A New Life-Aligned Culture Is Emerging
Here are some real-life examples of how it’s showing up
I’m seeing more and more indicators of a life-aligned culture of right relationships for the greater good and well-being of all. Here are a few examples to appreciate in order to co-create the world we want to live in, since whatever we focus on expands. These are like new green shoots sprouting up through the cracks in the concrete of our usual perception and experience of reality.
Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” May these very diverse examples help us have “new eyes.”
I’ve organized these into four categories:
New ways of being in relationship with the Earth
New ways of being in relationship economically
New ways of being in relationship socio-culturally
New ways of working, leading, and doing business
Please enjoy, and perhaps be called by something that’s yours to engage with.
NEW WAYS OF RELATING WITH THE EARTH
Living regeneratively is a step past sustainability. In his book Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation and his website Regeneration, Paul Hawken says that regeneration means putting life at the center of every action and decision. Regeneration is not only about bringing the world back to life; it is about bringing each of us back to life. It creates livelihoods that bring life to people and people to life. It is work that links us to each other’s well-being. The website has a Cascade of Solutions and Frameworks for Action, plus Nexus, the world’s largest listing of climate solutions and how to get them done on all levels of agency.
Regenerative agriculture is a system of managing food production that increases the carbon levels of soil, removes carbon from the atmosphere and actually fights climate change. (Regenerative Farmers of America). Further, regenerative agriculture is inherently about a positive future of abundance, joy, well-being, and prosperity. (The Joy of Regenerative Agriculture)
TED Talk: Why healthy soil matters now more than ever: “There is no machine that can bring soil back. But we can build our soils and put more carbon underground with a little help from plants and microbes. Rebuilding soil is going to require us to fundamentally rethink our reliance on technology and chemicals to deliver what soils can do on their own: support life. The awesome thing is carbon-rich soils help buffer us against what is an uncertain climate future. The trick is to really rethink how we do agriculture.”
The EcoRestoration Alliance is scientists, storytellers, and practitioners working together to restore the climate by restoring the biosphere. Their whitepaper says the prevailing climate change narrative is demoralizing and dangerously incomplete, and gives an actionable strategy that could literally reverse global warming in a few decades: restore the healthy ecosystems that (until recently) moderated the climate.
Mega and metropolitan cities need a solution where many dense patches of forests can be created. The Miyawaki method of creating forests is a way to bring a big quick change in a small area. Miyawaki dense forests grow 10 times faster, they are 100 times more biodiverse, 30 times better noise and dust reduction, have 30 times more green surface area and are 100% organic, with up to 30 times better carbon dioxide absorption as compared to a monoculture plantation. We get a 100-YEAR-OLD FOREST IN JUST 10 YEARS.
"Fighting Fire with Fire" is reintroducing indigenous cultural burning practices in Australia to deal with climate change.
NEW WAYS OF RELATING ECONOMICALLY
Bright Green Money: Investing in Living Assets to Regenerate Nature is a paradigm-shifting approach to valuing what’s valuable for life with a focus on regenerating ecological conditions. As part of that, LOVE TO Be Bright Green has developed a new type of financial product that is backed by the value of actually regenerating and protecting nature instead of exploiting and consuming nature.
Good Ancestor Movement Ltd. is a U.K.-based wealth advisory firm devoted to responsible wealth stewardship and radical redistribution and disrupting industry norms. “We are pioneering a radically different path for wealth stewardship—to move from a system of wealth extraction to a regenerative economy where wealth is more fairly distributed.”
The Public Banking Institute is a movement to create banks that are owned by and benefit the people and local communities. Globally some of the oldest and largest banks are publicly owned, as this world map infographic shows. In the U.S., these state legislatures have passed resolutions supporting public banking legislation or policy: Nevada, Maine, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Washington State, New Mexico, Alabama.
TED Talk: A new economic model for protecting tropical forests: To solve the climate crisis, we need to make tropical forests worth more alive than dead. The LEAF Coalition is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that's channeling one billion dollars into protecting tropical forests with a robust market for forest carbon that enables economies to thrive while protecting natural resources.
The Post Growth Institute is an international, not for profit organization working to enable collective wellbeing within ecological limits for a future that’s better, not bigger. See their blog for wide ranging articles on reclaiming our economy and co-creating alternative futures.
