Shut up, I am busy

Today I read the quote of Jack Phillips, telegraph operator on the Titanic. He received various warnings about the approaching icebergs but reacted “shut up, I am busy! “.

Mr. Phillips at least knew what icebergs were and should also be aware of his responsibility to do something with the warnings. His only excuse for negligence could be his personal conviction that the Titanic was indeed unsinkable.

At the same time I receive messages that the current world of banking, business and politics use the same “shut up, I am busy” attitude. Plenty of warning calls tell about financial, ecological and humanitarian disaster which seem categorically ignored.

The difference with Mr. Phillips’s awareness of the danger of icebergs is that in banking, business and politics people don’t even know what goes wrong. They just do their job blindly, often fixing leaks to prevent their ships from sinking rather than change direction. They are managed by people who are already seated in their own lifeboats, equally unaware but suspicious of the risks. In economy it is not just the ship that is sinking, it’s the entire fleet. Captains tend to watch the sinking of the others, unaware of their own responsibilities in this.

Some of us, in view of disaster, build our own safe ships, without bankers, business or politicians. We don’t even warn anymore but simply invite people on board our boats. There is no “shut up, I am busy” attitude here but rather “come on board, and gives us a hand”.

Earth day

Earth day


Today, April 22nd 2014, is Earth Day. This just to remind us what we have and should cherish. I suspect that the rest of the year we don’t bother at all while there is nothing to remind us other than disaster, illnesses and system’s neglect.

At AiREAS we spend year in year out thinking of our planet and the giant issues we face. We also experience the difficulty to redesign and transform human societies, cultures and system’s complexity. The old money driven structure is extremely dominant and diverts attention all the time, making things worse faster than we can make it right.


In Hong Kong (China) alone 7 Million people suffer lung and heart problems due to air polution

Pollution day
I would like to turn things around and create a global “pollution” day. A day to commemorate the intense stupidity of human systems that were about to destroy our habitat and sustainable life perspectives. It will be a day that we laugh at ourselves and party all day to celebrate the return of common sense.


Our youth should be healthy, happy and positive

Money and solar energy

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.

The same goes for money. We cannot create more money, we can create values by using money, just like we use the energy of the Sun to create and sustain life.

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.

There is no leadership in world economics

Much is being discussed these decades about world leadership with respect to global issues. Often fingers point at Obama, Putin, the United Nations, the G20, G7 or the IMF. In reality these people and groups display hardly any leadership, just management. In the world of economy there is no leadership, even though we really need it if we want to face the real issues of concern. 

More importantly, considering that this “world leadership” emerged from the ashes of world war II, we can state that the lack of leadership of these groups and individuals actually cause all the world problems. Within the context of world powers and economics they all compete using the rules of economic management to compete efficiently. Their financial interests used to be focused on trade only. In a consumer economic scenario the issue now is also on consumption. Most consumption is energy (oil) based which means that much of the management of relationships and confrontations deal with energy and trade issues.

Democratic misunderstanding

There is a general lack of understanding of the difference between “management” and “leadership”. This is why we tend to point erroneously at these “world managers” for solutions around the other issues (global warming, pollution, migration, rising sea levels, etc). We forget that these are caused by the trade development, usage of resources and usage of energy around which economies are built. If such world managers of economic interests are to lead the solutions they would have to step over their managerial tasks and economics in the first place. That is not their mission (yet). There is hence no leadership in economics, certainly not in world economics, just management. To solve this we need two things: understand the difference and introduce leadership. 

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Management: The control over fixed process patterns with an objective of growth, improvement and optimization. (more of the same, better)

Leadership: The initiation of totally new initiatives and processes based on vision or need. (change, different)

The Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands recently remarked that he was governing without vision because “vision costs money”. Politics and government, in a world reigned by financial dependencies, reason from fixed economic patterns that consist of rules, financial relationships and money dependencies. Managing the complexity is difficult enough because of all the interconnected economic strings. When we introduce the leadership issue of “change” the total system’s balance can get disturbed. No PM or President, unless post war (or in chaos), dares to introduce change, preferring to let chaos arise rather than being the cause of it. Prevention of chaos is impossible to explain in a democracy. People would not understand as change also affects them. That is why you see a management culture of fear in every economy, business or government, preferring resistance and even opposition to change. Conservative economic forces see leadership as a threat. 

Management is wrongly characterized as “realism” because it deals with known patterns that can be explained and forecast by analyzing the past. 

Leadership is wrongly seen as “idealism” because it addresses change through ideals, with passion and vision from which there is no proof other than common sense or non economic logic.

This all has to do with the history of economics that developed from instrument to goal, allowing room for real leadership only after collapse. This needs to change.

The learning process of humankind is also reflected in our periods of wellness and recession

Leadership comes traditionally after chaos (collapse) , when management is forced to let go

Economy is cold, deprived of moral and sense of holistic reality because of concept of “money” as a goal of growth. The real reality has nothing to do with the fake materialism. It has to do with sustainable human progress. The consequences of lack of (or room for) leadership is building up to reproachable levels and proportions that reaches a point of “criminal against humankind”.  Policy people who recognize their responsibility but impotence to perform leadership tasks within the economic management system have the tendency to quit their position. When they leave there is a self regulation within the system to keep robot like people without moral scrupulous. We cannot call those leaders.

