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.
In the picture below (thx Wilfred for sharing) we see that the interpretation of reality can have a variety of outcomes, depending on the way we look at things. Just imagine three different persons that stand at the three viewpoints and try to convince the other two of what they see. How would the person seeing a triangle or rectangle react to the person who defends the circle as sole truth?
The same confusion will arise when looking at this short introduction of amazing 3D optical illusions:
Understanding that what we see, hear, feel, taste or smell is subject to interpretation and rationalization, we can also now (after seeing the above proof) get to terms that whatever we think we sense is just a distorted part of a greater reality. Basing our decisions on such interpretation is hence risky and always incomplete. We enhance our perception and our choices by learning through the accumulation of experiences. And also through open dialogue with others with our ability to take different standpoints if we want to experiment with new perspectives. Our predisposition to learn helps us evolve mentally as a human being and improves our resilience to the challenges we face. As a child we find this normal but as an adult not necessarily.
Often in the process we face confrontations with ourselves. When we grow up for instance in an environment where everyone believes that the “rectangular” truth is real, to then move to a place where the “triangle” rules, we end up with a dilemma. Do we stick to our original beliefs? Do we try to understand the beliefs of the others? Or do we try to understand the bigger picture in which the two or more realities can be explained? Much of our current multicultural society contains such dilemma for people involved with a dominant local culture and various subcultures. Education can overcome part of the dilemma but some beliefs are deeply rooted, sometimes powerfully manipulated and dominant.
What happens to you when you come back to your origins where the “rectangle” belief still rules but you have learned that it is not the only truth? Most probably the local people will declare that you have gone mad, maybe even call or ridicule you as alienated, a separatist, a terrorist, a weirdo. They may even become scared of you, ask you to review your thoughts or leave the community. “Right and wrong” become subjective issues of dispute that can only be overcome when people open up to new realities. That is not easy. At individual level this may be done through learning processes or taking people on an awareness hike. On a local community level often ancient dogma’s, rules and even hierarchical power positions are created around the single viewpoint. A diversion would find opposition from the group’s leadership that fears its authority questioned by the modified views. Such leadership has interest in sustaining the narrow minded perception.
Blocking the mind of people out of desires for control is an old and powerful mechanism that dictatorial, political, economic and religious leaders use by attaching punishment and fear to the mere possibility to take a broader view of options. People react and may become so obsessed with their fears that they start defending the dogma’s themselves out of just or unjust self-preservation. “The unknown” as threat is much more powerful than the “known”. Modern science shows that people who live in such imposed environments of controlled beliefs tend to show signs of brain and intellectual damage, incapacitated to learn or evolve, or even openly reflect.
Often this is associated with religious dogma’s but the same goes for our addiction to money and economics, as explained by David Suzuki in relation to our senseless and immoral usage of money as destructive investment tool.
Exposing people to fear for the sake of control and self-interest is an act of terror which is being used in all hierarchies. “If you don’t do what the rules say you’ll be doomed, if you do you’ll be saved”. If such rules imply that someone (person or institution) can take away securities from other people or life forms, or even take their lives, than such rules are introduced and maintained by thieves and murderers, no matter what noble lables they use for themselves or their status.
Such madness of control and being controlled is as much part of humankind as the goodness of the opposite, however madness tends to impose itself aggressively while goodness shares, gives and invites. We are all exposed to it and need to make up our own mind about what is real, what is madness and what is not. Today’s world of social media helps us even though the awareness is not internet’s, it is of the individual who breaks out into freedom of mind.
Recently a quote of a religious leader could be read that said “If money becomes a God then it will lead to brain damage”. The same implies when anything else under human control becomes a God, referring to the humanization of the Whole by attributing it human decisions and laws of control, greed and segregation. God as a metaphor to explain the “everything”, as in “we see only part of reality and there is much more to learn” is a concept with which everyone can live. One can also live with the quest for learning the overall meaning of everything and people trying to explain their findings. No one can however impose or indoctrinate their findings since the “truth” is a subjective perception of reality and needs to be discovered by people themselves. In the same way we see that money as a tool is great but not as a goal, nor as an “everything” which would evolve into dogmatic obsession and madness. This mind blocked perception in current cities, which dynamic human clusters around money driven realities, is making those populations extreemly vulnerable, managed by money dependence, thieves and speculants without any connection to the broader reality. Often such people in charge of human control mechanisms don’t see themselves as bad but part of a Darwinistic reality of the law of the most powerful. In many cities this is now changing as wellness and quality of life introduces itself a new reality of common human values. It shows also a totally new type of leadership and societal structures.
