A Global Checkmate
The worst damage to people and planet has been done since Kyoto in 1992.
We knew. But, we went on destroying. On all levels, today, we know now we have passed the threshold. We are already sinking. We went over the top. The house is burning, but there are no firefighters, there are no fire trucks — or even water to extinguish the fire. The people “in charge” are watching whilst promising that in 10 years they will start doing something about it. In the meantime, they are paid.
Now we have to do three things at the same time:
- manage declining models and collapsing sections of society
- learn about paradigms shifts and models, and people’s psychologies…
- reinvent ourselves, as well as our businesses and social system itself
and apply all of it straight away…
All of this in a global atmosphere of anxiety and resistance of the “system” itself.
Why is this ?
There are several reasons. It is possible to approach it in various ways, but here I will address it through the very tangible governance issues.
It will change in step-by-step mode, but fast. A gradual implosion of incoherent systems, leaving place to emergence of new resilient ecosystems replacing them in more efficient ways.
During the first confinement, we worked on a “Systemic Transition Plan”, with experts worldwide — and presented it to “people in charge”. Politics on the highest levels, large professional federations, corporations, universities. When we spoke to them one to one, they got the intelligence and common sense of it, and grasped perfectly the power of the systemic approach. But when the plan was presented to “the system behind”, instantly it was blown off. Every time. For us it was very strange. The reason is very simple: “they” have everything to lose. Huge political and business interests whispering to their ears… And a few other reasons.
1. Global challenges converging
27 major historical challenges will converge before 2030. All at once. This is unprecedented in western history. It’s like an airplane dashboard where all the dials are flashing and alarms are blaring. Leaders get a “tunnel vision”, and concentrate on keeping the plane flying.
Collectively develop systemic multisolutions.
2. No true will to change
There is no real will to fundamentally change the paradigm, the actors in the existing system — beyond green speeches, promises of good times and incantations. That would be sawing off the branch they are sitting on. Too many histoprical interests are at risk.
Start small, and experiment in the margin of society.
3. Lobbies and rent seekers
Even if the will to change was present, the one who dares to “speak out” is immediately barred by lobbies and industrial/financial powers.
Become your own lobby: excel in your area. Know everything about it, and even more — connect dots with other areas. Become an opinion leader — in any area there is room for improvement. And work in the margin, experimentally, with early adopters. Some of those corporations do not want to be “out of the game”, and have to move forward. Make your case and ally with smart people.
4. Complexity management
The competence of systemic management of complexity is near to non-existent amongst our governments and managements. Over and over again, old recipes are used, with sometimes tragic side effects. Examples are everywhere, just look around.
Learn about systemics, systemic mapping and impacts. Design thinking, mind-mapping. They are fun and save lots of money and time. Also, work in “collective intelligence” with your stakeholders (whilst keeping visionary leadership). You will have access to very precious information and perceptions.
5. Insufficient financial resources
The financial means to manage these challenges in an “old-fashioned” way are abscent. According to numerous studies, it would take 15 to 20 times the GDP, in a decade. We don’t have that kind of money. Even the printing machines would not be fast enough…
Collectively offer “multisolutions”. With the numbers, transition players will exponentially converge to ecosystems of thousands of smart solutions.
Example: within 100 companies, 90 are part of the problem, 10 offering half solutions. We have 5 solutions for 90 problems. On the other hand, if 100 companies offer 4 half solutions, we will end up with 200 solutions, for two dozens of historical challenges. That will offer ecosystems of dozens of solutions for each challenge. Those will inspire others and we will create a positive chain reaction. They will be attractive because economically feasible, attracting young talent, clients and key-stakeholders.
6. Not enough talent, not the right skills
The talent and human resources to do this are not there in sufficient numbers. Continental Europe is ageing, and behaves as a spoiled child, and is outdated. No plans are ready to upskill the working population fast enough. We would need them by yesterday.
Decentralisation. Large scale peer-to-peer skills sharing, learning and apprenticeship. Companies, administrations, schools and universities — internationally. Blend the best of information technology, internships and mutual learning methods.
7. Rules and regulations
Legislation and regulations are a major obstacle too to fast and potent realisation of these colossal necessary changes. Public contracting, limiting laws, hyper-regulation lames courageous entrepreneurship.
Legal exceptions enabling local economic and social experiments, public-private partnerships, in full transparency. Stimulate local community-driven “bottom-up” initiatives. Inspire from other performant projects from abroad, to move the lines with the changing context.
