Final Post from Bioneers 2008


Mike Sommer, founder of the Mainstream Media Project (MMP): “Bringing New Voices and Views to the Airwaves” ,does not think small. He moderated a panel, “Resilience Thinking as a Social Idea”, to explore how just changing the way we look at a problem will show us it’s not actually a problem but a stimulus for more realized work-arounds and a more enlightened socety.

The physical foundation for the spiritual quality, “resilience”, thank goodness, comes already built-in to our brain. “Neuroplasticity” is our mind/brain’s natural way of repairing itself.

Panel Conversation Gist: How can we design systems … health care, education, agriculture … that can cope with CHANGE … especially nasty change?

PANELIST: Marty J. Anderies on three spiritual practices of the resilient person and social system:

  1. TRUST. Trust reduces the transaction cost.
  2. STRICT EQUALITY. No one is below me. No one is above me. No one.
  3. RESPECT. Being before action. [“We teach who we are”, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, etc.]

A system gets pushed and reacts in scripted ways and then becomes toxic; a new, resilient, unscripted response brings a “flip”, a reversal and a new, resilient system is born.

“Resilience” means “adaptive”, “learning”, “maintain functionality in the face of shock”, “learning from disturbance”, “able to hold many different configurations; not clinging to one fixed point”.

With the global climate and the global economy going off the rails – and government worldwide – running to catch up – who is ahead of the curve? Civil society. And we empower ourselves with the inner practice of “resilience”.

Civil Society = Resilience as Inner Practice” = Innovators for Social Good

For more on this topic: RESILIENCE2008 :recent global conference on resilience in Stockholm asking: “How do we apply the resilience of nature to human systems?”

[[[What are the implications of holistic thinking (“resilience”) on the systemic re-design of the educational system?]]]

Kenny Ausubel’s funny: “Whenever I am stressed I realize I’ve been consulting with my old friend, Ben. Ben D. Over.”

Naomi Klein’s Book: The Shock Doctorine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. You can order a DVD of Naomi’s 25 minute talk at Bioneers 2008 here:

Some of what she said:

Not giving you a line of bad news. Good news for a change. If you are part of a movement to change the planet and human culture then there are worse things that can happen than waking up to finding out you now own Goldman Sachs and Citibank.

Bush is the Extortionist-in-Chief. Toxic debts got moved from Wall Street to Washington. If you think government is part of the problem, not the solution, this screws with that idea. [On the other hand, if you have [the idea that the state can’t do anything to solve our problems then that idea is blown up too. That was the good news.

The bad news is the way they are rescuing the banks. Let us look at the fine print. These are bad deals and they don’t have to be. Bad things happen under cover of crisis. We are living in dog years. They have not abandoned Plan A. Its a partial-nationalization. We still have the Haliburton/Blackwater economy. They are nationalizing the debts of this partnership.

And, we can still keep government from becoming a hedge fund. Keep up the pressure. They have outsourced Washington to Wall Street. The public has all the risk and none of the control. That’s what we need to talk to our candidates about. Still.

It has to go deeper than CEO pay. What do we mean by prosperity and value? This is the opportunity right now. This is a sweet deal for the banks. Its up to us to make it a sweet deal for us by investing in infrastructure, green building, green energy, health care … [[[and education]]]. We need to put the idea of privatization on trial. Market-based solutions tell us our dreams are unaffordable.

This is a moment of possibility. Barack Obama is a centrist. So what do we do? We MOVE the Center!!

SLOW MONEY: “Follow the SLOW MONEY: Patient Capital & Local Living Economies”, Moderated by Don Shaffer of RSF Finance.

PANELIST: Woody Tasch

Ours is a quest to create an economic system based on patient money. Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money. We have formed a new NGO called Slow Money

Investors Circle, “Patient Capital for a Sustainable Future” a network of investors. We supply risk capital to “triple bottom line” companies. We are dedicated to sustainability.

[We’ve seen that, economically, we] can’t get to the bottom from top. We need to start at places and build up to markets. [We are working on a] model of what a slow money portfolio would look like. Thousands of investors investing in hundreds of small local food producers. [[[To end the strip mining of children’s minds … also invest in slow, small, patient schools?]]]

We need to not be afraid right now to design an alternative system. ~ Woody Tasch has an article, “Cultivating Growth With Slow Money”, in the November 2008 Ode Magazine

PANELIST: Michael Shuman

We have to take ourselves seriosly. The world really needs us now. The solution to all our crises is localization. Banking, food, energy [[[education]]]. Good news is we know how to do community banking – less involved in predatory crap of globals. Bad news, too small. Half our private economy is small local business and none have investments supporting them. Localization is desirable and possible with just a little tweaking of the system.

MODERATOR: Don Shaffer, RSF Social Finance

We are in the midst of a historic financial crisis. The core problem is that the financial system today is complex, opaque and anonymous and basesd on short term outcomes.
We need it to be direct transparent and personal. We need an alternative financial system for those things that can be produced and consumed locally like food. We need more money circulating locally and based on human connections rather than money circulating the globe.

[[[First, slow, patient, local food … Then, slow, patient, local money … Next, … slow, patient, local schools …]]]

… couldn’t stay for the end of the panel … had to catch plane home … end of my Bioneers 2008!