Thursday, April 20, 2017

Steve Brant speaks on World Peace at Rotary International's NYC Club

On April 13, 2017, I had the honor of presenting my work to Rotary International's NYC Club, when I spoke on a Systems Thinking approach to World Peace. 

I want to thank my Rotary sponsor and club board member, Larry Cohen, for making it possible for me to speak at the Rotary Club that's been associated with the UN since the UN was created in 1945.

The main points I made in my 30 minute talk were these:

The world needs a new road map for achieving World Peace, because our current approach - based on mechanical thinking, where fixing broken parts seems to be the way to go - isn't working.

I told why my own life’s story led me at an early age to seek out a better, more peaceful world and led me to begin researching the subject more formally in 1979. 

I explained (with help from a video of Buckminster Fuller) how humanity must break free of the fundamental belief in “scarcity of resources” that is the root cause answer to the question “Why do we fight?”. 

I discussed how Hollywood has an essential role to play in teaching the public (“telling the story”) that scientific advancement now permits humanity to replace scarcity with abundance-based thinking… the kind of macro historic shift explored in historian James Burke’s landmark “The Day the Universe Changed” TV series.

I made the point that this new approach will show the public that sustainable development is about not just healing the relationship between humanity and Mother Earth but healing the relationship between humanity and itself. 


And I ended my talk by referring to Rotary’s “making a difference” theme for 2017-2018, how its history of working to end the threat of polio is analogous to viewing achieving world peace as a global mental “health challenge", and how (in the final film clip I showed) film star Tom Hanks once said that achieving a “power of cooperation” breakthrough - as existed during the Apollo space program - could lead humanity to achieve “the impossible”. 

Here is the video of my talk:






And here are the slides and videos I used:



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why Stopping Trump Isn't Enough

This essay was originally published in The Huffington Post on September 26, 2016


 I am writing this to say that -- while the election of Donald Trump would be a disaster for America and the world -- preventing his election is NOT enough.

Yes, America's political system is on fire right now. The truth is going up in smoke. While all politicians have shaded the truth from time to time, just about the only time Donald Trump tells the truth is when he says "My name is Donald Trump." And even then, there's the whole Drumpf-thing.

Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein made this "nonexistent truth" point extraordinarily clear, when he said on Sept 18th on CNN that Trump was getting away with a COVERUP of who he really is... and that the media must stop letting him do this! (Can you spell TrumpGate?)

 

But there's a larger point I want to make. Stopping Trump will put out the fire that a President Trump would consist of. We CANNOT have a President of the United States who is a pathological liar! But there is a much larger, anti-truth fire burning across the American socio-political landscape... one that's been burning for decades, if you believe the research Al Gore did (and I do) when he wrote The Assault On Reason in 2007.

Whether Trump becomes president or not, we run the risk of this larger, anti-truth fire destroying the social fabric of our country. They say that a problem well understood is a problem well on the way to being solved. Well, here's an essay I wrote in 2010, in which I detailed the problem. I called this anti-truth challenge a virus back then, and urged President Obama to be the nation's "truth doctor". Maybe that will happen after he leaves office. Would certainly be a worthwhile thing for a former-president (and Star Trek fan, by the way) to do... because he could not just help people learn the truth about the Assault on Reason... he could help people learn the truth about How Much Better Society Can Actually Be. That's where his love of Star Trek comes into play.

You see, while there is an "assault on reason" in which people like Trump try to convince us that "up is down" (global climate change was made up by the Chinese) and "good is evil" (America's history of welcoming immigrants must stop); there is also a "coverup" (whether intended or accidental) of the truth about how much better our world could be if we fully implemented the improvements possible in society that have been figured out by the world's leading sustainable science experts (such as McDonough - Braungart and Amory Lovins) and the world's leading win-win based conflict resolution and innovation / collaboration experts (such as the Harvard Project on Negotiation and W. Edwards Deming).

