This journey can feel adventurous and strange.
Whether we live in the comfort of our routines with an ease in life and business or we struggle every day, either state can dull the senses, drain energy and crowd out time and ability to think through many important things for ourselves.
Not everyone will want to see the facts of the big picture, especially those things that may seem too risky or require sacrifices that we don’t want to make. We may think we can evade responsibility by “kicking cans down the road.”
For those who choose to explore new ways of thinking, here are some resources that we’ve discovered that you may find interesting as well.
After all, the journey of regenerative governance is one of personal learning and development more than anything.
Visionary directors cultivate steadiness going forward, using a language of possibility without blame, fear, or desire for control. Steadiness allows authentic dialogue and collaboration on what really matters and what is going to matter.
We can make things better: on the other side of awareness there is agency, choice, humour (still), and full-hearted living in these times — the stuff of a viable future.
15 minutes a day in the Stack will expand your perspective, knowledge, and capability.
GOVERNANCE for LIFE
The Accountability Group’s collection of curated big-picture views and angles to get you started. These resources are gems.
THE PRESENCING INSTITUTE and Otto Scharmer’s Theory U started me on my regenerative learning journey.
Otto is a senior lecturer at the Sloan School of Management at MIT and co-founder of the Institute. His framework (taught free by the Presencing Institute through MITX) has attracted a global community of changemakers. This video, “Three Enemies,” gives a taste.
NATE HAGENS IS an ecological economist, former Wall Street financier, and university lecturer. He traces the human journey by combining geophysical facts, the underlying currency of life, the spend of our hydrocarbons windfall, and the precarity of our leveraged economy. Show notes back up his riveting statements. My pick is his Earth Day video.
LINK to Hagens’ Earth Day 2022 video
LINK to “The Great Simplification”
NORA BATESON, daughter of famous anthropologist Gregory Bateson and thought leader of “warm data” fame, reminds us that the world is relational, that questions are key, and that supporting life is always grounded in context. She also cautions us that visions of the future may be deploying the same linear thinking that got us where we are today.
LINK to YouTube presentation
LINK to Medium article
LINK to Warm Data Lab
DANIEL CHRISTIAN WAHL is an international sustainability educator specializing in biologically-inspired whole systems design and transformative innovation. I appreciate his take on three horizon pathways (world in crisis — transition — a viable world) and how relating
to the future from these perspectives allows the basis for collaborative action and transformative innovation.
HOW DO WE grasp all of this? UBC professor Vanessa Andreotti blends Western and Indigenous views. She gently yet firmly challenges our “worlding” and counsels that we learn to swim only when the flood is hip-deep. I’ve started her video at the point where she speaks to the false chase of entitlement and the need for individual inner balance: not -1 (insecure) or +1 (narcissistic) but 0 (neutral) so we can work better together.
IN THIS ARTICLE, provocatively titled “Tasting the Pickle,” Jonathan Rowson sets out our spicy mix of challenges! See the chart on page 12 and then skip to the sections that interest you. I appreciate Jonathan’s worldview, one that is characterized by a concern for the fullness of life, aliveness, and integration.
LINK to “Tasting the Pickle”
LINK to Jonathan’s interview with the late Terry Patten
DANIEL SCHMACTENBERGER CO-FOUNDED The Consilience Project. He is considered by some to be a “galaxy-brain” due to his far-ranging analysis. Setting out the compounding interconnection of global issues and the multi-polar traps which drive exploitative behaviour (i.e., “we do it or someone else will”), he contends that we have the power of gods but lack their wisdom.
REAL-TIME DATA on the state of our planet. Seeing the rate of change we are experiencing in a visual format is truly remarkable.
RICHARD HEINBERG SEES energy through the prism of power (i.e., the rate of energy usage and ability to do work intersect with the social). Richard is one of the leading educators on the need to transition society away from fossil fuels. He is a recipient of the Atlas Award for climate heroes and the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education.
MATHEMATICIAN SID SMITH provides an easy-to-understand video on energy, the most essential infrastructure of our society. The name of his channel — HTETEOTW or “How to Enjoy the End of the World” — may be off-putting, but Smith does the trick for Energy Basics 101. If you prefer to read rather than watch, the 2nd link is for you.
LINK to Chapter 1: Energy 101
NATE HAGENS’ WORK and passion is energy, so do watch the video I recommended in the “Bird’s-Eye/Macro View” section of the Stack plus this short YouTube riff on energy. I appreciate Nate’s passion to call out our “energy blindness” and implications. No matter what, there will be less energy use.
