Friday, September 28, 2012

The design of everything

Gave a presentation last week at the Cusp Conference in Chicago. I observed that we're entering an exciting time where the growth and expansion in our outer journey is being informed by a growth and expansion in our inner journey. If you're interested in human potential, this is a good time to be alive.

In our outer journey, humans are proving ourselves capable of anything, truly anything. We have so much intelligence. We can land a truck on Mars and operate it by solar power and remote control. We have miracle communication machines in our pockets that connect us with each other and any information we seek, anything we can imagine, including the sum total of all human knowledge, at any time. Wow. I mean, wow.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this achieving, we ask ourselves a powerful and informing question: Why? What is the meaning of all of this? To show our dominion over nature? To serve ourselves? To serve God? To achieve our potential? To create an economy? To serve the world and each other and our children and grandchildren? What's all this about? This is the defining question of our inner journey, and the way we answer changes over time.

My favorite map or model for the inner journey is the spiral dynamics model, which I've written about before. I created my own version of the model for the presentation. A few people asked me to share it, so here it is.

The map is built on a nautilus shell. The text box contains the names and summaries of the different memes or stages or mindsets. Each new stage transcends the one that came before it and creates a new worldview with new defining principles. Red's "might = right" is replaced by blue's higher order/law. Orange's Science/mind trumps blue's God/faith. And green's Humanity/earth-awareness trumps Science and everything else.

In yellow we get to the second tier, the first meme to exist not in opposition to another, but one which sees all stages and colors as beneficial and part of the whole. Integral culture.

In yellow we see the world for the first time as complete, whole, abundant. The poster child for the yellow meme could be Buckminster Fuller, who believed in the potential of human beings to do what had never been imagined, "to make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

It can feel like chaos as the old and outdated stories we've been depending on for years push against each other and fail and show their incompleteness, but this is the time when new and more inclusive stories like Bucky's are emerging.

Inevitable? No. We have to choose it. We can choose our greatest potential, or we can choose less. We have to consciously step into the journey.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Love my candidates

I'll be getting my ballot in the mail in a few weeks, and I feel lucky/privileged/grateful to be able to vote for two candidates of such ability and character and vision - Charlie Hales for Mayor, and Barack Obama for President.

With Barack, I've been part of the same journey so many of us have been on, caught up in the optimism and hope of 2008, then smacked in the face with four years of reality - the bright moments along with mild to crushing disappointment in our inability to get it together as a country more quickly, especially politically.

I'm still a believer in Barack Obama, amazed by his grace and courage and strength and integrity in the last four years. I believe Bill Clinton, that Barack has done the right things, and we will feel it in the next four years. More importantly than his policies, I believe Barack has a vision and narrative that's big enough for all of us, and that this vision is in step with the larger story that is emerging about who human beings are and what we are capable of. I expect him to win, and I'll be doing what I can to help him.

"Hope is not a destination," I was reminded by a friend yesterday. "Hope is fuel for us to create the world we want for our daughters and grandchildren." That's not Barack's work, that's our work. We have work to do in re-imagining and rebuilding the systems and stories that no longer serve us. We're doing that, all over the place, and seeing better ideas emerge and take root in health care, in medicine, in education, in food, in transportation, in energy, in social justice. This work is happening, all around us. Reaching towards what's possible and working together to build it.

In Portland, Charlie Hales is fighting for the chance to lead our city in that work. I shared my thoughts on Charlie in the primary, and my conviction remains. He and Jeff share a compelling and heartfelt and inclusive vision for the city, but Charlie is simply more qualified to pull it off. That's nothing against Jeff, I can't imagine anyone better qualified than Charlie. He seems tailor-made for this job. I hope as Mayor, he can figure out how to get Jeff's mind and heart involved in a big way for this city.