We live in a very special timeframe within the evolution of our human species of the last 200.000 years. We used be worry about our future but now, in a very short space of time (years rather than decades), we need to decide collectively about the survival of our species.
We have clearly passed the survival threshold while holding on to a consumer mentality within a speculative economics environment of capitalism. The only way out is awareness driven interaction based on core human values as well as redefining our material dependencies. Remedial response does not work anymore. It is like mopping the floods with the taps still open. It is however still the policy of our funds driven governance, lobbied ahead by the unjustifiable promises of heavily subsidized semi-government structures and powerful materialistic organizations of individualized material greed.
Proactive living labs such as sustainocratic STIR, AiREAS, FRE2SH etc have the solutions at hand while proving concepts over and over again in yearly timeframes rather than decades. The main obstacle is the type of society created after the World Wars, which was thought to be the best solution ever from that early awareness breakthrough. It now is the representing the biggest obstacle for transformative change.
Time is pressing. 80 years ago we still had decades to find and implement solutions, now we have years at the most. BUT: We have solutions now that we did not have 80 years ago. It ‘s time to evolve through awareness driven living labs while using the findings fast. Question is: can we do it fast enough?
Sustainocracy is a peaceful and democratic, core human values driven movement. It describes and develops the evolution of our human species through the definition of five natural core values (health, safety, awareness, basic need (food, water, air, energy), regional cocreative resilience). Sustainocratic progression is made through the constant motivation to use our wit, creativity and community cohesion to develop and enhance those core values in our regions through multidisciplinary innovative interaction and cocreation.
The logo or symbol for Sustainocracy is this:
The logo symbolizes the heart of the sustainocratic processes in a complex interaction between human and institutionalized interests. At the same time it visualizes through the use of colors and connecting bands the interaction between the natural resources of water, air, living green and energy.
The processes of Sustainocratic, core values driven progression through multidisciplinary regional interaction, can be seen in this flowchart. In the center you may also recognize the shape of the symbol above.
Flowchart of sustainocratic values driven interaction
The center of both the logo and flowchart form a permanent quest for quality of life within an ever changing natural and human environment. By making the five core values of Sustainocracy leading the innovative drive is constant, fed by context related data, the input of means with the development of tools. Civilian engagement defines new market mechanism which helps connect entrepreneurship and governance to the challenges.
Recently the symbol was connected to our European CITIMAP project in which we work together on the co-creation of 6 health driven cities from an air and environmental quality point of view. The other half of the message was produced by the University of Aachen (Germany).
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.
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.
After a short holiday in Germany the comeback was hectic. Deadlines were to be met on various topics in which Sustainocracy plays a key role:
- E-SAPIENS project proposition needed to be finalized. It is a proposition for a multi-million subsidy to develop Sustainocratic core values in 20 European regions together with 24 highly involved partners from European universities, NGO’s, schools and developers.
- The 2nd global book of AiREAS, which talks about our third phase of healthy city development through air quality, needed to be proof read for publication via Open Access in September.
- An article on the participation society, a view on the spiritual change of dynamic human clusters around reward based systems that will transform our society and cities the coming decades. The article was in accordance to the Bodo conference of Euro-SPES and will be published through an English publisher.
- Our CITI-MAP project proposition, covering 5 mid European cities, entered its second phase. A lot of questions needed to be answered creating some controverse among the partners and myself about on what to focus to pull this through.
- Our sustainocratic School of Talents had to get structured before the new season starts in September.
All together these initiatives cover a population of an estimated 500 million civilians and various 100s of partners. Important to take it seriously considering they all come together in Sustainocracy and its participative way of cocreating sustainable communities.
Through great international teamwork all deadlines were met.
Earth will be Ok, life on Earth too, for billions of years to come.
We don’t have to save either! They (Life and Earth) have gone through worse than humankind.
We just need to learn to live in harmony or we humans will disappear. Simple!
No, camping has never been part of my holiday options. To live life without the usual comfort at home, while having to pay for the discomfort, did not belong to my recreational options. Just the image of all those people dragging pots and pans along to sit side by side on a stamp and share each other’s smells, noises and limitations put me off right before even considering the option. Camping in the wild did have it’s charme but at the time of making up my mind the magnitude of other options seemed to prevail all the time.
This perception changed when my sister and her husband invested in a caravan and rented a spot along the Mosel in Germany. The caravan was well equipped with sleeping facilities, fridge, beds, tv, etc. An extension allowed for full cooking facilities and shelter. What more does one need? If we consider the unique location and home like facilities we are better off here than at home! Furthermore, we use 24 m2 for housing 4 persons instead of 334 m2 at home for 6 persons. Our energy usage is negligible and can be powered by solar panels, a shared wind mill and other sources. At home we pay top energy prices. Our emotional comfort is brought into a structural positive vibe while at home in town stress seems to reign.
But what most struck me was the positive and productive social interaction between the residents on the campsite. People help each other when in trouble, share resources, make plans together and openly resolve issues or propose initiatives. There seems to be no cultural or linguistic impediment, just the common wish to have a good time together even when people don’t know each other at all nor speak eachother’s language.
At home, in the city, we (at STIR foundation City of Tomorrow) are concerned about the way people tend to avoid eachother in the neighborhoods. There seems no motivation to even greet let alone share or make plans together. People tend to be self centered, uninterested and even fearful when dealing with neighboors. Yet, here at the campsite it seemed a natural process to proactively interact in a positive way.
Why? Why the difference in attitude in town and on the campsite? Is it the holiday admosphere? The proximity of nature? The reduced outdoor lifestyle and mutual proximity? How can we get this positive camping attitude also into our city communities? What motivates people to behave so differently?
Or don’t they…..
Or are we just looking at a conglomerate of like thinking social people that behave the same everywhere but seem to build a mini society here where the can, together? Is attitude related to environment? Opportunity? Or personality? Or is it a combination of all? Can we transform neighborhoods into such positive vibe?
This is a challenge we already agreed to Sustainocratically before summer holiday. I may have now some extra ideas now to work with. Let’s try to get the Mosel campsight attitude into our neighborhoods. I’ll keep you informed.