designing regen cultures
(2016) by Daniel Wahl
272 – included in acknowledgements (don’t think i’ve ever seen such a long list): joanna macy, rupert sheldrake, paul hawken, frances moore lappé, helena norberg-hodge, jane goodall, barrett brown, michel bauwens,
forward – david orr
cultures are not designed from the top down as much as they grow organically from the bottom up..
so why even use the word/action .. design..?
thinking undisturbed ecosystem.. ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
even if cultures cannot be designed as whole and coherent things, we have acquired a knack for designing parts like the banking system, the ed system, or the next high rise development
ie’s of cancer
foreward – graham leicester
the danger is that unless we marry these two conditions, expansive exploration and anxiety to reach a conclusion, both equally present in most of our lives, we risk devoting our energies to finding perfect solutions to he worn problem
a problem deep enough.. (for 8b people to resonate with today)
daniel captures the dual task well (of transformative innovation) in the central question in his book: ‘how do we keep the lights on, avoid revolution and turmoil, keep children in school and people in work, yet sill manage to fundamentally transform the human presence on planet earth before ‘business as usual’ leads to run away climate change, a drastically impoverished biosphere, and the early demise of our species?’
what matters urgently is that we do come together to have convos about what future ewe want for humanity
i began the new millennium w a promise to myself to listen more deeply; to listen into why so few people were stepping up to the necessary transformation ahead; to listen into why they were behaving as they were, how they saw the world, why so many of their stories ended w ‘that’s just how it is’ or ‘that’s just human nature’..
i also promised myself that i would pay special attention to the knid of questions we might have to ask ourselves on our long learning journey towards a more sustainable, regen, and thriving future
how about.. what are you curious about today.. how about we just facil daily curiosity of/for 8b people ie: cure ios city.. aka: augment our interconnectedness to get us back/to an undisturbed ecosystem.. ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
this book is about what i have learned from deep listening and living these questions.. it explore how we might live our way rather than know our way into the future, how we might stop chasing the mirage of certainty and control in a complex and unpredictable world..
1 – living the questions: why change the narrative now?
rainer maria rilke (1903): ‘have patience w everything unresolved in your heart and do try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. the point is to live everything. live the question now. perhaps then, someday in the future, you will gradually, w/o even noticing it, liver you way into the answer
in order to enable transformative innovation to unfold its creative potential we need to redesign the financial and economic system at all scales from local to global.. but the most up stream transformation that has to take place before we set out ot ‘redesign the human presence on earth’ is to deeply question our way of thinking, our worldview and our value system..
yeah.. deep enough to let go of measuring.. let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence.. ie: ubi as temp placebo.. because we need to do this first: free art-ists.. for (blank)’s sake.. ie: there’s a nother way
i believe a profound cultural transformation is already on its way. humanity is waking up to the complexity of the challenges ahead. a new kind of individual and collective leadership is emerging in business, civil society, and governance..
many of the questions and solution we are working on are based on erroneous assumption about our real priorities and true needs.. we would do well to follow einstein’s advice and *spend more time making sure we are getting the question right before we rush into offering solutions what will only prolong business as usual or patch up the symptoms of a system that is based on **erroneous assumptions and will continue to fail until we initiate deeper changes by asking deeper questions
yeah.. but the focus isn’t change.. or even ‘right’ questions.. (just getting the question – that’s in each heart.. everyday.. no right or wrong.. no judgment.. just gut/itch).. it’s listening deeper.. (like your 21st cent promise).. it’s 8b people listening to their gut everyday.. w no agenda.. not even how to fix the climate or how to get better questions or
question are invitations to convos in business boardrooms, community groups and in institutions of governance..
yeah.. we don’t need invitations to convos.. we just need to have them.. with ourself first.. everyday.. and then the gatherings follow from that..
