STIR (Sustainocratic Transformation, Indexation and Reseach) was founded as foundation in February 2009 by Jean-Paul Close and Marc Degreef with the objective to experiment with my own views to establish a society that works around key human values instead of pure money driven interests. Jean-Paul was to develop the ideology in the Netherlands and Marc in Belgium. June 25th 2009 the overall kickoff was done in the conference center Mennorode near Apeldoorn (NL). The gathering attracted 55 people who had become interested in the mission. It became a complex adventure of trial and error that today celebrates its first of many world wide research publications and expansion of initiatives. A quick overview of what happened till today:
2009: Kickoff and first trials
After the kickoff in June the foundation was referred to as the City of Tomorrow in which social-ecological morality and ethics was calibrated against oragnization and entrepreneurial activities, the so called model of Human Complexities and sustainable progress.
Enthousiastic working groups started around sustainability related issues such as energy, housing, mobility, leadership, food, “the new way of working”, etc. Each took responsibility to organize an encounter for awareness in our monthy congress routine in Eindhoven. We made use of the recently opened International Center of Sustainable Excellence (ICSE). The congresses were fairly successful but the working groups all encountered two problems:
- The dominance of the established channels. Any initiative would challenge the existing hierarchies which were very powerful to sustain themselves, leaving little room to develop new methods and approaches.
- The money driven resonance in the working groups. As soon as an opening became apparent the members of the working group would enter into a dispute of ownership rather that co-creativity. The groups would fall apart due to inner competitive ego conflicts, normally around money and authority.
2010: Dissolve and reconnect
The working group’s problems were a sign that the old money driven mentality was still dominant, also with the members of STIR. This had its logic because most people had mortgages to deal with and other monthly financial responsibilities and hoped to find new funding through social and ecological entrepreneurship. This tension produced awareness but not the right transformative co-creation attitude. Meanwhile Marc Degreef could not get his part in Belgium off the ground and decided to leave the foundation. It became time to dissolve the ego battles. I decided to take responsability myself with the cooperative model that I had in mind. Two lines of innovation were persued:
- The transformation of education with awareness as guiding principle. This evolved into the STIR Academy – an awareness driven initiative that created a vision around the educational processes needed to help our next and current generations forward in a world beyond the industrialized processes and economic hierarchies. Productive partner became Nicolette Meeder.
- The transformation of cities around health and productivity. This evolved into AiREAS, the first real multidisciplinary cooperation around air quality and human health. Co-founder and partner is Marco van Lochem.
The ICSE went broke in the heat of old money dependence and STIR continued by disconnecting from material structures of its own while reconnecting to open partnerships with usage of existing resources when needed.
STIR Academy tried to gain access in the world of education that was still manipulated by the dominant culture of money dependence and resonance with just cognitive educational values rather than social-ecological awareness, social cohesion or self sufficiency.
AiREAS entered the phase of proof of concept as government connected to the initiative and positioning was required to prove itself. The view was expressed in this short video message:
2011: Struggling forward
AiREAS was formally established as an awareness driven cooperation. In June 2011 the national proof of concept encounter got all parties together but commitment lacked. A territory was needed that would accept the healthy city cocreation. The city of Eindhoven accepted to become the living lab. After a detour we had come back home. In September 2011 the first multidisciplinary encounter of Local AiREAS Eindhoven got citizens, city government, science and technological innovation together to establish the first actions and priorities. Directly in that single meeting the project “Making the invisible visible” from an air quality perspective at postal code level was agreed and subsequently worked out.
