When entering unchartered territory, odd language constructs can help create tipping points

When living on the edge of chaos, new learning and unlearning usually takes place at ever (often exponentially) increasing rates. An era when lots of potentials exist for building a new, better cradle for society. With the discovery of these potentials, this new unlearning and relearning, also new language constructs can be helpful. This post tries to add a glimpse to that.

A word of caution: paradigm shift is not a goal in itself, but we see it happen all around us. So there are already driving forces that intend to create a better, more beautiful World and use paradigm shift concepts to support their messages. It’s this positively intended shifts that I try to emphasize here.

The principles documented below were inspired by my previous (enterprise architecture) visioning work within Enexis and predecessors. Recently i got some reinspiration from the excellent post of Nature 2.0[1]. In that post a preferred future vision has been emphasized with a/o these 4 principles: no ownership, no identity, no scarcity, no money. These principles which sound great to me, inspired me to extend with other principles that can amplify the intent when used together of when selectively combined.

This is very fundamental. Since humans need language constructs to create mutual understanding, we have become used to put ever more constraints in our language. Much of these constraints were developed to defend the self, the ego and have during the course of eons become ‘culture’. Memes that have gone viral. A word like mining is a good example of an ego-driven word. Mining comes from communicating to another that something is ‘mine’. We ‘mined’ a lot (and still do), think of fossil fuels we mine from the earth. And even now, using modern digital technologies like Bitcoin we still developed the architectures in such a way that ‘mining’ can be possible.

Could we develop an ‘Our-ing’ digital technology, that is capable of preventing ‘greedy’ mining strategies? Tragedy of the Commons certainly plays a major role in this but only as long as something is naturally or deliberately scarce. As soon as we can create an abundant context for an ecosystem, ownership has no intrinsic value anymore. So the transformation from scarcity to abundance can deliver many benefits to society.

I promote proper use of the word “NO” in such a way that it could be made beneficial in paradigm shift contexts. This post can thus also be used to support, inspire or initiate paradigm shift discussions/dialogs/meetups etc.

These new paradigm themes have deliberately been constructed beginning with ‘NO’ or ‘NOT’ words. The reason for this is that the Powers that Be, the incumbents, the conservatives or those supporting or promoting the old paradigm tend to use these words a lot. If we frame new paradigm messages with these words, the Powers that Be will most probably easier accept them because it’s their native language. They might even become sponsors of some shifts!

This assumption is in line with this quote of Philip K. Dick: “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.” and then combined with the below mentioned strategy for paradigm change by Donella Meadows:

[NEW] No competition, we can improve society without competing, just by collaborating in (like minded) communities and coalitions of the willing.

[OLD]Competition is the (only) preferred way in order to improve or progress the world and in order to protect our countries and in order to protect our companies. Artificial borders come in very handy to create the illusion of separation

[NEW]No discrimination. We all benefit.

[OLD] Benefits go to select elites. Pareto is a good strategy, if we get 80% or long tail benefits we don’t need to look at the rest.

[NEW] No societal uncompensated externalities. No excuses anymore for not embedding the cost of externalities into the economy. Support and embed Kate Raworth’s Donut economy paradigm.

[OLD] Externalities are for society, profits are for companies. Immoral running of companies is supported and enabled by law. Drive for ever greater efficiency is a catalyst to not price externalities. Capitalism is a catalyst for ever greater efficiency (productivity) at cost of society.

[NEW]No global power concentration (like e.g. New World Order) but locally optimized ecosystems. Think global, act local.

[OLD]

We like power. We like to concentrate power. So we win at the expense of all those other suckers…

[NEW] No identity, there is no need for actors to identify themselves in order to add value to each other. Anonymous by design.

[OLD] Privacy by design. We need to identify actors so we can sue them or make them accountable. This way we gave certain (groups) of people more rights than others.

[NEW] No IP (Intellectual Property Right). It hinders collaborative and collective efforts to create a real better world.

[OLD] Let’s compete with each other. If I have IP, then you don’t. Then I win and You loose. And that’s OK with me, because I am greedy by nature.

[NEW] No Licensing. UnLicense model prevails.

[OLD] Lets license the stuff. So we can make lots of money from it. Let those suckers pay for it so only we can enjoy the benefits.

[NEW] No opaque markets.

[OLD] We don’t like transparency/open data because it is hindering markets that ‘live’ from intransparency. Therefore we rather keep things opaque, hidden in the dirty dark.

[NEW] Not for profit, not for sale, no patents, no IP. We like new organization forms that are not for profit and at the same time are not for sale and have no urge for patents or IP.