we have this all backwards.. it’s not about figuring out how to be together in a space.. it’s figuring out who should be together in a space.. so that the how is natural and not man made (ie: hosting; invited vs invent ness; dave’s campfire analogy; et al)
let’s focus on curiosity over decision making
questions are ways to build bridges between these diff sectors and between the diff disciplines that compartmentalize our knowledge
questions curiosity is a way to make these sectors/disciplines irrelevant
(on people saying.. we don’t have time for the questions.. to question assumptions) simply doing the wrong thing righter will no longer suffice. we need to question basic assumptions, world views, and value systems, paying attention to what serves humanity and life and what doesn’t
spot on.. but rather than as a group collab of questioning.. we need to just start doing that 8b .. one at a time.. in solitude.. each day.. that is the new way (we don’t need to redesign it first – unless you want to call setting people free via 2 convers as infra a redesign)
comparing notes.. coming to consensus.. getting together to ask deeper questions.. et al.. that’s what got us here..
also by rilke – via rilke love one another law page:
I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. For, if it lies in the nature of indifference and of the crowd to recognize no solitude, then love and friendship are there for the purpose of continually providing the opportunity for solitude. And only those are the true sharings which rhythmically interrupt periods of deep isolation.
we have to change our cultural narrative, and we can do so thru culturally creative convos that are triggered by asking deeper questions.. by living the questions, we will begin to see, think and live differently, and by living differently we can bring forth a different world..
living the questions come from literally doing that.. ie: 2 convers as infra .. not by triggering collective convos with deeper questions (this is what i’ve experimented with).. outside of solitude ness (we keep missing authenticity.. and so .. attachment)
world views are created and transformed by paying attention to how we shape experiences and reinforce perspective thru the words and metaphors we use
paul hawken: ‘these ideas include the need for radical social change, the reinvention of market based econ.. radical transparency in politics and corporate decision making..’
something new and miraculous wants to be born. as arundhati roy said ‘another world is not only possible, she is already on her way. on quiet days i can hear her breathing’.. if we take the time to get the questions right..
yeah.. we just need time/space to listen deeper.. we have the means today for every day to be quiet.. enough.. let’s do that (ie: tech as it could be).. it’s not about getting the questions right (who’s deciding what a right question..?)
(on eisenstein’s more beautiful world) what are the deeper needs underlying my perceived needs
who is my community, what is my role,
that changes daily.. best to not focus on that.. assume us all as one.. swimming as one.. thurman interconnectedness law: when you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman
oikos – the role of ecology is to provide a deeper understanding of life’s household including humanity’s participation in it..
combining oikos w nomos which means ‘rule’ or ‘law’ indicates that the role of economy is to establish appropriate rules for the ‘management of the household’
ugh.. i don’t buy that.. i don’t think the household (or anybody) should be managed
the good news is that, since we invented the rules of economics, we can re invent them
rather.. the good news is that, since we invented the rules of economics, we can do without them
ecology is the study of the healthy functioning and the continuous change and adaptation of ecosystem and the biosphere these dynamics are not open for political discussion and compromise
nor are they open for rules..
we can and must create economic rules that let us share nature’s abundance collaboratively and incentivize business and communities to continuously regen the basic resources we depend on
if we think we have to incentivize.. we’re doing it wrong..
broken record.. but what we can/need to do is get back/to an undisturbed ecosystem..‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
all of us, when we spend our money, do our work, educate our children, elect our political reps and participate in our communities, are making ourselves accomplices in the status quo until we choose to act consciously as ‘cultural creatives’ – (ray & anderson)
change starts w us.. it starts in convo w our neighbours, colleagues, friends and communities.. by asking deeper question and being willing to live them: what kind of world owe want to leave for our children and children’s’ children
wrong focus (as are other 4 questions – why war, why allow econ, why let political leaders, how meet everyone’s needs).. we’ll never get back to us.. if we don’t just start living our fittingness.. determining some kind of world we’re going to leave.. is a distraction.. we have to trust that if we are all alive.. we’ll leave/live the better world.. focus on being alive.. authentic.. everyday..
for that.. we need to have convo with self first.. everyday.. (questions/answers/wisdom/whimsy already in us – listen to/for that)..
