Encyclopedia for Solutionaries

Age of Transcendence ~ an emerging cultural and economic evolution away from material wants and toward meaning wants ~ the physical (materialistic) influences that dominated culture in the 20th century are giving way to metaphysical (experiential) influences in cultural evolutionary process toward greater beauty, truth, and goodness ~ similar to Dan Pink’s ‘Conceptual Age‘ (six senses: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning) in his book A Whole New Mind ~ from objective base to subjective base, people relying more on their own counsel (enabled by democratized information over Internet) ~ could be that rapidly aging global population is altering the zeitgeist of society to higher states of cultural development ~ left/right-brain thinking integrated into ‘unitive thinking‘ (aka holistic thinking) ~ Age of Empowerment (mostly 19th century) preceded as first cultural age in America with free society and free markets that gave ordinary people chance at great wealth, success, status; Age of Knowledge / Information (mostly 20th century) with materialism as bedrock of business, society, and culture

agile organizations ~ dynamic, responsive organizations that embrace change and are able to create value more effectively ~ use small, focused, autonomous, cross-disciplined teams tasked with solving a clearly defined problem ~ use rapid feedback cycles to continuously experiment-learn-improve-repeat (i.e., release early and often) ~ nurture a culture of transparency to expose dysfunction ~ measure progress quantitatively and objectively

agro-industrial complex ~ during the rapid evolutionary period of fossil-fuel-based hyper-growth and expansion, agriculture transformed from an agroecosystem culture of relatively self-sufficient communities to an agro-industrial culture of many separate, interdependent, distant actors linked by global markets and fueled by the burning of massive quantities of cheap hydrocarbon fuels ~ this form of agriculture brings the whole supply chain—from seed to supermarket—under the centralized control of a few very large corporate players  ~ for every one calorie of food we eat, ten calories of fossil fuels are expended in producing it ~ majority of the nutrients in the world’s agricultural soils have been so deeply degraded by industrial farming practices such as mega-monocrop farming that farmlands are effectively on life support: they require a continuous supply of chemical fertilizers just so plants can still grow

appreciation session ~ a time allocated at the end of a meeting for anyone attending to offer public appreciation to anyone else for favors, exceptional behavior, hospitality, generosity, etc. ~ increases love, care, friendship, and trust in an organization

attention economy ~ addictive behavior mediated by digital technologies and corporate technosphere of digital screens that is based on frequent, short-term, dopamine-driven (i.e., rewarding) feedback loops

biodiversity ~ concern for species diversity has been dominated more by market exploitation of open-access common resources than by responsible environmental stewardship of our common heritage

bliss point (referring to ‘designed’ food) ~ many food manufacturers, restaurants, and fast food chains carefully combine fats, sugar, and salt in precise ratios to reach a ‘bliss point,’ which triggers brain systems that increase the desire to eat more—even with a full stomach ~ these foods tend to be energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and are relatively cheap

capital (primary) ~ natural resources like sun, rain, plants, animals ~ these are foundational in a ‘capital pyramid’ structure

capital (secondary/derivative) ~ goods/services and built capital produced by human efforts ~ derived from primary capital

capital (tertiary/double derivative) ~ money and other financial assets ~ money is a marker for, and derived from, primary and secondary capital

capital mobility ~ ability of private funds to move across national boundaries ~ coupled with free trade, capital mobility has disrupted macroeconomic stability by permitting huge international payment imbalances and capital transfers resulting in debts that are not repayable in many cases and excessive in others ~ efforts to service these debts lead to unsustainable rates of exploitation of exportable resources, government budget deficits, and excessive monetary creation with inflation that then triggers currency devaluations, foreign exchange speculation, capital flight, and ultimately macroeconomic instability of the debtor nation

car culture ~ a powerful and pervasive culture in developed countries that insulates and isolates people from the natural world ~ sends wrong message of happiness and freedom, as those are not found behind the wheel of car, nor good health ~ for honesty’s sake, car advertisements should show drivers who are overweight, impoverished, and stressed-out, as that is the ultimate outcome of lifestyles so overly dependent on the automobile and averse to walking and bicycling and to re-engaging with the natural world

