10-15 min reading time

From moment to Movement [2 van 5]

To create the world we all desire, we must reconnect. With nature, each other and with Self. Who do you want to be and what do you want to mean to others? How can we become great ancestors too?

In the first part of this series of five we read that our economic system is not only fallible, but above all dated and possibly even broken. It no longer does what it was designed for. The present blog is Part II (of V) that explores and captures the vital ideas and solutions of the world for tomorrow.

Never has there been a better moment to reflect together on the world of tomorrow. What choices will we make now, when it appears that a major reset and decivilization are inevitable?

Will it be a case of quietly waiting, until the tide turns; and as victims of the circumstances – which we have created ourselves – will we be carried away into the emerging future? A future where our wait is belied by the come-back of nature and the ever-accumulating ecological crisis.

Or will we choose to lead and control the inevitable and irreversible transformation? Are we going to shape our own future and create in radical interdependence a world in which we live within the limits of our planet? A more sustainable world, where we leave no one behind. A just society, with a regenerative and above all more inclusive economy. One that works for everyone.

From moment to ‘Movement’?

It will take more than the World Economic Forum’s new motto “The Great Reset” to do this, because it still assumes the economic paradigm that planet and people are subservient to the growth of our economy. The myth that there can be no prosperity and therefore no well-being without economic growth is persistent. Most people, including the elite in Davos, seem to have forgotten that this is just a myth. There is insufficient recognition that the planet can do just fine without an economy, but that the reverse is not true. And it is not people who must be at the service of the economy, but the other way around. The jobs of the future are only relevant if they pay fairly and enable people to develop their potential and unleash their passion. When their work matters and contributes to real progress, for themselves and, of course, for others.

Our existing economic system is unhealthy and certainly not sustainable. It is a non-regenerative, draconian monstrosity that has left 6 billion people behind and operates far beyond the boundaries of the only habitat available. A system that makes the rich ever richer and puts the vulnerable at ever greater distance.

… more humanity, so that we may become good ancestors and die happy because of what we leave behind for those whom we have only been allowed to love in our dreams

So we must prevent the economic and intellectual elite of the World Economic Forum from holding hostage or even hijacking the “Great Reset” idea, because their top-down and centralized, autocratic vision and approach will not provide a solution for eight billion people. There is nothing wrong with the meanings and good intentions, only the premise is wrong. It is not the economy that should be at the center of the design for tomorrow’s world, but humanity and its radical interdependence on the planet. The economy itself and our economic thinking are the subject of the reset and not the goal, nor the intention.

Economic growth is not the all-powerful panacea, and 1.3 billion people must seriously prepare to take a big leap backwards. From consuming more to consuming less. And that is not about less only, it is much more about more. More equality, more justice and inclusiveness. More clean air and more well-being. And above all more humanity, so that we become good ancestors and can die happy. For what we leave behind for those we have only been allowed to love in our dreams.

The Great Reset (some are even already talking about a “Greater Reset”) should focus much more on integrated actions. On measures that stimulate behavioral, cultural and structural changes in our systems and institutions. So it is above all a change in our own behavior, in our way of doing things. Letting go of our limiting beliefs and prejudices.

Commercial psychologists in high-Tech manipulate our choices with their “smart algorithms,” eroding our free will and even our freedom

Why do we still buy things that we already have in multiples? Or that we don’t really need at all? When was the last time you bought something that was already in your closet or shed? Isn’t it strange that almost all advertisements on TV and other media recommend products that we don’t really need. Often the touted products are bad for our health or harmful to our planet. The market and supply have become dominant. Commercial psychologists manipulate our choices with their “smart algorithms” and thus erode our free will and even our freedom.

Reconnecting in context

So we need a reset of the integral economic system, serving humanity and the planet and everything else on it.

This will require much more than ecomodernism and exponential technologies. And also more than the Great Reset that the World Economic Forum advocates stand for and has made its motto for 2021.

We will have to reconnect, holistically, with the integral context; with Nature, with Each Other and with ‘Self’. Only then will we be mentally ready for a Great Reset, because it mainly involves a behavioral and cultural change; focused on awareness (of the facts and the immense challenges) and desire (for a better world and the intrinsic motivation to contribute to it).

1. Reconnecting with Nature

The great reset I am referring to means, first of all, that we must reconnect with nature, from the understanding that we are nature too. It is blatantly immoral and detrimental to behave as exploiters of our only habitat. It is also pretty hubristic to think that we are the stewards of nature. When we destroy nature, we end up destroying ourselves. Because we are nature too.

Nature is making her come-back; patiently and purposefully restoring the balance and fallibility of humanity

Look around you; nature reminds us of this every day. There are no such things as “free lunches”. We may be the only species on the planet that has successfully attacked nature, but anyone who observes nature closely sees that it is making an inevitable comeback.

Patiently, purposefully and extremely effectively, nature is restoring the imbalance that we – as her enemy – have created. And if we don’t want to feel and listen and there is no other way, nature will restore the balance in her way. This will most likely not mean the immediate end of us as a species, but certainly the provisional end of a fine, perspective rich and humane life for many generations to come.

