This is a support platform for the Great Transition Initiative – an informal global movement of self-initiating independent cultural change agents devoted to transitioning to a life-sustaining society.
We are committed to transitioning to a life-sustaining society, rather than continuing on our present course of ecological self-destruction. To actually reverse global warming and other massive issues we must inspire intelligent mainstream commitment to transformative systemic change. Why? Because piecemeal changes and the continuation of business as usual will not suffice.
The key to success? Innovative communication at many levels. Ready-to-use communication tools are freely available through our Great Transition communication materials. They include sample emails, workshop designs, guerrilla marketing tactics and tools for transformative personal conversations.
We encourage you to use your influence to inspire people in your networks and the larger public to the vision of transitioning to a life-sustaining society. Participating need not take an inordinate amount of your time.
There is nothing to join. Each person who participates in the Great Transition Initiative acts as a self-initiating autonomous agent. We are aligned in our commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society. Seeing what is needed, we simply get on with it.
BLOG POSTS ARE BELOW
I think there is only one thing. Young people will have hope when they see that society as a whole is passionately committed to reversing global warming and other trends (including arms build-up), and successfully transitioning to a life-sustaining society.
How would they know that this commitment exists?
Just as in wartime everyone speaks about the war, so people everywhere would be talking abouttransitioning to a life-sustaining society. Politicians would affirm this as our goal (rather than economic increase). They would justify policy decisions on the basis of their contribution to the transition to a life-sustaining society. Both NGOs and businesses would frame their work as a contribution to the Great Transition to a life-sustaining society. The media would regularly report on improvements in environmental indicators (while noting how much more we have to do).
The ultimate test of effectiveness
In time, CO2 levels would start to decline and environmental statistics improve. The mass media would report that we are making progress in transitioning to a life-sustaining society. At this point hope would seem realistic.
Ultimately, the test is: are we living within planetary boundaries? Have we evolved a society that does its best to take care of people, communities and the environment? If so, we would have, not a new world order, but simply a new world. It will be much more loving than the world we now experience.
How might we act to make hope realistic for young people?
By masses of us using our influence through our networks to inspire mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society.
Each of us can do this through our own initiative. There is no need to join – or form – a massive organisation. Seeing what is needed, can just get on with the job. Ready-to-use communication tools are at www.GreatTransitionInitiative.net (aka Inspiring Transition).
It’s time to think big. Although none of our networks are huge in absolute terms, when we include clients and their networks is our combined networkis huge.
Here is a very simple concept with profound implicationsfor our own wellbeing, and for large-scale social change. It is our capacity to observe ourselves without judgement. The part of our psyche that can do this might be called the Witness, or Observer Self. The label does not matter. What counts is our capacity for self-observation. So we might say that
The Witness is that part of ourselves that can see exactly what we do without judgement.
It is right next door to the Critic, which sees the same thing and at times gives us holy hell for it!
You may be very familiar with your Critic, even if you never labelled as such. It can manifest as a voice in your head that says You should've done this; You didn't do that right, and the like. Activating our Witness function enables us to get some distance from the inner Critic. This reduces its power.
How do we activate our Witness? Just pause for a moment and notice what you are thinking right now.
That’s it. By the very act of noticing you are using your witness function.
There can be aspects of our emotional life that we take for granted. If we often find ourselves emotionally acting with anger, resentment and the like, then we are not masters of our own house. Our emotional reactions run us. This causes pain to both ourselves and others. Although we may accept the situation as ‘just the way things are’, we do not have to.
Our Witness function enables us to detect emotional reactions that do not serve us. There are many techniques for resolving these reactions. One of the simplest ones – and a very valuable one – is to be alert enough to catch these emotional reactions when they first start up, and not give them energy. In time their intensity reduces or disappears.
There are techniques for directly resolving our emotional reactions as well. For example, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a very effective do-it-yourself technique. EFT and other techniques start with noticing ‘occasions of upset’ – inner reactions that disturb us. We become alert to these reactions. This is the first step to resolving them.
Thus our Witness is a gateway to becoming emotionally clear and happy.
It is helpful to practice using our Witness. This Object Concentration exercise is an excellent way to do this. It is a creativity exercise that sharpens our perception.
Choose an attractive object to be your point of focus - e.g. a leaf, a flower, or an ornate old bell.
Observe your object for 4 minutes, following this internal instruction to yourself:
When my mind goes away I will notice that it has gone away and bring it back.
Here we are paying attention to physical reality and to the operation of our own mind at the same time. This is an excellent creativity exercise. By attending acutely we notice things that we might otherwise have missed. I sometimes say that ‘to see reality is a great creative act’.
The Witness is a very simple concept. You can easily introduce the idea of the Witness to a friend, and take them through the Object Concentration exercise. If you do so appropriately, this may be a great service to them.
When a critical mass of people have cool heads and can assess threats (or absence of threats) realistically, we are less likely to be swept up in irrational emotional reactions that lead to war. For example, when the World Trade Centre was destroyed in New York, a measured response would have been to increase security. Of course. The irrational response was to invade Afghanistan, launch a ‘war on terror’, and in the United States pass the Homeland Security act, which curtailed citizen freedoms and some think moved US towards being a totalitarian state. Enormous resources (trillions of dollars) went into to this that could have been applied to community well-being and environmental restoration.
Marketers and demagogues have long recognised the critical importance of shaping public consciousness in their favour, and they devote time, money and imagination to this endeavour, even if at times they do it crudely. Rupert Murdoch has the largest media empire in the world, and it is not just about money. He shapes public opinion.
Likewise we in the environment and progressive movement should activate our imagination to shape public opinion, not just about specific issues, but also about the visionary transformative changes necessary for us all to succeed. We have vast resources for this that we have not yet utilised: the millions of groups that are working on aspects of environmental and social well-being, and their members. Aligned we can become a powerful force for shifting mainstream consciousness ... because we are all part of the mainstream, and we canIntroduce transformative ideas to our friends, neighbours and larger networks.
Our proper goal at this time is to inspire mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society. We should aim to win. Getting a critical mass of mainstream people on side is critical for a successful transition.
Inspiring Transition is an open source communication platform supporting the Great Transition to a life-sustaining society. We have a refreshingly simple communication strategy that can engage thousands of organisations and millions of people without a complex administrative structure. We have a variety of imaginative communication tactics, some of which have almost no cost, and which take very little time.
Let’s look at what the Great Transition will look like when it is powerfully accelerating.
At a local level, we will see millions of personal conversations. These conversations will be unusual, because their purpose will be to help people think better. Our kit of imaginative communication tools, Kitchen Table Conversations, will be used by citizen educators to help people connect-the-dots and think for themselves. (I highlight Kitchen Table Conversations because they are purpose built for conversations that affect people’s thinking).
As we know, much of civil society is fragmented and uncoordinated, whereas the neoconservatives have a focused agenda to increase their wealth and power.
Many of us dream of unifying the various groups that care about environmental sustainability and social well-being. However, given that each group has its own