A Plan to Change Plans
Nature’s path for thriving new lives starts with a long burst of extractive growth, but then changes to become self-healing. Our economic growth started that way all growth processes do, but then we overdid it, a fatal pattern advanced human economies since the late Bronze Age, that has now become a mortal threat to us. So we did PART 1, and have now avoided PART 2 of the natural self-healing process till there may be close to no chance to fit it in before our societies collapse as the late Bronze Age and Roman ones did. We urgently need that stage of repurposing the growth resources to maturing and healing our new way of life to make it fit for living in peace and in harmony with our unfamiliar new environment.
Linked below is a talk given to the Bioregional Regeneration Summit by Jessie Henshaw on her natural systems design science on the opportunities for growth system transformation… something a little like birth actually… Self-healing growth systems reach their lasting climaxes by responding to their resources first used to multiply their scale to instead be used for healing what grew into its new world. As new lives, they change from growing to caring for themselves and learning about surviving the their new world and making their new place in it .
Our global economy’s problem is that we imagined exponential growth, we knew the math, could be perpetual. We didn’t know the experience would slap us with so many existential catastrophes all at once. That appears to be the big surprise the economies that discovered how to sustain growth before ours also faced, and failed to respond to. Now most of our ‘sustainability efforts’ are for delaying the change to self-healing growth, causing ever growing harm and waste of resources we’d use for much better purposes once we study how narture’s growth systems, as well as many that we more personally manage, take her and our systems to a peak of perfection in design, vitality, and longevity; caring for each other and our world, to enjoy what nature prepared for us, despite our earlier and continuing missteps….
In nature… the MIDPOINT TURN at the end of growth toward real life very often works quite smoothly, with the new life being of ONE DESIGN and fabric, having grown from A WHOLE INSPIRATION of some kind and remaining whole as it grows. As a result, it is also able to make a whole respond with its internal connections to signals from the environment of when and how to turn.
We follow the very same plan with whatever we create and care for to last. A – Start something, then B – make it work. Humanity has not yet turned to making the world work, our next big job, while carrying on with our lives too.
The most normally successful rule of new system growth is “create things to care for,” whether by nature or people. What gets it going is some small way of accessing energy and resources for accessing more. It’s an emergent “expanding spiral” process that, for people, we’d often call an “in-spir-ation” or, in nature, a “germ-in-ation”. Many other names, like “startup,” refer to it too.
As what is growing is a system organized to build with captured resources, it is more of a “find & connect” process than a “cause and effect” process. Of course, there are cascades of cause and effect, but they’re mostly organizational breakdown processes (entropic), not organizational build-up processes (syntropic). Mainly studying cause and effect ideas seems to be why physics did not find how to do advanced growth studies, despite the name first meaning “the productivity of nature” in Greek and then changing in use.
As a practical matter, one can often observe the little burst of energy with which growth starts or see some remnant of it. That aspect is fairly universal, whether for how new relationships start or projects at work. The same kind of inspired startup begins the work on a home, a new community change, organizations, and even making dinner and gardening. The success comes from following the burst of creation with a more careful process of coordinated care for the new design and fitting it, at its new scale, to its new world.