In the long run, no one wins from nature, including humanity.

2. Reconnect with each other

We also need to reconnect with each other. What does it mean to live in freedom and how do we ensure that no one is left behind? Economic growth has brought great prosperity to over a billion people, but a much larger group still lives marginalized lives on the fringes of society. Inequality is not about ‘black, white or yellow’. Or about men and women. Nor about gays and straights.

Inequality is primarily about equal opportunity and access to quality education, technology, capital and other basics needed to develop your potential and unleash your passion. When people can choose for themselves, they are less likely and often to feel victimized.

Reconnecting with each other doesn’t just mean stepping aside to make room for the other to be equal. Over 1 billion rich people – you and me – also have to take a big step backwards in our prosperity. First, to bring our way of living and consuming back within the limits of the planet. And second, for the benefit of 6 billion people, who also dream of and have a right to a human existence.  A way of life that we have come to consider normal.

If Michael Jordan had been 5’10” or had grown up in Camp Moria, (refugee camp at Lesbos), he would never have thrown tens of thousands of balls into a net.

We will have to rediscover together how happy we become by sharing and even more by passing on. So that the recipient can experience that he or she is ultimately giving us the most beautiful gift. Namely the ability to give! With this realization, no one needs to feel compromised anymore. And we find each other in our essential interdependence.

3. Reconnect with Self

Finally, we also need to reconnect with Self. Who do we want to be and what do we want to mean to others? We need to break free from meritocratic thinking and the neo-liberal convictions that everyone gets what they deserve.

If Michael Jordan had been 5’10” or had grown up in Camp Moria, he would never have thrown tens of thousands of balls into a net.

Improve yourself, start with the world

We must therefore stop constantly comparing ourselves to others and what they or the system expect of us. It is not about transcending collective mediocrity. Your focus should be on transcending your own mediocrity. And in this way, after all, we can all become world champions. Not by being the best in the world, but to do the best for the world. From your capabilities and your passion.

Improve yourself and start with the world. We just need to discover that learning is life itself and we get to do it for a lifetime. We don’t have to be infallible and failure is nothing but finding a way to your goal that doesn’t work. We then simply choose another path, whereas many people, when faced with the stigma of failure, feel that they are forced to choose another goal.

So we can spend a lifetime preparing for a peaceful death, smiling. Because you know what you are leaving behind and that you have mattered.

Connecting together in desire entanglement

In radical dependence, let’s intertwine our desires, that sounds different from conflict of interest. And together, let’s shape a new world based on the agora and decentralized economies.

Let’s also work together to ensure that our health system tilts its focus from diagnosis and treatment to prevention. People don’t primarily want quick diagnosis and cheap treatment. We want to live a nice, independent life in good health for as long as possible. And if that is no longer possible, most people want to be able to choose for themselves whether and how they want to continue living. Living longer means also dying sooner.

That is why we need to change the focus of education from learning to work to learning to live. No more product-oriented and standardized education. Instead, it should be customized and customer-oriented. Lifelong learning is so much better than being taught for two decades.  Tomorrow’s teachers are much more of a guide and inspiration, rather than a teacher or boring professor who believes they have all the wisdom.

Without a fundamental reset we will never realize the 17 SDGs, nor will we create real progress for all people

Of course, we cannot avoid considering and treating nature and all its ecosystems as our most important ally. After all, they secure the future of new generations and remind us daily to become good ancestors. No one is more important than nature and the collective.

Thus, a transition to regenerative agriculture, for example, is inevitable, even when it comes at the expense of individual interests. Of farmers and their successors within the family. No one has the right to damage the health of people and the only living environment we have. This applies to Shell, Unilever, Tata Steel and therefore also to farmers. And even for a missionary and certainly also for a resigned government, just to keep you connected with the actuality.

On the face of it, the recent fall of our the Dutch government was not caused by the benefits affair or by a broad, collective failure of the government as maker and enforcer of laws. But by a shocking inability and unwillingness to connect with the soul of society.

The social damage done by the Dutch government is not only immoral and heaven-shattering. It is also very likely in violation of human rights. A trip to the European Court will shed a different light on Rutte’s and Hoekstra’s statements that they will simply stay on as leaders of their political parties during the upcoming elections in March.

In a way, there are parallels to be found that are reminiscent of the America of Donald Trump; who just can’t understand why so many business partners, party members, and also voters have dropped him. It is the same short-sightedness and arrogance of power, which shows through the absence of leadership how powerful, beautiful and important true leadership is. Political profiling as a goal, has no place in the world we all long for. If there is no wind, you must row. Not the destination is the goal, but the expedition to it is the deeper meaning and purpose.

In the next three blogs, I will consider the imperatives for the reset of the 21st century. What are the key design goals for the vital ideas and solutions for tomorrow’s world?

Also read the other parts within this quintet:

> Vital  ideas and solutions for tomorrow’s world (part I)
> Designfor radical interdependence (part III)
> Invest in just and equality (part IV)
> Accountability for all stakeholders (part V)

Or read the whole story in my best seller:

> Once Upon A Future – former no.1 at Managementboek.nl and nominated for ‘the Management Book’ of the Year 2021.



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