Emergence: from Spark to Scale
June 2, 2015 Kosmos Community News

Lifecycle of Emergence: Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale

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.

SPAIN | Winning the Commons in Barcelona

“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.

INDIA | Rebuilding the Soil

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.

FIRST NATIONS | Protecting the Human Right to Water

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 | Reducing Food Waste

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.