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All around the world we see it happening: a surprising election outcome, a new law or ordinance, a model program that gets adopted state-wide or nationally – positive change – in harmony with nature and for the common good. Many times just one or two people provide the spark that is fanned into flame, that ultimately ignites the imagination and determination of others to enact transformation at a larger scale.
“When separate, local efforts connect with each other as networks, then strengthen as communities of practice, suddenly and surprisingly a new system emerges at a greater level of scale. This system of influence possesses qualities and capacities that were unknown in the individuals. It isn’t that they were hidden; they simply didn’t exist until the system emerges. They are properties of the system, not the individual, but once there, individuals possess them. And the system that emerges always possesses greater power and influence than is possible through planned, incremental change. Emergence is how life creates radical change and takes things to scale.”
You can read the full article below, Lifecycle of Emergence: Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale. And we have examples to share of innovation and emergence happening today. For example, Mayo Fuster Morell of Barcelona provides an insider perspective on the winds of radical change that carried Commons activist leaders to electoral victories in Spain’s municipalities last week.
We hope stories like these will encourage you to subscribe to Kosmos Journal, available in print or digital format, and to consider a donation to Kosmos. We are totally ad-free and rely on the support of our community, you and others like you who believe transformation in harmony with all life is not only possible, but happening right now.
the Kosmos team
By Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze
Kosmos Journal SPRING | SUMMER 2015
Despite current ads and slogans, the world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.
This is good news for those of us intent on changing the world and creating a positive future. Rather than worry about critical mass, our work is to foster critical connections. We don’t need to convince large numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits. Through these relationships, we will develop the new knowledge, practices, courage, and commitment that lead to broad-based change.
“Do you hear the buzz? Let’s defend the common good” go the lyrics of the campaign song of ‘Barcelona in Common’, Set to the rhythm of a rumba and sung by activist Ada Colau, who won the election to become Barcelona’s next mayor, it’s the theme song for a new story in politics.
A next generation of activists across Spain are reimagining the promise of radical democracy, drawing from social movements to define a more collaborative style of governance.
Mayo Fuster Morell, who directs the IGOPnet.cc research group on digital commons and Internet politics, offers her up-close insights on the election.
Recent years have brought a series of shocks to farmers in India: diminished groundwater, expensive seeds, and climate disaster to name a few. Soils in particular have been severely depleted. After seeing the devastated soils—and communities—in rural India in 2010, Marilyn McHugh and Chris Kennedy created The Hummingbird Project to help farmers restore soils. It is making a difference.
And in Goa, Clea Chandmal is using permaculture, to address the related problem of farmer suicides. Don’t miss her TedX talk – one of the clearest presentations on restoring soils we have seen.
Initiatives like these are living models for real change, enabling people and planet to thrive.
Tsal’alhmec, known as People of the Lake, became the first Blue Indigenous Community earlier this year. They adopted a resolution with the three criteria needed to become a Blue Community: recognizing the human right to water, banning bottled water at community facilities and events, and promoting public water services.
Tsal’alh has joined the 15 Blue Communities in Canada and three international Blue Communities, in Switzerland and Brazil, that are taking action to ensure the human right to water is respected.
Learn how your town or city can become a Blue Community.
France’s parliament unanimously passed a bill last week that takes a zero-tolerance approach to supermarket food waste. It forbids retailers from destroying unsold food and mandates they donate it to charity instead. Learn how a law student started a movement and what you can do to reduce food waste in your community.
PLUS | Rob Greenfield has curated eleven short films to help bring you up to speed on our national and global food waste crisis.
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