Blueprint for Change an essay divided in 7 chapters, by our contributor Carlos Cuellar Brown. In the several chapters, such as “Change,” “Energy,” “Self-reliance,” or Food autonomy,” Cuellar explains and under builds his vision of how we can create a wiser, healthier and wholesome future.
Weekly, we will post 2 chapters, read the first one below!
Everything in the universe is changing and social systems are no exception to this constant flux. But change is not an easy thing to accept, especially when it threatens the status quo and the world’s perception of normalcy. In the case of the individual, we resist change because it takes us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to a new normal. The great futurist thinker Jacques Fresco reminds us that the survival of any social system ultimately depends upon its ability to allow for appropriate change. In this sense the conscious social hive will continue to experiment and test inter-relationships, evolving and maturing a new society into existence.
Change is appropriate when it improves societal structures as a whole. Part of that whole includes the complex interdependency with the planets environment. Our relationship with the forces of planet earth are so intertwined that we depend on its capacity to regulate fine tuning minimum life requirements. Change is also a constant in the morphology of planet earth; the astronomical history of our planet has undergone dramatic shifts due to glacial ages, volcanic disruptions, meteor impacts and pole shifting.
Our brief passage on earth as a species has witnessed violent changes and huge mass extinction’s. These cataclysms have dwindled our survival chances sometimes reducing human population to 15 thousand individuals (Whitehouse, 2003). We have been an endangered species at the brink of oblivion. Our resiliency to bounce back in adverse environments would have not happened without cooperating with one another. We have become who we are through cooperation not competition. Our large brains respond to empathy and symbiotic communication. This triumph of cooperation over competition is evidenced by the way we come together in modern day catastrophes, especially at the neighborhood level. It is also suggested by social anthropologist’s that our species became successful because of our improved social skills and cooperation. By nurturing the playful side of human nature we promoted cooperation and equality (Gray, 2011). In the rich playground of language, communication and cooperative strategy, our brains grew and changed making more connections. Improved relationships and social incentives led to the diversification of human groups and the proliferation of skill sets. The diversification of skill sets in small social systems enriched the human experience.
Fresco also points out the dynamic changing nature of social evolution, implying that human systems must continue to mediate new social possibilities, and the purpose of this is: “In order to
transcend our present limitations and enhance the lives of everyone”
Another perennial thinker Buckminster Fuller points out in one of his famous phrases that: “to change something we must build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” (Fuller, 1964).
At the basis of any social system is economic activity. We urgently need a new model of economic activity, and this is fundamental for appropriate social change to take place.
The good news is that new economic models are currently shaping and
generating results in the entire world, in smaller communities and neighborhoods of our cities and towns. Additionally a handful of blueprints and design science principals begin to gain popularity and have been implemented, published and theorized by important thinkers.
As we build this framework, societies will emerge out of their cloaking fold to change the way we do business with each other and community, creating new local markets. This basic roadmap will lead to a new economic paradigm that will be centered on local approaches to economic relationships. We will absorb the good lessons of the old economy and build upon its structure, honestly questioning the meaning of the money system and the purpose of economic activity. The model for a new structure must change the obsession with profit, growth and utility replacing it with maximizing the quality of our commons, changing focus on material accumulation to a focus on family and stewardship of this planet. This change will shift the mega-corporate radius with the too big to fail to the small but resilient regionally owned businesses that prosper in bio-diversity. The generating hubs of this transformation will rise at the local scale spreading meaningful and satisfying economic activity between peers; like the relations of trust and care, economies of affect, gift economies and networks of reciprocity. The investigation of this new economy will focus on the continuity and evolution of reasonable social expectations (Narotzky and Besnier, 2014). At the end of the day we have to redefine our social expectations with a humanistic model that is expressed in the flourishing of human potential.
Solution based design science is here to spread and grow new bio-regional economic activity that will become our new markets, satisfying a society based on needs and not on desire. The following
areas will redefine human enterprise; they represent the first sprouts of change.