Collectively, we face the biggest challenges in human history. This website is for people, everywhere, who want to create a happier, fairer, more peaceful world and prevent environmental and ecological catastrophe. It is for you if you want to make sense of the situation, find solutions and decide how you want to engage in bringing about the transformation that is needed. There is widespread anger and a collapse of confidence in current politics, neoliberal economics and austerity, and the values underlying our present way of life in Western societies, especially amongst younger people.
Climate change is affecting people everywhere, particularly in poor countries. We face wholesale destruction of the ecological system on which all life depends. We are consuming 30% more than Mother Earth can sustain and our consumption is steadily growing. Many people now realise we need to learn to live lightly on the Earth. Yet governments and global institutions are obsessed with economic growth as measured by GDP instead of wellbeing. We have been robbed by the financial crisis and its consequences. Despite many initiatives, economic injustice, extreme poverty and violence persist. There is growing awareness that globalisation, in its present form, is not working and is unsustainable.
As I write, the 21st annual session of the International Climate Change Conference, is to be held in Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015. It is 23 years since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997. It is now believed that much more drastic cuts in carbon emissions than those planned are needed if the Paris climate talks are to achieve the goal of keeping warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. Now there is growing support for a more ambitious 1.5°C target. We need to renew our efforts and campaign even more strongly for binding decisions to prevent climate disaster.
The year 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. There are growing calls for radical reform of outdated democratic institutions, a fair voting system, reform of top-down political parties, and a different way of doing politics that gives power to citizens. In the UK we have a Tory government in power with 51% of the seats yet only 37% of the votes (24% of those eligible to vote). 63% chose other parties. 35% of those eligible did not vote. 18% are not registered to vote. Clearly it has no mandate. Many people are now outraged. Women make up 52% of Britain’s population, yet only 29% of MPs are female. Electoral reform has been obstructed for far too long. Furthermore, democracy is undermined by governments being in the pockets of transnational banks and corporations. And 97% of the money in the economy today is created by banks, whilst just 3% is created by government. We need to put our house in order and put aside party political interests if the confidence of citizens is to be re-gained.
Over recent decades we have learned that war rarely works. The conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have resulted in wholesale destruction, thousands of civilian deaths and injuries with horrific effects on children. Millions have been displaced within or outside their countries. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that the total number of people forcibly displaced by war, conflict and persecution had reached a record 59.5 million at the end of 2014. The UN report, World at War, June 2015 said that forced displacement worldwide has reached unprecedented levels, with a record rise of 8.3 million more displaced people since 2013. Europe faces huge numbers of migrants seeking peace and security.
The good news is that this crisis is an opportunity. The combined effect of the challenges we face can seem overwhelming, but the depth of the crisis could signal a turning point. The challenges are enormous, but the opportunities are greater. Change springs out of vision and hope. When great shifts come, they come fast; the old order collapses quickly. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. There is the potential to create a new world with happier, more fulfilling lives for everyone. We’ll all be more at ease in such a society.
A call for greatness. The missing element today is the great leadership that emerged at a critical time during and after World War Two. Almost certainly this quality of leadership will only emerge when enough people demand it. A major obstacle is the disempowerment of ordinary people. We need greatness at every level of society. We cannot depend on political and corporate leaders to do the right thing, or the media not to mis-inform or lie. This is the challenge for so-called ordinary people. As Polly Higgins says, we have to “dare to be great”. As people become better informed and aware, their values and consciousness change. They realise we are all one. Systemic change emerges when many people do what most matters to them.
This website is for anyone who wants to be part of a huge transformation for the better. The purpose is to provide you with the inspiration and resources to do this.
- a radical analysis of the current unjust global economic system - why it’s unsustainable
- what needs to be done to transform the system
- the transformative leadership needed in the 21st Century
- how to facilitate and co-create change, empower and bring out everyone's leadership
- most important of all, what you and I can do.
I write from a spiritual and holistic perspective. Transformation requires leaders who engage the whole system in creating the future. You will find fresh ideas and proposals, articles, books, events and links to other like-minded people who are working for change.
CREATING BETTER WORKPLACES
This website also offers writings for people who want to create better workplaces. I began writing about creating better workplaces in 1980. With colleagues, I published New Approaches to Management Development (now only available secondhand). This was followed by articles on what I called “Real time management development”, some of which can be found at Emerald Insight www.emeraldinsight.com
We wanted to create a different way of working with leaders and managers that was not didactic – i.e. not classroom style. The subject was their business, their work, their leadership and personal or inner development. We practised ways of facilitating change by involving people, bringing out their collective intelligence and creativity, working as teams on the issues and strategies of their organisation. The first book was followed by Making a Difference-Strategies and Tools for Transforming your Organisation and Global Forces-A Guide for Enlightened Leaders and many more articles. The Empowerment Model or Strategic Leadership Model presented in these two books form a basis for this work. For me, writing was a way of reflecting and honestly sharing with others what we learned. Here is an example:
Business-led Management Development (PDF)>>
I hope you will find my website inspiring and useful. I welcome your feedback.