The Agreements

This innate dream for our own individual and social prosperity drives us to create our world through our agreements – the holonologue – the creation of our reality, as an individual and social being (holon), through our word (logos).[1] In this creation, we each choose, for ourselves, to see ourselves as creative beings and to take on the continuous development and contribution of our gifts. For others, we choose to support each other in stepping into the fullest of our gifts. For the collective, we choose to acknowledge that it is in the interweaving of these gifts that we see collectively benefit most.

We choose to make these agreements, for the expression of greater vibrancy in our relationships. In recognizing the power of these agreements in guiding our interactions, we witness each other’s realization of our deeper potential.

To acknowledge this act of witnessing, I choose to accept, step into, and contribute from my creative self, my greatest gifts, as deeply as I can see them now. I choose to accept and support you stepping into and contributing of the best you can be, as you request it of I believe our collective is healthiest when you and I each contribute from our best. I choose to increase my awareness of how I, you, and we benefit when we are healthy as a collective. It is these choices that lead to realizing the sustainable relationships that realize sustainable value for our collective.

These choices are agreements that we make with ourselves and with others.[2] These agreements are founded in ecosynomic principles of collaboration.[3] To contrast ecosynomic-based agreements with previous agreements, we highlight the current economic-based agreements and the rules-based agreements that preceded them.

In the current economic worldview, the agreements that influence our interactions are negotiated through contracts with each other. Within these interactions, I agree to do my best. I learn from practice, study, and reflection and put that into my work. To be fair, I believe that you also need to do your best, bringing the skills and capacities you have developed. I contribute from what I know and can do. Likewise, I support you in contributing what you know and can do. For the consequences of our contract to benefit us, our collective success depends on every one contributing their part. Our success is a function of how well we perform.[4]

The current economic worldview was, in great part, a response to the nomic worldview, where we were given the rules that decided how we interacted. From that perspective, I work hard and give from what I have, and in exchange for that I will be given what I need to do my work. Since we each need to do our part, I support you in working hard, and you need to give of your best, according to what you have been given. You need to meet your obligations. If we each take on a part, then there can be enough for all of us.

These three sets of agreements are actual agreements that are living within a small company in the USA today. The nomic-based agreements are the agreements, the rules, as captured in the company’s official employee handbook. The economic-based agreements are the spoken agreements everyone uses in the day-to-day life of the company. The ecosynomic-based agreements are the unspoken agreements that live deep within the collective intention that drives how people actually make important decisions within the company. One worker there shared, “while we have written down a very basic, minimalist understanding, we work at another level, and hold ourselves responsible to an even deeper level of agreement.” This company is experimenting with offering both the economic and ecosynomic agreements in its new employee handbook, as an invitation, not a requirement, to a higher level of commitment.

These economic-based agreements influence the structures, policies, and rules that influence human interactions. They are written into our laws, governance and organizing structures, procedures, policies, and even our deep beliefs, in our businesses, communities, governments, churches, civil society organizations, our families, and even our friendships – what have you done for me lately? Nonetheless, these accepted economos-based agreements do not comprehensively describe the agreements that guide human interactions.

[1] Prosperity comes from classical Latin pro speritas for favorable state or outcome, success. See (“prosperity, n.1” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 4 Apr. 2000 .) Agreement comes from the old French agrément for pleasing, defined as an arrangement between two or more persons as to a course of action; a mutual understanding; a covenant; concord; harmony. See (“agreement, n.4” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 4 Apr. 2000 .)

[2] The underlying structure of agreements brings out the inner and outer experience of the individual and collective. While these distinctions are not made explicit in these agreements, they guide the descriptive exploration of the agreements.

[3] Ecosynomics is the social science of the agreements that guide human interaction. The roots of ecosynomics are eco (current usage is “relationship,” historically it was “household”) syn (together) nomos (rules): the rules of relationship together or the rules of collaboration.

[4] Economics is the social science of the allocation of scarce resources (Samuelson & Nordhaus, 1995). The roots of economics are eco (relationship) nomos (rules): the rules of relationship. The special cases of economics (capitalism, socialism, communism) determine what the rules of relationship serve, such as the self, another, or the whole. Nomos is ancient Greek for the law; the principles governing human conduct, esp. as defined by culture or custom. See (“nomos, n” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 4 Apr. 2000 .)