Our intent is to make communicating about transitioning to a life-affirming global culture as easy as possible. We have developed a set of turnkey communication tools that need not take an excessive amount of any one person or organisation’s time.

There is a lot of material here. We suggest that you read Understanding Whole System Change and Accelerating the Great Transition for an orientation, and then get started by going toTools for personally communicating to your networks.

Overview of the Great Transition Initiative

Each of these documents provide a quick introduction to the Great Transition Initiative.

I often use these as a basis for a quick pitch to knowledgeable people.

This was not written as part of the Great Transition Initiative, but it is a beautiful summary of our present circumstance. (However, it does not mention the importance of restoring democracy as a means of community self-regulation for community wellbeing.)

Understanding whole system change

The changes required to transition to a life-affirming global culture are so comprehensive that we call it a whole system change. At first the idea changing the operating character of a whole society can seem overwhelming. But there are ways to make it mentally manageable in a way that supports practical action.

This explores the operating principles of a life-sustaining society, and presents a simple diagram that highlights the big picture factors that must change to reverse human inputs to global warming and other big issues.
 

Accelerating the Great Transition: The Great Transition Initiative communication model

The Great Transition Initiative is a citizen-led communication initiative devoted to inspiring mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-affirming global culture. Our essential idea is engage as many goodhearted individuals and groups as possible as thought catalysts and citizen educators, and provide tools to make communicating as easy as possible.

This outlines the Great Transition Initiative strategy for reaching a critical mass of mainstream people.
 

Tools for personally communicating to your networks

Some people hope that the world will wake up and change when there is a big enough disaster. In contrast, we aim to inspire mainstream commitment to transformative change before it is totally too late (knowing that we are on the edge now).

Here are tools that individuals can use to communicate with people they know and their larger networks about transitioning to a life-affirming global culture.

This is a set of modules purpose built for face-to-face conversations. An interesting innovation, adapted from a former stage magician, is to use physical models to help people keep track of ideas. People like them. (Templates for making the models are here, and a training video is here.)

Engaging influential people

To take it to scale, an important role is outreach to engage organizations and influential thought leaders in the Great Transition Initiative.

·        Engaging leaders of organizations in communicating about the Great Transition

Although engaging is always improvised, this article provides a guide for getting stated. It includes support tools.
 

Roles institutions can play

There are a number of things that institutions can do.

Additional modes of acting as a transformational leader

The primary purpose of the Great Transition initiative is to inspire commitment to transformative change. This article outlines a number of practical ways to act on this commitment.
 

Forming teams to promote the Great Transition

The Great Transition Initiative is an expanding network. We support self-initiated action. At the same time, social support helps. How can we support independent action, and at the same time have social connection?

The natural way to handle this is for people to form teams either locally or online. Such teams would consider together what they might do, try things, and assess what happens.
 

Catalyzing social change by improving human performance

In addition to practical on the ground changes, an important aspect of the Great Transition is accelerating our cultural evolution. Just as individuals mature, becoming more wise, capable and compassionate, so do cultures.

Healthy cultural change starts with individuals reaching a new level development. This new level then gets translated into new modes of organizational style. Therefore a valuable contribution to the transition to a life-affirming global culture is to enable people to think in new ways. Einstein famously said that ‘the problems of the world cannot be solved with the same mode of thinking that produced them in the first place’ – or words to that effect.

The articles below are based on insights into the neurology of improving human performance. They outline a new paradigm for thinking about transformative social change. This paradigm underlines much of the Great Transition Initiative communication approach.

This article shows how applying the design/build planning process used in architecture can make the environmental/progressive movement vastly more effective. It is not short (20 pages), but it is a good read.

Feldenkrais was a pioneer in the practical applications of the neurology improving human performance. This article shows how ideas about improving human functioning can be applied to large-scale transformative change. The short answer is: we help good brains work better.

This article introduces the idea of ‘neurological templates’ – how learning skills through physical activity produces deep patterns of coordination in the central nervous system that can be applied spontaneously in other fields of activity. This approach has applications in teaching systems thinking, creative thinking skills and partnership-respect relating skills.
 