[OLD] We like profitable companies, and if large enough, we will sell them on the stock market. We use patents and IP as secret weapons to hinder (global) innovation, hinder collaboration and encourage competition.

[NEW] Not for sale. The (virtual) company that helps us creating hyper efficient, shared, democratized, demonetized, digitized ecosystem(s), is not for sale, so that (greedy) speculation is discouraged, anti-fragility and sustainability is by design enabled. From idea to nursery to startup to scaleup to scaleout to blitzscale: growth is the only driver to create companies. Greed is the primary driver to create bigger companies that are ‘for sale’.

[OLD] My company is for sale, so I can put the money in my pocket.

[NEW] No scarcity, there can be abundance in almost anything. Build a scarcity museum. Promote and embed Elinor Ostrom’s non-tragedy of the commons. Scarcity is either created artificially by ‘Powers that be’ or value is extracted from a common resource pool without taking into account effect on externalities. Current capitalism is an example of ‘overfishing’ but also any form of ‘mining’ usually is geared toward greedy behavior at the expense of others and/or the ecology.

[OLD] Scarcity is the only sustainable mechanism to progress the World.

[1] Nature 2.0, The Cradle of Civilization Gets an Upgrade, https://medium.com/@trentmc0/nature-2-0-27bdf8238071 by Jan-Peter Doomernik, Dimitri de Jonghe and inspiration from Carsten Stoecker.

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no-time-to-change-wheels

This blog is inspired by ‘how did we do that? the possibility of rapid transition’.

It’s undeniable that the World is ‘in’ transition, with lately lots of focus on energy transition, by some called ‘the mother of all transitions’. Being in transition can range from feeling uncomfortable, scary, unwanted for some while others might see only positive outcomes and will want to enforce it to happen. As always, the truth may lie somewhere in the middle.

More and more we here that we need to accelerate the energy transition. Because we get more and more scared of the negative outcomes from inaction or inertia, we tend to look for solutions where technooptimism and market mechanisms whisper to us that something external to us will solve the problem. But there is much more to it ofcourse. In fact we need from time to time a slowdown, look carefully at lessons learned from previous transitions, and embed that within our ethics, morals, politics, laws and regulations and governance. This calls for courage on all levels. A combination of many paths, a combination of top-down and bottom-up learning. Maybe even the greatest learning experiment in history, but there is hope!

Given the fact that transitions are not a direct goal in itself, but a consequence of retrospect (e.g. climate change impact), it seems ‘we’ can benefit if we can in some way enforce a ‘rapid’ transition. Fortunately, there is already a good collective knowledge of previous transitions and their succes factors. By accident I stumbled upon this very good overview ‘how did we do that? the possibility of rapid transition’ which I would like to recommend and share here, so it can reach even more readers.

For those who want to have a quick overview of factors that matter in rapid transitions, please go read page 44 in the excellent booklet which gives many good examples. I truly hope this blog reaches at least those that are active in transitions and that are in positions to make a difference. Good luck with your personal transition in discovering this exciting helpful research, with a great thanks to the contributors!

I also found out that Kate Raworth who’s Doughnut economy idea I greatly support, also seems to have stumbled upon the rapid transition research, she mentioned it in a tweet: ‘This is goeing high up upon my reading list’.  Thanks Kate for your excellent ideas!

 

 

Although I believe that technology is here to serve humanity, sometimes it reveals new capabilities that were previously unthinkable. In a LinkedIn post, Oliver Rikken mentioned a great idea how to teach the essentials of blockchain to a 5 year old kid. It inspired me to make this blog and create a hashtag for it #letsmakefriendswithblockchain.

I endorse the idea of Oliver because there is a very fundamental message in it. If you can make ‘friends’ with blockchain, why wouldn’t we try to make room for a new ‘Business model’ paradigm based on this simple yet fundamental base? And while we’re at it, why not declare all less friendly or unfriendly Business models outdated, since we might have found a potentially friendly alternative?

#letsMakeFriendsWithBlockchain #friendlyBusinessModel #friendlyBusinessModelsAreHereToStay

LetsMakeFriendsWithBlockchain

The quest for ever more effiency (by means of increasing productivity) often leads to scale-up strategies. But a recent study has detected that scaling up in societal systems leads to increase of inequality, the same way scaling up in natural systems leads to increasing inequality. It is known that increasing inequality may benefit the few (elite) over the many, or in other words: maximization is not evenly distributed. It is also known that increasing inequality may lead to increasing social unrest.

