Why writing this note? Because we see growing from all sides social, societal, political, geopolitical and environmental crises. Because we feel the fragility of the economic system, and especially we see no solution emerging nor from national politicians, overwhelmed and not so much representative, neither from instances of global governance (UN, G20,...), neither from other forms of representation (local authorities, NGOs, associations,...) that can be effective in their field but not sufficiently coordinated to meet these crises globally. For my part, to my modest level, I inquire about all of this, seek and train me on solutions, act and participate in various movements seeking to improve things... and I conclude that despite much of good intentions and good ideas, crisis worsen and no solution adapted to the gravity and the urgency of the situation emerges.
This text will appear perhaps sometimes presumptuous, or unrealistic, or the global idea too complex to achieve. This is inevitable given the enormity of the subject. But we have the choice between not believing the finding above, or believe it and be fatalistic, or believe it and dare to propose a solution, or... It is this third choice which is expressed here.
This proposal contains the four axis of Planetism initially described in 2008: Humanism, Sustainable Development, True Globalism and Common values, enriched by additional readings, trainings, experiments and more recent thinking.
Being a humanist requires to start by loving yourself, without selfishness, to feel good about yourself in order to better deal with the other (1). Well take care of the other requires first to understand him, despite he may be very different from yourself in cultural, generational, psychological terms and in values. The good news is that social science researchers have discovered and simplified ways to understand these differences, means are already used successfully (2). Once one has understood the other, he must accept his difference in order to respect him, this is not still love but he is then on the way to ... Then to become truly humanist, man must learn how to live the difference with each other, for example learn to cooperate as a Christian White Western materialistic with a Muslim immigrant neighbour of colour living in community. There are many examples demonstrating that it is possible and methods that show how to do it (3).
How to develop this large scale? By clever leadership, i.e. the presence of leaders influencing in a disinterested way others, for their own good and for the good of the Community (4).
The spread and the rise to power of one such humanism is complex and requires an immense effort of education. Many steps in this direction are underway, but which seem derisory face selfishness and self-centeredness that dominate the world. The power required to this huge change will come from the emergence of Commons Values (a) and True Globalism (e), topics further afield, but also thanks to your personal action by putting into practice the recommendations above or any other going in the same direction.
This expression is overused because this notion has been taken over by the capitalist system, for example through CSR (corporate social responsibility) reports, mandatory for companies of a certain size, written under the control of communication men. Certainly, that’s better than nothing and has led to some progress. Certainly some companies go beyond what is just mandatory. But this recovery gives good conscience to the actors of the system and stifles genuine sustainable development which is extremely and urgently needed.
The solution in the case of companies is the integration of sustainable development in their strategy and their management (5) or, to use more attractive terms for the business world, through Global Performance:
- economic performance: to be considered as an engine and not as a purpose,
- social performance: put the man at the centre of concerns,
- societal performance: worrying about the impact of business on society,
- environmental performance: preservation of the environment and saving of resources,
- and all this in synergy.
A glimmer of hope is that more and more companies are realizing that their economic model will not be viable very long because of the depletion of their resources and that a change of paradigm is necessary (6).
The same approach is also needed for all other human organizations: families, associations, local authorities, countries, as well as on the macroeconomic level. Was published on this subject on this blog a summary of the excellent model proposed by the English Economist Tim Jackson: prosperity without growth (7). Be aware also of the proposal of Sandrine Mathy to make converging in the developing countries the satisfaction of basic needs (food, housing, health...) with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the vulnerability to climate change, funded by the Green Fund (8).
But all this is not new, that is decades we speak of sustainable development and that many players alert and act, and that its true implementation is still minority! The transition to global and coordinated actions will come thanks to humanism (b), to true globalism (c) and sharing of common values (d), but first thanks to your personal action by being exemplary in this field.
This 3rd pillar of Planetism incorporates the concepts of representativeness of the communities and governance of these communities and their territories, at all levels up to that of the planet. The world has become inextricably integrated through globalization of the economy, traffic, communication and environmental problems. We have no alternative, we have to organize ourselves to live all together. And it is clear that at all levels, many people representation systems and governance do not work. For example the French political and administrative system is in many respects not suitable, many conflicts in the world are derived from the existence of artificial borders disconnected from cultural and ethnical realities, global governance dominated by self-interest of States doesn’t solve nor these conflicts, neither the global and vital environmental problems, etc... etc...
We either put in place a new and effective political system of global dimension, or the hellish life lived by some on Earth will quickly spread to all of us!