carbon pulse ~ in long-term historical energy/economy context, we are currently living through a brief ‘carbon pulse’ ~ current economic theory, which mostly disregards energy inputs, was created during this anomalous time of rapid discovery and exploitation of new cheap, abundant fossil-carbon energy resources resulting in explosive growth of human population, scientific knowledge, technology, and machines

climate change ~ formerly ‘global warming’ ~ more appropriately expressed as ‘climate destabilization‘ ~ climate change is to weather as signal is to noise ~ climate change deniers should consider that statements about how the natural world works have a higher probability of being closer to reality when coming from truth-seeking, peer-reviewed scientists than from say-anything, power-hungry politicians or short-sighted, profit-seeking business men/women

community farmers’ markets ~ on the rise to meet a growing demand for local organic foods, regional food security, and for ethical business practices ~ accelerating the trend toward greater food justice and democratic control ~ these family friendly, place-making ‘DIY’ markets enable residents to purchase locally grown produce directly from farmers themselves and support environmentally sustainable family farms that care for the soil and for the environment in which food grows ~ return money directly to the local economy—while a large percentage of profits from corporate ‘chain’ stores flow out of the community ~ fresh sustainable produce means more flavor, better health, lower obesity rates, and lower healthcare expenditures

conscious capitalism (CC) ~ the ‘self-realization’ or ‘self-actualization’ of capitalism ~ more mature, enlightened ‘capitalism with a conscience’ ~ caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation from simple, value-limited, single-minded profit maximization to beautiful, creative value-spreading purpose maximization ~ to be a great company,  have to be a good company ~ an evolution away from the negative aspects of 200-year-old ‘heartless’ classical business and management theory that rationalized greed, selfishness, command/control military structure, exploitation, and ‘hot-money’ shareholder primacy ~ asserts that business is redeemable and absolutely necessary as most powerful value-creating, non-coercive force in human history ~ businesses have strong ethical right to exist in that they interact with society through voluntary exchange for mutual benefitFirst principle: Higher Purpose ~ every business has the potential for a higher purpose beyond just making money for shareholders ~ do good (socially) while doing well (financially) ~ seeks value for all stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, investors, community (i.e., social responsibility), and environment) ~ asks: “What difference are making in the world”? ~ Second principle: Stakeholder Integration ~ employees, customers, suppliers, investors, community, and environment are all an integrated whole (not competing claimants on a fixed ‘zero-sum’ pool of value) and should all flourish together ~ a business is at the heart of a complex web of relationships requiring systems thinking ~ WFM has a ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ ~ Third principle: Conscious Leadership ~ servant leaders serve the higher purpose of the enterprise and desire to see organization and all stakeholders flourishFourth principle: Conscious Culture and Management ~ liberates and develops human creativity and potential through strategies, structures, and processes designed so that all stakeholders as well as the organization itself can flourish together ~ purposeful work environments that challenge and encourage team members (not human ‘resources’ but sources) to learn and to grow ~ values include: trust, empowerment, authenticity, innovation, collaboration

cooking by color ~ a simple rule to follow for eating a variety of naturally occurring substances that boost immunity and prevent a range of illnesses

crony capitalism ~ a perversion of free-market capitalism in which businesses thrive not as a result of hard work, innovation, and risk; but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between an established business class and a corrupt political class ~ it is unethical and inefficient as it presents obstacles to economic development from corruption, injustice, and political and social instability

culture of character ~ a culture that values sincerity, humilityhonesty, generosity, and authenticity and the selfless societal value of many introverts, the ‘listeners,’ the ‘quiet ones’ that read, write, learn, teach, think, meditate, share—artists, engineers, designers, ecologists, systems-thinkers, and solvers of complex problems ~ they have real social power just as the ‘talkers’ do, but theirs is soft powerquiet power—power that feels no need or desire to stand out, dominate, intimidate, or control others ~ ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world,’ Gandhi once said (and he certainly did) ~ contrast to today’s loud, in-your-face, hyper-competitive extrovert culture in the U.S. that is a ‘culture of personality’ of ‘talkers’: celebrities, salesmen, hucksters, braggarts, bullies, and charismatic but hollow one-man mega-brands (e.g., Trump) that create a reality distortion field around them; many introverts have to fake their natural personalities to get any attention at all, costing them energy, authenticity, and even physical health ~ this peak in ‘culture of personality’ is slowly giving way to a re-emerging ‘culture of character’ (e.g., Lincoln)