Could we break this self-reinforcing cycle by evaluating strategies that harm the ecology or humanity, and transitioning these to smaller, more locally optimized strategies, scaling-down instead of scaling-up? Exchanging less efficiency for more stability? Optimizing what we can oversee (localization) instead of maximizing what we cannot control anymore (globalization)?

your-greed-is-hurting-the-economy

scarcity-museumI think we need to make room for abundance! Humanity has come a long way using scarcity as one of the primary tools to progress society. Unfortunately this tool also stimulates a ‘winner-takes-all’ mentality, that, as we can now witness by the numbers, has led to World-scale inequality that can hardly be believed to be within normal, acceptable bounds any longer. Scarcity thinking leads to competition where winners want to create loosers at the cost of society at large.

But now I want a scarcity museum. So that those that see that we are transforming into an abundant society, have a place to dump the scarcity impediments they encounter on their path towards abundancy.

The museum can start virtually, and we can put all items in that we collectively belief should be placed there forever. I want to make the first donation. I donate one of the most actual items to start with: CO2 emissions. Because if we agree that CO2 is a scarce item that should belong in a museum, we must have also managed to get rid of it! It’s a good motivator to get it into the museum as fast as possible!

In can also think of other items to put in there. One of them might be fossil energy. Because there is already abundant energy available (think of the Sun as an example), so it should be our drive to store fossil energy in the museum, where it belongs.

Another item might be capitalism. The money is there now, in enormous abundancy. But if we would make it scarce again for all, not only for the majority but also for the hoarding elites, it will loose a lot of it’s power. And it will give us room to replace with a better system that is ‘greed’-proof which capitalism unfortunately is not.

abundance.png

Any more ideas?

your-greed-is-hurting-the-economyWestern World capitalism and it’s neo-liberal practices has a strong belief that progress comes based on scarcity-driven growth strategies. Even despite the fact that scarcity is in reality just an illusion. An illiusion we have invented ourselves because we thought it would ignite the fire in us and make us grow and innovate.

This scarcity thinking however stimulates a winner-takes-all mentality. And we all know winners create loosers. Why would we want to create loosers? I really don’t see the ‘Business case’ for that besides fueling one’s own egoistic nature. Looking more closely, this in fact could even be regarded a crime to humanity since those accumulating wealth at the expense of others can only do that by plain simply stealing from those others.

But it’s not only the increasing inequality that is troublesome, it is also the mere fact that by concentrating wealth into an increasingly smaller elite is an enabler for the collapse of capitalism itself. Because in the end, real wealth accumulation cannot come from concentration, it can only come from distribution! This is because a concentration-only strategy can be considered a forward-coupled control loop that has no ‘correcting’ feedback loop.

We should develop some kind of universal feedback mechanism that prevents concentration on the level that it becomes damaging to ecology or humanity or both. This could be done by combining continuous distribution of wealth with continous measurement of where potential new concentrations pop up. Keeping some kind of globally ‘acceptable’ balance. From winner-takes-all to winner-shares-all mentality.

Any experiment in towards this new collective, integrated progress should be heavily encouraged. Since we never really tried progressing humanity based on (a combination of scarcity-driven and) abundance-driven growth we cannot really say it will not work. So we should at least give it a try.

laughing-as-the-buddhaLiving a balanced life is allways a good thing. But it’s not allways easy. Some (most?) of us tend to get stuck in the never-ending rat-race that (especially in Western society?) seems to drive life. I am no exception to this. I also tend to get distracted by people in my environment that try to convince me to become better than I was, become more agile, handle and act faster and more efficient, go only for short-term results and ignore all the rest, produce more, consume more, travel more and so on. To me it sometimes seems we have lost contact with a pace that is more natural: the pace of nature.

So what can we do to change this? Start laughing with the Buddha. Accept that we can’t change everyting. Accept your own value. You are already beautiful and perfect the way you are here and now. Accept your self as the most important person in the World. Ignore others that want to make you feel less important. It’s their inability to view the beauty that is already inside you.

Accept that this can only start from within a personal transition, not a collective one. That will never happen. Any transition allways starts from one person. But identical transitions can happen simultaneously of become synchronized in one way or another. The beauty comes then when these people start discovering each other. They tend to form tribes or communities because they share some common vision. That is when personal transition can transcend into collective transition.

So what’s next? Sit back and enjoy here and now. Accept the World as it is. There is no need to hurry. Everything will come in it’s own time. Trust the universe to help you do the right things at the right time. Don’t try to force it or speed it up. This only exaggerates the negative energy. Don’t let others influence you to go faster than your own preferred pace. Don’t let others try to tell you you are not good enough. Don’t let others convince you to join the production/consumption rat-race. Don’t let others force you to accept their ideologies or dogma’s. Live you own life, be true to yourself. Practice patience and trust that everything will turn out just fine for you.

 

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