The Democracy Collaborative is a research and development lab for the democratic economy and has been pioneering community wealth building since 2005. See “Community Wealth Building: Growing a Democratic Economy in Cities Across America” and “Community Wealth Building: An Economic Reset”.
The New Economy Coalition is a coalition of 200+ organizations building the solidarity economy in the U.S. and showing that another world is not only possible — it’s already happening. This is a global movement to build a just and sustainable economy where we prioritize people and the planet over endless profit and growth.
TED Talk: A transparent, easy way for smallholder farmers to save: A safe space to save money, such as myAgro, is life-changing -- especially for the 60 million smallholder farmers in West Africa (the majority being women) who often live on less than two dollars a day.
TED Talk: How platform co-ops democratize work: What does it look like when the tried-and-true business model of co-ops merges with the digital economy? The "platform cooperative" is a new way to create democratic companies of empowered workers -- and develop a better, fairer alternative to the gig economy.
An L3C (Low-Profit Limited Liability Company) is an entity for entrepreneurs who value purpose and profits. It combines aspects of a nonprofit and for-profit organizations, with the primary purpose being a charitable mission and secondary goal being to generate profits.
NEW WAYS OF RELATING SOCIO-CULTURALLY
The ManKind Project’s New Warrior Training Adventure is “a life affirming personal development event, honoring the best in what men have to offer the planet. It is a modern male initiation and self-examination. We believe that this is crucial to the development of a healthy and mature male self. It is the “hero’s journey” of classical literature and myth that has nearly disappeared in modern culture.”
Becoming Minimalist: The goal of minimalism isn’t to own the fewest number of things possible; the goal is to own just the right amount of things to focus our priorities on our greatest passion. Minimalism becomes more about what is added to our life than what is given up. Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.
The Community Consensus Institute is a collaborative process that empowers all parties in a conflict and ensures that all voices are heard and all interests are recognized and taken into account in the final decision. The founder, Jeff Goebel, has facilitated some remarkable results, one of which is compellingly documented in The Reindeer Chronicles in the chapter “Beyond the Impossible” about resolving a water rights conflict in New Mexico.
Ralph Lauren Gives Competitors New Way to Dye Cotton, Uses 90% Less Chemicals, 40% Less Energy and Half the Water: Recently Ralph Lauren brought together four leading innovators to develop a way to significantly reduce the amount of water, chemicals, and energy needed to color cotton without sacrificing color or quality, saying “If we want to protect our planet for the next generation, we have to create scalable solutions that have never been considered before. This requires deep and sometimes unexpected collaboration and a willingness to break down the barriers of exclusivity.”
Rugged Thread: “We're changing the paradigm of clothing waste. Our goal is to make the repair experience easy, affordable, and of the highest quality while contributing to the well-being of our planet and communities.” Along with that, Burton, a mega snowboard and apparel company, is partnering with Rugged Thread to learn how to help customers preserve their gear while also helping the environment. Repair, not replace is a new direction for Burton at a time when saving what you have can equate to saving the planet.
Right To Repair Movement: Legally, American shoppers are mostly already allowed to repair whatever they buy, but in practice, people are often denied the information or parts to do so. The Repair Association is a right-to-repair advocacy group with several objectives: (1) make information available; (2) make parts and tools available; (3) allow unlocking; (4) accommodate repair in the design.
NEW WAYS OF WORKING, LEADING, & DOING BUSINESS
Moementum, Inc. is a consulting company “driven to restore humanity at work.” The founder, Moe Carrick, says, “The stories we're told that going it alone is somehow noble and desired are flawed. Actual survival and resilience are community sports. The bedrock of getting the support we need is asking for help.”
Mark Silver is the founder of the Heart of Business, whose motto is “Every act of business can be an act of love.” They say, “Since 2001, we’ve been a pioneer in integrating spirituality and business in a way that is effective and nourishing.”
The Carbon Almanac is a “once-in-a-lifetime collaboration, created by 300 volunteers in 41 countries, and now we are more than 2,000 people from all over the world, working together to help people have a conversation about our climate”. Seth Godin says “We’re looking for some volunteers to join us. It’s life-changing, useful, powerful work. After taking our Almanac to #1 in the US, Italy and the Netherlands, the volunteers on this project are working to amplify our message. We connect online, from countries around the world, and we’ve built an actual social network, one with a purpose.”
A final note:
The path that brought us here goes no further.
These challenging times are not just a speed bump. It’s becoming a whole new road, and we build the road as we travel.