Not long ago this beautiful articulation and powerful call to arms, came through my feed from Lucian Tarnowski at Civana (Included in a post on My Personal Facebook Page, Link at the end of this article).

He expressed a deep devotion to stewarding a new epoch of civilization in service of a shared vision of a regenerative world and an uncompromising mission to partner with those committed to reimagining the new systems for this world.

I resonated powerfully with his post, in the knowledge that many of us are committed and actively engaged in developing emergent and pioneering social, financial and software technologies, that address the UN SDGs and are bringing to Life the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, as part of an invisibly connected “Transition Team”.

If you also resonate with Lucian’s post (above) I’m curious to discover where else we align.

How much do you believe that:

- The solutions to some of the most complex challenges of our time will rely on us tapping into our collective intelligence?;

- This collective intelligence emerges as we come together and collaborate in small groups around our shared visions (with a through-line to a larger more encompassing and collectively held vision), and cultivate deep connection and coherence with one another?;

- Emergent collective intelligence is served by (i) the integration of diverse perspectives, (ii) resolving the relational tensions that impact or de-rail coherence in these groups and (iii) maintaining healthy, efficient and transparent feedback loops within our group and between groups?;

- GameA is decreasingly fit for purpose in this transition, so incentivizing and empowering integrated cooperation through grounded, decentralized and distributed collaborative networks, is what’s called for now?;

- This will take small groups of willing participants committed to learning how to become the kind of people who can operate within these kinds of collaborative and distributed systems?; and

- These networks will need to be empowered with sufficient capital to scale the many solutions that already exist?

If you (a) understand what’s written here; (b) you’re nodding and/or making affirmative noises in response to what’s been outlined and © this aligns with the work you’re doing in the world, I’d contend that the next question to consider here is what it takes for us humans to be able to become the kind of people who can live, love and lead in a diverse and distributed network of collaboration.

Statistically and traditionally it’s been challenging enough for startups to sustainably go the distance, let alone for a number of different but related innovative startups and/or established business cultures, to collaborate cross-sector, cross-culture, in multi-stakeholder initiatives (which I understand is what Lucian is inviting, particularly in reference to funding around the UN SDGs).

And given that many of us are coming from years of experience within traditional top down hierarchical structures like the schooling system or the corporate world, it’s important to consider that we’ve been conditioned to:

- Look to someone more senior than us for direction, give our power away to a “leader figure” and/or seek permission to act;

- Compete with those around us for scarce attention, resource, power and/or influence;

- Rely heavily on agreements to create safety and compliance;

- Be financially dependent on (and therefore bound by the beliefs, expectations and acceptable rules of conduct of) our parents, partners or employers; and

- Keep our emotions and underlying tensions pushed down beneath the surface of our experience.

And yet, if we’re to learn how to:

Self-organize and become self-led, such that we don’t require someone else to tell us what to do from the top down; form and maintain trusted relationships with small groups of people who, together, have the diverse skill set needed to bring our visions to fruition, AND work and communicate collaboratively with other teams, cross-culturally….then we’ll need to begin to de-condition ourselves from what we’ve learnt thus far and learn to occupy a different kind of culture.

One where we’re:

- Acting from self-leadership and intrinsic motivation;

- While refraining from seeking to control or dominate others into a rigid agenda or needing to be right;

- Surrendering to what’s emerging and trusting in our relationships and resiliency through the uncertainty and discomfort;

- Becoming less and less corruptible by extrinsic influences like unhealthy attachments and dependencies so that we can stand as consistently more sovereign in our present moment choice-making;

- Open-heartedly sharing our perspective, without necessarily attaching to a particular outcome or way that things need to be;

- Empathizing with others’ feelings and being able to see and integrate their perspective and the polarities too;

- Communicating openly and transparently, including, when relevant, expressing and emoting the truth of how we feel and then letting it go;

- Being spacious enough and present enough to allow others to do the same;

- Giving and taking direction fluidly and receptively;

- Integrating feedback without it collapsing our sense of self-worth.

Ultimately, if our initiatives are to endure this period of transition, it takes being willing to stay in the alchemical fires of transformation as whatever individual triggers, collective traumas, archetypal energies and wounded storylines transmute their way through en route to a reimagined system and more beautiful world.

Because if we’re to transcend and include the necessary evolutionary levels of development to live into a new culture and express our genius and gifts in small groups oriented toward this powerful collective vision, it takes being willing to face and integrate the shadows along with the Light.

So, thank you for your invitation Lucian.

I absolutely see ways that we can work together, all of us, to do the work that’s necessary to support in this collective transition.

If you’re reading this and you experience the kind of depth of devotion that I’m speaking to here (or you know someone else who does), and you’re game to come play with others who are ready to engage in the kind of work that this will take, I invite you to get in touch.

Link to Lucians Post,



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Anna Margolis

As a former lawyer, Anna merges material world memories, tales of transformation and embodied experience in articulating the future of collaboration