FOR CURRENT NEWS I look to Ottawa’s The Energy Mix, a non-profit that provides credible tracking of energy and climate news. They do great work to summarize the issues, especially — but not exclusively — for Canadians. Dedicated and knowledgeable, Mitchell Beer (PPM at birth 317) is founding publisher and managing editor. Hint: PPM = parts per million.
WANT TO KNOW your PPM on the day you were born and now? This link calculates it for you. (Mine was 312.6 ppm in my birth year).
Climate change and its impact on ecologies and species explained in a 7.5- minute-long video: “When The World Gets 1°C Hotter: Climate Change, The Facts.” It’s the orientation we all know and feel.
This short video from 2012 is current more than a decade after it was produced. I love Stewart Brand’s readiness and welcoming of the challenge. Stewart is the founder of The Whole Earth Catalog and co-founder of The Long Now Foundation, The Well, and Revive & Restore.
PARADOXICALLY, ACCEPTANCE CAN help us not make a bad situation worse. Michael Dowd has created three plates of content for his post-doom, no-gloom series – and here is the appetizer version. I appreciate his clear-eyed message that by acceptance (no denial) and coming through grief we find grounding, gratitude, and opportunities to make a difference. This is what happened to me.
DR. BRITT WRAY is a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. In the video and article below she addresses the mental health impacts of the ecological crisis.
REPORT CARD on targets for 2020 set in Copenhagen 2009 (from Canada’s National Observer in May 2022).
GREAT UK PODCAST about climate change — an interview with frankly-speaking Professor Kevin Anderson, a leading climate scientist. Kevin is Professor of Energy and Climate Change, holding a joint chair in the School of Engineering at the University of Manchester (UK) and in Centre for Sustainability and the Environment (CEMUS) at Uppsala University (Sweden).
DR. WILLIAM REES is a bio-ecologist, ecological economist, and the former Director and Professor Emeritus of UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning. He is the originator of the “ecological footprint” concept and co-developer of the method. He sees himself as a realist, not a pessimist, and has a cheerful demeanour despite the tough issues.
“LET’S DO IT OURSELVES!” animates many bright minds creating online tools for cooperation. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are in their infancy now. This fork in their development, DisCOs, is a cooperative alternative to DAOs that illustrates the spirit that is developing in these energized online communities.
I BELIEVE BIO-REGIONALISM is in our future. I’ve started this video at the point where Daniel Christian Wahl sets out the case and what it means. We have work to do to organize this way.
I WAS AMAZED when I came across Naryan Wong’s whirling site The Flourishing of All Living Things — a dynamic snapshot of processes, projects and people trying to maximize human (and animal) flourishing and protection. What this communicates is how alive and interconnected efforts to rethink things are.
THE LIMINAL WEB, a term coined by Joe Lightfoot, is a subculture space — thus far Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic. The first link directs you to Joe’s website and his explanation of the concept. The Stoa talk is a lot of fun unpacking its inhabitants and perspectives. The last link is a more critical response to Joe’s article by Angella Okawa.
TERRAN IS ONE example of the new communities springing up globally. This may not be the answer for everyone. However, what can we learn from them? Are they flourishing? In this article, Tucker Walsh identifies many of these new transformational communities.
SALMON NATION is an Indigenous community taking a layered approach to regenerative thinking. They ground their approach on the natural design of their bioregion’s rich capital assets. This is a great example of a bio-physical, economic and digital network overlaying mainstream jurisdictions. The aim is to reinforce and support the natural patterns of watersheds and land so habitats and people are more resilient.
IN THIS VIDEO, “Deep Adaptation Q&A with Joanna Macy” hosted by Jem Bendell, Joanna (now in her ninth decade) looks squarely at our probable future. She reflects on the exquisite and full now, about the positive disintegration required, appreciation for living, and what resilience is made of. She suggests that we finish this sentence: “As I face the collapse of our culture, what I am grateful for is….”
I HAVE MUCH RESPECT for John Vervaeke, professor of cognitive science at U of T. His YouTube channel can be a very deep dive. One nugget though: in this video, Rich Watkins provides a short and clear explanation about different ways of knowing — one of John’s great contributions. It’s so useful to have this understanding and framing (and I see that John himself liked it in the comments!)
THOMAS HÜBL is an author and the founder of The Academy of Inner Science, an organization leading dialogue and restoration processes around collective trauma worldwide. For example, due to its collective history and associated trauma, Thomas has worked extensively in Germany. I appreciate his gentle manner as he explains what helps when we are overwhelmed.
