Inspiring public commitment to reverse global warming and transition to a life-sustaining society is perhaps the most important thing we can do in response to our present ecological emergency.
We think that success requires that those of us who care about a positive future raise our game and communicate to ‘engage the unengaged’. We must reach people who have not thought deeply about environmental trends and social change. We must catalyse mainstream commitment. Without it business as usual will take us to its grim conclusion.
We invite you to work with us. You can do this through your own initiative; possible roles are here. We use emails, blogs, social media, articles, lectures, workshops, focused personal conversations, and imaginative guerrilla marketing techniques.
Ready-to-use tools to make communicating as easy as possible are here, and your creativity is encouraged!
Our next milestone event is the Great Transition Communication Blitz.It will be throughout March 2017. Thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of individuals and organisations will communicate through their networks about transitioning to a life-sustaining society and how together we can accomplish it.
Inspiring Transition is a platform to support people acting as citizen-educators seeding the vision of transitioning to a life-sustaining society into mainstream culture. And who are the mainstream? Why,our friends, neighbours and business colleagues of course, as well as our online networks. By communicating through our networks we can each contribute to shifting public consciousness without requiring a big budget.
Of course it will take masses of us to have the desired effect. Thats why we are generating the Communication Blitz. The Communication Blitz will kick-start a global wave of innovative communication.
A huge wave of positive social and technological change already going on. It comprises millions of self-organised groups. No one directs it. If it fulfils its promise historians in the future may look back and describe our time as the Great Transition to a life sustaining society.
Our purpose is to accelerate the Great Transition so much that as a species we successfully transition to a life-sustaining future. If we pull this off, future generations will thank us – profoundly.
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