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Posts Tagged ‘south africa’

MeshWorks = ‘Thrive and Help Thrive’

Friday, December 19th, 2008

I would like to share with you the outcome of one of our first MeshWorks application at the large scale which you can read here.

Given the nature of our emerging problems, we are seeing Problems “G” and even Problems “H” that require what we call Second Tier Conditions which, in turn, will require systems “T” and even solutions “U.”  This use of many of the HU-Turquoise thought structures will be without the heavy metaphysical  elements that many are now relying on, for good reason to them. I will write on that situation a bit later, because it is so clear what is happening in “spiritual” communities as they are now talking about “culture” and even values systems. Amazing.

As more and more functions in this country, at least, are moving into a situation where “the government” is beginning to own many of our resources that were once in the domain of the invisible hand of the free market, this means that new criteria for complex decision-making will require new processes. We will, at first, bring back the old wineskins to deal with the new wine, but they will leak.  We have yet to create these new wineskins. We will soon describe MeshWorks Solutions in greater detail, along with Transpartisan methodologies.

Of course, Clare Graves predicted all of this in his rather innocent title to his 1974 article in The Futurist
publication of the World Future Society, “Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap.”  That statement, in itself, caused me to make contact with Professor Graves because I knew intuitively that here was something unique and powerful. I could not put that concern into words, but I acted anyway. I doubt if any of us would have heard of Graves otherwise. I once asked him when this sort of thing would be required, did he have a time frame, and he responded: “Well, Don, no, I can’t tell you when but you will know when it happens. You will feel it for sure.”

I feel it now for sure, as are many of you. Many are constructing global-wide happenings, or gatherings that bring together the “wise ones” – usually those in the elite Orange-Green “enlightened” league who will meet in circles, express individual perspectives, “view with alarm,” and then begin to generate a list of things to do which, alas, are based on certain assumptions regarding the capacity of people and their habitats to actually do things. We will see these meetings proliferate all over the place and that is a good thing, of course.

Yet, I have a strong sense that these collective processes, as in Theory U and others, will be unable to get to the core problems and solutions.

For example, the same group that was so proud of the role it played in the scenario process in the early 1990s in South Africa have now returned because their processes simply found ways for the privileged few who had tickets to the negotiation table to enrich themselves. The needs of the vast population were not met in housing, education, health care, and standards of living.

Reality has now returned after the euphoria of the bloodless “revolution” and the magic of Mandela, as the crime rate has escalated and political instability appears to be on the horizon. The African National Congress has now split into two camps and will be warring against each other. Unhappily, I had in my mind’s eye the image of the sinking of the Titanic as the wealthy class climbed on the life boats but the “second class” were locked down in steerage class and could not escape.

That thought and image continue to haunt me. It spells “revolution” in no uncertain terms and I wonder if we are seeing the evidence of that also in the violence in Greece. I don’t think all of that is about the death of a 14-year old boy. And, have you seen the new taxes in New York which will be put on the population, much like a taxation without representation from an earlier day in our history. An 18% tax on a soft drink? Wow! And on bottled water?

I believe we are at a major tipping point. Our financial systems are presently frozen because, among other things, the lack of trust, the high levels of deceit and corruption, dirty money, and the repression of technologies that need to be released. Clearly our entire educational complex needs to do some serious soul searching. We still have options but they will come at a price.

Either we step over into a new paradigm or we hang back with at least one foot in the old one, often because of our financial need and fears, and our lack of being able to answer the question: Change FROM what but TO what?

We all know that President-Elect Obama can’t walk on water, in spite of some expectations, but come January 21 he, too, will confront a reality. I see some evidence of complex thinking in him in how he has selected cabinet members and even presenters at the Inaugural event on January 20. That is reassuring to me but I’m no fool when it comes to national politics and, of course, the media. We probably should invest in concession stands in Washington, DC because I have an idea the mall will be full of demonstrations on the part of people and groups who have had their expectations raised for a better life, only to have them dashed by the spring or summer.

We have inherited and, to some extent, benefited from a “bubble economy” in that worth and value were not connected to the “reality economy.” We were trading in hypes.  This has been so clear in Iceland where our SDi colleague Bjärni Jonsson and others are really struggling to find a new basis for survival in that difficult place. It was all “bubble.”

Solutions will come out of families, communities, counties, churches, and other groupings and will ultimately reach state-wide and country-wide domains. This is the revolution that needs to happen. Our current system simply cannot be reformed. It is passing away quickly and short term fixes only waste precious resources on a sinking ship.

