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This podcast series, Preparing for Profound Change, explores the shifting global landscape and offers strategies for coping with what lies ahead. Economic turmoil, climate chaos, political upheaval – these may seem like forces to fear, but in fact offer us deep opportunities for transformation. Balancing a sober understanding of the of the collective challenges we face, with heart-centered response, calls for deep awakening by individuals, communities and societies. Our guests share their personal practices, strategies, and insights to help us manage our strong emotions and step forward to play positive proactive roles during these troubling times.
What skills, competencies and capacities will be most valued in the new world? How can our own inner practices keep us free from anxiety as we prepare body, mind and spirit for profound change?
Joe Brewer is a change strategist working on behalf of humanity, and also a complexity researcher, cognitive scientist, and evangelist for the field of culture design. Joe is working to bridge the vast body of scientific knowledge about cultural change with the efforts of practitioners around the world to help guide humanity toward resilience and well-being.
“How is possible that we can create a future that collectively no one wants? It partly comes from us being unable to see the larger systems we’re embedded in and partly has to do with this developmental history of 10,000 years of war, conquest, and empire building that has only really reached saturation at the planetary scale within the last 50 to 100 years.”
“Collapse is not like what’s shown in Hollywood movies. Collapse doesn’t happen in 10 to 15 minutes of violent outbreak in a movie scene. Collapse happens across decades to hundreds of years. The Roman Empire took about 300 years to collapse. This Western, industrial civilization is already in the process of collapsing. The United States as an empire is already past its peak and going into decline. If we recognize that collapse is longer timescales than we normally think about and that it’s already underway, this allows us to let go of the feeling that we need to stop it from happening because we can’t stop it from happening, but at the same time, collapse doesn’t mean total annihilation of all things. Collapse means this system goes away and there’s a silver lining to that.”
“If I were to say it succinctly, even though the succinct explanation doesn’t really get at it, I would use the words of the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson when he says that we need to become wise managers of our own evolutionary process. A great deal is known about the competition and cooperation between different species and ecosystems. There’s this huge body of knowledge about these things, but generally speaking, when humans get together to solve societal problems, we don’t apply an evolutionary framework to dealing with things like public policy.”
“We have ecological expressions of culture that are fit to local landscapes, and some will prove to be resilient and others won’t, and we can’t know ahead of time which ones they will be, but whichever ones are resilient will have embodied within them the natural intelligence of nature to be successful in the new environment, and if they are networked, they can spread that learning as intelligence to support the decisions of other communities, so these culture design labs are a network of communities that become self-aware of their change process so that as they become resilient or they don’t, learning happens across the network, and if they’re successful, the network survives. Or said another way, humans don’t go extinct, that we manage to discover how to be resilient in the new environment.”