3 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2021
    1. A final cluster gathers lenses that explore phenomena that are arguably more elastic and with the potential to both indirectly maintain and explicitly reject and reshape existing norms. Many of the topics addressed here can be appropriately characterized as bottom-up, with strong and highly diverse cultural foundations. Although they are influenced by global and regional social norms, the expert framing of institutions, and the constraints of physical infrastructure (from housing to transport networks), they are also domains of experimentation, new norms, and cultural change. Building on this potential for either resisting or catalyzing change, the caricature chosen here is one of avian metaphor and myth: the Ostrich and Phoenix cluster. Ostrich-like behavior—keeping heads comfortably hidden in the sand—is evident in different ways across the lenses of inequity (Section 5.1), high-carbon lifestyles (Section 5.2), and social imaginaries (Section 5.3), which make up this cluster. Yet, these lenses also point to the power of ideas, to how people can thrive beyond dominant norms, and to the possibility of rapid cultural change in societies—all forms of transformation reminiscent of the mythological phoenix born from the ashes of its predecessor. It is conceivable that this cluster could begin to redefine the boundaries of analysis that inform the Enabler cluster, which in turn has the potential to erode the legitimacy of the Davos cluster. The very early signs of such disruption are evident in some of the following sections and are subsequently elaborated upon in the latter part of the discussion.

      The bottom-up nature of this cluster makes it the focus area for civil society movements, human inner transformation (HIT) approaches and cultural methodologies.

      Changing the mindset or paradigm from which the system arises is the most powerful place to intervene in a system as Donella Meadows pointed out decades ago in her research on system leverage points: https://donellameadows.org/archives/leverage-points-places-to-intervene-in-a-system/

      The sleeping giant of billions of potential change actors remains dormant. How do we awaken them and mobilize them. If we can do this, it can constitute the emergence of a third unidentified actor in system change.

      The Stop Reset Go (SRG) initiative is focused on this thematic lens, bottom-up, rapid whole system change, with Deep Humanity (DH) as the open-source praxis to address the needed shift in worldview advocated by Meadows. One of the Deep Humanity programs is based on addressing the psychological deficits of the wealthy, and transforming them into heroes for the transition, by redirecting their WEALTH-to-WELLth.

      There are a number of strategic demographics that can be targeted in methodical evidence-based ways. Each of these is a leverage point and can bring about social tipping points.

      A number of 2021 reports characterize the outsized impact of the top 1% and top 10% of humanity. Unless their luxury, high ecological footprint behavior is reeled in, humanity won't stand a chance. Annotation of Oxfam report: https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Foxfamilibrary.openrepository.com%2Fbitstream%2Fhandle%2F10546%2F621305%2Fbn-carbon-inequality-2030-051121-en.pdf&group=__world__ Annotation of Hot or Cool report: https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Fhotorcool.org%2Fhc-posts%2Frelease-governments-in-g20-countries-must-enable-1-5-aligned-lifestyles%2F&group=__world__

    1. Dr. Lewis Akenji, the lead author of the report says: “Talking about lifestyle changes is a hot-potato issue to policymakers who are afraid to threaten the lifestyles of voters. This report brings a science based approach and shows that without addressing lifestyles we will not be able to address climate change.”

      This underscores the critical nature of dealing with the cultural shift of luxury lifestyle. It is recognized as a "hot potato" issue, which implies policy change may be slow and difficult.

      Policy changes and new legal tools are ways to force an unwilling individual or group into a behavior change.

      A more difficult but potentially more effective way to achieve this cultural shift is based on Donella Meadows' leverage points: https://donellameadows.org/archives/leverage-points-places-to-intervene-in-a-system/ which identifies the top leverage point as: The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, power structure, rules, its culture — arises.

      The Stop Reset Go (SRG) open collective project applies the Deep Humanity (DH) Human Inner Transformation (HIT) process to effect impactful Social Outer Transformation (SOT). This is based on the inner-to-outer flow: The heart feels, the mind thinks, the body acts and a social impact manifests in our shared, public collective human reality.

      Meadows top leverage point identifies narratives, stories and value systems that are inner maps to our outer behavior as critical causal agents to transform.

      We need to take a much deeper look at the pysche of the luxury lifestyle. Philospher David Loy has done extensive research on this already. https://www.davidloy.org/media.html

      Loy is a Buddhist scholar, but Buddhist philosophy can be understood secularly and across all religions.

      Loy cites the work of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, especially his groundbreaking Pulitzer-prize-winning book: The Denial of Death. Becker wrote:

      "Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days—that's something else."

      But Loy goes beyond mortality salience and strikes to the heart of our psychological construction of the Self that is the root of our consumption and materialism exasperated crisis.

      To reach the wealthy in a compassionate manner, we must recognize that the degree of wealth and materialist accumulation may be in many cases proportional to the anxiety of dying, the anxiety of the groundlessness of the Self construction itself.

      Helping all humans to liberate from this anxiety is monumental, and also applies to the wealthy. The release of this anxiety will naturally result in breaking through the illusion of materialism, seeing its false promises.

      Those of the greatest material wealth are often also of the greatest spiritual poverty. As we near the end of our lives, materialism's promise may begin to lose its luster and our deepest unanswered questions begin to regain prominence.

      At the end of the day, policy change may only effect so much change. What is really required is a reeducation campaign that results in voluntary behavior change that significantly reduces high impact luxury lifestyles. An exchange for something even more valued is a potential answer to this dilemma.

  2. Oct 2021
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    1. Yet, these lenses also point to the power of ideas, to how people can thrive beyonddominant norms, and to the possibility of rapid cultural change in societies—all forms of trans-formation reminiscent of the mythological phoenix born from the ashes of its predecessor. It isconceivable that this cluster could begin to redefine the boundaries of analysis that inform the En-abler cluster, which in turn has the potential to erode the legitimacy of the Davos cluster. The veryearly signs of such disruption are evident in some of the following sections and are subsequentlyelaborated in the latter part of the discussion.

      This passage pays homage to Donella Meadows, who identified the shift in mindset or paradigm that supports the system as the top leverage point. If we can shift this mindset in sufficient number of people, it can shift the thinking of the Enabler Cluster identified in the paper. A social tipping point strategy can be adopted to help this to happen quickly. This strategy is being developed by Stop Reset Go and other civil society actors.