question like these invite us to think systemically over longer time scales and to pay attention to relationships and context, rather than rushing for quick answers and silver bullet solutions
questions like these are a distraction/poison/cancer
let go.. re\set
art (by day/light) and sleep (by night/dark) as re\set.. to fittingness
werner heisenberg: ‘what we observe i snot nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning’
aka: whales in sea world
in order to befriend uncertainty, we need to let go of our need for prediction and control..t
indeed.. huge.. let go.. (i see ‘appropriate participation’ as control)
due to radical interconnectivity.. systemic interactions and feedback loops, causality is more often than not circular rather than linear..
we have to come to grips w the fact taht knowledge and info, no matter how detailed, will remain an insufficient and uncertain basis for guiding our path in to the future. we will increase our chances of *success if we have hr ewisdom and humility to embrace our own ignorance, celebrate ambiguity and befriend uncertainty..
taleb antifragile law.. et al..
and.. let go of chasing *success.. just let whatever happens .. happen
2500 yrs ago.. pericles: ‘we may not be able to predict the future, but we can prepare for it’
let go of prep..
which cultural, social, tech innovations and transformation will help us bring human activity and the planet’s life support system into a mutually supporting regen relationship ..?
this this.. i wish you could hear me.. this: tech as it could be..
ai humanity needs most: augmenting interconnectedness
in biology of love humberto maturana writes: love is our natural condition, and it is the denial of love what requires all our rational efforts, but what for, when life is so much better in love than in aggression.. love needs not to be learned, it can be allowed to be or it can be denied, but needs not to be learned, because it is our biological fundament and the only basis for the conservation of hour human beingness as well as our well being
if we achieve this ‘momentous leap’ (graves, 1974) in human self awareness, what lies ahead of us is the promise of a truly regen, collab, just, peaceful and equitable human civilization that flourishes and thrives in its diverse cultural and artistic expressions while restoring ecosystems and regen-ing resilience locally and globally..
e.o wilson (1986) inspired by erich fromm (1956) suggested that human beings as expression of he process of life have an innate tendency to be attracted to all living beings.. he called this love for life and attraction towards other life forms biophilia..
so far, most evidence of the healthy evolution of human consciousness and personal development (graves 74; wilber 2001) indicates that nobody is born w a holistic and planetary consciousness and full awareness of the co arising of self and world..
yeah.. i don’t know.. i’m thinking we all are.. ie: not yet scrambled ness.. it’s just that we instantly turn ourselves/others into whales in sea world.. via the supposed to ness.. of school/work et al
ts eliot: we are distracted from distraction by distraction, filled w fancies and empty of meaning..
sinek’s start with why..
the practice of living the questions together starts by frequently asking yourself and others: are we asking the right questions? which questions will help us make wiser decisions..
and i think this is a huge difference.. if we want to get to global equity.. to an undisturbed ecosystem.. to eudaimoniative surplus.. to fittingness.. if we want to get to the root of our basic needs
if we are not asking the right questions, it is very easy to get confused w the diversity of answers on offer
and too.. we get distracted by focusing on one/some right question\s.. (ie: how do we belong, who are we, what are we here to do, sustainable design solutions, why are we worth sustaining.. i don’t think those get us to fittingness .. perhaps better to just focus/listen-for daily curiosity
in thinking about the implementation of sustainable solutions we have not only to consider the limited availability of certain key materials but also the energy required to develop and deploy these solutions
complexity science can teach us that as participants in a complex dynamic eco-psycho-social system that is subject to certain biophysical limits, our goal has to be *appropriate participation, not prediction and control..
isn’t *that prediction and control..?
the best way to learn how to participate appropriately is to pay attention to systemic relationships and interactions, to aim to support the resilience and health of the whole system, to foster diversity and redundancies at multiple scales and to facil positive emergence thru paying attention to the quality of connections and info flows in the system. this book explore how this might be done
dang.. sounds so manufactured..
we have to trust that 8b living in fittingness.. would be enough.. but fittingness can’t be manufactured.. designed.. and 8b people paying attention to end goals (ie: resilience, health of whole system; diversity; quality; et al) will be a compromise/distraction/disturbance to an undisturbed ecosystem.. ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
how do we create design, tech, planning and policy decisions that positively support human, community and environ health?