BONNITTA ROY IS one of the most novel and profound “processors” of complexity I know. An author, teacher, insight guide, and horse trainer, she is able to see process unfolding in complexity. Her sharp grasp of the human state of development is set out here in this video, “Origins of the Self: An Integrated Model,” a masterful explanatory session at The Stoa.
PERHAPS NOTHING HAS emboldened me to step more courageously into the future than the authentic relating practices that I stumbled onto in 2020. I recommend Ria Baeck, a transformational change professional and author. Similarly, Circling is a really lovely practice. There are many communities now in practice to meet the challenges of our times.
LINK to Collective Presencing by Ria Baeck
LINK Ria on Emerge Podcast
LINK to Circling
JEREMY LENT gives me hope that there is more mystery than we yet know. He talks about the interconnectedness of everything and how we can begin to act that with that knowledge. Jeremy, an author and speaker, explores the underlying causes of our civilization’s existential crisis, and what supports a life-affirming future. Great stuff!
Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World is a much acclaimed book by Tyson Yunkaporta, an Indigenous scholar at Deakin University in Melbourne. Story-lyrical and wonderfully engaging, Sand Talk explains how lines, symbols, and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It’s about how we learn and how we remember. It’s about talking to everyone and listening carefully. It’s about finding different ways to look at things.
I LOVE THIS short, enthusiastic, and clear video by economist and author Kate Raworth about “donut economics.” Kate presents a visual framework for sustainable development — playfully and seriously shaped like a doughnut or lifebelt — combining the concepts of planetary and social boundaries. The city of Amsterdam has taken on this approach and I love their holistic view: they get it!
THIS CONVERSATION, between Volans CEO Louise Kjellerup Roper and regenerative leadership expert Giles Hutchins, provides — in 5 minutes — a clear, practical approach to regenerative leadership. They discuss how this involves a shift in consciousness from a narrow, reductive perspective into a widening systematic perspective, supporting living systems.
THIS VIDEO FROM the Royal Society of Architects is hosted by Brit Gareth Evans from a tent that looks like it’s located somewhere in southern Asia (hot). Two authors — Michael Pawlyn and Sarah Ichioka — speak about their book Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency. Together they present design principles for a regenerative future. This video has great gem-insights for planners and governors.
JOHN FULLERTON FOUNDED The Capital Institute in 2010 after twenty years of experience on Wall Street. He pioneered holistic economic thought. His “Eight Principles of a Regenerative Economy” draw upon the science of living systems and global wisdom traditions. John says he wishes he had called them “qualities” as they are not rules. His work on finance is recommended as he speaks to misaligned incentives and what we need.
THE FUTURE WILL de-emphasize financial capital and emphasize other forms of exchange. I prefer the more comprehensive display of different types of capital featured by 7th Generation Design. I believe that these are the building blocks with different valuations in the future.
I HAD HEARD ABOUT Oren R. Lyons — a friend had described how his coming to the stage had instantly quieted hundreds of people in an otherwise noisy conference room and how that crowd respectfully listened to his message. This wonderful video shows how that moment occurred. Oren describes the web of life, our role in it, and the instructions we need about our place therein. Oren is a Native American Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan.
nRhythm IS A consulting firm that helps organizations, networks, and communities use a regenerative framework, taking a holistic, living systems-based approach to improving organizational outcomes while increasing the efficiency, effectiveness, and well-being of employees. It is a community I belong to; their principles infuse my work.
JAMIE WHEAL sums up our predicament and points to promise in this beautifully edited Big Think video, “Why the World is Going Crazy — and How to Win Back Our Minds.” I love Jamie’s support of the soul and senses and how he values the arts and music. Jamie is an expert on peak performance and leadership, specializing in the neuroscience and application of Flow states.
ARE HUMANS the only species with a moral culture? This thought-provoking TED Talk by Frans de Waal has some surprising answers. Starting at 02:09, Frans demonstrates that morality in animals — empathy and consolation, pro-social tendencies, reciprocity, and a sense of fairness — is not unique to humans. That’s social/culture!
WHAT CAN THE rise and fall of historic civilizations tell us about our own This challenging read is about a possible future. In his article, Luke Kemp helps us understand our predicament and how we can learn from our past.
THIS BBC ARTICLE points out the perils of our short-term thinking as a society. We have a very challenging time thinking about, let alone prioritizing, the well-being of future generations. While true, we are changing with the climate crisis. Indigenous 7th-generation thinking considers the impact of our decisions as they ripple into the decades ahead.
