In this blog I introduce the next evolutionary step of humankind and complex human societies. I refer to it as “the appearance of the holistic society”. I am writing a more detailed book on this evolution and my experiences through Sustainocracy. Today I introduce the vision already for you for early reflection and inspiration. I talk about our current evolutionary path, the need to take the holistic approach, the transformation, transformation economy and finally the totally new educational processes at different levels that I am setting up. It is a long blog but hopefully it changes your life, making it worth your while.
The spiral (or wave) evolution
The traditional evolution of society so far, and as we still know it today, can be drawn as a spiral shaped process (fig 1. Human complexities – Jean-Paul Close – Secretes of true wellness – 2009) between our way of organizing ourselves (To do) and what we learn along the way (To be).
This spiral represents our original nature as part of (elementary levels of) life’s complexities within the universe. When things go well we tend to want more (growth) and gradually loose our sense of responsibility and moral values and develop conservative structures of management, control, efficiency and bureaucracy, meanwhile blocking progress. When we reach a point of saturation we experience a crisis (collapse, chaos, recession, war). This serves as a wake-up call to address issues through awakening with a new wave of creativity and leadership. A cyclic pattern appears of natural psychological reactions to collective circumstances.
When we plot the cyclic spiral over time we get a sinus wave (eg. Kondratiev) of periods of wellness and scarcity (ups and downs). Similar patterns can be observed in our natural surroundings. Many animals and plants have a natural, instinctive way of dealing with this, especially within the seasonal cycles of the Earth’s year (52 weeks of 7 days, 4 seasons).
Humankind however has, at one stage, broken through into self awareness which caused it to loose or disregard its natural sensitivity in exchange for longer evolutionary cycles (not years but periods) along the line of consciousness (TO BE). It produced confusion as to what we really are as a species, our purpose and responsibilities. We have experienced the cyclic patterns (7 year blocks in cycles of about 52 years each with our self inflicted seasons) as they come, without giving it a second thought, except in certain intellectual circles. Our limited collective awareness was not ready to understand so we faced the consequences as they came.
We cause our pains ourselves
The cyclic pattern is anchored firmly into our cultures and organizations. It only recently became clear that those periods of wellness and scarcity were created by ourselves due to our reactive attitude to the cyclic steps (wellness – greed -scarcity – awareness). A new layer of cognitive awareness was added to our collective consciousness after every painful swoop through chaos. As a consequence we experienced a new wave of technological, social, economic and governance innovation. In a way humankind evolved by falling and getting up again. Meanwhile the peaks of wellness became higher over time and the crises deeper and more lethal. Right now we are on the verge of a catastrophic chaos. We can feel and even witness the building up of the tension worldwide as we approach disaster.
At the same time we are experiencing a new break through that is building up gradually but fast. In nature the cyclic patterns of summer (wellness), autumn (greed), winter (scarcity) and spring (awakening), are all well anticipated by the species. Humankind however let itself be surprised by its self inflicted winters (after the abundance of autumn) through war and confrontations. We need to learn to anticipate the seasons and act, even though the cycles span generations instead of years.
We are only now starting to understand ourselves even though our cultures, institutions and governance are still very much structured around reacting to circumstances rather than anticipating them through common sense and experience. Even when we understand it is still a query for many to matter of ingenuity and time to introduce a new society based on our new levels of awareness.
Global issues, local solutions
The exponential growth of the human population has enlarged the tremendous consequences of our old cyclic patterns. The crises that we experience are much more complex than ever before. They are largely self inflicted but also as a result of our lack of symbiosis with our natural environment. The local impact of such global issues demands measures beyond imagination. They cannot be resolved by old time cyclic thinking and drawing old lines forward through chaos. They require hands on responsibility of all local people and institutions.
* In 1953 Holland suffered floods that killed 1500 people. It cause the local society to take responsibility and protect the country with huge infrastructural changes.