ecoliteracy ~ using principles of organization of ecosystems to serve as a guide when designing intelligent sustainable human communities ~ an ecologically literate society has a heightened awareness of its impact on the environment and therefore less likely to inadvertently destroy the natural world on which it depends (a biological imperative for human survival) ~ emphasis on holism, sustainability, complexity, and systems thinking—essential for a proper understanding of the complex interdependence of ecological systems, social systems, and other systems on all levels ~ all education is ultimately environmental education as students are taught that they are part of, or apart from, the natural world depending on how they are taught, what they are taught, and in what context

ecological economics ~ progressive economic thinking that recognizes that the human economy is a subsystem of the global ecology, not the other way around, and that there are clear limits to biophysical throughput of resources from the ecosystem, through the economic subsystem, and back to the ecosystem as wastes ~ biophysical systems, even when they are scientifically well understood, are mistakenly seen as things we live off of, not as places we live within ~ it speaks in the language of living systems using terms familiar to biologists and ecologists: balance, biodiversity, closed-cycle, coevolution, complex adaptive systems, connectedness, embeddednesslimits to growth, organization, thresholds, tipping points, renewal, and resilience ~ it values community, compassion, and environmental stewardship ~ it heeds the ancestral wisdom of indigenous island cultures living in ecological balance with their local surroundings ~ it argues that the fiduciary principle applies to the economy as a whole—managing the economy within planetary boundaries in trust for future generations ~ it promotes greater awareness that the social license to operate as an economic actor must also include a globally applicable test for the withdrawal of that license when externalities are generated that transgress planetary boundaries ~ it leaves behind old and severely limiting ways of being, living, and relating to our world and to each other and seeks to move on to a higher level of consciousness and awareness that places greater value on truth, beauty, balance, play, connection, community, generosity, hospitality, warmth, and wisdom and that seeks a grander destiny for humanity

economy ~ the purpose of an economy is to create the right conditions for the maintenance and enjoyment of life for a long time for all citizens at a sufficient level of wealth for a good life ~ it should not simply be an ‘idiot machine’ that maximizes waste in an attempt to satiate what are obviously insatiable human desires for material wealth and extremes of comfort, convenience, and security

economic growth ~ how much more (goods/services) an economy produces over time ~ if the economy is producing more, businesses are more profitable and worth more and therefore their stock prices tend to rise yielding capital to invest and hire more employees ~ as more jobs are created, incomes rise ~ consumers have more money to buy additional products and services and the whole economy continues to grow ~ economic growth generally requires four things: energy + material resources + knowledge/innovation + money/credit

education ~ a lifelong, organic process of discovering and developing natural talents and abilities in order to live more confidently, effectively, and joyously in the world ~ continuously gaining knowledge and skills for understanding the past, navigating the future, and developing the capacity to contribute novel solutions to challenging problems ~ one should live as if this day could be your last, but learn as if you were going to live forever

electric bicycles ~ efficient and affordable local transportation ~ they have a very low carbon footprint (relative to cars) and can be charged using renewable energy ~ effectively flatten hills and provide the same exhilarating boost of a strong tailwind ~ commuters on electric bikes travel faster, farther, and have more fun getting to work or to the local grocery store or coffee shop ~ utilitarian riders can carry larger loads using powerful motor-assist cargo bikes ~ traveling 2500 local miles in a year on an e-bike costs only about $10 in electricity and $150 in maintenance

emotional intelligence (EI) ~ emotional awareness and skill needed for continued learning and growth ~ the capacity for recognizing our own feelings (Socrates’ ‘know thyself’) and those of others, motivating ourselves, and managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships ~ emerging realization of high value of EI in leadership impact and effectiveness