STIR Academy organised an encounter between visionary people who also wanted a new educational system inspired by our views of humankind and the many speeches of Sir Robinson or Mitra. A first session was organized in a school in Eindhoven:
2012: Consolidating a new reality
Despite the co-creative efforts of AiREAS to define the “Making the invisible visible” throughout the second half of 2011 the financial backing had to follow the traditional route of bureaucracy within the battlefield of a government in financial crisis and powerful reorganization. The formal kickoff of the project was planned in June 2012 but the internal government path had not even been started, blocked by civil servants that feared the loss of their job. I decided to go ahead with the June kickoff anyway and again ask for the commitment of all the players. The encounter was decisive to lift off the blockage and get the process going. In October 2012 the announcement was released and the project could start. These encounters were filmed and are now educational material to show the psychology of human progress and struggles with fear, commitment, letting go, etc.
In November 2012 I published the book “Sustainocracy, the new democracy” (in Dutch) to commemorate and descibe the intense progress lived through to arrive at this stage of multidisciplinary commitment at city level.
STIR Academy had developed the awareness development challenges “Entrepreneur of my own life”, “In search for the hero” and “the secret” which could be played by large groups of college students within the context of their educational programs. Groups of various 100’s of students participated with great enthousiasm but the college’s boards would rapidly close the doors and block continuation because they could not handle the awareness boosts of their allumny.
2013: Making it happen
AiREAS had gone into the operational routine of creating the technology and modelling to visualize air pollution at postal code level. In September 2013 the network was rolled out in Eindhoven. After a phase of calibration and validation the Innovative Air Quality Measurement system became operational.
STIR Academy made arrangements with the Fontys University in Eindhoven to use their infrastructure to organize monthly evening sessions for awareness and exchange of best practice. Meanwhile experiments were done with secondary schools to introduce minors around “Entrepreneur of my own life”.
A new initiative developed itself based on ideology left over from the start up phase in 2009. This was referred to as Energy and Quality of Life (EQoL). It never got off the ground because a speech to the city council in 2011 got the local councillor to block progress in search for economic opportunities for the city council itself rather than accept co-creation. As people joined STIR through the AiREAS and STIR Academy exposure they also started to add their own talents to the groups. EQoL evolved into FRE2SH (Food, Recreation, Education, Energy, Self sufficiency and Health) dedicated to develop tangible city productivity (for many AiREAS and air quality was still too abstract) in the field of permaculture, city food production and connecting civilian consumption with productivity again through usages of the open spaces in the city.
2014: growing and showing
AiREAS had gone into a multiple phases:
- Now that the invisible has become visible what do we see? Surprising air pollution events were detected and captured as cases for further study and action.
- What next? Various new projects had been proposed and were discussed in workgroup format. In June 2014 a commitment was reached for the Proof of Principle around health and lifestyle research, a joined initiative between AiREAS and FRE2SH.
- How to expand our insights and way of working to other cities?
- The first global publication on Sustainocracy and AiREAS came out
STIR Academy doubled the monthly evening sessions:
- From awareness to implementation through triple “i”
- Commitment with the Smart City initiative in Brussels
- Starting to role out the European STIR HUB initiative
- Use the local AiREAS coin to connect education with healthy city development
FRE2SH also started to grow:
- The first FRE2SH city farm was initiated
- 100 apple trees were planted in the public city space together with primary schools
- Bicycle tours connecting key social and ecological initiatives were programmed
- In every city quarter visibility events were organized
- The preparations for the POP with AiREAS were organized
- A plan was developed to link City – Rural development combining Health – Local Quality of Life – Productivity and Tourism
2015: National and European expansion
- The second city, Local AiREAS Breda, started.
- Connection was made with partner cities in Italy, Hungary, Belgium and Turkye to participate together in Horizon2020 programs. The subsidy calls were not won but the relationships developed into operational platforms.
- The POP started and was finalized in its operational roll out as can be seen through the Prezi show created to visualize the complexity.
- The backpack project was initialized to determine the direct exposure of citizens to air pollution
- The analysis, cross referencing and interpretation of all data is providing an incredible amount of insights
- Civilian participation is a key issue for social innovation and stimulus of entrepreneurship. All kinds of initiatives are started that use open data and open source of AiREAS.
- A new university study direction is initiated based on “persuasive communication” – How can technology influence human behavior for sustainable progress and social innovation?
