Clearly, human beings participate in natural processes of change. We can be the cause of change in the natural world just as we can see and feel the effects of change come about by so-called random and natural causes. The apparent difference between the two is the fact that we humans can have an intention to create change, defined by some image or definition of what we intend to produce. We cause things to happen that have effects which we hope will produce the intended results. Of course, there are countless examples of unintentional change caused by short-sightedness and unenlightened actions—everything from the decimation of domestic species by the introduction of foreign competitors, to global warming. Either way, people actively participate in the evolutionary process. How, exactly?
So what about human phenomena—human systems—like economics, governance, and culture? Although the structures of modern civilization seem monolithic, ingrained, purely intentional, and resilient to change, they are in fact emergent systems that have evolved throughout history. And, just like in the natural world, evolved human systems that do not exhibit the traits necessary to survive ever-changing circumstances (or those that cannot adapt quickly enough) tend to go extinct. The diagram on the previous page shows how we can install a new intention (idea, design, etc.) into an established system and allow it to chip away at the so-called monolithic structure over time until it is transformed—evolved and improved. As suggested, the key is instilling and installing an enlightened intention into all elements of the established system. This means creating and communicating an actionable solution simply, efficiently, and effectively. It is especially important to plant the seeds of change or “turn the wheel on the Titanic a few degrees” sooner rather than later, especially if there is a risk that the system faces extinction. If we act too late, there are other approaches to change in the universe—already discussed—that are far more immediate, decisive, and ultimately destructive. As a species, our choices right now are: change or die or change by dying; but make no mistake: change is coming sooner or later, one way or the other.
Following the logic outlined in this section, what is needed is to define the crises/opportunities; create and communicate the intentions; act and interact on those intentions (with only small impacts on participants); and watch and wait for the natural transformation process to do its thing.
Enter The Attlas Project