empty-world economics ~ grow-or-collapse economics model of the last two centuries ~ fashioned during a singular time when the world was relatively empty (of humans) and abundant in natural resources and when growth and development held infinite possibilities ~ heavily influenced by personal, regional, and national self-interest and by fierce—and very often bloody and cruel—competition for economic resources and regional dominance ~ has of late brought about a rapid decline in the richness of life processes—laying waste to the Earth and digesting the biosphere at an ever more frantic pace ~ ‘progress’ today means increasingly competitive and manic consumption—driven by voracious egos at the individual, state, and national levels—that is rapidly devouring its own long-term viability ~ only during a period of relatively few people and an abundance of natural resources, virgin global-scale waste sinks like the atmosphere and oceans, a stable climate, fertile soils, abundant fresh water, productive oceans, a diverse ecology with healthy keystone species like bees and plankton, and cheap, plentiful, high-density, fossil-fuel-based surplus energy could such a rapid growth and expansion boom in economic size and complexity have occurred with so few readily apparent environmental warning signs—until now ~ large and exponentially growing human populations, rising inequality within and between nations, excessive energy and material throughputs, and habitat destruction are all signs of an economic model and worldview that has clearly outlived its usefulness

energy ~ the animating quality that organisms (and organizations) require to ‘do’ anything at all ~ Nothing happens without energy ~ the ‘Master Resource’ ~ the foundation of all growth and action in nature and in human economies ~ in addition to materials and knowledge/skills, the creation of every single product/service in the human economy requires an input of energy (net surplus energy, more specifically) ~ new technologies and gains in efficiency tend to increase total energy use in a society ~ physical comforts (heating, cooling) require energy, psychological comforts don’t (biology determines what we need; culture determines what we want) ~ we will likely not experience a shortage of energy (anytime soon), but rather a ‘longage’ of expectations

energy (net surplus) ~ the energy left over after subtracting the energy cost of acquiring the new energy resource ~ it always takes some existing energy to acquire new energy (for example, the ‘exercise’ of a walk to the fridge for some ice cream) ~ net surplus energy from fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) is on the decline because the energy cost of acquiring new energy is increasing (fracking, deep water drilling, tar sands) ~ today, this net surplus energy is doing 99.5% of the physical work in the global economy ~ likened to a global economic Ponzi scheme, we are enjoying a growth economy that is using up non-renewable energy stocks (fossil-fuel ‘capital’), though we act as if it is based on renewable energy flows (‘interest’)

energy density of oil ~ 1 barrel of oil has around 700 kWh ($70 of electricity @ $.10/kWh) of energy when converted to work (counting heat loss), equivalent to 4.5 years of one human’s physical labor ~ in USA, cost of extracting oil has almost quadrupled since 2000 ~ this has not been reflected in its price ~ oil is a very cheap source of energy because we don’t pay for creating it or disposing of its wastes, only for extracting (and refining) it

energy dissipating structure ~ great mass of humanity in 21st century acting as one very big energy-hungry ungovernable super-organism that is beyond individual control ~ physically, the entire global human economy is functioning as an energy dissipating structure whose only motivation is continued economic growth

environmental challenges ~ problems resulting from unintended consequences of rapid industrial growth ~ climate change (climate destabilization, more precisely) resulting in extreme droughts and desertification in some places and flooding in others ~ ocean acidification ~ loss of vital rainforests (deforestation) ~ species extinction ~ depleted fisheries ~ soil erosion ~ depletion and pollution of freshwater sources including underground aquifers ~ decreases in quantity and quality of drinking water ~ growing global pollution of oceans and atmosphere (even in polar regions!) ~ continued growth of human populations ~ decreasing biodiversity and associated ecosystem resilience

environmental feedback dilution ~ environmental feedbacks today occur over longer periods of time and across greater distances and are experienced collectively by many people—not by individuals—making them more difficult to perceive and to counteract, they also cross generations ~ today, for the first time in the history of human civilization, large masses of people, particularly in Western societies, have been freed from the direct and immediate negative environmental feedbacks of their economic activities—those natural cues they used to get relatively quickly as individuals and small communities living close to Nature and with limited energy, material, and waste flows ~ people historically were closer to the resources they used and in a better position to monitor the overall set of assets on which they depended ~ the interplay among community, environmental management, asset transfers, and sustainability have changed dramatically with globalization

