human being. It is high time that we turn this around.

As a human being we are closest to nature, in fact we ARE nature. If we pollute or destroy our natural surroundings we pollute and destroy ourselves.

As a citizen we are part of a community that is ruled by community principles. These may or may not take our natural human biological complexity into account. In that community we act through functions, also called “jobs” or “our personal contribution”. These functions have objectives and also consequences. In our current societal system’s structure these functions tend to stand far from our biological living reality. Perhaps this abuse was alright when humankind was small enough to express itself well within the regenerative capabilities of our living planet Earth. It is not anymore, in many ways.

When we crossed the threshold of about 3 billion, without adjustment of our abusive system that makes use of humankind and our planet for financial benefits, we started to run into problems (plastic soup, pollution, chronical deseases, wars, climate issues, overconsumption, deforestation, refugees, huge migrations, etc).

If it were up to the abusive system the size of humankind is the problem. From a humankind perspective it is the abusive system that is the problem. In this duality only humankind itself can solve the tension. We need to address our sustainable human resilience by acknowledgement of our biological selves. As human being we stand closed to our natural selves.

If we only relate to nature without any community structuring, learning curves and adaptive creativity, we would be living chaos all the time (if we consider our global scale deployment as a species) due to the complex nature of nature. If we however manipulate and use nature abusively out of fragmented self interests then we eventually destroy ourselves.

Balance is found by finding a progressive and sustainable interaction between nature, our community and our functions. Sustainocracy positions itself at the side of our biological selfs and redefines our citizenship and system functions around a set of core natural values that are key for any lving species, including us a human beings and our sustainable resilience.

Due to our self created dependence on the political and financial systems we see that these core natural human values are being violated systematically and continuously. We abuse of our natural surroundings to sustain a highly structured, unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyle.

The only way to address and restore our core natural human values effectively is to let go of the political and financial hegemony of fragmented interests while concentrating on our shared responsibilities in the cocreation of these core values. This is where the power of citizens networks come in. We are closed to our authentic human nature and hence the only real reliable resource for effective change through awareness and purpose driven action.

Below you find yet another representation of the transformation of societies based on human values centered cocreation and shared (people and institutions) responsibilities. The fragmented institutions and citizens join the same cocreation table and together define their priorities democratically within the context of the core values and sustainable human progress.

The institutions undergo a transformation by positioning their authenticity within the context of the common good, not just blind financial goals.

Yet another way of representing this evolution is the appearance of layer 4, awareness driven regional development, purely based on the shared responsibility for sustaining the core values locally, interlocally and hence globally.

On the next slide you find examples of layer 4 Sustainocratic initiatives in the region of Eindhoven. The one on regional air quality (AiREAS) is the most consolidated and proof of concept. Its progress has been published and can be downloaded here free of charge. The healthy city focus was caused by the old political geographical bounderies. Gradually the initiatives expanded regionally, interregionally, cross border and with very broad participation.

In practice a level 4 participation table looks like this. It is being chaired by a Sustainocrat who represents the human being and the core values. The Sustainocrat unites all regional stakeholders at the same time based on equality, without hierarchy. In the case below regional air quality and health is leading. The multidisciplinary table and prioritized focus is a movement represented by a name: AiREAS (Air and Areas). Meetings are project and results driven, generally every three months or when needed. During the meetings decisions are made, resources allocated and responsibilities agreed among all. Many simultaneous projects can be defined at the same time, all in a SMART way. They are allocated funds with a 10-10-80 distribution:

10% = Sustainocrat (normally an couple of people taking care of the vision, priorities, follow ups and looking after the means)

10% = Learning process of effective and values driven cocreation among the partners

80% = project operational means according to budget agreements

Here is again the AiREAS example in the region of Eindhoven showing the incredible amount of engaged members in all disciplines of society.

