By Andrew Gaines
I would like to invite you to be active in a bold new initiative called Inspiring Transition. Its purpose is to inspire mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society.
We do this by communicating in imaginative ways that enable the general public and influential decision-makers to grasp the systemic nature of the changes needed to become ecologically sustainable and socially healthy, and become passionately committed to action.
Inspiring Transition has more than twenty open source communication tactics and tools to make this as easy as possible. They include tools for personal communication, briefing points, sample emails, workshops, and ‘guerrilla marketing’ tactics.
One tactic you could apply immediately is to send this invitation email to your networks. You can tweak it in your own way, of course.
Inspiring Transition aims to catalyse a whole system change to a life-sustaining society. ‘Whole system change’ means changing everything necessary in order to solve global warming, biodiversity loss, population growth, corporate control of government and the other factors that together add up to an ecologically self-destructing global civilisation.
Many of us are used to thinking in terms of specific local projects. In contrast, the idea of changing the operation of our whole society is at a scale far beyond what many of us have considered before, and it can seem overwhelming.
However, our article Understanding Whole System Change provides a framework that makes whole system change mentally manageable in a way that supports real-world transformative action. Grasping this framework equips people mentally and emotionally to support constructive leadership when it arises –which always happens. It also provides an orientation for exerting leadership within their local sphere of influence. You might want to have a look, and see if it resonates with values that you already hold (I expect that it will).
In addition to the communication tools on the Inspiring Transition website, there are a number of excellent books and videos that also cover the ground of whole system change. David Korten’s The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community is an example. However, their reach is limited. Only a small portion of the general public seeks out transformative ideas (although fortunately that number is growing).
Arguably, if as a society we are to successfully transition to a life-sustaining society within the requisite time frame, a critical mass of the general public must become thoughtfully and passionate committed to the transition. So our design problem is: how can we reach people who have not thought deeply about the need for transformative change?
I think that we have a huge previously unrecognised resource: ourselves! Each of us can act as citizen educators seeding transformative ideas into mainstream culture, because we are all part of the mainstream.
By ‘ourselves’ I mean not only members of the MAHB, but also the millions of people and groups that Paul Hawken describes in Blessed Unrest... people who care about environmental sustainability and social well-being. A great social change movement is already going on. If it fulfils its potential, historians in the future may look back at our time as the Great Transition to a life-sustaining society.
Just a few of us acting as citizen educators will not have much influence. But if masses of us do it we have a way of bypassing the corporate controlled media and inspiring the thinking necessary to make not only democracy, but our global civilisation, work. How can we take it to scale?
Accelerating the Great Transition - Engaging mainstream commitment to a life-sustaining society outlines a strategy whereby thousands, indeed millions, of individuals and organisations can combine forces to affect mainstream consciousness without requiring a complex administrative structure or contentious strategy meetings. I invite you to critically review it.
Between now and Christmas we intend to engage as many of these groups as possible as citizen educators championing whole system change to a life-sustaining society. And we look forward to a great flowering during 2016.
Participants in the Inspiring Transition initiative act as independent agents aligned in our intention to shift mainstream consciousness. There is no formal organisation to join. The network is growing; we have colleagues in America, Canada, Scotland, England, Germany, South Africa, and across Australia. Paul R. Ehrlich has indicated his support in this statement.
What next? If you are willing to embrace the audacious goal of succeeding in changing the direction of society as a whole, and you recognise that inspiring thoughtful mainstream commitment to transformative change is essential for success... then I invite you to play an active part in Inspiring Transition. You can do this through your own initiative. Our website shows how.
Again, one tool you can apply immediately is to tweak our invitation email and send it to your networks. You could also mention to people you know that ‘We are in a Great Transition to a life-sustaining society, and we need to greatly accelerate it’, and invite people to play a role. This is a new order of citizen activism that transcends protests.
We have great work to do; let’s get on with it!
We are in a Great Transition to a life-sustaining society!