Sunset on the Baltoro. A setting which can draw one into deep reflection about what is real and what is possible in a fiercely dualistic world. Photo credit: Doug Kofsky

Breaking Free of the Mental Model that Stifles Real Progress

The Hegelian Dialectic has impregnated our change initiatives around the world with delusions of ‘great, sweeping progress’. All of it is terribly out of touch with reality. Here’s an alternative approach.

Gunther Sonnenfeld
Dec 25, 2017 · 12 min read
source: Wikipedia

Taking Back Reason & The Anomalies Overlooked by Common Sense

As a mental exercise, imagine something for a moment.

Negative or Inverse Dialecticism

Eastern Indian mystics, spiritual leaders and philosophers have long maintained a view of dialecticism that called upon observers of reality to ground themselves in various forms of negation in order to get to kernels of truth, mostly by way of circumstance. Negation simply meant that conclusions could be reconsidered or removed altogether when making assessments of reality.

  1. Disruption is internal.
  2. Nothing is absolute or predetermined other than physical death.

Investigative Training & Solutioning

The language of persuasion that permeates our town halls and civic forums has very corrosive effects on our abilities to actually build alternative solutions.

Internalizing Possibility vs. Hopefulness

Many of the same people who act this way are also woefully untrained. The type of training that is required to see the world differently, or to imagine a different world entirely, is one of rigor, consistency, strength and endurance.

Experiential Modeling

One of the mechanisms we’ve really honed over the years is in designing experiences for people (‘stakeholders’) in physical spaces.

Working with industry and government stakeholders in France. Physical interactions replace a reliance on language and the influence of preexisting beliefs.
Working with an energy company in Canada. Again, replacing spoken language with signs, symbols and silent interactions to break the barriers imposed by mental models. Also quite noticeable is body language. Once broken down, participants develop the ability to see what’s really possible.

A Dynamic Way Forward

With all that has been written here, it really is worth reiterating that no one really knows anything. We can make associations, inferences, and connect dots to the extent that we see things for what they really are.


Gunther Sonnenfeld is a founding partner of Novena Capital, which builds ecological fintech innovations and has its own crypto fund for opportunistic, next generation blockchain investments. Novena’s thesis paper on “The Next Economy” will be released soon.

Gunther is a co-founder of & advisor to the new INSURGE Intelligence platform, which is a part of the PRESSCOIN suite of platforms built by Higher Order VC that endeavors to revitalize independent media and restore democracy.

INSURGE intelligence

We are crowdfunding adversarial investigations into power, to empower people and save the planet. Join us via www.patreon.com/nafeez

Gunther Sonnenfeld

Written by

Co-Founder, Novena Capital + Next Block Group ::: Executive Director, Exosphere ::: cryptoeconomist, ecologist, technologist, builder of good things

INSURGE intelligence

We are crowdfunding adversarial investigations into power, to empower people and save the planet. Join us via www.patreon.com/nafeez