Additional resources for grasping whole system change

There are many windows into whole system change to a life enhancing global culture. Each is important.

The Great Transition Initiative is about communicating to quickly give people an orientation to transitioning to a life enhancing global culture, and how we can accomplish it. This gets the conversation started.

It helps if we follow through by developing a richly nuanced understanding of the major themes. Here’s annotated list of some very helpful resources (there are other excellent books that are not on this list).

Julian Cribb                     Surviving the 21st Century

It is said that ‘doomsday messages’ make people’s eyes glaze over. This is especially true if a positive line of solution is not also been offered.

On the other hand, marketers emphasize the significance fear as a motivator, and certainly many activists are moved by their concern about the future. If it is the case that we are well down track of ecological disaster, then we need to wake up and commit ourselves to turning things around.

Science writer Julian Cribb’s well researched Surviving the 21st Century is the best ‘doomsday’ book I know of. It spells out nine existential threats in addition to global warming that threaten humanity’s ongoing viability as a species. And it includes practical solutions.
 

Sailesh Rao                      Carbon Yoga Times

This book offers a vitally important insight to transitioning to a life affirming global culture.  It reviews the research that shows that if people en masse transited away from eating animal products, the 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock could be rewilded. Natural processes of forest and grassland regeneration can withdrawal more carbon than has been put into the atmosphere by industrial processes since 1750.

Rewilding nature is the fastest way out of our carbon dilemma.
 

Liz Elliott                          a New Way is Possible Now

This is the most richly articulated positive vision of the future that I’m aware of.

Western peoples are unknowingly exploited by parasitic big banks that suck up huge amounts of money through hidden interest and rents. Money could be issued by national banks for public goods without requiring interest. Interest requires continual industrial growth to repay it, and this drives both ecological destruction and social deterioration. Many people do not have time to actually enjoy life.

In my ideal world a New Way is Possible Now would be in every bathroom in America, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Why? Because everybody has a bit of time to read when they’re on the loo!
 

Riane Eisler                     The Partnership Way

Riane Eisler makes the case that there are two fundamentally contrasting values sets and ways of operating. One is dominating others for power and personal aggrandizement. The other is collaborating for the well-being of nature and communities. Eisler calls this partnership-respect relating, in contrast todomination-control relating.

Predictably the continuation of domination-control as our predominant cultural mode will lead to atomic war, massive ecological collapse, or both.

This book shows how partnership-respect relating applies at every level from personal relationships to global governance.

Importantly, we know how to train to become personally more competent at partnership-respect relating, and we know how to embed partnership-respect values into organizations.
 

Pope Francis                   Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home

This encyclical outlines in clear, compassionate, and heartfelt terms the connections between economic growth, environmental degradation and the well-being of other species (as well as the existential threat to our own species). It is a clear account of whole system change… and a call for us to change.
 

Amory Lovins et al        Natural Capitalism

Natural Capitalismoutlines design principles in every sphere whereby we can reduce energy use and materials throughput by 90% or more.

 

Dark descriptions of our current situation and future prospects

Ideally a critical mass of people will feel strongly that we are in an acute emergency both ecologically and socially (given totalitarian directions and the threat of weapons of mass destruction), and want to change things. Below are links to two summaries that make it clear that we are in an emergency situation.

Julian Cribb highlights ten existential threats to humanity’s midterm survival, including global warming and the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

John Pilger outlines how the United States has set up bases around both Russia and China, and positioned missiles within striking distance of Moscow. This is provocative, and increases the potential for nuclear war.

John Michael Greer’s book spells out how the built in effects of global warming and resource depletion will profoundly transform North American over the next 400 years.

Newsletters

  • The John James Newsletter

This newsletter publishes links to highly pertinent articles about environmental and social issues that you will not find mainstream media. A sample is here.

You can subscribe by sending an email to John James (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). It is worth it!
 

If together we succeed in changing direction and
transitioning to a life-affirming global culture,
future generations will thank us –
profound
ly!

www.GreatTransitionInitiative.net