Tag Archives: networks

Natural Business for a World That’s Waking up

Thoughts from the wonderful Giles Hutchins –

Albert Einstein threw down the gauntlet for our human evolution when he said,

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and spaceHe experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

A task not for the faint-hearted, as it requires great courage to widen our circle of compassion amid increasing tension, fear and uncertainty. Not least it requires a fundamental shift in worldview, in how we perceive our sense of self, our relationship with others, and our sense of place and purpose within this world.

Whether it’s the disciplines of quantum physics, psychology, ecology, organisational development or evolutionary theory, it is now dawning on our contemporary consciousness that life is not simply a mechanistic construct of push-pull factors and selfish genes, where separate organisms compete with each other in the struggle for survival. Rather, we are now recognising that life is an inter-relational network of inter-being, where everything is in dynamic relation with its environment, continuously communicating and collaborating within an ocean of being. The ‘self’ is not the ‘separate self’ of individualism but the ‘differentiating self’ immersed within a rich milieu of relations. It is the diversity and reciprocity of these relations which provides for the organism’s resilience and in-turn the resilience of the wider ecosystem. As the world-renowned biologist Lynn Margulis succinctly puts it,

“Life did not take over the globe by combat but by networking.”

This living-systems view of life is beginning to permeate our corridors of power. There is an increasing recognition that business-as-usual thinking is not going to get us very far. To becomefuture-fit we need to embrace a new way of operating and organising. That new way just so happens to be the way life really works – not the control-based dominate-or-be-dominated mechanistic logic of yesterday, but the real logic of life perceived beyond the illusion of separation: emergence, receptivity, reciprocity, local-attunement, power-with, eco-systemic thinking.

In practice, this means emancipating ourselves from many of the structures inhibiting our natural aliveness today by embracing collaborative soulful practices, such as Way of Council, deep listening, mindfulness-in-motion, foresight planning, prototyping, multi-stakeholder dialogue sessions, scenario planning, white space technologies and the art of hosting tools, as well as direct inspiration from living systems such as eco-literacy, biomimicry, industrial ecology, circular economics, regenerative and adaptive cycle approaches.

There are a multitude of simple yet courageous undertakings each of us can take to help nurture a more soulful, living-systems approach to work. For instance, how about starting each and every mmasteryeeting with a minute’s silence, to help centre ourselves and tune-in to more of our natural ways of knowing (intuitive, somatic, emotional and rational) allowing for more than a glimpse of what lies beyond the busyness of our masturbating monkey-minds. How about checking in with our teams at the end of the day to share in a heartfelt way, where we practice meditation-in-motion by listening and speaking from the heart. How about having a quick round-robin at the beginning of each day for people to share what they feel grateful for at the present time, perhaps sharing who we might like to thank for helping us out in small yet loving ways, and so celebrating the good qualities of ourselves and our community. How about creating a two hour space in our schedules every Friday morning for our team to sit together in a circle, having the permission to explore and envision new ways of operating that embrace and serve life. How about creating space for a half-day workshop every four weeks with other stakeholders – such as pressure groups, think tanks, customers, suppliers, investors – giving permission for us all to explore together and share perspectives of how to do things better. How about creating a ‘children’s fire’ in our boardroom, so that all key strategic and operational decisions consider the potential impact they have on the next generation, our children. All of these are very real business practices being applied by a range of organisations today. This is not some futurist utopian vision, it’s becoming mainstream.

The number one most important thing facing our leaders, managers and change agents today is this shift in logic from an essentially mechanistic, reductive, competitive, control-based, power-over logic rooted in the story-of-separation, towards the logic-of-life, and with it the realisation that our organisations are living systems immersed within the living systems of society which are immersed within the living systems of our more-than-human world. This is why my latest book Future Fit explores – indeed activates – the qualities required for future-fit business by exploring the practical tools and techniques for this necessary shift in logic from machine to living. In this way, we deal not just with downstream effects (climate change, biodiversity degradation, endemic social inequality, racism, and so forth) we also deal with the root cause – our very relationship with life, and our sense of place and purpose as human beings in our more-than-human world.

