My life’s purpose is to enlighten all people about Liquid Living Systems, so we can be wise leaders in governments, business, and our personal lives. It’s really not so difficult and there’s something we all can do tomorrow to change the world.
First of all, we have to realize that the human systems we built are made by people. We are people. We can change them. Secondly, it’s important to realize that all threads of the fabric are connected. We are one organism. The planet is an organism. Our families are organisms. Our companies are organisms. And our bodies are organisms.
Organisms nest inside each other. That’s how nature builds systems. And the more we know about this ‘nested whole’ or rather ‘nested hole’ principle and the spiraling flow between elements, the better we can organize our lives, our businesses, and our overall systems.
We can unravel one thread that’s closest to us, go back to the middle and start knitting a new fabric. All of us in our own unique role. As citizens, as parents, and as students. As managers, artists, civil servants, musicians, scientists, and country leaders.
My first story for BizCatalyst 360° (below) was about the major shifts I see in the world.
We are going from the Anthropocene where humans try to control nature and each other, to the Syntropocene, where we recognize the wisdom of our planet first and realize that we can create a much better world than we live in now when we apply Nature’s Way. The good news is, a lot of what I describe here is already happening in real life somewhere in the world. So I will mention examples. So people can copy. And adapt the solutions to their local ecosystems and their local cultures.
What shifts will be covered in this story, you ask?
- Economic shift: from central to decentralized. Staying in the capitalist realm because that’s today’s reality and that’s fine
- Business shifts: from linear business models to regenerative business models
- Governmental shifts: roles should be clear and strict. But also here, we start from what is now. Go back to the middle and start redesigning
- Technology and science shifts: new and re-discovered mathematics, biology, ecology, and astronomy insights, and quantum physics can change all if we are conscious
- The citizen’s role. You and me. Integration is our lives is all. Walking our talk.
It has become a bit of a long story. But I have to start with some context and overview. My next stories will be much shorter and focused on one subject and one target group, I promise.
To understand the macro-economic shifts, it is important to know that our current capitalist system is based on GDP. Gross Domestic Product. And the way it is designed now, GDP grows when we pollute. GDP grows when we make people sick. GDP grows when we win or lose wars.
We have said to ourselves: businesses create the value in our world. But they are allowed to take shortcuts doing that. They don’t have to take responsibility for pollution. For waste. For sick people. They just create and throw their shitty by-effects over the wall for society to solve.
Governments then have taken the role to clean up the mess. And all these silly governments do. They create hospitals, give jobs to doctors and nurses to treat the people who got sick from pollution and burnouts. They install waste burners and ship waste around the world. And our GDP grows and grows and grows with these jobs and these activities.
And we say: we’re doing good! Our economy is growing!
GDP is designed to grow with all activity. Full stop. Not with good activity that creates real value. That’s a toxic trigger in the system. And it can be repaired.
Okay, so what’s happening that’s good in the world?
New economists are entering the scene. Marianna Mazzucata e.g. has become an influential American economist. She’s the author of The Entrepeneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths en The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy. She explains the mechanisms so clearly!
Other economists are rising rapidly now. Esther Duflo, Stephanie Kelton, Carlota Perez, Kate Raworth, Noreena Hertz, Katherine Trebeck, Eve Poole, and many others.
I want to highlight Kate Raworth’s big project in my own country, the city of Amsterdam. Her team of Doughnut Economy experts are redesigning the city’s economy and society for post-COVID economy in a living lab. Together with big groups of entrepreneurs, civil servants and citizens. The project is open source and can be followed online. Now that Amsterdam has gone first, other cities have begun to copy.
And, some food for thought. Is it a coincidence that all these changemakers are women? I will be the one celebrating loudest and clearest when one of them wins the Nobel Prize in the coming years!
Companies just create and throw their shitty by-effects over the wall for society to solve.
In the business shift, it’s important to realize that companies with a strong WHY are most successful. If we can align this WHY with the signs of the times we are living in, they will be purposeful and successful. And because we can only create the new regenerative business models embracing economies of scope instead of economies of scale, the ones who tick all my boxes are the very innovative SME companies with a long-term vision. Family companies for instance.
We are going from colonization to decolonization.
Does Elon Musk have a regenerative business model with Tesla? Well, not exactly. He would have, though, if he would really apply his big WHY of being in evolutionary energy and evolutionary mobility. He would not invest in cobalt mines in Africa. He would know we go from mining to farming combined with technology. He would be innovative in making the hemp batteries with nanotechnology that is already possible. And switch as soon as technology readiness would be high enough. He would understand that colonizing space is not a good idea. We are going from colonization to decolonization. We see it every day in all protests. We see it in the rising economies of Asia and South America. Colonization is a dead end. Don’t go there. Shift to what’s really in line with the evolution of our species.
What is a regenerative business model? Well, to understand that we have to understand our current linear business models first. In short: we take a resource, we produce (creating waste), we consume (creating waste), and in the end, everything is waste.
We can do better, much better! We can create a systemic business model in which we all have our own unique niche. We design the model on a junction of activities with a specific mood and flavor. Blue Ocean Strategy has some good ideas you can adopt to get out of the red ocean of price competition and enter your own unique blue ocean.
I also like where the nature-based solutions are taking us. They all write about it, the UN, the EU Commission, the World Bank. Nature-based solutions are those solutions that have benefits for humans and biodiversity. Combinations of restored mangrove forests and ecological fish farming e.g. Or regenerative farming where we restore healthy living soil and water cycles and create value for humans as well. Healthy food. Healthy water. Healthy education.
The governmental shifts are toughest, I must confess. Politicians are blind and do not see that what they are doing now is manipulative, confusing, and controlling. Without any long-term vision. They think that is their role to control. To steer. And it’s not.
If we look at clear roles, businesses have a role to create value. Governments have the role to be wise, strict, and loving mothers. Make rules and uphold those rules. Traditionally in politics, we have divided those in left and right. Left-wing wants a big government to control. Right-wing wants to leave everything to the market, so big companies can control.
But, my friends, if we think clearly, we will realize that there’s only one truth if we zoom out far enough. There’s a planet (an organism) ruled by planetary laws and evolution. And we, humans, are part of that organism. Just a part. Not on top of the pyramid at all. All species have a specific role on the planet. And only together we can create a thriving planet with thriving humans.
We just have to understand Living Systems.
If we apply that knowledge to governments, they should stick to the role of making a minimum holon of laws. Really minimal. Just defining and upholding what we do NOT want. Stop putting old technologies and solutions in the law. Create an environment in which we’ll invent the better solutions! Give people and rivers and trees rights to life. That’s it. Easy to uphold, easy to explain. It’s like giving a child boundaries.
We will have vibrant economies full of unique companies, citizens, and activities. All collaborating and finding out how it works for them. No uniformity. Nature works with diversity. Biodiversity. Economies of scope.
In the shift, we need to realize that we are now thinking downstream only. We put plasters on incidents, making everything unnecessarily complicated. We have to go back to the middle (upstream) and only when we have untangled the mess can we flow downstream again in whatever way the horizon is pulling us.