Building the Future now, by Design and not Default
How ‘useful change’ takes place in a society is critical knowledge
There are times when things come together and genuine advancements are made as was in the case of Alexandria in Ancient Egypt, which now becomes our inspiration for the Future City. This is one of those moments — a benchmark of sorts — that provides fuel for the far more common periods of start-stop, ambiguity and muddled results.
These moments are important because in some fields of endeavor, such as personal and social transformation, it is not easy to measure progress. There is a serious and universal side to this celebration and that is the question if the experience of one lifetime can be translated into useful general principles related to conducting a self-aware, creative, productive and successful life. — Matt Taylor
When we as humans are inducing tremendous increases in the rate of change and complexity, we are producing circumstances that can and are overwhelming us. At the same time, we have created already everything that we need for offering the prospect of accomplishing the accumulated dreams of all Humanity.
The Holochain and the capacity to collide all the Elements into a creative force for good is now coming together to design the S2S Reactor, allowing us to concentrate in one place and time all this capacity and knowledge, creating the melting and heating of all elements, and allow the new answers to e practiced into existence.
We owe a lot to Matt and Gail Taylor the application of organic architecture to learning, organizations and future shaping: the idea of creating a future by design not default; the notion of time lags and two generation cycles of thought; and implementation reflections on how this all is beginning to reach the goal of becoming possible for innovation at systems scale for the benefit of people and planet.
How one person — or even one organization — is innovative and makes a significant contribution to the state-of-the-art of humanity is always interesting. How this may be applicable, in a broader sense as a prescription, is a far more important consideration — particularly in times such as these. — Matt Taylor
As early as 1974–75, Matt Taylor had introduced in his ReDesigning the Future Course, the concepts that while the future cannot be predicted nor controlled it can be anticipated and created; that each human alive today possesses more power than any ruler of old; and, that the amount of global change from 1975 to 2000 would be on the scale of change from the Middle Ages to 1975. He said we should make “a world by design not default.”
We think this Reactor process now, can actually make this work in one city that place, where we are at the same time designing, architecting, building and testing, learning systemically. And we know this sounds counter-intuitive when digitalization seems to dictate that all can be everywhere, but we are convinced that it becomes easier, less risky and possible — conceiving other systems, cities and regions, when we concentrate all efforts in one tangible place. We allow this to become the natural space for cross disciplinary systemic learning, large scale prototyping, where numerous projects, innovators and ideas can coexists and happen at the same time, with the necessary information space and process for them to inform each other.
This extreme decentralization requires the proximity to build trust and allow serendipitous collisions to take place, facilitated, enhanced and embodied through a co-creation practice that is absent when we simply trust that private initiative, carried out of its own accord, will lead to the overall good. We need to say it how it is, the pursuit of private benefit since the 1970’s has led to economic gain but also to massive degradation of natural ecosystems, inequality and political instability.
This level of agreement and alignment, the ‘singularity’ that breaks the routine and the inertia, would be impossible to achieve for a larger nation as a whole or the world, and we see this constantly through the types of assemblies, groups, policies and governance approaches. For the most part, at that scale, most objectives are pushed too far out into the future, as if it is others later on, who will have to act on those goals. In the ‘dark matter’ model, we would say the energy is too dispersed to achieve the level of collision necessary.
In practice we see this in the scarcity of time, busy agendas, long lists of scarcely prioritized main goals, and all sorts of personal interests pulling everyone apart.
The task of building a true knowledge-based, network structured, free, global economy — that is sustainable socially and ecologically — and is the result of a self-aware, comprehensive and collaborative design process — is still before us. That this is no longer a totally crazy idea to almost everyone is the good news. The critical issue, which we now face, is time.
Time in the calendar sense because reasonable projections of massive change are now measured in the few thousand of days. Time in the personal sense as our “modern” would, is so full of distractions, busy work and invented demands that few believe they “have” the time to think let along study, design and be part of a positive systemic response to possible future realities.
Traditional organizations will not accomplish this — their output is the direct logic of their structures which are built on old assumptions of opportunity and capacity.
It will take carefully designed and systematically evolved networks of projects, to bring the appropriate mix of intent and spontaneity to our task of “designing” a future.
It will require the transformation of every human system and culture. The very definition of “the human” will be challenged and must be rethought.
All life, in all its forms, will have to be “invited” into and fully represented in this process.
Many new life forms and civilizations will emerge from this venture. We are entering the creative period in the time of Humanity.
THE BEGINNING EVENT IS NOVEMBER 27–29, 2017 Stay tuned!
This is part four of the S2S Reactor’s six-part series Toward Building the City of 2050 that we all want to Live in. This is now in full mode ahead. If you’d like to get all the parts published sent to your inbox, sign up for Beginnings.