What does this have to do with Star Trek? Well -- if you combine the work of McDonough, Braungart, Lovins, Deming and an number of others (especially including Buckminster Fuller, whose pathbreaking work with Gerard Piel, the Founder of Scientific American, pretty much kicked off the sustainable development movement in the 1960s before the term "sustainable development" even existed) -- you get the beginnings of a pretty clear and detailed road map to WORLD PEACE....

... the kind of world peace Star Trek shows us we can have in the future once we all learn to be excited about diversity instead of afraid of it... and once we figure out that it's possible to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone on Earth (eliminating scarcity, which is the root cause of war).

Here's Buckminster Fuller talking about this option in a video that also shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin playing The World Game, which Bucky developed to help people learn to solve problems based on the assumption of abundance rather than scarcity...

 

This is why I say stopping Trump isn't enough. We've got to get the truth out about (a) the larger anti-truth fire that's been burning a long time and (b) the HUGE TRUTH about how much better our world can be thanks to advances in the (hard) sustainability sciences and the (soft) conflict resolution sciences.

What a wonderful world it could be! And once enough people know just how wonderful.... that critical mass of humanity will demand they be given that world by their leaders!

We have the ability to create a world in which everyone can (as Mr. Spock would say) Live Long And Prosper. Let's put out the fires that are burning. And then lets build a new world!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Oblivion or Utopia: Star Trek and Humanity

Originally published in The Huffington Post on September 8, 2016

Over the years, I have pointed people to a book published in 1955 by Milton Meyer, “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945”, because I feared people in America didn’t realize they were sliding towards the same political cliff. If you want to read more about that book, here’s a good link

But today, it’s not just a political cliff we are sliding towards (as dangerous as that cliff may be). It’s an overall cultural cliff. The social fabric of society is coming apart: Dysfunctional behavior has been treated as “normal” by the entertainment industry for some time (think: Reality TV).

False equivalency reporting has given equal time to climate change deniers and others who live in a fact / science-free world. They are allowed to lie to the American people without anyone pointing out that what they are saying is wrong.

There is a war on science.

There is an assault on reason.

White supremacists are getting interviewed on CNN because they support Donald Trump, as if their viewpoints should be given commentary-free airtime. This is normalizing their beliefs.

The culture of hate is taking over the internet.

This list could be longer, but I trust I’ve made my point.

We are headed for Oblivion. Not just the political but the overall social fabric of society is heading for collapse.

And into the poisonous brew of all-conflict all-the-time comes a new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery.

This is no mere new TV show. This is a critically important cultural development. Here’s why…

The oblivion we are headed for has parallels in the catastrophic situations the crew of the Enterprise faced time and time again. But through the combined bravery and teamwork of that crew - including often remarkable acts of ingenuity by a crew member or the captain himself - they avoided death… and that’s what you and I need to do today! And that’s what I hope Star Trek: Discovery teaches a new generation of viewers (while also reinforcing those lessons in older series fans like me).

There’s a wonderful scene in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan in which we learn how Captain Kirk beat the “no win scenario” of the Kobayashi Maru test while a Starfleet Academy cadet. It’s a test in which all Starfleet cadets normally get to experience the destruction of their ship and the loss of many crewmates because there’s no way to win. But cadet James T. Kirk won.

“I reprogramming the simulation so it was possible to rescue the ship,” Captain Kirk tells Lt. Saavik, whose ship was destroyed when she took the test. “I changed the conditions of the test. I got a commendation for original thinking… I don’t like to lose… I don’t believe in a no-win scenario.”

Here’s the scene, in which Kirk also avoids a real-life no-win scenario…

Captain Kirk doesn’t like to lose. Well, neither do I!

Oblivion can be avoided now… by us… for real… starting right now!

And – in a case of life imitates art – avoiding oblivion today will also require “reprogramming the simulation”… this time of the world in which we live. It will require we consciously, creatively and pro-actively take control of the design of the human social system in which we live!

