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
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)?
I 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.
Any more ideas?
Western 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.
Living 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.
There’s a saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This is used a lot by innovators, especially those that want to disrupt. It’s a polarising vision. It excludes old dogs. That is discriminating! It’s a ‘winners create loosers’ story. One wins at the cost of another. What a shame!
And then there is also another saying that you can teach a new dog old tricks. This is used many times by old dogs that are usually proud or very proud of there ‘best’ practices and don’t see any need to change those. But that is also polarising because it tries to change new dogs into doing old things. And try to stall innovation. Quite a dillema!
So we have to deal with two emotions here. The disruptors get a kick from disrupting. But it is only a temporary kick. Adrenaline when they have success. And then soon they fall back in wanting the next succes. Then the frustration kicks in as the main emotion. Negative energy. Not good.
The old boys get a kick from stability. Doing the same thing over and over again and doing it damn good. Routine. But also that is a temporary feeling. An adrenaline kick after having done the routine job. And then it sucks in again, waiting for the next kick. And also here, frustration kicks is as the main emotion if looked at the total over a larger timeframe.
The fun is in combining the two. Making them inclusive instead of exclusive. Build on those old tricks that can benefit new tricks. Build on those new tricks that help enforce some of the old tricks. Combine the best of both worlds. Let old dogs learn from new tricks. And let new dogs learn from old tricks.
Make mistakes you dogs: all of you. And learn, unlearn, relearn.