8. Unprecedented generation gap
The younger generations are shocked by the behaviour of Y-Generation and older. We are moving towards a real generational societal breakup where the young talents are giving up and older sticking to the known.
Learn to work intergenerational. Every generation has something to offer. Detect it and valorize it in collective intelligence and co-creation. There are really nice, courageous and willing people everywhere, of any color and age, of any culture, background and industry. There is nothing more powerful than including people for reaching a high goal.
The introduction of so-called “single” currencies (dollar, euro, etc.) has significantly accelerated international business, made it more efficient and more fluid, but at the same time has weakened economies — made them non-resilient and fragile. Fluctuations due to speculation or weakness of a territory, or the political instrumentalization of currencies, have disconnected finance from the real economy. Behind every currency there is an intention. The intention behind the so-called “single” currencies is political, the need to hold power through monetary hegemony. This is what is checkmating and will help the monetary collapsing.
An intention of true prosperity for all, coupled with true monetary intelligence and resilience. Multiple currencies creating resilience and multiple value creation channels (SDRs, re-introduce national/regional currencies, city currencies, B2B currencies, local currencies,…). Everything exists, you can put it all on a single bank-card. It just needs vision, inspiuring trust, and accelerating the movement. Like in nature, there should be numerous flows of energy and value.
Before the Covid-19 crisis, in the West, about 30% of the population suffered from various psychological disorders (Gallup, 2019). Stress, burnout, depression, mental illness of all kinds. In summer 2020 we have risen to more than 50%. More than one person in two is dysfunctional. Not to mention the impact of chronic illnesses on physical health and vital energy. How do we want to create something good — in the midst of urgency and confusion — that is sustainable, with a neurotic population? We will never succeed in doing so under these conditions. A colossal collective “burn-out” is in the making. Citizens are fed up with being manipulated, fooled, by a small caste of people in power (whether its true or not) — all this in a totally anxiety-enhancing atmosphere.
Reassuring, slowing down, coming together, develop awareness, educating ourselves on human behaviour, on societal issues and future visions and methods, activating our collective wisdom and intelligence, reconnecting with ourselves and with nature. A system based on coherence, connexion, regeneration and sustainability at all levels.
11. Extractive models
The model itself has reached its limits. Extractive, patriarchal, speculative, based on an intention of individual accumulation and debt. It is no longer necessary to note that the collateral effects are disastrous at all levels. Any child sees this — and understands that his / her future is heavily mortgaged over many generations. What characterises our model above all is the generalised selfishness, galvanized by fear and anxiety, with collective hypnotism by a society built on appearances and non-abundance. We are all part of that system…
A balanced combination of a matriarchal model and strong intention (managed not as a “bad father”, but as a “good mother”), based on the instinctive connection with context, nature, the environment, the inner state of people, and the multiple ways of creating tangible and intangible value. This new emerging model, of which we already have numerous examples, is characterised by an increased level of consciousness, marked by a reconnection to the planet, to nature and its intelligences. To others too — in solidarity. And finally, to ancestral wisdoms.
12. Disorder, chaos and complexity
Yes, the world has always been changing. But now, for the first time in history, many challenges are converging between now and 2030. It is impossible to manage one challenge at a time — we will not have the time, money or talent to do so. And no human brain is yet capable of processing the accumulation of all these superimposed systemic issues. The result will be immeasurable chaos that the power in place will not be able to manage. Social disruption is already a fact.
All this is fertile ground for new solutions… systemic thinking, multi-solution, complexity management. But one thing is clear: we will go through a phase of chaos. It’s OK though, a strong argument can make big problems debatable. Let’s not be afraid. Let’s move forward with lucidity, calmness and benevolence.
13. “Spiritual” reasons
The preceding aspects point with an invisible finger to a heavy tendency: our humanity is in a period of spiritual puberty: moving from “fight & survive” to “reconnected wisdom”. The signals are clear: search for purpose, care for people, for nature, to reconnect with natural therapies and so-called “primitive” wisdom. While more than ever fear galvanizes the crowds, clinging to the few certainties left, one by one, people reconnect to their power through a search for regenerative coherence.
A combination of all of the above… starting with reconnexion to yourself, to something aligned, efficient, connected. Projects, communities, thriving territories. This results in a much more efficient “flow” of operations.
Prof. Michel de Kemmeter