Yes, this isn’t a simulation we’re dealing with, but it still involves a programming change… a change in the mental programming we all live with every day in our real lives. We must design a better system… a better frame of reference for the world around us… one that enables us to win… one that enables everyone to win.

I’m a civil engineer, project and program manager by training and profession. And believe me when I tell you that the hard science of sustainable development coupled with the soft science of conflict resolution and win-win negotiations can give us the world of our dreams... the world envisioned by Star Trek... global peace and prosperity for all!

The passengers and crew of the “spaceship” in which we are travelling… not of the Enterprise… but this beautiful living Spaceship Earth (so named by the philosopher Buckminster Fuller but also familiar to visitors to Disney World) can all make it! We can beat the no-win scenario we are being fed today!

I know I’m talking about reality not simulation, but the redesign process ahead of us is remarkably similar to that of a computer game… once you realize just how much control we have over the “software” and the “input parameters” of our world. In his landmark TV series “The Day the Universe Changed,” British historian James Burke said “You see what your knowledge tells you you’re seeing. And when that knowledge changes, for you the universe changes.

This new system starts with us… with how we think. And that starts with the information we take in and cycle back out into our world. We have the power to choose what information we take in on any given day and the power to choose what information we send out to our friends and associates. While the mainstream media may think we mostly want to watch shows that portray dysfunctionality and mainstream press may avoid taking sides when it comes to science and moral values, we can choose to take in information from sources that provide information that helps rather than information that makes things worse and to then talk about that better world information.

And as more of us choose to focus on constructive rather than destructive content, the power of the marketplace will take effect. The Roddenberry Foundation – created by Rod Roddenberry, Gene Roddenberry’s son – recently launched its #BoldlyBetter initiative. The Boldly Better hashtag will be used to help people find information about all the positive, constructive things people and organizations are doing.

I will report more on this initiative in the future. I was at a launch event for this initiative last Saturday…
 

Of course, those who make money keeping us thinking about competition, hate, and fear rather than cooperation, love, and respect won’t be happy we have made this personal choice. But this is how capitalism works. Those who know that people will want something new, offer that new product or service in what one globally best selling business strategy book calls a “blue ocean” (one devoid of competition… not colored red from the blood in the water).

But this new system also starts with how we all - as one human family - think. We tend to think about parts of the system in which we live. A lot of people specialize in one thing or another. But being a generalist is very important if you’re going to see how all of the parts of the world currently fit together… and how they need to fit together if the system is to function in a way that enables us all to have peaceful and prosperous lives.

In his book “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth,” Buckminster Fuller said the most general, “big picture” question we need to ask is “Can the basic survival needs of everyone on Earth be met?” “Can we live in a world of abundance rather than scarcity?” He asked this question because if everyone’s basic needs can be met then the root cause of war… the original reason we started to fight many thousands of years ago… the reason we developed a global culture of separate “tribes” in which it’s okay to kill “the others”… goes away.

And the answer he came up with – from scientific investigation with his good friend Gerard Piel (the founder of Scientific American magazine) – was YES!”

The root cause of war is gone… it’s obsolete.

Engineers see problems as design challenges. And when I think about global peace and prosperity, I ask myself “What kind of social system design – one based on abundance rather than scarcity thinking – could we have?” It’s one heck of an innovation question… and one I think it’s time for us to answer.

Fifty years ago, Star Trek gave us a vision of what humanity would be doing once that answer was found. It’s a vision that inspired a lot of people then and one I believe can inspire a lot of people today.