STIR (City of Tomorrow)

STIR offers an unprecedented solution for the world problems but also for these top executive world managers with leadership ambitions. STIR introduces a global shift where chaos is avoided by accepting leadership as equal part of the (holistic) picture.

The holistic society has very different characteristics than any society before

The holistic society has very different characteristics than any society before

STIR asks the self aware governance people (in business and government) not to throw in the towel but to stay and connect instead to STIR leadership activities of the City of Tomorrow. They can use their authority within the system and use their position to provoke changes that are being caused by introducing the “STIR loop”.  The leadership of STIR is not personal but driven by the global issues of the times we live in (such as food scarcity and manipulation, health damage due to pollution, security issues due to lack of awareness and attention, blindness of the masses, lack of self reflection and self sufficiency in money driven democracies), picked up from a local perspective.

By addressing the global issues locally we co-create and share leadership steps that feed management with well sustained innovations, challenging policy to change too. There is no need for fear, aggression or chaos for this leadership to manifest itself, just a conscience and the willingness to work together with other local players.  This picture clarifies what we call “the transformation economy of 1%” (1% change (leadership), 100% growth (management), 200% effort (both):

Transformatie economie - leiderschap voedt management

It is not dangerous or risky and changes old managerial culpability into involvement where the hierarchical leaders themselves decide how far they can go in their institutional structures.  

In Eindhoven (Netherlands) we initiated such process in experimental way, inviting policy makers, directors and scientists to the independent table of Sustainocracy. A lot of energy went into convincing these managerial top people with “attitude” to step into the group for leadership around key issues. It was tough because of the tradition of power of dominant authority and the initial reluctance of these people to participate in external leadership processes that expect them to commit with rebound to their own position. It is hence a challenge on its own to find, invite and involve the right people. They tend to be “special” and “extraordinary”.

When they accept the process and go through it individually, collectively and institutionally it is up to STIR to capture and contain the values achieved, including the learning process. We need to support these people who go from their leadership at STIR back into their management position and structure.

The precedents are now also available as so called “holistic learning programs” of the STIR Academy. We offer holistic education (higher than university), specialized study programs (eg healthy city, self sufficient region, etc) at university level and practical programs at high school level. Working together with partners from scientific and high school education, as well as training or coaching, we also offer the world of business, government, knowledge institutions, semi-governance, but also individuals with leadership interests, the possibility to get involved and learn the earlier the better out of self interest. No one will escape from the leadership requirements in the world and will be confronted, no matter what, sooner or later. Life can be made so much easier , significant and purposeful when leadership is learned to be dealt with as a natural part of sustainable human progress, in harmony with management, not neglected.


Jean-Paul Close – transformative leaddership

50 word challenge

If it takes just fifty words to show how powerfully creative the human spirit is

when working together to produce meaningful and positive things

that take us forward

in awareness for sustainable human progress

why would we need words to solve together global warming, pollution, war and all other issues?

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty

I think I will have a try. You know how difficult this will be for me. My average blog is over 1500 words.

Mission Global STIR Academy – how it works

Inspiration for everyone in the world

In my opinion “knowledge” is a common good for all people in the world, not just for those who can afford it. The issue is not just the cognitive information but the way we implement it for sustainable human progress. The freedom of information distribution over internet is excellent but not exempt from disturbances, manipulation and information pollution. The responsibility to deal with information and its purpose is of the human being itself.

STIR (City of Tomorrow) want to select and use knowledge, skills and best practice within our own views of Sustainable human progress  according to the global issues of our current times. To share the information we use the facilities of the internet in combination with local dialogue around its potential application. Everywhere around the world interesting and inspiring people are producing results in the field of sustainable progress. This deserves to be shared. We can all learn from each other by trying out the inspiration ourselves, no matter how complex.

By setting up STIR as a HUB (a room, good internet and people in to share information with) we can get the entire world to participate. It can be done live, without other costs than a membership. Whatever one charges locally is up to the HUB master.

Global STIR Academy offers the framework and purpose criteria, the inspiration network and international infrastructure. The HUB takes care of local public, the choices and translation to local initiatives and projects.  Three examples:

  • The first online skype conference organised by STIR was in  2009 with Herman Wijffels (old World Bank chief) as online speaker
  • The first HUB in Eindhoven works for over a year now and has a session twice a month
  • The first international HUB started in Antwerpen
  • Talks are with Madrid, Barcelona, Budapest, Brussels, Taipee, Miami, enz, as well as city quarters in Eindhoven

On April 29th STIR participates through skype in the world congress on poverty Madagascar (see below)

Online spreker en pannelld



How it works?

STIR works on the basis of membership (making it a world wide cooperative for sustainable progress) and reciprocity. Reciprocity means that if the STIR networks uses inspiration sessions from you, you get 1 to 1 sessions back for your own use, on call and planning. If you only consume inspiration them you pay per session. So if you trade inspiration you will have 100s of free speakers at your disposal, else you pay a modest price. All the money will go into the STIR fund that finances projects.

The real art is to do something with it locally.

The HUB, speakers and sources of inspiration within STIR also develop a mutual value and selection system according  STIR criteria of a “better world”, measuring the popularity of each. We do something with that too.

The provisional website is:

Membership: 150€ per year per HUB (internationally indexed per geographical area according local living standards)


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