- The first world wide academic publication was published through Horizon Research
- PAPER_TITLE: Redefining Human Complexities
- An agreement was reached with worldwide academic publisher Springer to peer review and distribute our academic and visionary manuscipts through open access into their global network of millions of subscribers
- AiREAS has been invited by the national government to see how a National AiREAS can be established.
- The STIR HUB network expands gradually throughout Europe with the Triple “i” (Inspiration, Innovation and Implementation) program.
- The local HUB in Eindhoven experiments with inspiration -> implementation from sources throughout Europe, creating new entrepreneurship in the region
- The School of Talents is established to help unique youngsters with Dyslexia, ADHD and Autism through natural processes.
- STIR micros are developed for schools and groups of students to get acquianted with and process the Sustainocratic ideology and working patterns
- 7000 students visit STIR through the Erasmus+ exchange program and enjoy minors and micro education
- The global network of Spiritual Transition of Business is kick off with its central location in Brussels, together with Andras Laszlo, previous general manager of the Club of Budapest
- Research is done on human behavior, persuasive communication, cultural differentiation, etc giving rise to new global publications still this year
- The STIR evening sessions continue and expand with morning and afternoon session in the field of co-creation and implementation
- The second season of food production and innovation is on its way in our FRE2SH farm
- Health is now adopted on regional level and cocreation is possible with the province too now.
- A plan is on the way of execution create local islands of co-creative productivity in multidisciplinary cooperations that also host tourism and international education
- The concept is expanding to other regions who ask for advice and guidance
- City agriculture initiative grow fast in the city.
- A plan is developed to combine traffic and air pollution analysis with living green and water experimentation in public/private space using open data as measurable guidance and civilian/public cocreation to experiment with trees, emission calculations and mixing sorts in an optimized ecosystem for food, water, air quality and human wellbeing.
All the above has been accumplished without funding and purely through the determination and co-creative efforts of those who decided to connect with talent and their own means. When funding was needed this was always connected to specific projects and fullfilled by the participating institutional partners. The groups like AiREAS, FRE2SH and STIR Academy capture the values created for the world wide expansion through fractal growth patterns, linked with a circular economy that feeds an innovation fund of each initiative. Local communities have access to alternative value systems to measure and develop their groups commitment and share values.
To be continued……
Yesterday I wrote about “redefining human complexities” and today history is written as court rules against the Dutch State for doing too little in response to the emissions that cause climate change. The court case was started against the State by the Dutch Urgenda foundation in 2012. It uses the Oslo indications that states carry constitutional responsibility to protect their citizens and that sufficient instruments are applicable to demand this through court. Today they won!
Court hurries in explaining that they do not interfer with politics and only demand minimum level of the global scientific recommendation to reduce by 25% to 40% the emmissions of 2020 compared to 1990. The court ruled that the Dutch State was doing too little to reach that minimum.
It remains worrying of course that justice is still submisive to politics when relating to humanitarian issues of survival of the species. The issue of different ethics, the one universally imposed by evolutionary survival and responsibility and the one demanding loyalty to a political economic system, will remain one to be solved. Maybe this court pronouncement is a step into the right direction.
To be continued……
Horizon Research just informed me that the paper about redefining human complexities has been published in the journal of Sociology and Anthropology Vol 3 (6).
It has been made available in Open Access so you can benefit from the manuscript free of charge. You can always comment to me if you have observations or enquiries.
PAPER ID: 19690341
PAPER TITLE: Redefining Human Complexities
ARTICLE INFO: http://www.hrpub.org/journals/article_info.php?aid=2647
DOWNLOADABLE FULL-TEXT: http://www.hrpub.org/download/20150620/SA5-19690341.pdf
If you need hard copies, please direct orders, payments and customer service inquiries to subscriptions department at email@example.com
Sociology and Anthropology
Sociology and Anthropology is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes original and high-quality research papers in all areas of sociology and anthropology. As an important academic exchange platform, scientists and researchers can know the most up-to-date academic trends and seek valuable primary sources for reference.