The Guardian published a generally positive story about Star Trek’s vision this past Sunday. However, this article quotes the author Mark A. Altman, who recently wrote The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored & Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek, as “(doubting) whether Roddenberry’s vision still appeals today”. They quote Altman as saying
“For a genre in which dystopian futures and space pulp dominate, one has to wonder whether the thoughtful, cerebral, kinder, gentle Star Trekkian ethos still has a chance to engage and excite new viewers – particularly in light of the tepid box-office reception to the most recent Star Trek [film].” “In the age of political polarisation – in which the echo chamber of social media reinforces one’s own stringent (and often strident) beliefs, in which social discourse has given way to online screaming matches, in which no one bothers to even try and accept the reasoned opinions of others – it’s even harder to believe that the Star Trek future, in which the family of man has transcended its petty differences, is viable.”
I think Star Trek's vision definitely does have appeal today, as a visionary pull for those of us who have hope things can get better because of what we have learned from people like Bucky Fuller… but also for those who are attracted to that future enough to go looking for the answer to the question “Can it happen for real?”

I am thrilled CBS is launching a new Star Trek series! And one reason is that Bryan Fuller, its Executive Producer, gets that we're in very challenging times. In fact, at the recent San Diego ComicCon, he called on all Star Trek fans to become more than fans. He called on us to creatively seek ways to bring Gene Roddenberry's vision into reality today...
 

So, we have the creative head of the new series urging Star Trek fans on. And I have to imagine that the show itself will be a big help for that reason. And we have the #BoldlyBetter initiative of the Roddenberry Foundation and the work of lots of other creative optimists out there like me.

 Live Long And Prosper, Star Trek. Happy 50th Birthday!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Saving America From Itself

(Originally published in The Huffington Post on July 12, 2016)

We are living in such tragically hopeless times.  I have watched the PBS Newshour’s weekly wrap up with Mark Shields and David Brooks for years, and I have never seen them look as hopeless as they looked last Friday…   




President Obama may have saved America from macro-economic collapse after he first took office (I was so inspired by his election I went to Washington for the 2009 inaugural events), but he has failed to prevent the further deterioration of America’s culture… a culture reaching a tipping point that could lead to total collapse.  This is a condition some blame on our history of bigotry.  But it is a condition I see in much bigger terms.  This is because while bigotry exists in the minds of some, it does not exist in the minds of all.  What does exist is the perpetuation of one false truth that – if exposed – has the power to transform our society to one based on hope rather than hopelessness… one based on love rather than hate.

Are you ready for a “Matrix” red pill / blue pill moment?  Okay.  Then read on…


“…there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth.”  - Morphius





What exists in the minds of all (well, nearly all… and definitely in the minds of those who currently have their hands on the levers and buttons of power in society) is a belief in scarcity… a belief that there’s not enough for everyone… that we live in a Zero Sum society.  “If I am going to have more, then someone is going to have to have less.”  Scarcity of resources is the foundational truth underlying the design not just of America but of our global culture.  We live in a “you or me” world.  And as more people see how the “have’s” are continuing to get more and more at the expense of the “have nots”, anger is building to a boiling point.

Now here’s the red pill moment:

SCARCITY IS A LIE.  There IS enough for everyone.  We have the ability to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone on Earth.  This technological milestone was first reached in the 1960s.  Buckminster Fuller and his good friend Gerard Piel (the founder of Scientific American) did their best to get the word out.  But it never became “front page news” in their life times.  However, it CAN become front page news starting now!


You and I can declare… to all our family, friends, associates, and the rest… to journalists and other media types… to the celebrities of the world:  “Abundance is the true nature of reality now!... The root cause of war and suffering… the reason why humanity spilt itself into separate tribes countless centuries ago… the fear that for me to have what I need someone must not have what they need… is no longer scientifically true!”

For proof of this new reality, please read “Operating Manual for SpaceshipEarth,” Buckminster Fuller’s pathbreaking book from that 1960s time period.

I will be writing more about this “new truth of abundance” in the days and weeks to come.  But I wanted to start this conversation today, because it is Buckminster Fuller’s birthday.  He was born on July 12, 1895.  I read “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” in 1979 and met him in 1983 when he came to NYC for what turned out to be his last presentation.  It was called “Integrity Day” and was about the power of human integrity… our ability to tell the truth about the way things are… to change the course of humanity.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUCKY!  Thank you for being a force for truth in a world still caught up in the “big lie” that there’s not enough for everyone.  Here’s my favorite, short video of Bucky.  (Many videos are out there that are longer, but this one communicates a lot is less than 3 minutes.)




