What the ‘hell’ can ‘we’ do to get to One Point Zero?

This is one BIG question, and so I see this paper as just the first of many in getting to ‘the answers’…:

This paper is about ‘Smoking’…..!

In helping us understand the challenge of moving from our One Point Six and ever increasing situation today to the desired, (I’d say Non-negotiable!) One Point Zero goal, I sense having analogy of what is entailed is useful.

I liken the problem to the days when smoking was the cool thing to do, and as someone reminded me the other day, even the TV newsreader had a puff while reading the news! Today smoking is largely banned from public areas and is essentially uncool and not fashionable. Society made a huge and truly astonishing transformation, and in a relatively short time frame. This transformation was driven at many society levels and by many interest groups, and was also opposed by many other interest groups. The transformation needed a multilevel approach that involved from the individual smoker / non-smoker actions right up until governments got involved legislating policies that finally enforced the change. It’s a whole process that takes time and needs all the components.

With smoking the goal was very simple and the vision of success clear and easily articulated. At an individual / personal level motives were varied, and like a new fashion wave moving through society there would always be those hanging on to the old fashion and those leading the change to the new fashion. Eventually smoking becomes socially unacceptable and with hindsight it becomes easy to see where each of us, whether smoker or non-smoker, fitted in the transformation process, and the huge fashion change that has been achieved.

Having lived through the whole process of dismantling apartheid in South Africa, I was witness to another huge human transformation and the same continuum of change enablers and change resisters, and how the ‘fashion wave’ moved through society. I sense the abolition of slavery and breakdown of communism were the same, and there are many other examples of radical transformation with society.

The key in all these changes is identifying the problem, then accepting it, and finally taking responsibility to do something personal about it. Eventually all of these transformations have significant impact at a personal life level. We humans don’t like doing things just because someone else tells us we have to, but rather like to run with our own visions of the change. Change we want to see, we design and for our own good.

Taking a problem through this personal vision process starts with an initially unpalatable problem then becoming a personally satisfying challenge and then in the final stage the challenge moves to becomes a life affirming  opportunity. An opportunity for the attainment of high level life meaning. I believe like smoking, slavery,  etc, this move from Problem, to Challenge to Opportunity should be staring us all right between the eyes with One Point Zero.

At a very fundamental humanity level this challenge has higher humanitarian rewards than any ever. I can see how attaining One Point Zero is linked directly to human purpose on this planet, and how we as humans fit in with Nature and its creator whoever however you believe it came to be…. We need a fashion change!

It had been my gut feel for a few years now that a monumental global fashion change is in the brew pot, and within the last year it is becoming very clear where we are on this transformation process of changing to a One Point Zero Defined Success. I find it exciting and in the context of both the tobacco smoking and apartheid experiences, I can see all the stages (Problem, Challenge, Opportunity) for me.

Driving change in business always taught me to seek the change rather than wait for it to seek you, or even worse have change forced on one, and chase you!

Maybe some of you read the book, titled ‘Crossing the Chasm’, by Geoffrey A Moore, that was popular during the tech boom era. Essentially it describes the transformation (Fashion changing) process, its various stages and how all us different humans ‘take up’ our places in the ‘fashion change’ process. In the book, the focus is on new technology and the fashion change it brings. I found it fascinating as I could relate to all the times I have been through transformations and how I could have made the whole ‘fashion change’ more enjoyable and life affirming for me. It’s all about how we deal with our world changing around us, and how we respond: The denial of the need for ‘The Fashion Change’, our fears, the uncertainty of the unknown, rising to the challenge, embracing the change, making it a source of personal edge, etc, etc…

In so many ways I see the One Point Zero Challenge as a huge, probably the largest, and most challenging ever ‘Chasm Crossing’. A huge, virtual Grand Canyon, with Western Society, and its Good Life, ‘consume more and more’ on the one side, and Nature and a less than One Point Zero world on the other. Between the two lies an ever widening, ever deepening canyon.

There are many individuals, communities and even a few nations who do already ‘live’ in ‘new fashion bliss’ on the Nature side of The Chasm.  For many of them this isn’t a new fashion, it’s been their ‘fashion’ for generations.

In the weeks before The Boundary Waters trip fate brought me into contact with a few Amish people, and I had in depth discussions about their lives and values. I concluded that they certainly are living sub One Point Zero and will stay that way as they don’t have a ‘more and more’ way of life. My past 18 months in New Zealand brought me into contact with quite a few communities living sub One Point Zero lives and I’m hoping to visit a community in Portland, Oregon, who would seem to live on Nature’s side of The Chasm. This is not to say I suggest we all become Amish people, in fact we couldn’t even if we wanted to, but I am merely pointing out that there are lots of community pockets that live on Nature’s side of the canyon, but within western society.  Most of us, and western society as a whole system, are firmly anchored on the other side of The Chasm, but I am beginning to understand that most don’t see the Chasm or their unacceptable place on the non-negotiable, wrong side of The Chasm.

