Reflections on global good news, bad news and the response-ability of the collective wisdom and intelligence fields to both
The good news
Who would have thought that the threat of nuclear confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States will give rise to humankind’s most powerful force of production, the Internet, and that a humble initiative of cooperation between a small group scientists will give birth to our global brain, the Web? Yet, that’s exactly what happened, creating a potential for our species to evolve towards a civilization of higher complexity, deeper differentiation ad integration, and more compassion and solidarity in action. Here are some of the good news:
All this is only a small fraction of what I can see from my window on the world and doesn’t reflect all the signs of the Emerging Planetary Reality that you know of. No doubt, they will create new possibilities for people and communities to build a future valuable by all. I expect the most surprising possibilities to born not from any one of them but from their cross-fertilization. How much of those possibilities will be realized and how soon, is a question of the pace by which our consciousness will evolve, individual and collective.
The bad news
All of the good news doesn’t seem to fill the increasing gap between the dominant, hierarchy-based operating models and what Jean-FranÃ§ois Rischard, the World Bank’s Vice President for Europe, described as the following 20 global problems:
Sharing our planet: Issues involving the global commons
Sharing our humanity: Issues requiring global commitment
Sharing our rule book: Issues needing a global regulatory approach
Source: High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them.
The same way as the cross-impact of life-affirming, positive trends create the best hope for large-scale transformation; the cross-impact of the problem trends create the biggest threats to our survival. Who will win the race, evolution or devolution? It depends on each of us, on our response-ability, compassion, and capacity to manage the complexity of both humankind’s epochal opportunities and dangers.
Who are the CW/CI practitioners
All humans can choose to respond to the evolutionary impulse or not, but when the main challenge is the “galloping complexity multiplied by urgency” (Doug Engelbart), then there’s one group that has some additional responsibility. Just in time for the rendezvous with our unprecedented crises/opportunities, a new breed of professionals is emerging: women and men dedicated to awaken our collective wisdom (CW) and boost our collective intelligence (CI).
CW/CI practitioners are coming from professions as divers as academics, movement organizers, spiritual guides, software developers, NGO leaders, business consultants, statistical analysts, etc. They belong to different scientific, spiritual, and social change-oriented communities of practice, yet with something in common. It is their common response-ability to make the CW/CI field visible to itself, which depends on their willingness to look beyond the specific tools and approaches they’ve developed and actively appreciate the contribution of each “tribe” to the whole field. Only then will they be able to effectively use their own medicine for boosting the collective intelligence of the global CI community.
Why is that important ? The increasing visibility of the field to itself would add momentum to how far and how fast the best CI practices spread across organizations, communities, and our global society. In turn, that “how far and how fast” may well be a decisive factor in the race between the planetary “good news” and “bad news”.
I’m one of those practitioners and when I started this blog, I hoped it will make a small contribution to the field becoming visible to itself. Well, according to Google, as of today, there are 728 webpages linking to the Blog of CI that has a few hundred regular readers and about 60 people who post comments from time to time. Yet, it seems we need much more to realize the full potential of what CW and CI can contribute to solve global problems than a couple of websites dedicated to those fields. The CW community has a rich history of collaboration, but the field of CI is still waiting for getting the same level of shared attention from its practitioners.
Shall we step up to our historic task? Shall we meet and start sensing and mapping the field? Shall we share our learning edge with each other? Shall we attend our collective, deep intuition and ask for guidance about what is needed next? What prevents us from that? Is it the discipline needed to engage in the shared practices of the field’s self-organization?
When I asked RainbowHawk, a wise man of the Earthwisdom traditions, about where I can find the discipline I need for my Medicine Way practices, his response was: “In this tradition, it’s not a question of discipline but how much love you have for Mother Life to offer Her your practice as gift.” May RainbowHawk’s wisdom illuminate our way to fostering synergy among all CI approaches to the benefit of the Whole.
Look at Earthrising below:
Someday, I will share with you the story of how that picture started gaining significance for me, in the early 90’s. For now, just look at the shimmering at the edges of white-orange-bluish stripe. Isn’t it as if the light was oscillating between two possibilities, disappearing, getting absorbed back into the darkness, or a gradual widening to the dawn of the new day? I imagine, when the first millions of people step through the crack of the dawn, it will gradually widen, become more and more visible and accessible to even more to come. The response-ability of CW/CI practitioners can play a significant role in that widening.
If that image resonates with you, please comment below. (Your comment will be posted within a few hours.) Here’s a practice for those wanting to engage in this conversation from a deeper/higher place than the intellect. Before posting a comment, use your favorite method to get into a deeply relaxed inner space, then let come any image, dream, or symbol that can inform us about the task ahead. If words are not enough to describe it, email me the .jpg file with your commentary and I will post it with your name, in a new blog entry. Looking forward to hear from you all. george at Community-Intelligence dot com.