 What kind of future do you think our post-teen kids are seeing for themselves? That age group in Chile has come up with a novel approach based on what they call the Penguin Revolution. Apparently, the high schoolers virtually shut down the schools recently and because their uniforms looked like Penguins, they were identified as the Penguin Generation. We have early plans to respond to that fear and desperation as soon as we can.

The world, now, is full of unique “change” opportunities if we just had the wisdom and resources to respond to them. They are everywhere.

In any case, there are tough decisions just ahead and we might as well get ourselves ready to play a positive role. People know that I am a very positive person with great optimism for the future, but I also have a historic memory of the Great Depression in the 1930s because of stories my parents and grandparents used to tell me. To his dying  day my dad would NEVER use a credit card for anything other short-term needs. He would only pay cash for a new motor car, and simply had no debt.

It is within this context that new decision-making models MUST and WILL appear; at least, they will be generated by these Life Conditions, and it will be up to leadership, if we have any today, to see the opportunities, grasp the moment, and be courageous enough to enter the fray. And we must be in a position to get involved ourselves. Maybe things are not yet bad enough while we enter the festive season, but if the Dow reached 500 sometime in ’09 we would all feel the pain.

It might take that, alas.

This is why I want to applaud the Center for Human Emergence in the Netherlands, for Peter Merry and Anne-Marie Voorhoewe for their leadership, and for the role of others to push ahead with the new models, usually against both political correctness and vested interests, even in the NGO and governmental worlds.

It is also timely that Dr. Marilyn Hamilton’s new book on the Integral City is now in the marketplace since so much of it reflects this new model, especially, the MeshWorks design and implementation.

No one can predict the future, or identify the most probable trend-lines, but we can certainly begin, now, to prepare ourselves to respond to any contingency.

It makes no use to play the “blame and be blamed game,” or even the false security assumptions behind gated communities with a “live and let live” philosophy.

Only the values and methods of the “thrive and help thrive” mentality can see us through. MeshWorks is one of those processes.

Be of good cheer.

The Reality and Tragedy of Zimbabwe

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

My long-time South African friend and colleague Alan Tonkin in South Africa posted a letter from Zimbabwe sent in by John Winter to the SDi discussion group. I want to thank Alan for keeping the reality and tragedy of Zimbabwe on our conceptual radar-scopes.

All should know that Alan has a special place in his heart and a special sensitivity to the former Rhodesia because he spent his early years there (but was actually born in Egypt). In his career in major South African companies over the years – one of these was Barlow Rand, which was the largest corporate entity in the southern hemisphere at one stage – Alan worked behind the scenes to improve life and working conditions in Zimbabwe. Ever since I met him in 1981, Alan has always walked his talk. There are many responsible South Africans who have done likewise and they, too, grieve as to what is happening in what was once one of the most productive, prosperous and hopeful societies in all of Africa.

Why was the country once so healthy but is now so repugnant and repressive? Isn’t it time that we offered an honest and authentic explanation, one that allows us to escape the usual racial, status, class, and ethnic traps?

I must warn readers that you will need to do a careful Meme check before you read any further.

Look what has happened to the country since Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. Is there not a useful model for us to understand as we seek to recognize the early signs and weak signals of a group of people who live in the midst of extraordinary natural resources but are on the slippery slope to a failed state? “It’s the memetics, stupid!” (I don’t mean you are “stupid” but that is the Carvell-derived phrase that is often used to cause us to focus on what matters most.)

Simply stated for this purpose, when the stereotypes are defined as “Black” vs. “White” (or African vs. European) there will always be trouble when, actually, the issues are “Red and Green” against healthy Blue and Orange.

These underlying values systems, rather than surface-level categories, are shaping both the present and, alas, the future of people who are trapped within restrictive and destructive boundaries – boundaries and borders which can be defined as with ethnic identities, unique physical characteristics, or even “national” passports or papers which set people’s future access even to food, as in the case of Zimbabwe. Those in the “out group” get to starve.

Unhappily, the story of Africa in the late 20th Century and even extending into the 21st is about the so-called “Big Men of Africa,” the litany of African dictators that emerged naturally out of the BO-Purple structures as “Chieftains.” These designations of leadership structures are often the result of colonial manipulation (also CP-Red) to buy Chieftains off with high levels of corruption coupled with fierce brutality between tribal identities for dominance. In some cases the dominating “tribe” is a majority of people in the society; in other cases it is the regressive minority. In both situations “one person, one vote” happens only one time.

