Posts Tagged currency

Future Predictions on Thrivability

Clay Shirky, over on BoingBoing, asks for predictions of the future – 5 years.

There are many possible futures of course that could arise. And I can’t predict the likelihood of this one, but it is the one I am working to make manifest.

  • Convergence of multiple generations around social change actions. From boomers to Gen x, and down to millenials and beyond, more attention will be flowing toward making the world a better place. Efforts like Earth Councils will blossom in the post election energy of community organizing success, helping to weave the best of different generations together into community action – local groups having local effects compounded across the country and possibly the world.
  • Evolution of tools, practices, and vision addressing the information flow issues, enabling unification of relevant content streams, edit-ability and gardening leading to more refined, less noisy information for timely actions. SocialActions.org, wiser, and connectipedia as examples of what is moving us in this direction.
  • Part of the evolution of tools will be leaps in understanding and use of metrics and currencies including a major burst in how we see and leverage acknowledgment currencies – especially the reputation of people and information.
  • Massive contractions in financial resource flow (and thus attention too) will drive major flow innovations. Let’s expand that to major innovations in many domains – particularly community infomatics, green science, and collaboration technologies (and practices) -will be high-speed driven by necessity and visionary leaders.
  • The social benefit sector will carry markets to a much greater degree, as everyone knows someone who has suffered losses/poverty/or illness pushing acts of compassion/sympathy to become acts of empathy. This further connects us all, even as greater divides in wealth expand (for only a few more years before collapse). This empathic connections leads to greater philanthropy and support of social benefit organizations.
  • Rolling or cascading crisis wake up the sleeping giants of philanthropy, with those of wealth (including foundations) opening up to radical shifts in practice as their best opportunities for impact (which is desperately needed). More donors will give while living. While wealth transfer predictions will be off base in a changing evaluation of US currency, still massive amounts of money will be in the hands of people compelled to use their inheritance for community and innovation investment rather than market investment.
  • B corporations and social entrepreneurship will become the darlings of the business world to ever greater degrees – luring talent (and investment) focused on social good. (See B corporations, Social Markets, Good Capital, Skoll, Ashoka, Acumen, etc.) Marketing will continue to follow suit with companies racing to be triple bottom line (creating a spike of opportunity for accountants who can manage multiple forms of currency). Greenwashing will be squashed through crowdsourced data on companies, which we can already see emerging. Imagine OsoEco and dozens of other green social networks already online resonating with  information flows like Twitter and service companies like GetSatisfaction.
  • There will be less chatter about so called “democracy” and more focus on how functional systems really work while offering fairness and justice. Not only we will be rebuilding physical infrastructure, we will be evolving human structures for collaboration that are more fair and better honor participant contributions and needs in balance with group purpose.
  • Work will happen differently. Less formal organizations and more loosely affiliated networks grouping toward some shared vision and action will band together, act, and disband like flashmobs to make things happen without wasteful overhead.
  • So much more! And it will be more and more sudden as convergence of energy, purpose, and opportunity accelerate how what we do manifests in the world… things will appear low visibility, but the ability of networks to connect with what is visible AND seen by the right collaborators; thus fluidly merging networks of purpose.
  • Finally, a deepening sense of spirituality will underscore all of this with people acting from a sense of their karma and happiness to do good in the world (as well as people acting from fear and pain to do good in the world too). Beingness is on the rise.

What do you think will be emerging in the next 5 years? What will vital junctures or decision points be? How will these changes be made possible and powerful?

Note: this video of Tom Munnecke with Barbara Marx Hubbard resonates here.

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Converging for Thrivability

HOPE

There are times when I look at the news of the world or see the state of things, and I feel tired, fearful, and lost. But those times are few. I manage to be positive – not because I have had tons of coaching (which helps) but because so much of what I keep learning about our world is what people are doing to make it a better place.

NETWORK OF POSSIBILITIES

Those people – they inspire me – they range across so many communities of purpose. What happens in the world when we make progress across:

  • water accessibility (and clean sanitation – multiple fronts including Engineers without Borders, Rotary International grant projects, Clean Water for the World, and so many others including social entrepreneurial ventures)
  • child mortality (disease and health practices such as Measles Campaign…)
  • disaster relief (numerous – and gaining ground with peer to peer efforts seeded in Katrina and growing both in the US and abroad)
  • tool innovation and accessibility (OLPC, projects listed in Appropedia, etc…)
  • human rights (Humanity United, multiple genocide intervention groups, etc…)
  • women’s issues (orgs supporting women as head of household and helping girls get to school – numerous, also groups addressing domestic violence)
  • green issues (bioneers, etc and hundreds of green blogs, orgs, and actions)
  • literally hundreds of other cause areas…internet freedom, digital rights, healthcare, organic foods, the lists go on and on and on!

SHARING

Why are we making progress? The internet. Is that all? No, but it is vital, because we can network and know our network. We can find people who share our interests and take action together. We can find people to support and evangelize our projects. We can link together research, solutions, actions, and people. We can route information and opportunity. See socialactions.com weaving together actions from a good number of social action platforms. Calalytic Communities collecting and sharing community solutions. We can have conversations – see change.org or a good number of Ning communities for better world building. See earthcouncils.org. We can begin to see the network – wiserearth.org. There are others – coming together, working toward fairness, encouraging entrepreneurship, and caring for our planet. The DO-ACTION network may be in its infancy, but it is already potent. Nurtured by online connections, the collective organism strives for greater health.

Not only are greater actions possible along traditional lines, but innovations proliferate too. Innovations in financing (kiva and many others), innovations in business models and accounting (social entrepreneurship and double/triple bottom line accounting) but also innovations in community organizing, fundraising, and collaboration.

Improvements in process – for gatherings/conferences like open space, unconferences, barcamps as well as tools of the process arts. Improvements in organizational structures fed by growing awareness of social network analysis – supporting shifts toward holocracy and do-acracy forms.

Shifts in our very being-ness, as seen in the rising of non-religious forms of spirituality and cross-faith collaboration within religious traditions. Tolle, Chopra, and many others feeding the collective organism of our being-ness with clear paths, shift our behaviors, and uplift our being.

And there are shifts in the money flow. Whether it is currency advocates for alternatives to money or open money which goes beyond tradeable wealth to address a broader awareness of wealth and currency flows, there is a growing awareness of what works and what is needed. Tools are built. Models tested.

And there is a convergence in people’s focus too. Whether people are over 50 and looking for a more purpose-driven life or under 30 and charged up about a world that could end in their lifetime, people of nearly all living generations are more interested (or more likely to be interested) in a meaningful life and meaningful action – they are more clearly connected to what happens in the world and more knit together across multiple boundaries – perceiving the eco-system of our living together.

It feels to me as if change is in the air. It used to be that I would drive through traffic thinking to myself that all the other folks on the road were part of the zombie people: nose to the grindstone for money that wouldn’t make them happy and destroyed our shared world. Now I drive or walk past them wondering what they are doing as part of their effort to make the world a better place. Why the shift in belief? Because such a great percentage of the people I come in contact with are that way – working for a better world: participating in local governance, advocating for causes that are personal to them, donating funds to orgs and projects they believe matter.

We could slice thrivability up by issue, by audience, by being-ness, by process or whatever slicing and dicing works for the question at hand. But if we zoom out and look at the whole, the messy whole, there is a living organism bubbling with life, zest, even zeal so that humans can live worthwhile lives on a planet that can support us. We are co-creating our future and determining our own evolution. And we begin to know it. And the more we know it and create with intention, the greater chance we have to create a thrivable world

What do you notice that is converging for our thrivability?

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