* Now, with the rising sea levels, many massive urban areas are threatened. Jakarta is known to have delayed investments too long and may face huge problems if the protective investment are not carried out with urge.
* Many big cities face drinking water shortages. They are located according the development of trade rather than sustainable progress.
* Japan has been shock up by disaster after a combination of natural and human made catastrophes (nuclear drama of Fukushima together with a tidal wave). It has drawn the attention of the world to the local vulnerability for disaster when using dangerous materials.
* Densely populated islands such as Ireland, Great Britain, Taiwan, etc face severe shortages when oil runs out. Anticipation requires extreme measures in the field of holistic development.
The holistic society
The new society is born. The old focus on globalization of economies and trying to solve everything with money is outdated. The new challenge is changing into local efforts for sustainable progress, starting with the aspect of “saving ourselves” through self awareness and taking local responsibility.
The holistic approach concentrates on resolving global issues of sustainable progress on a local basis. The issues are complex enough to represent a combined challenge for social, business and administrative innovation. The issues tend to be eminent enough too to get the four key local players (government, business, science and population) to act together. We refer to the holistic society also as the cooperative society, one in which all together take responsibility for humanitarian and ecological issues above economic and political impediments.
Local issues can of course be addressed by dominant types of governance. Sustainocracy is the first practical precedent that has combined democracy with sustainable progress. We notice that fragmented interests continue along the old tradition which happens to be an excellent learning school for awareness, authenticity and spiritual strength, also for enterprises and institutions. Participation in local holistic processes can be a matter of choice and invitation based on multidisciplinary projects.
In Eindhoven (Holland) we initiated complex, holistic processes such as “The healthy city” and “Self sufficient region” or “Safety and value creation”, etc. The experience is being shared through educational programs that we share across the world.
The entire evolution introduces new ways of working for business, governance, science, education, etc. Such new evolution also represents a transformative challenge for these organizations that come from the fragmented focus on growth and need to learn to adjust to multidisciplinary co-creation. The process is often blocked by old justice formats focused on transactions, control and bureaucracy rather than shared responsibilities. All together it shakes up everything we have known till today. That is why we establish experimental cooperation to introduce the holistic approach in a region. For some time both the spiral and holistic realities evolve together.
Each of the participants will experience a degree of chaos and awareness building. It is not part of the cyclic nature but of the learning process of dealing with the transformation, one’s own authentic positioning and the development of the holistic society. It also introduces a totally new economy:
The transformation economy
This economy connects both worlds as the will coexist for some time and maybe even for ever. There is the economy of transformation which offers a new level of holistic development to the region based on sustainable values. And there is transformation economy which uses the value creation in a region to expand it worldwide through the fragmented interests.
New educational platform
The above introduces a tremendously new complexity that is being dealt with when regions adopt the holistic society as a serious option for their local sustainable development. They request to be taught how to deal with it and offer to send students to me. The educational process of a holistic society is of course very different to that where we come from. In Sustainocratic ventures I am already surrounded by universities that offer fragmented expertise in the specific holistic processes. This brings us to the additional layers of education that are new to the world:
* The fragmented specializations of existing universities need to get used to their involvement in holistic processes. It introduces a new element in their own educational approach where the various realities receive a new holistic context. What that does to the specializations is to be seen.
* Students who get involved in holistic ventures need to be already self aware to a certain extend and level. They tend to be older of age and equipped with practical experiences that have gone through the personal cycle of human complexities already a few times. The education they receive is tailor made, using the network of universities involved, based on the purpose the students are expected to serve.
* A totally new education is started that guides people at different levels of age and awareness through all the realities using the holistic society as anchoring point. The education can be offered both at practical high school level (talks with Fontys High School to play an early central role in this) and intellectual university level (talks with my old Nyenrode University to see if it can become the coordinating center)
* Worldwide exchange of inspiration and best practice for awareness building and new development of local holistic structures is being organized through the STIR Academy.
Interested? Just drop me a note with your specific interest and I will respond to you directly