EROEI ~ energy return on energy invested ~ EROEI of energy from oil has dropped precipitously in the last 100 years

experience economy ~ the emerging growth economy where experiences are a distinct high-value economic offering ~ where consumers want to spend their hard earned time and money ~ experiences are staged like services are delivered, products are made, and commodities are extracted ~ innovation required in developing new high-value experiences ~ makes the using of a product a memorable experience ~ the experience IS the marketing, which generates new demand

exponential growth ~ constant doubling rate where ‘more produces more’ ~ modest initial growth rate invariably mutates into runaway growth over time ~ reflects human population growth in recent decades ~ exponential growth in finite environment is unsustainable ~ physics professor Albert Bartlett warned that greatest shortcoming of human race was inability to understand exponential function and regarded human overpopulation as a monumental challenge facing humanity

Firms of Endearment (FoE) ~ book that describes emerging ‘soulful’ businesses and organizations with ‘humanistic souls‘ that are creating and responding to current global cultural paradigm shifts: from objective base to subjective base, from material wants to meaning wants, from Information Age to Age of Transcendence (where emotion and subjectivity rule in garnering stakeholder loyalty and affection) ~ implies deep social transformation of capitalism ~ companies are increasingly motivated by and being held accountable for humanistic as well as economic performance ~ recognition of inherent human need (above subsistence level) to be of service to others and rejects pursuit of power over others ~ firms use words/deeds to endear themselves to all stakeholders (endearing companies tend to be enduring companies) ~ stakeholder relationship management (SRM), multi-stakeholder operating system over stockholder-biased business model ~ leaders cite corporate culture and love/caring as biggest competitive advantage ~ balanced pursuit of passion/purpose/profit ~ characteristics include: long-term vision and perspective, favor organic growth (no mergers and acquisitions), leadership more catalytic and inspirational than directive with high degree of emotional intelligence, relatively modest executive salaries and high employee wages and benefits, open door policies, high employee retention and generous training programs, balanced blend of work and play, employees and customers passionate about the product or service, low or no advertising expenses (prefer under-the-radar marketing of authentic value vs. traditional ad-promoted hyperbole model), healer rather than huckster in marketing and sales, follow spirit of law above letter of law and value emotional contract over legal contract ~ influenced by demographics-driven value shift of a globally aging society that has been liberated by prosperity, but not fulfilled by it as consumer behavior is being less influenced by materialistic values (the ‘having’ society) and driven more by emerging need for greater meaning/purpose (an emerging ‘being’ society)—experiences/feelings over products/thinking

free-market economics ~ distribution of goods, services, and other assets is facilitated through open and free buying and selling, supporting a dense network of exchange, that is available to everyone incentivizes producers to know their markets and respond to them instead of relying on top-down regulation ~ learning happens continuously from experience, so processes gradually become more effective and efficient ~ tends to support a more egalitarian society than many other forms of controlled economic systems ~ successful to-date at sustaining social order ~ but economic transactions in a ‘full world’ need to be restructured to send both a market price signal reflecting private utility and a socio-environmental score reflecting the burden of the transaction on public goods ~ composite price-score would reveal a truer relationship between resources and desires by showing how much is given up or sacrificed publicly and over time for what an individual desires (and will pay for) privately and right now

frontier economics ~ economics over the last two centuries that radically transformed human economies ~ characterized by hyper-growth, competition, conflict, and rapid expansion ~ where once economies gradually and sustainably coevolved with their natural ecosystems, they have now exploded in growth, mimicking the explosive combustion of the cheap, abundant fossil hydrocarbons that made this anomalous historic era possible

gifting culture ~ a culture in which wealth circulates, naturally gravitating toward the greatest need ~ reclaims human relationships from the market ~ aligns with people yearning be be more, not have more ~ contributes to a reservoir of gratitude ~ real community has always been woven from gifts and sharing