Dealing with awareness, beliefs and madness:
Having to deal with this organized madness of self interest driven massive brain damage on a global scale now, we can try to fight it but this will not work. Aggression with aggression just produces death, destruction and more aggression. It is one common law in nature that if, in an evolution, growth is limited by space and competition for resources it is not the most powerful that survives but the most adaptive to new resources. A totally new phase of growth without competition lies ahead.
If we try to impose our own deeper or broader awareness we would enter an impossible to win dispute about rectangles, circles and squares, about fears, beliefs and unjust sense of security or protection. The large populations that have been brainwashed will cling further to their limited perception. Their “leadership” just needs to feed their fears to enhance itself while the forthcoming destruction is never blamed on the leaders yet on “the others”, seen as aggressors.
It is a horrifying thought that we need to accept the existence of a diversity of beliefs, dogma’s, wrongful leadership and brain damaging human structures as part of our evolutionary reality. What can we do to place it in a positive evolutionary context in order to let common sense, deeper awareness and the true perception of the bigger picture prevail? Opening ourselves up to the next phase of our awareness leaves the old dogma’s and aggressors behind without grip anymore on us as we have let go and fear no more. Awareness of our living surroundings helps. It lives already successfully for billions of years and its secrets are a universal constant. We now apply this to our communities through Sustainocracy and the way of dealing with the multidimensional reality is rapidly spreading across Europe as a evolutionary step in regional development.
Above all and everything there is our surrounding (mother) Nature and Eco-system from which humankind has evolved ever since life appeared on Earth about 4.5 Billion years ago, perceived as “an act of God” or part of the inexplicable “everything”. This Nature evolves around 5 core values that are not dogmatic, not imposed, or brain-damaged. These core values are just there to serve life as a lasting overall reality as long as the conditions on our planet remain right for life to evolve, with or without human beings. Those core values start with what every life form needs in order to live within the optimum Solar-Earth energetic habitat: energy, food, water and air. The life form evolves further based on health (everything unhealthy dies and is replaced by something healthy. Madness is sick and will die) and safety (self-protection through different mechanisms, including the dynamic clustering of human communities around the core values). More complex self aware life forms, such as human beings, add self-aware learning and adaptive decision-making as well as cocreative resilience. Such learning for resilience is based on painful experiences that show us where we went wrong and how we can adjust to survive better. The five core values produce quality of life, abundance, harmony and no fear.
This is a way of organizing the diversity of our human beings, levels of awareness, beliefs and even our madness within the overall context of natural evolutionary values. For every human being health and safety is important, if not for themselves then it is for their offspring and close relatives. By adopting Sustainocracy we can still respect anyone’s subjective viewpoint as we simply invite everyone to work together on the core issues and keep their particular viewpoints to themselves.
Introducing Sustainocracy requires no authorization of hierarchies of dogmatic power, just like a seed of a tree does not need permission to germinate. It just needs the right surroundings to sproat and grow because it is Nature itself opening up into our awareness and guiding our progress. Just like nature stirs up molecules up to the point of dynamic grouping around life forms, Sustainocracy stirs up human beings in awareness to dynamically cluster around prioritized needs to develop and sustain the core values. The process is enhancing and heeling mental development through talented and purpose driven human interaction without prejudice or background dogma’s. Everyone, people and institutions, involved contribute through creativity, authority and positive engagement. Participation, respect, equality and trust are the common denominators in which all that want to contribute are welcome, no one is excluded.
As such Sustainocracy is complying with the first basic need of human evolution: mental health, produced by direct connectivity to the source of our health: Mother Nature.
The local Health Deal was signed yesterday to make Health and Quality of Life lead the regional development rather than the destructive Economy of Growth. Interestingly a new economy of growth becomes a consequence when it does not lead!
On Juli 22nd the Brabant Health Deal was signed at government level covering a territory of 2.5 million citizens. It is a significant evolutionary step in regional development, experimentally initiated by AiREAS (multidisciplinary healthy city cooperative) in 2011, making core human values lead the innovative discours rather than economic growth. After five years of cocreation sufficient proof of concept was provided to gain the trust of political-economic governance that investment in quality of life delivers local wellness, productivity, bureaucratic savings and a new innovative impulse for economic growth. Economic growth is hence a positive consequence, not the primary goal.
This deal is our own motivation to invite the rest of the world to participate in a Global Health Deal.
Health is a core leadership responsibility
Health is an abstract given that only seems to concern us when it is absent. Nevertheless, when we observe nature we find that the evolution…
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Magnificent Disney work on awareness through math and the string theory