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What If Macys Created a New 'Miracle on 34th Street'?

We face so many problems these days.  Education. Health Care. Food and water quality. Infrastructure. Money in politics. Global climate change. And more. But there's one problem I believe rises above them all. And that is...

We are still trying to solve ALL of our problems using the same kind of thinking that created them!  Have you heard the expression "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result"? Well, our society is stuck in an "insane" kind of problem solving do-loop. Problems appear, and we use the same old thinking to solve them. They may look like they're gone, but they come back.  And then we do it again. And they come back again. And we do it again. And they come back again. Etc. Pretty insane, right?  I mean, our problems never really go away!

I could give you examples of people who have gotten out of this trap... out of this mental do-loop of ineffective problem solving (think: pioneering inventor-types). But because I also believe "Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will feed himself the rest of his life.", I am going to briefly explain this new thinking - it's called Systems Thinking - to you instead. And then I will demonstrate its use by solving a problem currently plaguing an industry I love very much: the retail shopping industry. This is the industry my mother worked in after my parents got divorced when I was a kid. And, in a way, it saved both her and my life.

I hope this demonstration makes you want to learn more.  The world desperately needs a critical mass of those who are problem solvers (hint: all of us!) to adopt this new thinking.  Because when that critical mass is reached, society as a whole will take a giant leap forward... to a much happier, healthier, and safer world. Sounds crazy?  Well, trust me. That's different that sounding insane!  Okay! Let's go!

Systems Thinking is very different from the traditional problem solving approach we learn in school. That traditional approach is called "analysis", and - because we are all taught it from day one - society as a whole uses it without question. We break our problems up into their component parts... look for the broken part... and then think fixing that broken part will make everything fine... only to have things stop working all over again. 

We are taught problems are like a car that won't run and that fixing some broken part is all we need to do.  We don't realize that the potholes in the roads (or our bad driving skills... or a medical condition like sleep apnea) will just cause something to break again.  And that's because it's not always the car's fault.  The car is interacting with its environment and with the person who is driving it.  Sure, parts of a car can wear out.  But a car does not exist separate from the rest of reality.  It is part of an "environment-car-driver system". A properly maintained car driven on properly maintained roads by a properly trained and healthy driver will not break (unless it is hit by another less well maintained "car-driver system", of course).

Systems Thinking teaches that the thing that's broken isn't the only thing we need to look at. We must also explore the larger system in which the thing that's broken exists. That's because when something doesn't work it's often a flaw in the design of the larger system that is producing the problem... time and time again. If we don't change the design parameters of the entire system, the problem will just reoccur; because problems are produced by improperly designed systems.  Looking at the design of the larger system so as to uncover the flaws in its design is called Root Cause Analysis.  And redesigning the system is what we do next. We figure out what new, foundational design principles will let the system in question function in a way that never produces those problems again!  Imagine that: a problem-free system!  Well, at least free of the problem that was troubling us.  Sometimes a newly redesigned system creates new problems.  But at least they're new.  Better to do something new than constantly do the same thing over and over, right?

Okay. Enough theory for now. It's time to show this theory in action.  Let's apply Systems Thinking to the retail shopping industry.

To most people (especially in these difficult economic times), shopping is defined as "finding what you want and paying the lowest price for it you can". That's the shopping "car" most of us "drive". And the people who manage the stores where we shop focus on servicing that shopping equation. (For the wealthy, the equation may substitute "exclusive" for "best price".)

But what if those store managers saw their customers as having a larger, more interrelated "life equation"? What if instead of being "shoppers" they were seen as "people"?  What other needs that those "people" have might those store owners seek to satisfy?  Shifting from "shoppers" to "people" is the start of using Systems Thinking.  So is seeing the store as more than a provider of goods or services at the lowest price (or providing the most exclusive goods or services).

