Co-creation: Modelling Nature Sustainability from a Spiral Perspective
Have you noticed that we are progressively exploring the micro perspective through wriggle out the macro perspective? Call it digitization, digitalization, or digital transformation!
Since micro perspective (digital arena) contains much more –tiny intangible- things (data), we must act so much different than anything we know so far through synchronicity when striving for radical transformation.
We are good at incremental transformation, but radical transformation requires embracing the unknown and unpredictable by catalyzing the creativity and synergy (co-creation) that is exactly what is needed for resilience and innovation.
As a vegan and humble nature activist, I’ve been focusing on ecological thinking towards designing a sustainable business model innovation inspired by the successful and sustainable strategies found in nature.
Maybe, firstly, we need to find out what is real sustainability as nature has been achieving for billions of years. We perceive sustainability through a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features.
Even if we address to more efficient, more renewable, more recyclable, more profitable in the things and processes, but still those are the individual metrics, binary choices, and oversimplified relationships of a limited system being in a struggle to engage, contribute and survive yet. This limited system inhibits the co-creativity.
Therefore, sustainability is about continuous transformation might be a spiral perspective that there are both beginnings and endings which are in a constant cycle of change that always finds a way to adapt. As a spiral progress, you start with very small quick steps, endless learning as you move, endless leveraging as you advance, endless adapting as you transform, and endless evolving as producing and performing.
Both the information carried as genetic heritage and through intelligence and instinct, the living beings always find a way to survive and most important to keep generation lasting. In human beings side, due to the virtual institutions we created (e.g. countries, companies) what mainly drives us is wars (defense) and space explorations, which are the locomotives of technological progress in our recent history.
We are still far from the spiral journey perspective of nature because of our ambitions is to use natural resources in the interest of virtual institutions we created. We have already globalized in the field of digital technologies but not in mentally — our hearts and souls, our practices and culture, ourselves and our organizations.
The only way the co-creation is to free us from the constraints of existing sustainability initiatives through re-connect with nature’s culture of continuous innovation. Nature’s innovation is to realize the systems flourish, resilience strengthens, trust emerges, and synergies thrive.
Radical transformation takes place only focusing on the long-term with the short-term values measured with metrics generated at each step of the way. If short-term prototypes deliver first-hand value, do it again and again till becomes a best-practice. Eventually, best-practices catalyze re-defining the cultures. Over time new paradigm emerges with an act of destruction (spiral movement).
Just as nature does, the small shift makes easier next one, triggers next one by destructing previous one. Therefore, it compels radical transformation in the form of the ecosystem by creating new opportunities, new synergies, increasing biodiversity and system resilience.
An ecosystem with a rich biodiversity is often a resilient system is built on diversity and redundancy as each unpredictable disturbance requires a different response. When one solution fails or performs poorly, others can step in to compensate.
We need to compel ourselves towards a new sustainable resilient business model innovation to build future-proof companies deliver positive impacts on customers, employees, business partners, society and the planet.
Since nature provides a vast yet largely unexplored library of efficient designs, materials, processes, and strategies that have been time-tested through natural selection, we need to re-align our practices and culture, ourselves and our organizations with nature. I think we need to radically rethink how we can re-align our technologies with Nature.
The only thing we need is to redesign our lives actively engaging in our system (collective mind) by exchanging, recycling, re-purposing and optimizing, dynamically and diversely.
As we go dipper to the micro perspective level, there will be no winners/losers, individual ideas, the ones who control things, and virtual institutions.
There will be only co-creation.
Source: Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, 2016, Denise Kelly DeLuca