2 – why choose transformative over sustaining innovation
another kind of disruptive innovation not only makes older techs obsolete but initiates a process of transformation that leads to co’s innovating a whole new way of doing business and providing service and value
rather a process of transformation that renders co’s, business, service, value, irrelevant/obsolete/whatever
ie: ubi as temp placebo..
it is this kind of transformative innovation (christensen’s transforming w/o business as usual) that is particularly of interest to us – how do we keep the lights on , avoid revolution and turmoil, keep children in school and people in work
yet still manage to fundamentally transform the human presence on planet earth before ‘business as usual’ leads to run away climate change, a drastically impoverished biosphere and the early demise of our species
not by keeping children in school and people in work
how do we keep the basic needs met while we are preparing and experimenting w the kind of transformational change that will make ‘business as usual ‘ obsolete and offer a qualitatively diff alt..?
3 horizons framework
too incremental.. happy someone’s working on it.. but thinking restate/update 7.18:
because of our interconnectedness:
[i think all our part\ial initiatives/efforts are keeping us from the sync we need for global freedom/equity .. i think we keep getting distracted/disjointed by irrelevants (money/measuring/et-al) necessary to maintain/incentivize the partial ness.. and if i’m wrong.. thankfully.. there are plenty of amazing people/initiatives/efforts going that route]
what are the unmet real needs that are obscured by the perceive needs we are focusing on
time banking is one way to unlock the flow of mutual support between people an orgs in a given region..
since people themselves are the real wealth of our communities and societies, how can we invite them to contribute their skills, knowledge and passion to meeting community needs
we don’t invite people to contribute.. to meeting needs.. et al.. (work as solving other people’s problems is cancer/distraction/energy-suck) .. we need to set people free.. truly.. unconditionally free.. because if people are truly free.. they can’t not do/be their art.. and alive people doing/being their art is the energy we need most
let’s do this first: free art-ists.
how can we promote reciprocity and generosity (giftivism) as pathways to deeper trust and mutual respect between people
mufleh humanity law: we have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh
3 – why do we need to think and act more systemically
there is more to life than a ‘theory of everything’ that reduces the awe inspiring diversity, creativity and beauty surrounding us to a series of abstract mathematical equations.. we live in networks of relationships defined by qualities that make life worth living. most qualities escape quantification and mathematical abstraction. *we need to acknowledge and value multiple perspectives and find way s to integrate their different contributions into a framework of thinking that can inform wise action
*that totally sounds like quantification and math abstraction.. equationing/predicting/controlling life..
we also need way s to evaluate and compare diff perspectives
why..? why evaluate and compare.?
science might not offer us the ‘objective’ picture of reality we were taught in school,
but it remains a powerful method of inter subjective *consensus making and constitutes a fairly reliable basis upon which to act.. more so, say, than the opinion, intuition or **spontaneous insight of a single individual – in most but certainly not all cases.. let ourselves be informed by both, as and when appropriate
public consensus always oppresses someone
if we wish to be alive.. we should be ***swimming in **spontaneity
mapping.. helps .. us to act more wisely in the face of uncertainty
wow.. maybe i’m not understanding what you mean by regenerative.. sounds more like repeating
an obvious ie of our systemic myopia (nearsightedness, lack of imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight) *is how many decision makers focus only on ‘rescuing the ‘econ’ by driving econ growth..
