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Boundless Roots

Boundless Roots Insights Sharing and News Curation, October 2020

We share below a list of some of the news and signals we are seeing in the world in the last two months, curated from contributions by the Boundless Roots Community.

The Boundless Roots Community is made up of practitioners working towards sustainable living who want to amplify and generate transformative projects that create/support the conditions for ways of living to adapt and become viable for sustaining life on this planet. The news and signals shared below speak to themes and narratives we have identified that we feel are key to understanding the challenges we are facing and unlocking more radical change:

  • Healthy power — How are we moving away from dominance and power over in the work we’re doing? How are we contributing to healthy power, becoming more aware of power so that we can work with it more fluidly?
  • Meaningful life — How are we inviting people into an open, evolving conversation about what gives our lives meaning?
  • Cultural waves — How can we work with the momentum of what’s changing culture now and operationalise that in new ways? How do we frame the new narratives?
  • Working with polarities — How do we work skillfully across polarities? Us as practitioners and the communities we serve. How do we create spaces to connect with what people need in the moment with collective exploration of the potential?

We’ve structured our insights around these four themes to understand how they are developing and changing, and to help you to quickly and effectively explore which themes are resonating with you this month. The insights below have common threads and ideas that connect them together and we invite you to explore how these themes and ideas relate to each other.

These articles and stories have been compiled through conversations with community members, the Boundless Roots slack, Twitter and signal-spotting through Forum for the Future’s network as well.

It includes:

  • Working with polarities
  • Cultural waves
  • Healthy power
  • Meaningful life

Our top 3 reads

Businesses don’t have a moral compass, people do by Tom Tapper

  • Coping mechanisms for the stress of running a business manifest in professional idiosyncrasies such as jargon filled language and intimidating atmospheres, all of which “drains the humanity out of us.”
  • Labelling an organisation as ‘ethical’ does not equate to the business having a moral compass — only humans have morals (and emotions)
  • “[A] business is nothing more than a collection of people… the moral compass of a business should be a reflection of the collective moral compass of the people who work there.”
  • Building new tools to aid the decision — making process with this new way of thinking saw the invention of the app ‘Moral Compass’. This allows team members to anonymously vote if the briefs worked on align with their purpose statement
  • A score is generated from the results — if it’s above 51%, the brief has passed and anything below 50% is a fail
  • The democratic characteristic empowers the team into having an active role in paving the future of organisation. This is significant since “[a] global pandemic really puts your purpose to the test.”
  • “By bringing humanity back into the decision-making process, the Moral Compass has helped us dismantle many of those professional edifices that were throwing us off course.”

Education for meaningful sustainability and regeneration by Daniel Christian Wahl

  • All of us alive today have a role in civilizational transformation, humanity will collaborate to redesign our collective impact on Earth
  • “We have to shift from the current degenerative, exploitative and competitive practices to regenerative, productive and collaborative practices.”
  • Gaia Education has created a sustainable design framework which is organized into four dimensions of sustainable community development. These are: social design, economic design, ecological design and worldview
  • This includes a holistic, participatory and ecologically informed living systems world view and explores the why or sustainability and regeneration
  • Social design — creating a shared vision for collective projects, learning inclusive decision making skills, creative conflict resolution or meditation, this pillar celebrates diversity and differences in perspectives
  • Economic design — this dimension looks at the dysfunction in the current economic system and introduces methods and principles for creating community currencies and exchange systems and new types of economic success indicators
  • Ecological design — practical regenerative approached are focused on in this pillar, introducing the importance of local food economies, key methodologies of regenerative agriculture, permaculture design principles, and the cradle-to-cradle framework to help design concepts such as carbon neutrality into projects
  • Worldview — this explores the why of creating sustainable and regenerative culture. Here the role of spiritual practices like meditation, pilgrimage, prayer or solo-time in nature are explore

In a Breaking World, Mending Takes on More Meaning by Ruth Terry

  • Coronavirus has exposed the parts of our lives and societies that were broken or are now breaking, from our cities, our bodies, our minds and our hearts
  • It’s also exposed the opportunities we have to fix the things that are broken
  • A return to indoor pastimes has exposed us to more opportunities to ‘hone our problem solving faculties’ such as mending and repairs
  • In the fashion industry, where there are an estimated 1.4 million injuries among garment workers every year, and nearly 17 million tons of textile waste generated annually by the United States alone, mending our clothes has the ability to reimagine what they mean to us
  • In the Mending Life, they draw upon Buddhist and Shinto traditions to show how important honoring our clothes and belongings are
  • “Through mending, we acknowledge the service of our clothes.”
  • Lockdown has been an ideal time to reconnect with our clothes, sitting, taking the time to repair them, mending something that was once seen as broken
  • “Mending or repairing anything is the antithesis of the frenetic busy-ness, constant inessential travel, and rampant overconsumption that COVID-19 is forcing us to reckon with.”
  • Mending is both meditation and practice, a small act that demonstrates the process of larger cultural change. It is a metaphor for living with gratitude, intention, and anti-wastefulness, and embraces the optimism that anything can be fixed

Working with polarities

Cultural waves

Healthy power

“If democracies cannot build decentralised, distributed capacities for innovation with coordinated mutual learning and recognition of interdependence, then they will struggle to make the complex transitions necessitated by the challenges and opportunities that confront us.

Meaningful life

‘Guiding is a new kind of climate and sustainability leadership. Guiding enables each of us to access our own innate capacities to engage, respond, heal, create, innovate, activate, and repair.’

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Boundless Roots — Radically Transforming the Way we Live

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