Posts Tagged thrivability

Reflections and Predictions

It has been roughly a year since this blog opened. And I feel much more solid in my sense of what thrivability can be. That does not mean there are clear strategies defined or all partners are convened. There remains much work to do. But 2008 has been a wonderful learning journey solidifying my belief in the value of thrivability, and it has resonated well with a variety of amazing allies. Thank you.

I was glancing at an article in Utne Reader today about fear. And I realized a shift I am feeling, and I sense it is a huge piece of thrivability. Thrivability is not driven, at its core, by a deep dark fear of the world ending and all we need to overcome to jetison us off this precipice of history. And while I personally have been strongly driven by fears around climate change and a forecast of the end to humanity, somehow this has shifted. Perhaps it is Obama’s hope spreading “Yes We Can” or perhaps it is the collective voice of human consciousness declaring agency. It could perhaps even be a spiritual shifting that is ongoing internally for me. Whatever the cause or causes, what I sense in thrivability is a powerful resounding passion to evolve beyond our current cultures into a new form of being together, united, whole, diverse, conscious, respectful, judicious, abundant, appreciative, and in flow.

Do you want this too? Are you what EnlightenNext calls an Evolutionary?

We have before us the greatest opportunity life force has yet had–to collect together as respecting and honoring individuals to know and act through our wholeness for the evolution of ourselves and conciousness …and life itself …to experience both our uniqueness and our unity while shifting the forms of the world to support a flourishing earth bursting in harmony. We can become the most spectacular orchestra of living systems reverberating with awareness. What is the sound of this magnificent joy?

Let us put our egos in harness to our purpose, set our minds to tangible tasks, reach into our hearts for whole system empathy, and let our spirits’ wisdom lead us forth into a new age. One where we may thrive in harmony with each other and all forms.

I predict the near future will be frought with tension. Many will weaken from fear and anxiety as old systems convert into new arrangements that better fit our amazing flow. I predict we will often stumble and need to lean into each other in the dark night before the dawn. I predict that some will refuse to relinquish old patterns and this will lead to suffering. People will die bodily deaths. Humans will fight through the night in bloody conflicts of ideological wars to end all wars. And this very darkness, the very fear and negativity that seems pervasive will be the flood upon which a new way is made possible. It will be our very frustration with what is — that will make what can be: possible. Just as the bitter darkness of the Bush years has made a grassroots minority a more possible canditate for president of the US.

I see the light glowing from so many sensing this great opportunity, and I have deep faith in the very process of evolutionary consciousness to guide us together into a brighter day. Everywhere I see the flickering flames of hope, faith, interpersonal trust, and inspired vision gain energy. The tools evolve beneath our fingers, the partners meet and align around common purpose, and collectively we prepare the way forward.

Will you join with me in hope to great this challenging opportunity.

As Tracy Gary often says, “Hold hands, and stay together.”

Dream. Breath with me. Be with us.

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Action toward Thrivability

Posted at http://blog.socialactions.com/group/wizard/forum/topic/show?id=2062983%3ATopic%3A8412

Thanks for opening the conversation Christine. I have been hoping to integrate several fronts of my own striving for social action. First is philanthropy. I have been writing about the sector, especially around innovation, for 5 years. And given what I have learned in technology, there is much we can do in social media to evolve the philanthropic sector. Second is the evolution of my interest in sustainability to something much broader and positive – thrivability. I am hoping others, seeing from their angles and perspective, can help flesh out what thrivability is and how to pursue it. Third is a spiritual evolution tangled up with my coach training which compels me to sense how our being-ness needs to evolve if we want new outcomes – and that shift is about focusing on the positive, directing our driven egos toward our higher purpose, and recognizing the intertwining of doing with being. Lastly, and interest in currencies – as defined as as formalized structures for incentivizing flows in a system, and the social network analysis that needs to accompany currnecies, can be used to catalyze the shift we are attempting.

My hope is that each of these fronts converge together, as well as bring together like-minded change agents filled with compassion, authenticity, and creativity to collectively co-create the structure for the change we need.

All this can be simplified to (philanthropic web + social media + sharing) (given the presence of humility + compassion + generosity) = emergence of a > consciousness + > power to take positive, efficient, and compelling action.