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New Event: East-london ‘net-walk’ on pioneering disruption

Simon Cole knows London. Both the places and the stories that make it come alive and can inspire us in our work and personal lives. He has offered to host a walking tour of Hackney for 6heads and Greenskythinking. We think this is the start of a series of ‘net-walks’ – opportunities to walk and connect with like minded people. Its on 28th October. Places are limited. You can (and really should!) sign up here: Netwalk on pioneering disruption

Below, he tells us more: 

ROCKING THE BOAT TO SAVE THE WORLD

If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present” – it could be the mission statement of a modern day innovatorHackney Timber Tourin East London, the nearest that we have to Silicon Valley. Buts it’s a quote from a Hackney religious radical of the 1800s. There is a rich tradition in this part of the global city of disruptors rocking the mainstream boat to address the problems they see around them.

Hackney Tours uses walks to explore the past to reframe the present and anticipate the future; we’re tapping into that on a forthcoming walk that channels the best of this powerful desire for positive change by showcasing examples of it happening around us today.

Using inspirational characters from the past, we discover how today’s pioneers in Dalston are following in great footsteps. In Hackney we’re standing on the shoulders of giants, whether they be inventors or reformers or activitists. Many of the things we take for granted today were hard won by people who had the moral courage to stand up and risk ridicule, or worse.

6 Heads is about “Shaking things up” and it’s what Hackney personalities have been doing in various forms since the 1600s. From the groundbreaking demand for gender equality by Mary Wollstonecraft to the direct action soup kitchens of the Salvation Army, Hackney changemakers have challenged the conventional and shaped the way we live and think today.

Some of you on this experience walk, which also serves as a space to create connections and find affirmation, may be the contemporary equivalent of those who broke paradigms with new ideas or new methods. We’ll see some great projects that seek to break some unhealthy planetary patterns that need renegotiation. So come and see some good stuff, connect with how good it feels to be part of positive change. And see what Hackney innovators are doing for the field of sustainability and how they’re reinvigorating notions of community in the 21st Century city.

*Hackney Tours*
*”Best Walking Tours in London’ recommended by lastminute.com
*Recommended by Trip Advisor*

www.hackneytours.com

28 Days of Inspiration – Days 15, 16, 17: A triple whammy of ocean-based inspiration

Save our seas

We took a little break over the weekend – which means today you get a triple whammy of inspiration!

ocean bird

The theme is “save our seas” and it looks at three forward-thinking companies that are using the power of their supply chains to remove waste from the ocean, two inspirational people and one funky video.

Three forward-thinking companies make use of different mechanisms for change:

  1. Use of partnerships: Interface noticed that discarded fishing nets are a useful raw material for their manufacturing. By partnering with ZSL and other experts, they are converting these waste nets into carpet yarn. This has a three part effect: it shifts their supply chain from virgin raw material, removes ocean waste and pays poor communities for their discarded nets. http://www.interfaceglobal.com/Products/NetWorks.aspx
  2. Use of the celebrity factor: Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams has launched a trendy denim line called G-Star raw made from recycled ocean plastic ‘bionic yarn’. https://www.g-star.com/en_us/rawfortheoceans/
  3. Use of demonstrator models: Method, an Ecover company, are showing how by clever design, alternatives exist to using virgin materials.  Working with employees and volunteers Method comb beaches for plastic which is turned into bottles. http://methodhome.com/ocean-plastic

Two inspirational people:

  1. Sylvia Earle is a passionate advocate in this area – you can view her Tedtalk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/sylvia_earle_s_ted_prize_wish_to_protect_our_oceans.html
  2. Boyan Slat, a 19 year old engineering student, has developed a device that collects ocean plastic  across vast areas and doesn’t affect marine life. His innovation could make a big difference to the cleanliness of oceans in the shorter-term and potentially could make up to $500 million a year from recycling the waste collected. http://www.boyanslat.com/plastic/

 One funky video:

This Disney video rocks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tK825QV-nZ0

Every piece of plastic ever made still exists. 

We, as individuals or part of organisations, must end our reliance on disposable plastic items and manage waste responsibly. 

Click here for more of our February daily inspiration: http://6-heads.com/