In spite of current ads and slogans, the world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible. This is good news for those of us intent on changing the world and creating a positive future. Rather than worrying about critical mass, our work is to foster critical connections. We don’t need to convince larger numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits. Through these relationships, we will develop the new knowledge, practices, courage, and commitment that lead to broad-based change.
—Meg Wheatley and Deborah Frieze, Berkana Institute
It is essential that we remember who we are and learn from the rest of life.
Inspired by recent scientific breakthroughs, we have come to a new understanding of living systems and how those principles apply to people, who are also nature, their organizations and communities.
Physiologically as individuals and together in our gatherings, people are complex living systems. Realizing that, we can design organizations and communities that are ecologically sustainable for today and tomorrow. The principles of an ecosystem’s organization, the basis of sustainability, are identical to those of all living systems.
To transform, we need to understand the natural change processes that are embedded in all living systems. Both emergent and designed structures are inherent. Based on what we learn from study and experience, we can design processes accordingly and create human organizations that mirror life’s adaptability, diversity and creativity. Everything we need is here.
A living social system is a self-generating network of communications. The aliveness of an organization resides in its informal networks. Like all systems, you can never direct a social system; you can only disturb it. This network of communications chooses which disturbances to notice, what’s meaningful and how to respond.
It is a wise leader who does the same.
In addition to holding a clear vision, leaders facilitate the emergence of novelty by:
building and nurturing networks of communications
creating a learning culture in which questioning is encouraged and innovation is rewarded
creating a climate of trust and mutual support
recognizing viable novelty when it emerges
allowing the freedom to make mistakes
– Inspired by Fritjof Capra
Watch an interview with Edgar Mitchell, astronaut on the Apollo 14 mission and the sixth man to walk on the moon, about how seeing the "big picture (i.e. overview effect)" in space transformed him and many other astronauts.
We haven’t worked on ways to develop a higher social intelligence… We need this higher intelligence to operate socially or we’re not going to survive… If we don’t manage things socially, individual high intelligence is not going to make much difference… Ordinary thought in society is incoherent – it is going in all sorts of directions, with thoughts conflicting and canceling each other out. But if people were to think together in a coherent way, it would have tremendous power.
– David Bohm
If we truly want to thrive on this planet for the long term, it is imperative that we develop a resilient, harmonious and peaceful relationship with the Earth and all its interacting systems. Our mission and vision is to help foster these relationships.
making the invisible visibleparagraphs & more.