Building resilient societies on empathy to preserve humanity.

@ Come To Life, Christinia from Tiyospaye Winyan Maka

In search of a new model of society

No one really knows what our model of life will be like in the future. What we are sure of today is that it will depend on a radical change in our belief systems. A first level of evolution will consist in moving away from the technological hubris in which we are plunged. There is only one rule on Earth, that of the regeneration of our biological systems. The question is to know whether we will apply this rule in order to preserve the survival of future generations, or ignore it by imagining that it is always possible to live elsewhere; an elsewhere still unknown at this stage.

@ Come To Life, New walipini greenhouse at OLCERI

Towards deep-collaboration with all beings

Any notion of regeneration is associated with the concepts of social equity and environmental circularity. Indeed, regeneration is possible only if the chances of fulfilment of each entity in their interconnected sphere of life rest on an advanced collaborative model. The same goes for the business community in which it becomes imperative to move into the post-competitive era. We now need to move on with our understanding of how systems work, from our current “survival of the fittest” approach into a far more beneficial “cooperation for mutual benefit” strategy (Odum, 1983).

Towards a global empathetic culture

The fate of our world and species might depend on our capacity to create a desirable vision for humanity’s future. It is easier said than done. Countless projects aim at creating alliances, cultivating awareness and unity, and yet we seem to escape the possibilities to rally behind a single unifying project. Somehow, we need to find a way to create unity in a world where divide and rule is the norm. Boundaries have a crucial role to play in defining who we are. They help us construct a sense of self, which occurs through the process of differentiation, which defines ‘us’ versus ‘them’. While categorising might seem undesirable to reach unity, it is, in fact, an essential process of identity construction.

© Come To Life, Free horses on Bryan Dean’s ranch

Building on existing knowledge: all my relatives

“Mitakuye Oyasin”, which may be translated as “all my relatives” is referred to by the Lakota Sioux as a foundational concept of their belief system. It embodies a culturally-significant relational system with the natural world and all living things and acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between man and its environment without the separation present in our mainstream paradigm. “I am because they are” proclaims “Mitakuye Oyasin”. All living species are interconnected, one cannot exist without all others.

@ Come To Life, Christinia from Tiyospaye Winyan Maka

Stewardship for the generations to come

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is widely recognised as the contribution that indigenous ecological worldviews can and should have on the definition of the global sustainable paradigm (Berkes, 2000; Berkes, 1994; Inglis 1993). There is much to learn from the Lakota ethos and generally from TEK to help us design the global empathetic project. One of the direct consequences of project design and management revolves around the concept and use of time. Grassroots projects in Lakota country often display unusually long-term timelines, they are nested within seven generations plans to build self-sufficient livelihoods. They answer to locally defined goals and grand visions for vibrant futures. Far from being solely conceptual, these overarching goals affect projects planning, funding and shape.

The search for human nature

There are two dimensions we should focus on in our search for realignment, which could be:

© Come To Life, Putting up the tipi honours tradition

The Circular Humansphere or how humans will preserve conditions conducive to life #CircHumansphere