This "whole person" approach already exists for individual shopping experiences (like buying coffee from Starbucks, where the atmosphere is as large a part of why people go there as the coffee).  But is that approach in use for a major department store? Or are those stores locked into an ultimately unwinnable fight with online retailers like Amazon over who can give customers the product they want at the lowest cost and fastest delivery time? Amazon is projected to topple Macy's as the USA'snumber one apparel retailer by 2017 "To me, they're all trying to me-too Amazon," noted Nikki Baird, an analyst at RSRResearch. "The younger [the shopper,] the more advantage Amazon seems to have." Same day delivery is now becoming a battleground too.

When customers are only seen as "shoppers," price and delivery speed are Amazon's strengths. What new strategic advantage might Macy's gain if it saw customers as "people"?

For that answer, look at the larger system of the society in which customers live. What do you see?

You see conflict - sometimes very violent conflict.  You see people who have decided that their differences with "others" - be they political, religious, racial or ethnic, gender, or sexual orientation - are increasingly reasons to declare war on those "others".  And you also see a planet under siege by a humanity that is only now (with large pockets of resistance still) coming to terms with the need to partner with - rather than abuse - Mother Nature.  There is a way that Macy's can use this larger reality - seen using Systems Thinking - to its advantage.

You think me insane to suggest this? Remember. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting something new to happen.  I'm not insane. But I AM crazy. Crazy in the way Apple promoted its products in 1997, with its Think Different campaign:



A very powerful business strategy was championed starting in 2005 when the book "Blue Ocean Strategy" was published. That strategy was innovation-led "discontinuous change" in the products or services companies offer. Blue Ocean Strategy swept the business world (multiple millions published in over 30 languages). And a revised edition was published last year. Positioning your company so it offers customers something they never thought possible - but which they would then run to after learning it was now available - became hot for the obvious reason that having uncontested market space makes you the instant market leader!

Why do I think Macy's should adopt this "discontinuous change"-based strategy?  Why do I think Macy's should start saying to its customers "Shop here for a better world"?  Because Macy's already says that to its employees! People who work for Macy's already work in at least the beginning of that "better world"!

The Macy's Social Responsibility report (which you can read about here and download here) details the extraordinary measures Macy's is taking to create a more equitable, safe, and environmentally sustainable workforce environment and product supply chain.  It also details how these "better world" efforts extend to at least some of the products Macy's offers its customers.

This essay is not the place to detail how Macy's could expand these efforts to create a similarly comprehensive assistance and support effort for its customers. My aim is simply to show that such a breakthrough agenda could result from Macy's using Systems Thinking to see its customers as people rather than just shoppers... and using Systems Thinking to see the leap in marketing and reputation value that would result if what it already does internally were expanded outward.

Macy's is uniquely positioned to act on such a strategic vision too. The theme of its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade could be made to reflect this new strategy. 

And it is where the story of the motion picture "Miracle on 34th Street" took place.  Why does that matter? Well, in that story, the character of Kris Kringle (the store's Santa Claus) is the catalyst for the transformation of how Macy's treats its customers.  Following Mr. Kringle's lead, Macy's employees help customers find the products they want even if Macy's doesn't carry them! The extraordinary amount of good will this kind of service creates more than offsets the sales lost when people buy certain items elsewhere! 

This is "reputation management" taken to the highest level.  And while it only happened in a motion picture, a real world version is absolutely possible. Macy's could leap forward in the retail shopping industry by showing its customers how to join its employees in creating a sustainable future.... One in which not only are products produced in ways that treat Mother Nature with respect but one in which people - no matter what their differences - work together in a spirit of cooperation towards the goal of a more harmonious world... one in which everyone has the opportunity to (borrowing from Star Trek, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) "live long and prosper".