The wave of FS-Green inspired “revolutions,” often led by religious zealots and moral crusaders from European and Western cadres, were quite effective in exposing the dark side of the actions of colonial masters.

The exploitation of natural resources to enhance the life style conveniences in the powerful First World with increasing demands for materialism and privilege has been well documented. Yet, that is too easy an explanation for the asymmetrics of “development” in the “Dark Continent of Africa.”

This is a topic that Graham Linscott and I explored in depth in our 1991 book The Crucible: Forging South Africa’s Future. We warned then that a Zimbabwe-type pattern could well be part of the future of that land south of the Limpopo River.

In spite of our many warnings for South Africa set out in the book, in which we also advocated 10 years of national unity to actually meet the needs of people in health care, housing, education, employment, and standard of living, the Western-driven scenarios by well-meaning “consultants” fell into the same trap.

The inability to recognize the vertical levels of capacities to actually create (or in the case of Zimbabwe and South Africa sustain)the results of decades of contributions from basically Christian-influenced DQ-Blue content continues to alarm us. This belief structure (and other versions of DQ-Blue content are similar), along with the First World DQ-Blue codes with ER-Orange schemes and technology coming out of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Age, have certainly been a major factor in this unhappy situation. There is always guilt enough to go around.

We welcome the new energy around Conscious Capitalism because it recognizes that noble Orange can often create more affluence than government actions. There is no difference between Orange trickle-down thinking which rewards entrepreneurs and Blue (governmental) trickle-down approaches that reward bureaucrats, unless we understand how development bubbles up from indigenous settings. Both trickle-downs are essential, but as designed in a MeshWork.

Because of the inherent racism implied in the Western initiatives (namely, that Blacks can do no wrong because they have been oppressed as victims), high levels of intolerance, brutality, murder, ethnic cleansing, and the raping of the environment and misuse of natural resources, were ignored in the centers of Western power.

If so-called “Whites” had done to “Blacks” as these “Blacks” are doing to the majority of “Blacks,” the public outcry in Western (FS-Green) countries would have been louder than a thousand times the thundering sounds from the Victoria Falls. This includes the United Nations and other such political groupings who lined up to claim the issues are about human rights and “crimes against humanity.”

Nothing I am writing will ever excuse or justify the abuse of Africans or the exploitation of the African continent by “Whites” who can be equally CP-Red in their orientations and quest for power and control. I’m just making the case that Black-Red is no better than White-Red and should no longer be romanticized. Nor should “White-Blue guilt” be off-loaded to cleanse one’s historic soul, and that of one’s ancestors.

So, what would Beck have done years ago?  The current president of Zimbabwe and his ilk would have been “relieved of their power” by the collective action of the world community, especially their African neighbors, in an act of mercy and sensitivity but one based on values systems rather than archaic political models.

Of course this will be resisted because of the fear of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Just as there is considerable concern in our community about the future of Cuba, I have encouraged a number of South African leaders (and others) to plan now for the transformation of Zimbabwe out of these miserable conditions.

My fear is that, as in Cuba, the sleazy ER-Orange vultures will return to capture the spoils as happened in the former Soviet Union. (By the way, I have more experienced trust in Afrikaner business leaders than any other group I know. That might surprise many of you, but remember I made 63 trips to South Africa and, in this case at least, I know what I’m talking about.)

A healthy, sustainable, and responsible economic/political system should be identified, using the principles and processes of Integral Natural Design, one that reflects the natural contours in the culture and the capacity of its people. We call these dynamics MeshWORKS Solutions and you will begin to read more about this complex problem-resolution model along with our Transpartisanship (TPS) decision-making patterns.

It is time we brought realistic and effective Second Tier processes to the surface to model and illustrate how the GT-Yellow/HU-Turquoise approach to complexity can actually be demonstrated and implemented. So many people who claim to be “Second Tier” thinkers only mouth the words because it is the in thing be in some circles. Whenever we detect legitimate “Second Tier” actions, we will let you know …

The lesson  here is that getting rid of what we don’t want is not the same thing as getting what we do want. And, while it has now become fashionable to talk about “change,” we want to ask: But change FROM what, and TO what? Shouldn’t we focus on answering that question? We most certainly confront the life conditions that will awaken many to new insights, new approaches, and new, systemic-driven actions. Let’s make them available.

Be of good cheer.