gross domestic product (GDP) ~ a common measure of economic growth ~ takes into account the country’s entire economic output—all goods and services that businesses in that country produce for sale (domestically or overseas) ~ most human preferences expressed as market buying decisions are correlated with greater energy usage ~ high GDP is highly correlated with high energy usage (see gross domestic burning)

gross domestic burning (GDB) ~ because nearly every single economic good/service today requires an energy input from the burning of fossil fuels, GDP can also be effectively thought of as GDB ~ as long as growing the GDP is the goal, efficiency and technological innovation simply builds a large global heat engine from burning fossil fuels ~ we are becoming ever more ‘productive’ at burning fossil fuels in a quickening take-make-waste cycle to convert high-value natural resources into low-value waste in manic pursuit of perpetual economic growth

hero’s journey ~ becoming more conscious and self-aware, acting in ways to make the world a better place, and freely sharing the wisdom acquired

idea meritocracy ~ the best ideas win ~ an effective way for teams and organizations to make better decisions where many ideas are proposed and all ideas are rigorously weighted based on knowledge/experience/track record of promoter ~ substantially aided by a strong culture of truthfulness and transparency

illth ~ opposite of wealth ~ undesirable un-economic growth ~ results from unchecked growth (like cancer) in throughput of human economy that overwhelms self-repairing capacity of supporting ecosystems

insight meditation ~ simple, practical, daily Buddhist meditation practice involving being fully present and aware in each moment

intrinsic motivators ~ in contrast to extrinsic motivators like money and status, intrinsic motivators include greater autonomy (desire to direct our own lives), mastery (desire to continuously improve at our craft), and purpose (desire to be of service to something larger than ourselves) yield higher levels of creativity, engagement, performance, and satisfaction in the workplace

laughter ~ with its fearlessness and solidarity, can sometimes be the most effective way to release the pressure from a stressful situation

leadership ~ sustained initiative in pursuit of a noble goal with strong elements of vision, courage, ethics, and reality ~ focus on change and transformation in contrast to management, which is about efficiency and implementation

learning organization ~ an organization that emphasizes decentralization, empowerment, innovation, and collaboration

love ~ the selfless promotion of the growth and well-being of others

market tyranny ~ our current cruel and oppressive ‘extremist’ market economy has effectively flattened our conceptions of justice so that only the ‘sum of individual preferences’ are included in its economic modeling ~ egos, markets, and the unintended consequences of the countless small, local, daily decisions of today’s self-interested consumers rule the day resulting in ‘market tyranny’ over humanity and Nature alike, as the material scale of human economic activity now greatly exceeds the ‘carrying capacity’ of the Earth ~ free choice of this market economy unfairly impacts future generations and narrows safe environmental operating spaces for life to thrive ~ the human economic subsystem has grown excessively within the global natural ecosystem on which it depends ~ regenerative and assimilative capacities of the global ecosystem’s sources and sinks are being exceeded

meaning of life ~ perhaps to struggle well and serve others in passionate pursuit of Plato’s transcendent ideals: the good, the true, and the beautiful

meditation ~ the practice of stilling the mind ~ useful for boosting equanimity and creativity ~ going beneath the surface of thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. ~ prayer is when you talk to the source of being; meditation is when you listen ~ some answers can only be found on the ‘Inner-net’

mindfulness ~ the capacity to pay attention to one’s attention

money ~ a medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value ~ majority of money in modern economy is created by commercial banks ‘out of thin air’ by making loans (i.e., creating credit/debt) ~ since 1971, there has not been a single currency in the world with a link to any physical resource that backs it (like gold) ~ current society views economy through a rising money graph (increasing slope) of GDP, whereas the actual economy that is based on limited nonrenewable energy/material inputs is a gaussian curve, and a corresponding sustainable economy based on renewable energy/resources is a zero-slope graph with much lower peak GDP ~ in economic terms, humans are no longer maximizing surplus, but rather maximizing ‘surplus value’ (i.e., money)