Here are therefore elements of a solution that will be local, multifaceted, global and implemented step by step:
- integrated network of communities and territories, representing progressively all the mankind,
- basic cells of 10-20 people maximum, so that all members know well each other and to facilitate mutual assistance (9) ,
- communities of maximum 200 people, so that all members know at least the faces of each other and to facilitate mutual assistance (9),
- more representative democracy, for example rotating role of representatives of the families, cells, communities and territories, or representatives selected at random among voluntary candidates (as in ancient Athens)...,
- gradual transfer of more powers to local associative movements (as already done with development of local currencies),
- end of the professionalization of politics and duplication of administrative levels and training of the representatives so that they can properly play their role,
- replacement of the partisan lobbies by committees of citizens trained to be able to address technical issues (this practice exists already),
- creation of new bodies such as the IPCC (10), that has proven its effectiveness, able to address effectively the problems of global dimension,
- gradual replacement of the current instances of global governance (UN, G20,...) by a body truly representative of the communities and territories, independent from the States (11),
- gradual reduction of the powers of the States,...
This list is not exhaustive. These measures must be adapted to the systems of values of each community, for example another political system than democracy may be preferable in some contexts. True globalisation means that, although the territories and communities have different organizations and cultures, they are all connected in a most direct way possible to a common political structure that represents humanity.
Of course, the emergence of such new political organization calls into question many powers and ambitions. It mays look like communism and its dangerous drifting ... We will overcome these obstacles through a smooth change, taking into account lessons from failed transitions (Arab spring, Ukraine,...) and from relatively successful ones (output of apartheid in South Africa, fall of the Berlin wall and emancipation of the peoples of Eastern Europe, "liberated companies" movement (9),...), through the development of humanism (e) and common values (f), but also thanks to your personal action by getting involved in communities around you to change politics in a more ethical and universal way.
True globalism provides the political structure of Planetism, while sustainable development provides the economic and social organization and humanism provides bases for living together. All of this will work if the players of this revolution adapt themselves without violence, in a spirit of sharing and welded by a common spirituality. We are not questioning here the religions or belief or non-belief of each people, but we want to make them aware of the potential common point between us all: love. Love of the Earth, our common and unique planet, or love of our ecosystem allowing us to exist and co-exist, or love of humanity, or love of the other, in fact everything is the same.
It is obvious to some, and I guess for most of those who have read this far, that our ecosystem is heavily degraded by humans and that we need a tremendous energy to save it and make it more livable. The only energy at our disposal, linking men and able to make the utopia described above feasible, is love.
In order to spread this vision, we must develop in large scale Education to common values, in a disinterested manner and therefore not by media or places of teaching under political, economic or obtuse religious control. But rather by not for profit events, by encounters, by exchanges, through common actions, by learning and implementing methods and practices made available by the traditions and social sciences. They are full of knowledge, solutions and methods in which we should all be interested with curiosity, pragmatism and critical spirit. And then each of us must Act.
How? How can we believe it will work?
In fact, nothing is really innovative in all these proposals, although incomplete, but that lay the foundations for a new ecosystem that remains to refine, experiment and co-develop. Most of the pieces of the puzzle are there and movements in the various areas mentioned are already running (12). It just lacks more participants, more commitment, more unselfishness, more collective intelligence and more love.
Overall, we need also an ambitious and pragmatic change management, able to grasp the complexity of the situation. The methodological solutions to drive this immense change exist (13), but the organization with appropriate authorities remains to be built.
You can contribute by participating to existing movements (12), engaging yourself in tracks mentioned in the notes below, by giving your opinion by a comment on this page below, and disseminating widely this article in your network if it seduces you.
Didier - Citizen of the world
(1): to learn to love yourself, discover the method The Work(2): means to understand the differences with others: Process Com, Spiral Dynamics, etc...
(3): methods to live the differences with others: Process Com, Spiral Dynamics, etc...
(4): see note in this blog: To change the world change leaders! (in French).
(5): see article in the Opinion on-line mag.: Towards the overall Performance by an innovative management (in French).
(6): see note in this blog: Business in danger of extinction (in French).
(7): see article of “Making it” magazine (UNIDO) Prosperity without growth or a summary in a note in this blog: Prosperity without Growth (in French).
(8): see article of “Futurible” magazine Joint climate and development objectives (in French).
(9): based on some “freed company” principles, described in Frederic Laloux’s excellent book “Reinventing Organization”
(10): IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which advices the United Nations
(11): more information on World Citizens web site
(12): see note in this blog Let’s embody Utopia ! (in French).
(13): see change management methods as Spiral Dynamics, Lean Management, Appreciaty Inquiry,…
(a), (b), … : are links between themes and sub-themes in the Planetism chart at the beginning of this note