I RECOMMEND Jonathan Rowson again; this time for his essay on the survival of open societies. In this article, Jonathan ponders what do we do now and, in an exchange on choice-making (plant-based meat), illustrates beautifully the conundrums when the world is out of balance and how to go forward.
INDRA ADNAN is the author of The Politics of Waking Up. In this video she refashions politics into coming together, agreeing, and working on things. Indra explains how a small number of individuals belonging to political parties set the agenda and hold us to an economic frame in our politics. What she says about the UK and Europe also holds true for North America.
HAROLD G. NELSON and Erik Stolterman wrote a book titled The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World in which they make the case for a design culture. Nelson’s work has been called “The Rosetta Stone of Design.” Get a feel for his thinking and the design pathway moving forward by starting at this point in his lecture, “Design in the 21st Century: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World.”
PETER LIMBERG STARTED something when he posted his Memetic Tribe typology chart in 2018. Memetic tribes are a group of agents with a meme complex (“memeplex”) that directly or indirectly seek to impose their distinct map of reality — along with its moral imperatives — on others. This cultural diversity of affiliations and identity is not trivial.
LINK to “The Memetic Tribes”
LINK to Memetic Tribe Chart
LINK to “The Meaning & History of Memes”
WHAT WILL GOVERNANCE be like in the future? This video, “The Evolution of DAO Governance,” is a high-level exploration of emerging technologies and social constructions. It was one of the most provocative videos about the future of governance that I watched in 2022 — so much so that I wrote an article about it .
DECENTRALIZED AUTONOMOUS ORGANIZATIONS are a Web3, 21st century phenomenon. This one post by Linda Xie will educate you tremendously on their nature and how they work. DAOs are intended as a self- rewarding and participative system of various ends which can be turned to the good.
HERE IS AN ARTICLE, “What I’m Learning About Crypto and Web 3.0 and Why,” that I wrote regarding why I am following Web3, DAOs, and the like. My article explains the space as I understand it and I point out the issues as I see them.
NFTs ARE ONE of the developments of Web3 that I find particularly interesting. Here are two provocative views to sample: “A Novel Perspective on NFTs” by Jordan Hall suggests the agility of the Web3 space will outcompete. The next article, from The Network State, is an example of the radical NFT thinking out there.
WE ARE NOW into an acceleration of technology that puts humanity on the brink of various possible futures. In this article, the case is made that technology is not values-neutral, having inevitable and unexpected impacts on both the human mind and society as a whole. Consider artificial intelligence as you read this.
THE COMMONS STACK is thinking differently by realigning incentives around public goods. This network seeks to build commons-based micro-economies to sustain public goods through community governance. Design principles are incentive alignment, radically open-source, iterative development, robust engineering practices, polycentric governance, open standards, ecological economics, and biomimetic design.
WHAT I HAVE REALIZED is that we have personal work to do to change things. Inner Development Goals (IDGs) is a non-profit organization for inner development — suggesting that these are fundamental in the work to reach the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) have many resources associated to them. What I appreciate about the SDGs are their ends/outcomes orientation. What is problematic about many of them, however, is that our modern pathways to get to them require revisioning.
AT 24:00 in this video contribution, Nate Hagens speaks to the general directions we can take in our predicament. I believe that these are spot-on high-flying coordinates.
THE INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE has been around since 1968 and is now a think tank. Their “Foresight Essentials” are practical and inspiring. Huge use of scenarios and crowdsourcing. You can also audit a collaborative foresight course for free. I love how Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research, makes it all seem so obvious and not easy, but doable!
I FELT LIKE I had stumbled onto a motherlode of good thinking and tools when I found this organization. As a global platform, r3.0 crowdsources open recommendations for necessary transformations across diverse fields and sectors. Their discussions are profound, unshrinking, and accessible. I think they are way ahead and I appreciate the work they do.
EDWARD DE BONO influenced my professional development in the 1990s. His Six Thinking Hats remain simple and useful. And, hats are familiar to us governance types as we take hats on and off. This is about thinking together with all our capacities and perspectives.
DR. ROBIN WOOD has spent three decades working at board level with the world’s leading organizations in 37 countries on four continents. He is a global thinker, futurist, and straight-talking innovator and change agent. I especially love how he makes things visual. The link below has a number of useful frames and tools for you to explore.
THE MEDICINE WHEEL of the Anishinaabe cultural perspective has teachings for us which I intuitively understand as needed for the future. Moving from linear to the circular. Wholeness requires that we look in entireties.