Finally a slide about the engagement of our young generations. I cite here a poem by Marcus Link for his son (2004):

“I have been sailing under your command since long before my own adventures to a world that once was mine and now is yours —may you make it someone else’s.”

As such Sustainocracy positions itself in the era of awareness and spreads its roots and branches across the world. Citizens initiatives are the powerful juices of the branches. Two of such initiatives: Planet4Youth and Sensor Community, have been recorded on YouTube. They were presented after this Sustainocratic contextual positioning.

Evaluation after one year of weekly sustainocratic zoom sessions.

Pandamic based lockdowns worldwide motivated us to go online. Every Tuesday at 16.00 CET we opened the dialogue with any one who wished to join. The framework of the sessions were the core natural human values of Sustainocracy and the invitation to take responsability together to achieve them. Either by creating initiatives together or supporting those of others that fit the 4 x WIN (human, society, planet and financial continuity) ideology.

Today was evaluation time. Just like in all other occasions we can refer to the words of the late Prof. Paul de Blot (Business Spirituality): “everything I planned did not come true”. And we add “because something better happened”.

The general agreement was about continuity. The dialogues were always refreshing and with a great diversity of participants for many cultural backgrounds. We managed to achieve various things together, such as the World Happiness Bird, the Earthday 2021 event, the world radio initiative (still to be developed), 400M+1 revolutions biking for COP26, engagement with Planetary Balance, Earth Odyssey and other global events or initiatives. We reached out to over 20 countries through our open dialogue and positive invitation to participation.

Having said this, september 21st is again an equinox day. It is also the United Nation’s Peace Day. And it is a Tuesday! We will therefore use our 16.00 CET usual time slot to create an online Peace event. It was prefered to do this on zoom.

It was also suggested:

  • to invite more people to the weekly sessions, including young people and people from institutions,
  • to maybe create extra thematic sessions or ones dedicated to particular countries or situations
  • to better use the blogs, videos and publications. Also participate through guest blogging within the Sustainocratic context
  • in general to keep a stable platform for weekly meetings and make it known to more people
  • make use of the actions such as the COP26 biking event and create communication, webinars, etc around it ourselves

The next Tuesday zoom at 16:00 CET (Amsterdam time) for worldwide participation is on September 21st. It is to be seen as the kickoff of a new weekly season and therefor special due to its focus on Peace. Contributions are of course welcome in terms of insights, songs, music, etc.

Join us on September 21st at 16:00 CET

The moment we take responsibility together

In this blog I explain an evolution in our region in Holland where many people of all kinds of talent and status of authority seem to reach a level of awareness and personal leadership which motivates to join in a new level of responsibility together. We refer to this as level 4, one level above the hierarchies of political and economic powers, and one in which we allow core human and natural values to define our priorities and innovative investments. It is interesting to see how it captures the interest of the global community who visit us for inspiration and cocreation. This blog was also publised on LinkedIn in Dutch. 

Never before in history the modern human being has been challenged as whole to put the shoulders under our evolutionary survival. Now we have. Ever since we crossed the invisible line of about 3 billion fellow members of our species, the lifestyle based on the economy and politics of production and consumption started to damage our surrounding is an irrevocable way. This happened somewhere between the 50’s and 60’s of last century and millennium. This seems very far away but in essence is the timeframe of the current generation aged 50+.  It is all part of today still, not at all far away.

Before we crossed this invisible line the natural reproductive abundance of our planet Earth could still recover from our destructive behaviour of greed and aggressive competition. But after this crossing it could not anymore, not if our human species would continue the way it did. We are now well on our way to a population of 9 billion indivdiuals, three times that of 70 years ago. What have we done in the meantime? Gradually we became more and more aware of the problems and introduced new processes such as Cradle to Cradle, Biomimicry, circular economy, CSR, costly bureaucracy and new rules, costly healthcare systems, etc. Yet our steering mechanisms, based on sustaining the political and economic hierarchies, with primarily consumption driven civilians, has only been expanded and sustained artificially by the local and worldwide structures of financial power and control. Our fragmented money driven structures can only take responsibility for their little islands of self interest and none oversees the whole that is being seriously damaged, with very unpleasant consequences. Each for themselves take competitive measures out of economic or political self sustaining interest, contributing at the same time to the worsening of the problems without sensing direct responsibility for the whole, just their part. The submission to money remains leading, not our evolutionary self resilience as a species.

