1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Otto Scharmer’s blog post “10 insights on the Ego-2-Eco Economy Revolution” may be one of the most comprehensive analysis of humankind from an econo-centric perspective. The economic subsystem is only one of many subsystems that make up the system we call humankind. Econo-centrism is a perspective that elevates the economic subsystem to a very dominant position over all other subsystems – and given that has been the view for centuries most people assume that their (econo-centric) perspective is the natural perspective and are unaware of their centrist focus.

  • 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0
  •     In a rather ugly analogy, if the digestive subsystem of our bodies becomes our primary focus the result would be “obesity is beautiful”, “eat everything”, and don’t be concerned about “where you defecate”. One might attribute the mess we are in to our econo-centrism.
  •     In no way am I proposing that viable economic subsystems aren’t important. Indeed, when economic subsystems are in balance with other subsystems, the economic subsystem would better serve the whole of humankind and be far less threatening to our survival.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 It is interesting that the educational subsystem (including schools, media, and all ways that facilitates learning/change) is not mentioned.  Only in (10) does Otto cite MOOC’s as his mention of education, along with calling for a “leadership school”.  In (7) he lists eight “institutional innovations” which doesn’t include innovations in education.  Otto is not alone having education in his blindspot.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Two days after receiving Otto’s post I received access to Jim Bell’s recent book, “Creating a Sustainable Economy and Future On Our Planet”.   This is an excellent detailed case study for economic change in the San Diego/Tijuana Region. Jim presents his ideas as a process applicable to any region/population and is the context for his upcoming presentation at China’s 2013 Low Carbon Earth Summit in Xi’an, China, September 26-28. Jim is econo-centric, as are most futurists, and what I say below re Otto Scharmer’s proposals are equally relevant to Jim Bell’s proposal: the success of relevant economic change is dependent on significant uplifting of the knowledge, attitudes, and competencies of a large part of the human population, which cannot be accomplished by contemporary “educational” systems and processes.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Given what we know about the distribution of competencies in the global population it astounds me that proposals are made for significant change that don’t call for radical uplift of this distribution. At most, the competencies of humankind are expected to rise with an improving economy. The goals of future education, if considered, are that people are trained to work hard, have good families, and be peaceful (subservient). A truly knowledgeable and creative public is the top fear of the powerful who design to “rule the economy”.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Yet, Otto’s psychological and spiritual themes imply radical and significant changes in the population. Contemporary knowledge about human learning establishes that “educating well” may be our primary challenge. I have redefined “education” as “Organizing-for-Learning =&= Learning for Organizing”, where the vast and essential diversity of humankind is explicitly attended to. This cannot be accomplished by any reform of contemporary education, as the “best” of contemporary education falls far short of meeting the basic requirements. Nor will the many very exciting experimental innovations in education evolve into what we need.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 I speculate that, if we shifted focus to uplifting the distribution of competencies of humankind, the economic subsystem we need would be a spin-off. New, more competent humans need to explore the kind of lives they want to lead and then design a complex of economic subsystems to achieve that system. Starting with an objective to build a better economic subsystem may well trap us in a context that blocks the psychological/spiritual changes Otto desires. After humankind’s birth to Humanity/Gaian symbiosis I expect that “economics” will slip into the background, analogous to our conscious mind’s attention to biological subsystems for digestion and respiration.

  • 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0
  •     Our behavior relevant to health must be based on accurate knowledge of biological processes, but we don’t attempt to make significant changes in how these subsystems function. Once humankind has established an economic subsystem that “works”, we can move our attention to other domains.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 The need for uplifting applies to “leadership” as well as to the varied populations that comprise humankind. All significant changes start with small teams of “leaders”. Every person, including geniuses, work within contexts/frames which are unconsciously rooted in belief as universal/inevitable. However innovative they may be, they are limited by these contexts/frames. These can change, but seldom by on input of information. Our human emotional/intuitive complex is powerful in controlling conceptual thinking (e.g., Daniel Kahneman ).