music ~ a universal language of mankind ~ transforms spirit into sound ~ music makes time audible and requires time to reveal its essence, to demonstrate how parts relate to wholes, both melodically (horizontally) and harmonically (vertically) ~ music is a process―not a material thing or mechanism; it only reveals its nature from a holistic top-down view, not by looking at a particular static slice of time, which would be musically meaningless ~ in music, as in life, all things are in motion—all things are in process

neoliberal free-market revolution ~ its worst aspects include veneration of greed, individualism, and competition ~ has starved states of revenue to support public works and the social wage, precipitated several financial crises, and hastened ecological destruction globally ~ suggests that ‘the market’ is always right, regulation is always wrong, ‘private’ is good and ‘public’ is bad, and taxes that support public services should be eliminated ~ to admit that the climate crisis is real and a legitimate threat to civilizational survival would deal a major body blow to this grand global neoliberal experiment ~ grotesque concentration of capital in private hands driven by all-out grabs for global resources has entrenched the power of transnational capital to dictate the trade and finance policies of most countries ~ these policies pit democracy against oligarchy as they battle for dominance ~ neoliberalism is simply a rationale for unfettered greed as it has restored processes of capital accumulation and wealth concentration to pre-1930s levels ~ if this corrosive brand of extremist capitalism goes unchallenged—and place-agnostic footloose money managers continue to recklessly create highly interdependent, brittle, unstable communities motivated only by their short-term economic interests—then ever-increasing environmental degradation, economic inequality, and community dissolution are assured

plant-based diet ~ reduces risks of many chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes ~ vegetarian diets are far more healthful than the typical American diet, particularly in preventing, treating, or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer ~ involves eating whole foods closest to their natural state (no artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings, or preservatives), raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds; foods rich in micronutrients relative to their total caloric content (primarily vegetables and fruits): vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals; healthy fats derived from whole plant foods (e.g.,  nuts, seeds, avocados), minimize fats from vegetable oils

population stabilization ~ globally, decline in human population growth rate is highly correlated with education and empowerment of women

relational liberty ~ freedom through interdependence ~ internalizes the freedom and well-being of all (both human and non-human) into the freedom and well-being of each ~ implies living life in one’s own way, but only after embedding that way of life in a tradition—a civic life of shared purpose—and rooting that life in a sense of ecological place and in a sensibility of care for Earth’s life support systems ~ redefines liberty in the context of a responsible and just human-Nature relationship—individual agency and responsible self-direction with an ecological awareness ~ rejects the exclusive privileging of individualistic values over communal ones and leads away from the control of the natural world as a source of ‘wealth’ defined as material accumulation, relative social status, and ‘utility maximization’ ~ emphasizes participation, engagement, and capacity for creative agency ~ personal flourishing is inextricably linked to the flourishing of others and to the flourishing of the natural world ~ democratic hope of the future is self-directing ecological citizens (not ‘consumers’) who use their freedom and agency in the service of a sense of ecological trusteeship and responsibility ~ new ethics of relational liberty can justify and motivate the kinds of economic and social change needed nationally and globally in the next generation ~ promises richer lives in a socially and naturally interconnected and interdependent world

servant leader ~ leadership by example ~ influential, inspiring, empowering leader who shares power using balanced blend of many intelligences: analytical, emotional, spiritual, and systems ~ psychological and spiritually mature with moral authority and diminished interest in money and power over others ~ turns traditional power pyramid upside down ~ serving others leads to the greatest personal happiness ~ embraces transpersonal values of goodness, justice, truth, love, generosity, alleviation of suffering, enlightenment of others

solutionary ~ a member of a global values revolution, frustrated by the ‘curse of incrementalism,’ that is unifying around shared values/principles of life-over-money and ecology-over-economy in order to pass along a world worth inheriting (i.e., be a good ancestor) with no extremes of poverty, no endangered species, no clear-cut forests, and no wars for resources ~ inspired by and taking lessons from Nature’s core operating principle of unity-of-diversity ~ replaces linear economy (take-make-waste) with circular circular (cradle-to-cradle) ~ asserts that international trade and investment should be based on mutual benefit, not continued exploitation of the poor by the rich ~ supports women’s rights everywhere to participate fully and equally in the running of their societies ~ believes businesses, especially transnational corporations, should care for all stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers/partners, communities, and the environment, in addition to shareholders