From my discussions with Imi, I sense most of us are largely at the ‘Meeting The Problem for the first time’ stage. We maybe for the first time have come around the corner and now see this mirage of a canyon, and are busy trying to understand it, while reeling with the shock of the realisation that it isn’t a mirage but real!

There are also many ‘down in the canyon’ busy with their crossing having chosen to go it alone, or in a small group. They are explorers, who like dealing with the unknowns, the lack of a guide, no clear map.  GPS is of no use, they are doggedly finding their own way, taking on the challenge of crossing The Chasm for their own life enhancing reasons.

In trying to answer the question of ‘How the hell we get to One  Point Zero, I concluded that rather than focus on the specifics, out lining the challenge in terms of the tobacco fashion change and this Chasm crossing is maybe more useful than highlighting the specifics.

I sense that talking about a fashion change in a One Point Zero global context maybe be seen as me dreaming, deluded, or misunderstanding what ‘we’ are up against?  I often have people telling me that the fashion will never change, and there is no problem so why should I even expect change?   The hope that technology will solve The Problem is a huge barrier to people accepting the Problem, and in another paper I’ll outline the major barriers to society voluntarily starting The Chasm Crossing.

From my one month interactions with people in the USA, and then in discussions with Imi, it has become clear that most people are not at the critical ‘Problem Acceptance’ step yet. I realised that I have wrongly assumed that people would immediately identify with ‘The Facts’ and what our current ‘One point Six and ever increasing’ means, and why One Point Zero is a truly a Non-negotiable condition for our individual and collective Human success.

I thought people would immediately ‘Accept The Problem’, see the huge Chasm, and then be asking themselves how they will go about crossing it. I thought in directing people to The Global Footprint Network website and pointing to many books on the subject of Ecological Footprints, I’d be helping people help themselves to really understand what One Point Zero means, and where their personal lifestyle come out on the One Point Zero to Thirty Point Zero lifestyle continuum?

Imi pointed out that I’m not making it clear what ‘people’ should specifically do to make an impact on getting to One Point Zero?:

Well like the smoking problem, we need all sorts of people working at all sorts of levels with all sorts of communities to get the fashion moving. We need every one to become a new fashion change agent, and to use their influence in the best way they can.

For all I know, you may already be on Nature’s side of The Chasm? (Maybe you are a converted non-smoker and enjoying clean air and healthy lifestyle far away from your ‘old mates’ still smoking on ‘that soon to be out of fashion side! Maybe you never were a smoker and are welcoming the not so confident early non-smokers into the non-smoking community. Maybe you are a teacher who teaches people the bad effects of smoking? Maybe you are a cigarette retailer who is busy deciding not to stock cigarettes anymore? Maybe you are the activist who just goes about making smokers feel unsociable, and helping them change? Maybe you are the government / community / work place policy maker and are just debating whether you will introduce anti-smoking laws.

In summary:  I hope you see from the picture above that we all need to first to understand ‘The Problem’ and then become personally familiar with ‘It’: Our role / contribution to it, before we can decide what role we will play in the ‘Fashion change’. This ‘Acceptance of the Problem’ requires one to personally research The Facts and move through the ‘Meeting the Problem’ stage. The leaders of change enjoy this process, and are hungry for the information as they know it will help them move to the Challenge and then finally the Opportunity phases. They know that being in front of the fashion wave is the best place to be…

Visions and Problems, and knowing the Challenge of The Chasm

Having been driven by a powerful vision over the past twelve years, I am a big believer in Visions and making ‘The Vision’ a reality. A vision starts with a strong desire to move away from one’s ‘current place’. The implication is that there is something better in the future, and pointing to ‘a problem’ between the ‘today state’ and the ‘better future state’.

A vision takes a problem situation and makes it into a very desirable ‘fashion’ challenge. If it is effective, the new fashion vision connects with peoples’ inner desire and needs. We find and inner energy and passion to achieve something significant and worthwhile for ourselves and this becomes our unstoppable driving force. In the case of a broader human vision, where others are also involved each of the individuals feels an added reward through their positive contribution to a larger team’s fashion vision. Eventually a new Crowd is formed, and ‘everybody’ can’t imagine why ‘we’ didn’t make the change earlier!

What better Team Vision can there be on this planet that to be part of Natures team as a fully united humanity. As we destroy more and more of the planet and get further away from One Point Zero, our humanity belonging with the planet declines. Not only declines, but as we have become, we are no fighting against Nature and the planet. We need this spiritual belonging more than ever before in the history of humanity. Our souls will rebel more and more, and holistic happiness will become even more elusive than it is today.

This is the first of many papers that will see to help answer the question:

What the ‘hell’ can ‘we’ do to get to One Point Zero?