  • 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0
  •     Some work has been done in exploring how to seaf (support, enable, augment, facilitate) changes in contexts/frames, sometimes referred to as shifts in paradigms/perspectives. Graves, Beck and Cowan in Spiral Dynamics and Robert Kegan’s “objectification” model are good first efforts, but much more work is needed.
  •     Contemporary leadership is infested with talented socio/psychopaths who find contemporary competitive ladders-to-power highly facilitating on their climb to the top.  Any leadership community-of-teams for Otto’s vision or for my uplift vision must filter for this toxic threat. Also, decision participation on challenges of global scope must be weighted by an assessment of comprehension of the issues – as difficult as this will be.  However, input to the knowledge base for decision making can be much broader; to include persons or groups with narrow, but potentially insightful, perspectives.
  •     Gut estimates of the time and effort needed for uplifting (a process emerging uniquely in different populations over time) is highly biased by our contexts/frames related to our limiting assumptions about “human nature”. Hypotheses can be formulated whereby humankind is ripe for uplifting and our collective (but not yet collected) knowledge in relevant domains forecasts an explosive burst of fundamental change in an augmented emergence of Humanity.
  •     The awesome magnitude of challenges in our Crisis-of-Crises (J.R. Platt) calls for a system-of-augmented-changes commensurate with this challenge. But, survival must not be our sole focus. What emerges may determine the multi-millennial future of Humanity/Gaia, equipped to handle new threats (asteroid collisions, mega-volcano eruptions, etc.). From this perspective, Humanity may be the creation of Gaia to insure a long and fruitful future. Gaia may have “gained”, in the long term, from prior mass extinctions; but this may not be the case in the future.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 We must abandon the practice of viewing human diversity in terms of norms and deviations. We have yet to adequately comprehend the vast diversity field of human differences in cognitive/conceptual/emotive/spiritual/performance domains. We might view humankind as a chaotic field of diverse potentials.  In our brief evolutionary history we remain embryonic as to what will actualize from our radically new potentials.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 Contemporary leadership, even for uplift, are not yet competent to design a future, sustainable/resilient humanity with growing creative potential.  This is a task for an uplifted humankind, tapping into its wide diversity. What leadership can focus on today is designing/implementing a process to seaf uplifting, and to temper the excesses of established orders in their suicidal march in search of ideological delusions.

2 Responses

  • On 9/23/2013 1:13 AM, Richard Moore wrote:
    larry victor wrote:
    The conceptual schemes behind this sem (and ALL sems concerned with “futures”) have yet to attract a coherent “community of practice” and an accessible/indexed “literature”.

    If you trace back these communities of practice & literatures, you typically find that it was not this collaborative schema that generated the original breakthroughs that form the foundation of the science / knowledge domain. People like Copernicus, Darwin, and Pasteur often were ‘isolated pioneers’ as regards their breakthroughs.

    ——————————————— Larry:

    Richard, you are correct in that most significant breakthroughs emerged in the minds of persons who had digested establishment knowledge but were free from the conditioning and other social psych effects that accompanies active membership in a community of practice. I believe my own insights (and probably yours) were because we never were indoctrinated into communities of practice. Chicken /Egg ???

    Yet, the movement of their ideas into humankind required the emergence of communities of practice around those ideas. My point was that new insights about viable futures have yet to attract a quality community of practice or a coherent literature. We both experience this deficit and need communities of practice. Communities of practice rapidly become conservative because measures that would create a balance are never taken. Whether such a balance can be achieved is an empirical query, and probably should be researched.

  • On 22 September 2013 18:38, Richard Moore wrote:

    A lot of good sense in this material. It is interesting; however, that governance is not mentioned, in this discussion about taking a balanced view re/subsystems. The author criticizes econo-centrism, and I criticize policy-centrism.

    The central question, in my view, is how we can have a society in which sensible decisions are made. The policy issues aren’t really that difficult. Indeed, many brilliant people have been researching and publishing about sustainability, new financial systems, enlightened approaches to education, etc etc.

    On 9/22/2013 2:41 AM, Glistening Deepwater wrote:

    Larry, I feel any narrowly focused (____centric) format for civilisational structure is inherently unstable.
    Richard, A sane body of significant influencers IS required, although how they get themselves into that position is anybody’s guess as things currently stand.