ISSN: 2331-6179 (Print)
ISSN: 2331-6187 (Online)
While I am finalizing the forthcoming co-authored book on the completion of the first phase of AiREAS in Eindhoven, making visible the invisible, it is also proof of concept of Sustainocracy and the way a purpose driven multidisciplinary effort can solve the world issues. We have decided to make the book available through open access publishing. This means that we actually pay a fee to make it available free of charge for the whole world. We have chosen the world leading publisher Springer to make it available through their global network.
The book is written in four parts. The first part is written van Benjamin Roosen and refers to the end of story of capitalism. Every end of an era announces the beginning of a new. In 2013 this article already opened up the minds and worries of many. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/19872-capitalism-and-the-destruction-of-life-on-earth-six-theses-on-saving-the-humans
The second part is written by me and talks about my own process of awakening to the harsh reality of a destructive future and my desire to leave something more sustainable behind for my children. I went through the painful process of letting go as described already by psychiatrist Abraham Dubrowki. Positive disintegration and the secondary integration have a special effect on how one relates to the world and its many realities. My own evolutionary process can be read in this blog that I started in 2010 I believe. Awareness alone is not enough. The intention to do something that actually shows a route forward that is safer than what we are heading for today, sufficiently disruptive to make a difference but equally interesting for partners to participate, was complex and challenging. I arrived at defining Sustainocracy which resulted in the first sustainocratic venture, called AiREAS, in 2010. Now, five years later we have completed the first cycle, the first STIR loop.
The third part of the book describes the technological and scientific challenge of making visible the invisible in the context of air pollution. It is written by the scientists and technological specialists who did the co-creation. This part of the book also contains an introduction by AiREAS co-founder Marco van Lochem.
The fourth and last part of the book describes the experiences we have had since the installation of the visualization network and also the problems we faced to actually take responsibility together with the impediments caused by the transaction and tax based system.
As we were writing the book to close off this chapter, while we are already working on phase 2 and 3 in Eindhoven, expanding phase 1 into the world of cities, we took some time to reference our work with theories that evolve around the world. It is interesting now to see how Otto Scharmer uses his U-theory to come to insights as well as a definition of an eco-based community. See here: https://www.presencing.com/ego-to-eco/social-evolution. In this link you find the highly illustrative matrix that I show below and in which I positioned AiREAS (right hand bottom).
Sustainocracy actually positions all society in that corner of the matrix, not just AiREAS. It is the field of harmonization for wellbeing that I defined in my own model of human complexities.
I will post the link to the book here and on the Global AiREAS blog when it becomes available in about 8 weeks time.
This weekend I visited Andras Laszlo in his home in Brussels. Together we started the movement referred to as the Spiritual Transformation of Business (STB). The home of Andras is a library full of knowledge which he offered to the STB community to become the spiritual location in the center of Europe for encounters, interviews and the coordination of servant activities of support to the world of business in transition. Yesterday we downloaded a first recording of a recent encounter in his home. The intellectuals answer the questions of Andras of the new spirituality in business.
Soon we will start a blog that will collect more videos, share book reviews, introduces new members of this servant community and movement. We will also comment on best STB practice as it develops across the world.
Together with our partner Andras Laszlo, ceo and founder of GlobalVisioning.net the STIR Foundation develops leadership of change throughout the world. Today Andras is in Dubrovnic where an inspiring leadership encounter is taking place with online participation from many countries.
Download here the program and topics covered: Dubrovnik – FINAL-Leadership-Course-Ad-Fellows
The Spiritual Transition in Business program is also in full development:
Februari 2015: Budapest (very successful)!
April 17th 2015: Eindhoven (in Dutch) announcing the new spiritual society
June 2nd 2015: Internet of Things – High Tech Campus Eindhoven – Jean-Paul Close