Note, I am also interested in transcending some of the silos in the current system where grassroots action happens so far from great financial giving as if they were entirely different. We need to evolve spectrums and ecologies rather than creating artificial boundaries which prevent people from converging on issues and opportunities of mutual interest. It is the difference between zoos and the natural world. And these cages do not serve us if we are able to go beyond ego – and those in philanthropy are well primed for this leap.

Thank you again for being a path-sister Christine. And I am eager to see what we can attract and create together for the common good.

This conversation is within the context of convening a gathering in Chicago in April to weave and evolve the philanthropic web toward thrivability. Are you interested

I am only one person, and my knowledge is limited and often while broad, not very deep. It is only together that we can co-evolve. So please share your wisdom if you believe in the mission

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raindrops

I have been jamming on the thrivability guide…but for now, let me shower a few important links of things I feel are working toward thrivability in rough form:

I want to be clear that some of the things I appreciate are varied in their political views. All of them are striving for a better world that we co-create. Some of them have different beliefs about how to do this. I, personally, refrain from judgment at this time as to the single best course of action. Is there a single one? :) Furthermore, I believe it is our differences that make us stronger. So–while goals are aligned, policies and practices may be different for the following:

(note, I have multiple links for some of these things–the blog, the microblog, the facebook group, the website, the wiki, ning community, or other software for connecting and sharing…I just used one link here if that. Some are the top of my head, so apologies if I get a link wrong–please comment to let me know.)

Social Entrepreneurship (blending biz with social benefit)

Global Standards

Using currencies to incent change behavior and build community: (there are a plethora of sites using currencies–I focus on the ones I feel are best at working toward thrivability. Feel free to suggest more!)

Sharing solutions:

  • Catalytic Communities
  • Honeybee

Shifting flows:

Understanding ourselves

Awakening young people:

  • wild-zones.net

Awakening people:

  • Seeing Beyond Sight
  • Why Do You Do What You Do?

Innovative architectures and structures:

  • Mardie Oakes (echoing green fellow)
  • Hexayurt

Science:

  • Clean Star (they are many others in energy also)
  • water cleaning (Brian Lewis)

Health issues:

  • Hope Healing
  • Mission work of Liz Garcia Grey and Ashis Brahma

Tools for collaboration:

  • social media in general
  • wagn.org specifically :)
  • open space facilitation
  • unconferences
  • co-working
  • (lots of other process arts!)

Thought Leaders:

  • Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz
  • Imaginify
  • etc…

Pieces I see, but I might not have specific links for:

  • mission related investing (also can be called program related investing)
  • Social responsible investing and activism
  • transformative philanthropy
  • renewed spirituality sans religious dogma
  • Holocracy
  • Doacracy
  • Industrial recycling
  • ZERI
  • Free Range Kids

Disclaimer: I also confess that I often find these things because I follow relationships. Thus I often know someone at these orgs/groups

Oh this is just a little nibble into what is there….but it does give a sense of scope. Expect to see this in the wagn at http://nurture.wagn.org/wagn/Thrivability_Field_Guide.

I have about 5 years worth of chasing amazing projects to download out of my head and onto a knowledge network space. :) it is coming out in chunks that need to be sorted and cleaned, clearly. Thanks for patience!

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Thrivability Field Guide

OOooo great to see people using the term thrivability:

GlacierOaksNursury

and there are several mentions of it over on wildresiliencyblog.

Then the whole Thrivability Institute

I have been up to my eyeballs learning about this and certainly not sharing enough.

Thus I make a commitment to you. To work on The Field Guide to Leaps toward Thrivability. I am sketching out the format over on Nurture.biz using the wagn there. The field guide will offer concepts and theory, but more importantly stories, videos, and conversations of LEAPS we are making toward thrivability. Additionally, like a good coach, I will offer exercises, worksheets, and conversation space for ongoing learning and sharing.

None of this learning is finite nor done. We begin this journey knowing there is no end; if we make our path well, we will carry on. Ever and always unfinished, but richer and deeper for the journey.

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Thrivable future

Let’s say that 5 years from now incredible and inspiring cooperation has taken us through a swift turn toward thrivability? It is 2013, and we are feeling very lucky as we begin to see that our changes could be heading off the downward spiral we were on. In fact, increasing numbers of upward spirals are synergizing, converging into massive shifts that we hesitantly believe will usher in a new age.

If that is the premise, then what happened between 2008 and 2013 to make that happen?

And, what are the consequences to our markets, businesses, and lifestyles?