steady-state economy ~ contrast to ‘growth economy’ ~ population size, the power of technology, and the overall size of the global economy is on a collision course with rapidly approaching limits to the supply of key natural resources—including topsoil, freshwater, and fossil fuels—on which literally billions of lives depend ~ many countries are, in fact, in varying states of resource-crisis ~ policies for a steady-state economy that can respond to ecological pressures ‘by design rather than by disaster’ include: stabilize populations (perhaps by meeting unmet demand for family planning and for educating girls) ~ stop and reverse greenhouse gas emissions ~ more equitably share resources, income, and work; invest in the natural and social capital ‘commons’ ~ reform the financial system to better reflect real assets and liabilities ~ create better measures of progress than ‘GDP growth’ ~ reform tax systems so that ‘bads’ (like resource depletion and pollution) are taxed rather than ‘goods’ (like value-added labor) ~ develop, promote, and freely share scientific and technical knowledge that advances human and ecosystem well-being rather than growth ~ establish strong, deep democratic decision-making processes in all organizations ~ create a strong mainstream ethic and culture of health, resilience, self-reliance, sufficiency, and well-being (in place of mindless manic consumerism)

sufficiency ethic ~ a mark of emotional/spiritual maturity that is able to say, “I have enough” ~ wanting ever more (after a certain point) indicates a degree of sickness

sustainable development ~ development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ~ associated with generativity on the individual level: an ego-moderating disposition to help the next generation come into its own successfully ~ these needs include allowing all living organisms to attain their full expected life spans ~ emphatically rejects the perverse dominance-based ethic that treats many ‘other’ people, things, and the Earth itself as conveniently disposable ~ barriers to acceptance of sustainable development include well-entrenched and passionate consumer materialism (consumer culture) in developed societies and the understandable aspirations of developing countries for Western levels of material affluence

third place ~ a desirable place to ‘hang out’ (e.g., coffee shop, bookstore, bar) that is not home or work

tribe ~ humans ‘tribe’ (like fish school and birds flock) when they form a group naturally around a set of common values, shared experiences, and noble causes ~ a tribe is a cohesive team of creative collaborators with genuine connections to one another having diverse, dynamic, and distinct talents that can serve as a source of inspiration and can provide the ‘alchemy of synergy‘ needed for great accomplishments ~ the transformational effects of your tribe on your sense of identity and purpose come also from validation—affirmation that you are not alone on your journey ~ tribal leaders speak in terms of ‘we,’ not ‘me’ ~ a tribe leader’s most important goal is to find and articulate the shared values that unite the tribe and a noble cause that will align tribal members to produce coordinated action with passionate resolve ~ benefit: you are only as smart and capable as your tribe; by upgrading your tribe, you multiply the results of your efforts and create the conditions for leaving behind an enduring legacy that would be impossible to accomplish alone

ultrasociality ~ because humans are intensely social animals, sexual selection and relative fitness are huge drivers of irrational human economic behavior ~ this perpetual desire for ‘more’ drives insatiable high-consumption lifestyles

wanting trumps having ~ the dopamine-driven ‘wanting’ in our brains feels stronger than the ‘having,’ ~ makes it difficult to resist the perpetual novelty of high-consumption lifestyles ~ in economic terms, we have flow motivated brains in a world of limited natural resource stocks

wisdom of teams ~ small groups (teams) seem better able to parse, understand, and respond to complex issues/events better than large groups (the larger the group the dumber it tends to get, with respect to resolving complex issues)

women’s movement ~ social trends suggest women are rapidly gaining status, power, respect, and equality ~ 60% of college degrees are going to women ~ 70% of graduate students are women ~ 70% of new entrepreneurial startups are founded by women ~ taking over law, accounting, medicine, education ~ on average, women have a higher degree of emotional intelligence, communicate better, are more aware of web of relationships, and are generally more comfortable than men with the concept of love and caring in the workplace (see Firms of Endearment)