I believe that in order to grow a wise and effective governance system that is capable of appropriate use of force and regulation, we need a VERY different mindset than that of "implementing blueprints". Simply writing up a charter and establishing a new institution with better doctrines that we have in our current institutions will not be sufficient, on my view. I believe the Regenerative movement is the most powerful and promising development in these directions so far. Regenerative systems design is wholistic and it includes considering relationships, culture, and other human dimensions as part of the design process. The regenerative movement is large, diverse, influential, and is just beginning to learn to coalesce globally. #REgeneration_rising The Transition movement is a part of that, and is also gaining momentum and beginning to learn to coalesce globally. Every aspect of a society influences every other aspect. On my view, culture is upstream from most every other aspect of society. Of course, feedback loops abound, and culture is influenced by everything else, as well. Our culture is heavily influenced by the political and economic systems we live in, for example. The field of cultural evolution is mature enough now to begin to appreciate this complexity in a much more sophistocated manner. I believe viewing our context from the lens of cultural evolution is crucial to moving forward effectively. The transformation of society requires we learn to make effective cultural transformation. I believe that cultures and societies and civilizations are living beings that are born, grow, and evolve. I believe an ant colony is a unique kind of living being composed of ants and other beings. I believe an organism (such as a human, for example) is a highly efficient cooperative colony of cells and other beings. In the same exact way, a city can be correctly viewed as a very unique organism made of humans and other beings. I believe we are living in failing systems largely because we are still trying to design our societies from blueprints. Engineering is one form of design. Engineering is reductionist. This means it requires considering how parts function in isolation, and then fitting them together in a way that can build a complicated "machine", with more or less predictable output. It involves beginning with some level of a "blank-slate"- Like blue-prints. Blue prints are designed in a sort of vacuum- on blank paper- and then implemented in reality once the design is complete and the output and function is more or less predictable. Living systems design is a very different process. Permaculture is one design philosophy that is incredibly effective at guiding us in designing living systems. It is very different than engineering from blueprints. It begins with a living system already alive, and guides our interaction with it in such a way that grows our influence over time.
I believe the wholesale redesign of human civilization is necessary for survival of human civilization. I believe that that in order to do this, we must engage in participatory stewardship of these living beings, and must resist the temptation to try to engineer too much of our designs. Engineering is still a powerful design approach and has it's appropriate contexts within the larger societal design process. But, if we are to be successful, we need to reassess our engineering design thinking approach and work to become wise and effective stewards of our own cultural evolution That doesn't dismiss the value of guiding visions and charters. But, far more than that is required to be successful. There is tremendous value to be added to this venture through the lens of cultural evolution in the form of strategic thinking for systems change. I highly recommend looking into developments in this field. I believe this lens, and this approach, and this scientific community of practice (along with others) is poised to completely transform our understanding of the social sciences and our ability to steward the evolution of our social systems- our societal organisms. On my view, this change in philosophy is exactly what the regenerative movement represents. Trying to engineer social systems has led us down a destructive path. We have just begun, over the past several thousand years, learning to have conscious influence over our own cultural evolution. The regenerative movement and the field of applied cultural evolution represent very new leaps and bounds in our ability to wisely and effectively participate in the design of our own societies. This is a glimpse of what something like this might look like, as articulated by a brilliant friend of mine, and global systems change strategist, Joe Brewer:
Much Love to All. Thanks for reading. And thanks for being an active, conscious feature of 21st Century Earth! Check out my related work at Common Ground Networks:
Here's an example of how a cultural evolutionary lens can have direct, tangible, and very surprising influence on how we view our current context: Onwards! Resources:
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