There will be sacrifice, assuredly. What did all the people who worked in destructive industries do for a living? How did the bumps in the economy caused by massive and quick shifting do? How were we able to both care for our local populations as well as regional and global populations so that shifting toward thrivability did not have devastating consequences, even to the greedy who made it harder to accomplish?

I hear the technologies exist. What we lack is will. Okay, so let’s say we have the will? Then what happens? What  will my neighborhood look like?

Will I be making trips to see my friends in Virginia? When I pass through West Virginia, will the people there be suffering massive depression? What can be done to make their region, and all of appalacia thrivable? Sans coal?

And what about Africa? Will there still be, be more, or be less internal strife in many countries over scarce resources? I have a secret hope that Africa leap-frogs in the next decade or two….but what will 2013 be like? With trouble in Kenya now, I am concerned about how countries in sub-Saharan Africa will become thrivable.

What will be playing out in Asia? The many cities being built in China and the troubles in Afghanistan and Pakistan? And how will climate change have already impacted these areas–and how will they have adjusted?

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Thrivability as a business objective

Whether or not thrivability is just a word game or something larger and more inclusive than sustainability…it is still a stronger term for what businesses aim for. What business seeks only to sustain itself? No, businesses want to thrive! Even nonprofits want to thrive. I believe thrivability is a compelling business objective where sustainability may not be.

Thrivability speaks to the yearning to both make profit in order to perpetuate an organization (and its members/employees) as well as function in productive symbiosis with its environment. Far too many organizations are currently parasitic in their approach to our culture–and it is killing off the host–our culture and our world.

How do  we help organizations develop symbiotic relationships with their environment and allies? How do we help them perceive, understand, and benefit from the flow of the ecosystems in which they live and can thrive?

A core question that comes to mind revolves around businesses meeting the “needs” of clients. Where has artificial need been created? What are real and enduring needs? What will the needs be in the future as we shift into thrivable systems?

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Language/mind games or something deeper?

One dimension that I am not concrete about is whether using thrivability rather than sustainability really is the same thing with a different name….or is it more than that? My sense is that it is more than sustainability, but I am, for the most part, making this up as we go along. And I do feel like the name emerged, for me, from a dissatisfaction with the language and its impact on the mind when using the term sustainability. The frame is lacking to me. It implies we are at a negative state and need to reach neutral.

Some that I have discussed that with say “pshaw” to me. They say that it is my own limitations that I place on the term sustainability. The movement is fully open to humans thriving. And in some way I agree. I think most of the sustainability field is open to and hopes for a thriving world. Some are quite cynical (or well versed depending on your point of view) about our ability to become sustainable much less thrivable. I hear that. I feel the frustration. I am frustrated at our lack of progress and the pressure of time.

From a mind game perspective I am choosing the word thrivability because it is like wanting an A in a class instead of a C. Because it sounds less like a world not teetering on the edge of doom but flourishing and vibrant.

But I also wonder if there is something deeper than that. Is that mind-game criticism only coming at it from a superficial level? Is thrivability about something more vast than sustainability? Let’s try an exercise, for fun. Which of the following select words or phrases would you put within the domain of sustainability:

  • zero emissions
  • organic farming
  • social justice
  • green architecture
  • conservation practices
  • personal growth
  • animal protection
  • economic justice
  • leadership development

Which ones do you think we need for a thrivable world?

Are they the same? Are they different? How and why?

Sneak peek: In the next post, I will talk about the value of the term even at the mind-game level.

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Approaches to thrivability

There are many angles that people use to approach thrivability.

  • Knowledge distribution and media. Coop America, Grist, The Daily Green, Hooze,
  • Networking and online community approach. Wiser Earth, worldchanging, etc nextbillion, nabuur, razoo, gaia with zaadz, dreamfish, and many others.
  • Cooperative communities and co-ops. Twin Oaks, Walnut Street Coop, Stone Soup, etc.
  • Networks/communities combined with profitable products and services. Green Home, OsoEco.
  • Profitable product or service angle.
    • Sewer treatment, clean energy, food production, clothing and home goods for example.
    • Environmental consulting, coaching, conflict resolution, mediation, process arts.
  • Nonprofit perspective. Changemakers.org, Ashoka, Acumen Fund, Echoing Green, Untld, and literally thousands of nonprofits/nongovernmental orgs around the world as might be found on the Wiser Earth listings.
  • Foundations. Rudolf Steiner Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Open Society Institute, Annie E. Casey Foundation etc.