There are two twee routes we can take.

The first route is the one of the least resistance. We just keep going with our lifestyle and political-economic steering. Eventually nature will take over and reduces humankind to proportions below the line of (self)destruction. This is normal in nature. As soon as a lifeform cannot feed itself anymore or becomes sick it dies out and is taken over by healthier lifeforms. Whatever remains of the sort that collapsed is so much smaller that it is not dangerous anymore for itself or the rest of the lifeforms. These last mentioned get the new  space to develop themselves according to the same rules of nature.

According the current situation of humankind we can expect to be reduced to about 1 to 2 billion people in a natural way via catastrophes, crises, hunger and wars. Nature does not make distinction between people and just cleans up. If we look closely at what is going on in the world we see this process already happening.

Level 4 .jpg

Level 4 regional development and leadership

The second route is the one of awareness and taking of responsibility. We have already seen that none of the fragmented parties of self-interest can do this on their own, unless they do it together. But who takes initiative? Awareness is not limited to some happy few. It also reaches the mindset of policy makers, entrepreneurs, scientists and many civilians who all want to do something about it but often feel hindered by their individual or executive limitations. Lifting all these people, in all their diversity of talents and authorities, to a new level of interaction, above the political and economic hierarchies, we create a new level and area of cocreation, referred to as a Sustainocracy, in which the natural and human core values are leading. Together we choose our priorities, allocate means and arrive at innovative project that help change the old reality in all its dimensions. An independent Sustainocrat is enough to pave the way into level 4 leadership, the leadership that follows the development of core values together. On this level an executive policy maker can define arguments that reduce rules and bureaucracy, entrepreneurs develop new, revolutionary products and services while civilians innovate themselves socially through adjustments in behaviour and lifestyle, without reducing their quality of life, on the contrary. At the same time the functional layers of regional development become subject to integrale innovation in the field of residence, food, energy supplies and usage, mobility, local involvement and reward of participation, recreation, etc. Step by step the energetic dynamics of cohesion and care for each other and the environment develops. The good example spreads and reaches other people and institutions who wish and can participate. Those who put up resistance have to come up with powerful arguments if they keep blocking human core values, risking eventually to be held liable for this. A new culture and economy appears, referred to as the transformation economy, which has a harmonizing effect on the community while contributing to the expansion of all kinds of new  innovations that can serve the rest of the world too.

In Eindhoven and Brabant we have been applying this level 4 regional development for about 7 years now and the approach grows in both recognition as local and international support. Apparently we have created a new culture together in which we can freely look for connection between level 4 leadership of people of a great diversity of talents and authority. In other areas this is often not yet possible. That is why the first mentioned route will still show us huge amounts of human suffering and drama for a long time to come and will even affect us despite our intentions. But the route we have chosen gives us hope with strength and will, as expected, sproat elsewhere as soon as people become aware of the option its way of functioning and the potential of this evolution in human and natural self-aware coexistence.

STIR foundation is ideological and practical founder of Sustainocracy, and since 2010 initiator of level 4 cooperative formats such as AiREAS (healthy air, healthy cities), FRE2SH (local cooperation for resilience in basic needs), STIR level 4 learning cooperation (education to reach level 4), Rijk van Dommel en Aa……enz. This format of level 4 regional development has been accredited in 2015 by external research and received the VINCI European Innovation Award. Sustainocracy has been introduced in 2016 in 26 regions of Europe, India and China. During all kinds of encounters, publications, presentations and workshops you can get acquainted with the expertise, methods and achievements.