rather.. is how we focus on decision makers/making
bateson believe that ‘the major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think’
science of whales in sea world et al
4 – why nurture resilience and whole system health
dh lawrence: ‘oh what a catastrophe for man when he cut himself off from the rhythm of the year, from his unison w the sun and the earth.. that is what is the matter w us.. we are bleeding at the roots.. ‘
in 1986 the who’s (world health org) ottawa charter’ listed a series of conditions and prereqs for health.. these included: ‘peace, shelter, ed, food, income a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equity’
really just need 2.. let’s focus on that.. ie: thinking we need ed, work, justice.. has totally messed with us
how can we return to living w/in the limits
5 – why take a design based approach
first ie’s are: medium of exchange (monetary system); school; sustainable civilization; ..
stakeholder groups.. costs of externalities..
culture evolves in *convos that help us question assumptions, eval our perspective, consider other pov, inquire into meaning and find shared valued and intentions.. these shared values/intentions form the basis for us to engage in co designing our collective future.. the mere act of engaging in transition design convos w others is culturally creative.. by learning from multiple perspective, we learn to co create deeper systemic understanding. we begin to co design our future together and thereby **contribute to the emergence of regenerative cultures
6 – how can we learn to better design as nature
holmgern indigenous law.. et al – let go of designing and listen deeper
we need humility to use tech wisely.. living questions as means to access collective intelligence
tech as it could be.. about listening.. not about intelligence
how can we design feedback loops at the appropriate scale into our human systems so we can stay adaptable and resilient in a changing environ
how can we combine the best of modern tech, science and cultural expression w the guiding wisdom of traditional, indigenous cultures
eagle and condor ness (careful of words like: cultural expression, traditional cultures, guiding wisdom, ..)
how can we learn to listen more deeply to our own inner wisdom
ie: cure ios city
7 – why are regen cultures rooted in cooperation
the community of organism in an ecosystem – w its diverse roles, multiple redundancies and quick feedback loops – is interwoven into networks w/in networks to optimize the health, resilience and adaptability of the system as a whole. we have a lot to learn form this pattern of org. it is the pattern that defines regen systems capable of self org
i don’t think there’s a pattern to learn from.. i think we just have to listen better.. to what our gut tells us every day.. every second..
thinking there’s a pattern.. a guide book.. is a huge part of why we’re in the mess we’re in now
‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows
the transition towards a regen culture requires the redesign of our communities, businesses, systems of governance, and how we meet everybody’s basic needs in ways that learn form these patterns of org of ecosystems..
perhaps rather than a redesign.. a letting go.. and shedding.. an uncovering.. of what is more basic than what we keep calling basic.. ie: maté basic needs.. so that we realize there is no pattern.. only alive living..
andreas weber: ‘the biosphere is not cooperative in aa simple, straight forward way, but paradoxically cooperative symbiotic relationship emerge out of antagonistic, incompatible processes.. this metaphysics of economics and nature, however, is far more revealing about our society’s opinion about itself than it is an objective account of the biological world..
before we can explore how to redesign our industries, agri, the econ and the way we do business .. we have to raise awareness of how our understanding of bio and econ has for a long time been based on a series of blinkered assumptions and limiting metaphors..
yeah.. science of whales in sea world.. let go
buckminster fuller: ‘to make the world work for 100% of humanity i the shortest possible time thru spontaneous cooperation w/o ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone’
perhaps key is in the spontaneous coop.. not planned/designed coop.. you could call 2 convers planned/designed infra.. but the data used for connections/cooperations is from spontaneous/daily curiosity.. nothing you can plan/design/pattern
much of our day to day behavior and cultural activity is structurally determined by our monetary and econ system. their redesign is a crucial enabler of the transition towards a regen culture..