This list is an initial catch of the spectrum and does not assume that these organizations or communities are consistently thrivable or even focused on thrivability.

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Resources on thrivability

In my research through the last few years, I have come across some references to thrivability that I want to collect here and share with you.

Thrivability Institute :-)

Interesting paper on the future with a thrivable attitude (pdf)
by Peter Ellyard, Chairman, Preferred Future Insititute and Sustainable Prosperity Foundation

and his paper Planning for Thrival and Thrivability in a Planetist 21st Century includes much of the material from the shorter paper linked above.

He begins with:

During the last few years I have commenced using the ‘thrival’ in my work with clients. You won’t find this word in any dictionary, and some of my colleagues who are linguistically precise do not approve my using it. However I use the word to make a particular point. We have a word survival to describe an aspirational goal but not ‘thrival’. The lack of such a word says a lot about the lack of loftiness of the aspirations of English speaking people. I also use the word ‘thrivability’. These words sum up the journey we need to make to transform ourselves for success in a globalising world , to aspire to thrive and to grow the ability to thrive.

See also, on page 51:

A sustainable society is one which is prosperous in four different ways these are

  • ecological prosperity;
  • economic prosperity ;
  • social prosperity;
  • cultural prosperity.

I believe we need not a triple bottom line but a quadruple: one which measures levels of poverty/prosperity in all four forms.

Page 55-56 offers:

The journey to an ecologically sustainable or ‘green’ future is a journey of
imagination, design and innovation. A ‘green’ future will be created by concentrating on, and promoting innovations in, two broad areas:

  • ‘green’ ways—the values, ethics, beliefs, paradigms, behavioural patterns, customer preferences, and professional ethics and practices needed for an ecologically sustainable society;
  • ‘green’ ware—the designs, products, services and technologies which will be needed to realise an ecologically sustainable society.

Concurrent with the promotion of ‘green’ ways and ‘green’ ware is the

implementation of policies for:

  • the creation of ‘green’ markets in order to provide a domestic demand for green’ ware which would then be exported to a world which is demanding it. Any country that wishes to show leadership in the development of ‘green’ ways and ‘green’ ware will need to ‘green’ its markets ahead of the rest of the world in order to provide a domestic market to nurture the development of these innovations.
  • establishing new industries and enterprises to provide both the ‘green’ ways and ‘green’ ware needed to realise a sustainable society.

Imaginify has been collecting resources on thrivability, see here:

Fast Company post on blacks moving to being “thrival” and a related blog post.

Thrivability and waste

have links for me? Know of other orgs or folks talking about flourishing or using similar terms that I should be aware of? Please inform me!

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Initial Scan of the field

Well talking about thrivability crosses many domains. Just about anything dealt with on worldchanging might be considered within the realm of thrivability. While this list includes domains that can contribute to thrivability, let me make clear that not everything within any of these areas is immediately portable to the effort for thrivability. I am merely building a list of where thrivable practices, ideas, and efforts MAY come from. Some domains port to thrivability better than others. So here is an initial scan of the areas that can be considered to contribute to thivability:

  • green living–from direct environmental concerns like dead zones in the sea to the organic food movement and also including clean energy
  • social justice–from fair trade movement to ending global poverty, anything related to economic uplift of the bottom half as well as equal treatment for all people (and not just class, consider too the aligned issues around race, sex, religion etc)
  • socially responsible investing–keeping money out of the hands of warmongers or in the hands of environmental orgs etc. SRI is a wide ranging approach to money management. Beware that it is not necessarily thrivable–filtering investments on values allows for filtering for regressive political and religious stances as well.
  • commons–sharing is less expensive (financial and via resources) than hording so many efforts to create and maintain commons can be thrivable. Police, Fire, Parks and other public services or offerings as well as intellectual commons.
  • others? Surely there are more! Tell me what you would include!

So if thrivability covers so many domains, what is it that qualifies something to be thrivable? I have two answers to that. One is about a way of being. Is the something uplifting, honoring people and planet, encouraging oneness, equality, diversity, and held in a space of positivity? Two is about metrics. Is the something carbon neutral or positive or other measurements for sustainability/thrivability, and does it measure out to a world of possibility or does it consume and restrict in a way that promotes scarcity?

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