Living Design . The New Story of a Living World

The C3 Living Design Project centers it’s activities around the globally emergent story of a Living World.

The New Story of Life

Understanding our context and opportunities is essential for gaining an authentic perspective on creativity, design and solutioning.

The Anthropocene

“Welcome to the Anthropocene” is a three minute video that opened the 2012 RIO Earth Summit. The video powerfully describes the destabilizing impacts of human production, consumption, and invention on the Earth’s living systems. It also states that “our creativity, energy, and industry offer hope.” In other words, human creativity and invention helped to bring us into the Anthropocene, and it will also be part of what brings us through it, and beyond it.

Anthropocene [ˈan(t)-thrə-pə-ˌsēn ]: Relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

A Very Ambitious Idea

Knowledge of the Anthropocene and the fact that humans are rapidly degenerating the Earth’s entire Biosphere brings forward an ambitious idea: We need a New Story of how we inhabit our planet and structure our societies. Do states that nearly 1/2 of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, less than $1.25 daily. Yet plenty of resources are available for everyone to have a reasonable quality of life. Knowing this brings forward another ambitious idea: We need a New Story of how we treat each other and live together on a full planet. We need a real story of inclusive equity and well-being.

These two influential ideas, a vital Anthropocene led by informed and thoughtful homo sapiens; and the idea of inclusive well-being led by an empathic, democratized global society converge into the ambitious vision defined by Living Design: The development of The New Story for a vital and living world. One that is wholistically shaped, managed, and balanced by humanity across all realms of life.

As ambitious as this concept may seem, no other desirable option or path is available at this time in history. Human activity has pushed the biosphere and society out of balance. Ecosystems around the globe are at risk of extensive damage, placing the whole of life, and human society at risk. Social systems have become increasingly unfair and stratified. The fundamental decline in economic and social equity within industrialized nations is being used to destabilize democracies around the world. Climate Change is now disrupting peoples lives, particularly those reliant on stable weather patterns such as farming, fishing, and tourism. The combined social and ecological stress of climate change and economic inequity which are driving human migration. This is being used to undermine democratic social systems that heavily lean into democracy.

Collectively maintaining and creating a vital, living world demands the thoughtful intervention of humans in physical systems, and a substantially more inclusive and fair society. There simply is no other path visible that has integrity for the whole of life on planet Earth.

This process has already started. People around the globe are actively engaged in helping ecosystems like forests, coral reefs, and prairies adapt to climate change. Urban environments are being adapted and becoming homes for biodiversity. We must also adapt our societal structures, organizations, and beliefs. Our current societal framing is no longer effective and has become the source of our problems in many instances. As stated by the IPCC in 2018 and interpreted by the Washington Post “We need a rapid and far-reaching transformation of human society at a magnitude that has simply never happened before … there is no documented historical precedent for the scale of changes required.”

The C3 Living Design Projects’ greater purpose is to be one small step in defining the New Story of Life. A story that catalyzes a transformation to a Living World based in organic ecology, wholistic poiètics, thoughtful creativity and inclusive well-being.

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