To understand how something works, we watch how it behaves–response. If its responses are consistent, we take a guess at how it behaves. This is what it does. If its behavior is not consistent, we need more information. We then test how it behaves by observing it in different circumstances–stimulus and response. If the responses are consistent with the stimulus, we take a guess at how it processes the stimulus and responds. If they are not consistent, we need more information. We look at how it works, internally, by taking it apart–stimulus and organism and response. With bodies of humans, the earth, and groups, this means cutting open the body and poking around.
In 1895 the invention of X-ray radiation revolutionized medicine. Doctors were able to see inside human bodies without cutting them open. Much safer and less intrusive. Without this dangerous invasive procedure, they were now able to observe behaviors and see how the human body worked internally.
In the mid-1900s, the invention of muography revolutionized how scientists observe the inside of large structures, such as Egyptian pyramids and volcanoes. They can now see how the large structures behave and what is happening inside, without destroying them or tearing into them.
In the mid-2010s, the invention of pactoecography revolutionized how people observe the inside of groups, their internal agreements. In addition to seeing how groups interact and behave, observed through their experiences and their outcomes, they can now use ecosynomic lenses to see the unconsciously accepted and consciously chosen agreements fields within which group interactions happen.
“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed,” said cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson.
Prolific management author Peter Drucker observed, in October 1989 in The Economist, “The trends that I have described..are not forecasts (for which I have little use and scant respect); they are, if you will, conclusions. Everything discussed here has already happened; it is only the full impacts that are still to come. I expect most readers to nod and to say, ‘Of course’. But few, I suspect, have yet asked themselves: ‘What do these futures mean for my own work and my own organisation?'”
McGill University professor Elena Bennett has found over 500 vibrant social initiatives, which her lab describes as “seeds.” “Seeds are existing initiatives that are not widespread or well-known. They can be social initiatives, new technologies, economic tools, or social-ecological projects, or organisations, movements or new ways of acting that..appear to be making a substantial contribution towards creating a future that is just, prosperous, and sustainable.”
Through the Institute for Strategic Clarity‘s fieldwork in 39 countries and survey research in 124 countries over the past decade, my colleagues and I have identified 457 highly vibrant groups. We have worked with 149 of them.
The point is that the seeds of our future are already here. People are figuring out how to live and interact in ways that are more consistent with their own values, their own deeper shared purpose, developing energy-enhancing solutions that result in much greater impact resilience. The Global Initiative to Map Ecosynomic Deviance and Impact Resilience (MEDIR), working with community leaders, academic institutions, networks, and consultancies around the globe, is (1) identifying these seeds of the future that are already here, and (2) developing agreements field mapping (pactoecographic) frameworks, lenses, and processes to understand what people all over the world are learning about making vibrant, energy-enhancing, culturally-relevant choices within their local contexts. Learning with and from people who are already figuring out parts of the “how to” can accelerate our capacity to find high impact-resilience solutions, solutions that work for everyone, everywhere in our systems, everyday. That future that we prefer is already here. The task now is to find it.