Transitioning From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies (2)

The following is the second part excerpted from a summary of the book by Otto Scharmer: Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies, which features Ten Transition Theses.

Otto Scharmer writes:

* 6

(6) The shift from ego-system to eco-system awareness requires a journey that involves walking in the shoes of other stakeholders and attending to the three instruments of inner knowing: open mind, open heart, and open will.

What does it take to shift the awareness of a stakeholder system from ego to eco? As described in the book Theory U: it takes a journey. A journey that not only involves walking in the shoes of other —often the least privileged — stakeholders, but a journey that involves the awakening of three inner instruments of knowing: the open mind, the open heart, and the open will.

Open mind is the capacity to see with fresh eyes and to suspend old habits of thought. Open heart is the capacity to empathize, to see the situation through the eyes of another stakeholder. Open will is the capacity of letting-go and letting-come: Letting-go of old identities (“Us vs. Them”), and letting-come a new sense of possibility and self.

The effectiveness of accessing these three instruments depends on the ability to deal with the sources of resistance (“three enemies”):

* VoJ (Voice of Judgment): The VoJ shuts down the Open Mind by habitually judging self and others. All creativity techniques start with somehow suspending the VoJ.

* VoC (Voice of Cynicism): The VoC shuts down the Open Heart by offering an easy alternative to making oneself vulnerable. The problem with that easy exit is that it does the same thing as the VoJ: it blocks one’s opening process for accessing the deeper sources of creativity.

* VoF (Voice of Fear): The VoF tends to shut down the Open Will by not letting go but holding on to old identities, ideologies, and Us vs. Them belief structures.

The better we learn to deal with these three “enemies,” the higher our mastery will be in accessing the deeper sources of our co-creative knowing.

* 7

(7) Addressing the current global crisis at its root calls for a 4.0 update of the economic operating system through reframing eight “acupuncture points” of the global economic system.

When in the late 19th and early 20th century the 2.0 laissez-faire capitalism hit the wall in the form of poverty, inequity, environmental issues, and cyclical financial crises, societies responded by creating a string of institutional innovations that set the stage for capitalism 3.0 (unions, federal reserve banks, legislation for labor, farmers, and the environment). Today, as capitalism 3.0 hits the wall of global externalities, we need another update of our economic operating system to 4.0.

This time the institutional innovations need to involve another set of acupuncture points. Here is a list of institutional innovations that all deal with closing the feedback loop of “matter” and “mind” in the economy, that is, of economic action and the well-being of the ecological-social-spiritual whole (“eco-system”).

They are:

* Nature: Close the feedback loop of production, consumption, reuse, and recycling through “earth-to-earth” or closed-loop design.

* Labor: Close the feedback loop from work (jobs) to Work (passion) by building infrastructures that foster and ignite inspired entrepreneurship.

* Capital: Close the feedback loop of capital by redirecting speculative investment into ecological, social, and cultural-creative renewal.

* Technology: Close the feedback loop from technology creation to societal needs in underserved communities through needs assessment and participatory planning.

* Leadership: Close the feedback loop from leadership to the emerging future of the whole through practices of co-sensing, co-inspiring, and co-creating.

* Consumption: Close the feedback loop from economic output to the well-being of all through conscious, collaborative consuming and through new well-being indicators such as GNH (Gross National Happiness).

* Coordination: Close the feedback loop in the economy from the parts to the whole through ABC (awareness-based collective action).

* Ownership: Close the feedback loop from ownership rights to the best societal use of assets through shared ownership and commons-based property rights that safeguard the interests of future generations

For example, nature, labor, and capital are no longer conceptualized as a mere commodity but reframed as eco-systems, entrepreneurship, and creative capital, respectively.

* 8

(8) Shifting the system to 4.0 requires a threefold revolution.

What does it take to put economy and society 4.0 onto its feet? It takes a threefold revolution: an individual, a relational, and an institutional inversion. Each inversion is a U-type of process as indicated in figure 2. It is a process where some deeper or dormant capacities are opening up or awakening. Inversion means turning inside-out and outside-in.

Individual inversion means to open up thinking (open mind), feeling (open heart), and will (open will) in order to learn to act as an instrument for the future that is wanting to emerge.

Relational inversion means to open up communicative relationships from downloading (conforming) and debate (defending) to dialogue (reflective inquiry) and collective creativity (flow) in order to tune as groups into the field of the future.

