This project initially started with The Living WE, an article I wrote for Gathering 11 in Melbourne last June, with a name and unifying concept inspired by We Magazine and several of us have been discussing how to bring it to life. A few projects are under way, the latest is the launch of a multistakeholder discussion around global governance powered by a Greater WE as laid out in the new Thrive Magazine.
I had been focusing on good practices, change, and action, and the triggers/motivations thereof for several years, and spent almost a year in research and conversations on several social platforms virtual or in presence, struggling to find common ground among people who seemed to be animated by similar purposes or a shared attraction but couldn't quite agree on the best way to do things. This lead me to start to outline the characteristics and ingredients required for transformative action to be inspired, empowered and enabled in order to evolve our current paradigms, systems, processes and practices in a coordinated yet self-directed way. I would like to bring this further. The idea is to leverage the dynamics of emergence and the whole dimensionality of the "political" or action space, from the individual to the planetary with a view to political action and civil participation. This involves that the actors know the position of an issue in this space and from which position in this space they are acting.
A three tier transformation
To get a critical amount of people and organizations to change their ways or create new ways there needs to be a favorable environment or context, propitious conditions for synergetic collaboration, conflict resolution, co-creation, innovation, experimentation, enterprise etc.... that is as open and non directive as possible.There also needs to be room for diversity of perspectives and paths to get to the same destination.
Transformation also needs triggers at several levels with some form of scaffolding... one level leading to and reinforcing the other.
- Inspire - First is the realization that something needs to be done. This realization -call it also awareness or consciousness- is spreading, can be inspired further to reach critical mass but is not enough to lead to actual transformation.
- Empower - Second is the formation of an intention. Transformation needs a conviction that something can be done, and that each of us can have an impact. It needs some resolve. This is unleashing and channeling human agency, the willpower to go one step further, with more or less involvement. But here again, intention alone does not lead anywhere.
- Enable - Last and critical to the outcome is the partaking in the transformation, by being or doing. That's the ultimate trigger, making the first steps, starting the transformation, entering a transition stage. And this needs to be enabled.
This constitutes a three step process of transition: inspiring, empowering and enabling change, transformation, metamorphosis, evolution, however you may call it, the seeding at the various stages of a fruition process, that can be undertaken from the specific place each of us or our organizations and communities hold in the greater whole, with an awareness of our location and role and impact within this whole and beyond.
Configuring oneself for transformation
Our system of systems is made of parts that we could consider as coexisting in a milieu, an environment that is not just a container with properties greater than the sum of the parts, but that has a substance, a density, a richness. Something exists "in between" the parts, from which the parts get some "nutrients". Many metaphors can be used, call it a field of possibilities and potentiality, a collection of intangibles that would precipitate serendipity, attraction, connection, exchange, osmosis… and finally lead to a metamorphosis.
This ecology would strive to increase the richness of this field, this "in between" that would inspire, empower and enable people and organizations to "configure themselves" for transformation. Think of an operating ecosystem and API that would help form and channel realization, intentions, possibilities and transform them into outcomes and achievements by bootstrapping human agency and collective capability one step at the time in an exploratory and visible learning process. An extension of what I have described in this Shared Intent & Purpose for Action - Bridging the Gap between Micro & Macro article.
The idea is to design something scalable and reproducible and very tangible that can make this possible.
Don't hesitate to surf the map and share your thoughts. And drop me a note if you are interested to participate further. I would like to finalize the map as a blueprint, and then find or build the necessary tools.