rather than creating a medium of exchange and a store of value that incentivizes appropriate participation in the life sustaining processes of the biosphere, we have created a monetary and econ system that drives the systematic exploitation and destruction of healthy ecosystem functioning
the practice of ‘commoning’ – to collaboratively hold a natural or cultural resource as a ‘commons’ – is a way to collab in safeguarding the fits of nature and culture that people share in a particular place and that humanity shares collectively..a regen culture will value and responsibly steward the bio cultural commons we all depend upon
hardin stressed that ‘every new enclosure of the commons involves the infringement of somebody’s personal liberty’.. ye this work has since been used to justify more enclosure of the commons thru privatization and strict govt reg.. this process continues today
elinor ostrom.. demo’d that ‘communities of individuals have relied on institutions resembling neither the state nor the market to govern some resource systems w reasonable degrees of success over long periods of time
in recent years.. upsurge of interest in commons based collab econ.. david bollier’s and p2p foundation .. david: ‘a commons arise whenever a give community decides to manage a resource in a collective manner, w special regard to equitable access, use and sustainability’..
importantly the commons is not simply a resource but ‘a resource plus a defined community and the protocols, values and norms devised by the community to manage its resources..’
thinking this is a major reason why we haven’t yet gotten back/to common\ing yet.. let go of the managing part
creating regen cultures will critically depend on our ability to collab in managing local, regional , and global resources collectively.. we need to learn the art of commoning..
step 1: stop trying to manage things (aka: let go)
how can the practice of ‘commoning’ offer a scale linking way to manage the gifts of nature and culture collectively
vasilis kostakis and michel bauwens have explored what mature, commons based peer production w/in a collab econ model might look like..
haven’t yet explore enough..
vandana shiva explore how the narrative of separation is a kind of ‘eco apartheid’ that causes human being to be at war w the earth and each other.. .. dr shiva argues that we have designed hunger into the system via international trade agreements formulated under the control of multinational corporations..
how will we move from a system based on privatizing the earth to respecting the integrity of the earth’s ecosystems and ecological processes
what would a truly regen business look like
dang.. from talking commoning to talking business..
atlee: ‘if individuals cooperation they can generate collective intelligence’
yeah.. i think we miss the boat when we think intelligence plays a major role.. ie: we then think we need people to cooperate.. on something.. rather than just to be a part (the part they are ongoingly supposed to be) of our interconnectedness/dance
undisturbed ecosystem ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’
conclusion – regen cultures are about thriving together
buckminster fuller: ‘you never change things by fighting the existing reality. to change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete’
steve jobs: ‘the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do’
jean russell had the inspiration to start a collective inquiry into the meaning of a word w transformative agency: thriving.. thrivability
education for eco and social literacy will play an importan role in spreading the understanding that we are participants in a fundamentally interconnected physical, chemical, biological, ecological, social and psychological process.. by living the questions together we can begin to educate each other in our communities and businesses about how to participate appropriately in this process and nurture our capacity to access collective intelligence and wisdom
let go of the intelligence/appropriate-ness thread.. if we truly believe in interconnectedness.. training/educating is irrelevant/cancerous
all the understanding we need.. is already in us.. let’s focus on uncovering that..
let’s do this first: free art-ists.
we have to re invent education as a process that inspires everyone
we don’t need to inspire people.. we just need to return their shells.. set them free.. and trust that/us
can do that now.. via tech/mech that listens to every voice.. everyday.. and uses that as data to augment our interconnectedness .. get us back/to us
i think we keep saying/using education as a means to keep our jobs.. because we don’t know what we’d do w/o them.. and that scares us
new models that make the existing ones obsolete are already taking sharpe..
i hope you’re right.. but i haven’t seen any yet.. we haven’t yet let go enough for that to happen
Daniel Christian Wahl Thank you ones again for a thought invoking piece written with clarity, everyone should read your work, thank you https://t.co/cMjTuGRm6R
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/stevenputter/status/1216979593107845120
What is Life? — A Regenerative Community – nov 2019 – 2 min read
Regenerative practice is about unleashing the potential of people in place by listening deeply into the story the land and its people want to tell. It is about finding ways to manifest the unique bio-cultural essence of each locality in ways that meet human needs while enriching and healing the wider biological community we are embedded in.
That is my commitment to the future. That is my practice of repatterining the future in the now: to mindfully practice living as an expression of life as a planetary process; to bring daily awareness to conscious participation in life’s regenerative community.