Institutional inversion means to open traditional institutional geometries of power from 1.0 and 2.0 forms of coordinating and organizing — centralized hierarchy and decentralized competition — to 3.0 and 4.0 forms of coordinating around co-creative stakeholder relationships in eco-systems that generate well-being for all.

Some of the first research with this framework shows that many change makers do have level four experiences on the micro and meso level, but that the level four examples for the macro and mundo level are rare and seen as critical bottlenecks in the current development stages of the systems.

* 9

(9) We need new types of innovation infrastructures in order to build collective leadership capacities on a massive scale.

Many people think that what’s missing in order to move to a new economy is just a set of better ideas. That, of course, is not the case. We need much more than new ideas. We need new innovation structures and social technologies that will allow groups to move from their habitual levels to the new co-create level 4.

These infrastructures will include:

* Co-initiating: Creating spaces for convening stakeholders around a shared eco-system.

* Co-sensing: Going to the places of most potential and observing with one’s mind and heart wide open.

* Co-inspiring: Creating spaces for connecting to the sources of creativity and self.

* Co-creating: Creating spaces for exploring the future by doing (prototyping).

* Co-shaping: Creating spaces for embodying and scaling the new through practices.

Of these infrastructures, the co-sensing and co-inspiring ones are particularly underdeveloped in society today. Trying to advance societal innovation by just talking about them or by talking about their final stages (number 4 or 5 of the above infrastructure list) is like playing a violin without a body, or to use another analogy, building a house without a foundation and ground floor.

What would be necessary today is an interconnected set of global sensing hotspots that would allow for local, regional, and global players to connect around specific issue areas in order to co-sense, co-inspire and co-create through multi-local prototyping.

* 10

(10) The shift from an ego-system to an eco-system economy requires a global movement that needs to be supported by a new leadership school.

That school should create collaborative platforms across sectors, systems, and generations and work through integrating science, art, and the practice of profound, awareness-based change.

We began with locating the root cause of today’s predicament between our ears and in our old patterns of thought, particularly our economic thought. To shift these patterns takes no less than an intentional global infrastructure (or leadership school) that focuses not only on a new framework, but also on practical methods and tools to realize the shift from ego to eco and how to awaken a new quality of thinking that links the head, heart, and hand.

Such a new leadership school would be a home base for the emerging global movement of 4.0-related transformation journeys. At the same time, it would prototype a 21st century action university that integrates three forms of knowledge: technical knowledge (know-what), practical knowledge (know-how) and transformation knowledge (know-who: self knowledge).

Here is a first set of principles that are essential for this type of school and which are designed for global-local replication:

* Engage systems at all levels and states: Engage systems by using the entire Matrix of Social Evolution

* Engage all levels of intelligence: Integrate open mind (IQ: intellectual knowledge), open heart (EQ: emotional and relational knowledge), and open will (SQ: self knowledge).

* Systems Thinking: Integrate methods and tools derived from 30 years of organizational learning research and practice.

* MOOCs: Use massive open online courses that combine course delivery with interactive personal, small-group dialogue and the presence of a global community of change makers that effects transformative change.

* Deep immersion: Use deep dive learning journeys and generative listening practices in order to connect communities and places of most potential.

* Science 2.0: Use scientific methods that let the “data talk to you.” The challenges of this century involve extending the concept of science beyond looking exclusively at exterior data (third-person view). We need to bend the beam of scientific observation back upon the observer in order to investigate the more subtle levels of experience of the second- and first-person view.

* Presencing: Use practices that allow leaders to sense and actualize the emerging future and to clarify the two root questions of creativity: Who is my Self? What is my Work?

* Power of Intention: Focus on the capacity to connect with the deeper intention of one’s journey, connecting us more deeply with one another, the world and ourselves.

* Prototyping: Link head, heart, and hand in order to create living examples and prototypes that allow us to explore the future by doing.

* Power of Place: Complement the massive expansion of online learning with an equally massive global network of vibrant entrepreneurial hubs that focus on activating co-sensing and co-creating as a gateway for unleashing entrepreneurial potential. Great innovations happen in places. Learning how to design and hold spaces for reflection, generative conversation, and system-wide transformation is a mission critical capacity today.

In conclusion:

Profound personal, societal and global renewal is not only possible; it is crucial for our planetary future. What is needed are change makers willing to lead from the emerging future; leaders who are willing to learn about and practice the journey from ego-system to eco-system economies. We have the places, living examples, frameworks and tools in hand. Now what we need is the co-creative vision and the common will to bringing it into reality.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.