Monthly archive - September 2015

We The People for The Global Goals: Bill Gates and Stars from Around the World are Turning a Worldwide Urge into a Global Plan

A new plan for people and planet has just launched – the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Tell everyone! add your very own intro to this star-stu…

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Imagine the world a 30 years from now and consider the following scenario for the economy:

It’s a bright-green restorative economy that purifies the air we breathe; it has eliminated the concept of waste and toxic byproduct; extreme poverty has been eradicated from the planet; the economy is powered by 100% renewable, abundant energy and is saving the decarbonized world trillions in lower costs; it is a world of freer and truer markets with signals that generate positive incentives aligned with the long-term greater good (thus, it has virtually eliminated “perverse incentives”); the economy’s industry-leading stars are celebrated as creators of sustainable value where the word “sustainability-as-less-bad” has been replaced with the “sustainability-as-flourishing” net positive; what we see when we look around are resilient, bright green, and walkable cities, re-generative agricultural practices, and astonishing exponential technologies for advancing health and collaborative connections; and all of this is built on an economy of  institutions that are widely trusted as positive institutions—workplaces that elevate, magnify, and refract our highest human strengths (wisdom, courage, humanity, compassion, inspiration, collaborative creativity, freedom, hope, joy, learning, integrity, love and meaning) into the world. We’ve built the bridge from an unsustainable industrial age to a future that embraces the idea of full-sprectrum flourishing. We have re-designed the entire material basis of our civilization—successfully.

This, in a nutshell, was the essence of the 2050 and beyond vision of the desired future of an inclusive economy where people thrive, businesses win, and nature flourishes as articulated by executives, researchers, and MBA students coming together at an international meeting we facilitated, at the First Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, in 2006.  Moreover we’ve discovered that this vision is not isolated, as we have repeated the exercise with thousands of executives and communities, from the UN Global Compact to the Business Alliance for the Future.  Nor is it utopian, as it reflects an unprecedented worldwide urge for positive change, an increasingly shared vision, uncoordinated but blooming, with dazzling examples emerging everywhere. Paul Hawken describes it all as a “blessed unrest”—millions of people and organizations spontaneously bringing about what may one day be recognized as the most profound transformation of human society.

This September 2015 this vision, this urge, has now taken form as a plan for the people and planet. It’s the result of much deliberation, analysis, and dialogue–it’s as universal as it gets, and it speaks to partnership and the collaborative advantage. The speakers here span business (Bill Gates) to stars of all kinds.

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This 16th century French castle is the temporary home to 100 makers trying to save the planet

“We need to move from protest to prototype,” said Daniel Kruse of Open State. “We were looking at all these climate summits, and people just talk and talk. So we thought we would try a different strategy by working with makers, with people who do stuff instead of just talking about stuff.”

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This is a community of entrepreneur—out to change world history. The goal of the Proof of Concept 21 innovation camp, or POC21, is to “prototype the fossil free, zero waste society.” The organizers have selected 12 teams who will live at the Château de Millemont and work together to develop their projects, which range from low-cost wind turbines to a shower that recycles its own water.

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Mirror Flourishing and the Design of Positive Institutions

Mirror Flourishing: Appreciative Inquiry and the Designing of Positive Institutions – David Cooperrider, PhD.

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It was a real honor for me to keynote day-two of the World Conference in Positive Psychology. With lot of stories from the field I shared my big hope for the world, and shared the power of questions in leadership–how we become what we study and how we live in worlds our questions create. Here is the link to the talk:

I especially loved sharing stories–stories of our work and research with companies such as Apple, Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, Google, Tesla, the UN and nonprofits such as the URI. And I shared about the Ai tools for the discovery and design of positive institutions. Building on my next book with great colleague Lindsey Godwin, I explored the idea positive institutions:

“Positive institutions are organizations and structured patterns in culture or society that serve to elevate and develop our highest human strengths, combine and magnify those strengths, and refract our highest strengths outward in world benefiting ways leading, ultimately, to a world of full-spectrum flourishing.”

But be forewarned. My assignment was to talk for an entire hour! So if you want only the conclusions, simply fast-forward to the the last couple of minutes which focuses on our latest work called Business as an Agent of World Benefit.

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