Where Have I Been, Whereto Am I Heading?

It has been some time since I’ve been posting here.  I explain this in a blogpost to my friends of Howard Rheingold’s Youniversity Alumni Community. Happy to share it also publicly  here

Since almost 14 years I’ve been tracking the weak and not so weak signals that indicate the deep changes happening in society. I’ve  systematically been searching and studying those ideas, people and initiatives at the edge of all domains of life. My emphasis being primarily on what is not listened and responded to,  who is experiencing passive or active resistance, what is being sidelined, who is sometimes aggressively opposed. Indeed my idea is that when new ideas hurt,  there is a reason, and hence, finding out shows the direction where change is happening.
My aim is trying to understand how to re-align Humans with their deep nature and with nature. It  lead me to changing myself . This in turn allows me to help others change and develop a higher order of consciousness.

Today my work concentrates on three, complementary and interwoven areas:
1. Evolving business towards the Future: Combining new insights and experiences with past experiences in business leadership to help companies remain resilient in an unpredictable, uncertain and possibly severe disruptive future. Evolving business models, cooperation and organization forms to contribute positively, without harm, to people, society, nature and the World at large.
2. Harness technology and governance to align Human societies with Nature again:  I partnered with researchers and practitioners working at the edge of the social sciences and technology to take on the challenge of re-engineering our cities so as to make them a Force for Good for their hinterland. The Engineering challenge is pale compared to the governance challenge. And therein precisely lies another topic: Harnessing Technology to extending our deep Human Nature.

3. A few months ago I engaged in the Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives‘s challenge to integrate economy with broader societal and ecological needs, known as the Blue Economy: it happenend when my intimate friend for over 35 year, Gunter Pauli, visited me. He had decided to upscale his ZERI (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives) initiatives and its offspring “Blue Economy“. He explained me that his goal was now to provide these initiatives with a platform of implementation in order to accelerate the emergence of this new economy. He has asked me to join him and others in this effort. I’ve accepted with pride and determination, and I will concentrate mainly on “Scanning, Screening and Implementing” “Blue Economy Projects” projects in Europe, as explained in Case 100

These three challenges all relate to overcoming Machiavelli’s predicament, as beautifully expressed in this warning to his Prince:
“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”

My work heavily relies on settting up cooperative practices between people whilst fully acknowledging their distinct and radically opposed world views. This stems from new social theory, briefly  documented here.  This theory clarifies why even the best well-intentioned efforts to resolve the global and other interwoven systemic and complex problems so often fail spectacularly? It offers a way to avoid how these failures can best be avoided. The trick: work with everyone, neglect nobody, show that solutions can be found where everyone can get more of what he wants, and less of what he doesn’t want. Those solutions are called “clumsy”

In social science also, new paradigms and new thinking are showing the way. Again Einstein’s ideas are confirmed:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and again, expecting different results” and

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Finally, in this other blogpost I  elaborate on how this new thinking is inextricably linked to thinking differently about cooperation, education and “mind amplification”.


About charlesvanderhaegen

I am a grandfather of an immensely inspiring family, thanks to the most incredible wife. To satisfy my family's needs, I was for 30 years business entrepreneur, roller coasting between success and failure. 17 years ago I was forced to stop and reflect. I dug into theory and discovered the World out there, that my involvement in Business had kept hidden to me. I feared that I will not escape remaining amidst my trans-disciplinary quest forever, bouncing back and forth from action to theory, always puzzled by Europe's apparent incapacity to free itself from its Institutional/Technological Lock-ins. My horizon opened up when Gunter Pauly, my intimate friend of 35 years, asked me to join him and take charge ZERI's development in Europe. I am now fully engaged alongside Gunter Pauli in the http://www.zeri.org and the @myblueeconomy Networks as CEO of ZERI.EU vzw (Non for Profit association)
This entry was posted in My thoughts and recent discoveries. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Where Have I Been, Whereto Am I Heading?

  1. Charles, I enjoyed this, a lot. We really should have a good chat, one day, and compare notes.

  2. Paola says:

    Dear Charlie,
    It is always good to read all the wonderful ideas that come from your determination to make this world a better place for everyone. My best wishes to you and your family, Paola

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