    Overall I think we are in for a long haul, and currently the most likely way to popularize intelligent and compassionate participation is through entertainment channels. This is where I am currently focusing anyhow.

    Blessings one and all,
    ————————————- Larry:

    Richard, you got me. Governance subsystems is among my top list of subsystems and I failed to mention it. I even didn’t attempt to list all essential subsystems. I am not sure humankind at this time could be comprehensive in listing all relevant subsystems and there may even be a fundamental rearrangement of subsystems before the transition is complete. In addition, “systems” is itself a limiting perspective (although an essential conceptual tool) being within an existential ontology – which needs complementing by a process ontology. Even the concept of “ontology” is limiting, being a conceptual construct. This regress is not a problem from a process ontology. Circular thinking is OK at times.

    The distinction between governments (components-as-systems-in-holarchy) and governance (subsystems) is critical. Viable governance requires a competent population which requires means for everyone to gain requisite competence (“education”). What an UPLIFTING requires is well beyond all established and new, innovative, experimental educational ventures. There are many brilliant persons researching – but it is all moot until other essential domains are researched, as they are currently in the blindspot caused by econo-centrism. We need some of those brilliant minds broadening their attention. We need research on what this takes, which at least involves being able to easily shift attention between “content-in-context” and “context-for-contents” and discover ways of becoming aware of and improving contexts. For most people, context is in their blindspot.

    With “education” in UPLIFT defined as Organizing-for-Learning =&= Learning-for-Organizing, the issue of governance for the emergent uplifting population becomes an essential enterprise. While it is important not to become edu-centric, uplifting competence is essential for major improvements in most (maybe all) other subsystems.

    This brings up another issue not mentioned in the brief essay on econo-centrism. I don’t forecast any of the above being accomplished while attempting to transform existing subsystems. I believe societal metamorphosis is needed, and is quite “practical” if it can be viewed outside the blindspot created by our lock-in to view transformation as encompassing all change. The emerging concept of “emergence” becomes a viable mode for change in “complementarity” with transformation.

    Glistening. I agree that working in the domain of playful or engaging activity has great promise. Unfortunately, for me, “entertainment” connotes passivity and no viable engagement. OTOH I view most gaming and concert attendance more than “entertainment”. Even listening (with body at rest) to music and viewing visuals can transcend “entertainment”. Your challenge will be diverting the attention of those engaged in addictive/escapist “entertainment” to engage with your productions. This whole domain calls for unpacking and study. I speculate that attending explicitly to how those who experience your productions engage each other is critical. In addition to creating entertaining SEEDS, attention (by some persons) is needed on preparing FERTILE SOILS and NURTURING SCAFFOLDING for the SEEDS to have intended impact.

    This long response to two short replies points to another critical issue. I am slowly discovering the impossibility of representing major conceptual schemes in a single semiotic structure (sem). Yet when composing a sem I am in the context of a major conceptual scheme – which can never be explicit in the sem. This holds for large books, even sets of sems, as well as emails and blog posts. I have recently discovered that “scientific disciplines” (such as physics, biology, or even electromagnetism) have no definitive texts (systems of sems) behind them. The “literature” archived and accessible for each discipline is evidence of a PROCESS within a “community of practice” which has access to conceptual schemes in the mind-brains of members. I trace this thinking back to reading Andrew Pickering’s The Cybernetic Brain. The conceptual schemes behind this sem (and ALL sems concerned with “futures”) have yet to attract a coherent “community of practice” and an accessible/indexed “literature”. Many sems relevant to “futures” are not seen as about “futures” and the community of practice called “futurists” is far from being comprehensive for “futures”. Also, sems seeming about “futures”, such as most contemporary Science Fiction muddy the waters. Further, Doug Rushkoff in Present Shock proposes that quality “futures thinking” has slipped into most person’s blindspot (my interpretation). IMO this is a critical “systemic” issue crying for attention.

    With apologies for taking up so much of your time; but less than the time given to composing – Larry/nuet


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