Welcome to the breakthrough problem solving world of Systems Thinking.  Welcome to a future where people flock to stores like Macy's because they can get something they'll never get from an online store: face-to-face educational experiences regarding how to make the world someday work for everyone. This is what we know Millennials already want where they work.

And a hint of that result regarding Millennial shoppers can even be found in the Myth #3 Social Networks section here...

"The goal should be to create positive buzz, to be talked about by a presence on social media isn't enough--the aspiration should be to become the topic of conversation for all the right reasons."


But honestly, I can only imagine how truly delighted ALL shoppers will be - and how great the impact on the future of brick and motar retail shopping - when that shopping experience becomes part of making the world work better too!

(Originally published in The Huffington Post on February 23, 2016)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Past and Future Truths In the Democratic Party

There is an interesting conversation going on in the Democratic Party... regarding who is being more "honest" about the future: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. (See "Like it or Not, Hillary Clinton is Being MoreHonest with Voters Than Bernie Sanders" by Allen Clifton, writing in ForwardProgressives for an example.)

The fact is there are two kinds of "honesty" we're dealing with here. And I'm not talking about truth vs fiction, because both are true.  The difference is that one "truth" has to do with the past and the other "truth" has to do with the future. I'm talking about a political system that is going through a transformation... due to a redefinition of the foundational operating principles that control its design.

The current political system's design (which is on its way out) is controlled by Big Money. That's the system in which Hillary's "honesty" is true. She is essentially saying "Honestly, this is what's possible in the system we've got." But Hillary is talking about the system an increasing number of Americans (especially the Millennials) know doesn't work. For that reason... and because so many Millennials are going to vote... it is destined to be the system of the past.

The new political system - in which "We, the People" return to being in control of our country - that is taking the place of the old comes with it's own definition of "honesty" and "truth". In a country once again run by "We, the People", the government will actually run differently than it currently runs... differently than the way it does in "Hillary's political system".  Bernie Sanders is living in that new political system.  And he is helping bring it into being for the rest of us.  And this is why he is also "honest".  Bernie is honest about where we can go.  Hillary is honest about where she believes we are meant to remain.

This dynamic between "past and future truths" is simple to understand, if you're familiar with the history of human cultural evolution. To get you quickly up to speed, I invite you to watch the first few minutes of the masterfully produced TV series "The Day the Universe Changed". It was created by British historian James Burke in the late 1980's. I watched it back then on PBS, and it was hugely influential of my understanding of what's possible in the future and what's not.



 In this 10 episode series, Mr. Burke showed how our culture has changed... how what we believed to be true has changed... how the "design of the system" (speaking in organizational development terms) has evolved throughout history. That cultural design will continue to evolve for as long as humanity exists. (It might even evolve to the future envisioned in Star Trek some day, if we're lucky.) And it's poised to take a big leap forward in this election, if enough people understand the concept of bringing "new truths" - the design of a new system - into being.

Bernie Sanders' "honesty" comes from that new system. Hillary Clinton's "honesty" comes from the old. It's up to each of us to choose which system we want this election to give us. We have a choice.  That's something The Founding Fathers gave us and The Revolutionary War was fought to preserve.  Here's to revolutionary (or evolutionary) change, my friends.  Honestly, it's possible!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry on the Future of Civilization

At the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the major challenge we face is between "civilization"and "barbarism".



I would add that the best strategy for eliminating barbarism is for our civilization to consciously and overtly work to become one in which we all (the entire "human family") learn to live in harmony.

How to do that?  Start with studying the pioneering management work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming and the science-based, scenario planning work of Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller.  Then find a vehicle for introducing this pathbreaking vision into your company.

That's what I'm here to do.  If you want your company to offer both your current and future customers (and ultimately the public-at-large) an aspirational road map to a much better future, contact me.

Here is a taste of their work:

Dr. Deming on a transformed world in which "everyone wins". (4:19)


Dr. Fuller on an economic system based on abundance rather than scarcity. (2:21)