Can you imagine a future with more collaboration and less chaos? Is it possible?
This past summer, Society 2045 had a series of interviews with change makers seeking to improve the way society works.
Society 2045 is a community of people from around the world seeking to co-discover a vision for the year 2045. The goal is to connect with leaders of emerging communities and movements across society and come together to co-create a better future.
Doug is currently working on strategic issues with The Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is also working on the book Garden World Politics.
One of the challenges about our time, due to all the chaos, is that people have almost no imagination of what a better society could look like. Now, to paint a picture of 2045- we are in punctuated equilibrium.
You have an environment that is relatively in quasi-equilibrium like most environments are. Then something happens outside, and everybody in the environment needs to mutate to respond to the changes.
That is where we are, we are going to see a lot of emergencies. It is kind of like where a river breaks into a delta with lots of little streams going in every direction.
We learn as children that you solve problems by breaking them into pieces and working on the wrong parts. Hence the forces that create the problems lie outside those narrow definitions. If you solve several problems at the same time, you might get more leverage.
One thinking about the garden world is that you must deal with the fact that we currently have eight billion people on the planet, which is probably going to be different by 2045. We will have to rethink the future in creative new ways, but it is undoubtedly going to be a challenge. Another thing with the garden world is that you cannot leave out technology.
The two fundamental problems that are obvious about 2045 are food and habitat. We are going to face increasing temperature with all the consequences of that. Included are the failure of agriculture in many places and the inability of the oceans to produce fish in quantity. It is certainly going to be a problem, especially if we find ourselves unable to produce a lot of electricity.
The future of cities is in danger. They need to be fed. Who is to do that? Agriculture has been subordinated to the city in terms of income and status. That must come apart, and cities will have to exist in harmony with small towns.
Another problem, according to Douglass Carmichael, is the greed of capitalism. The problem with capitalism is that it’s simply a community surplus owned by some and not by others. They get to make political decisions that ought to be peaked on economically.
“Shifting from the capitalist mentality that we are all in will take a complete change in consciousness and the human element.”
People are highly motivated by meeting the community’s real needs. They take pleasure in that pride, giving them status in society. But they often get anxious about getting off the list.
We should be looking at ways to stimulate our imaginations towards creating a world in 2045, that works, is livable, has safer cities, cleaner environments, and people treating each other with more kindness and compassion.
But one serious problem in this regard is that many places in the world, in fact most of them, are not autonomous or have a self-sufficient economy that the garden world calls out for. So, what we need to do is to work on the places where we can and work on the support for the people who are often left out.
“Along with widely distributed technology using the internet, we need widely distributed new form of social welfare to help people.”
If everybody was thinking of persons they know, who are in the worst situation and try and help them and just make that the ethic and the pleasure of living in the evolving world, it would be terrific.
In early human society, people were communities — the idea of the individual did not exist. You cannot have a strong community without strong individuals; you cannot have strong individuals without a strong community. It is not either-or it is both — they go together.
The main idea behind the garden world is about mutual collaboration based on caring, kindness and compassion. All this would translate into less chaos and a better world.
Douglass Carmichael’s vision for a more collaborative world in 2045 is groundbreaking. It will be amazing if we are able to achieve his vision in the coming years. Check out the interview here: