We live in a predominantly caterpillar-like culture where our highest collective purpose seems to be to consume whatever is in front of us and to grow at all costs. This caterpillar-like culture has brought us to a point where we are at risk of slipping into an irreversible death spiral.

What if our species is simply at the caterpillar stage of its development?

What if our myriad global crises are a crying out for a society-wide metamorphosis?

We need to make a societal shift that is as dramatic as the metamorphosis of the Monarch caterpillar to the Monarch butterfly. We’re convinced that “region” is the appropriate unit of design and metamorphosis is the perfect metaphor. Our collective caterpillar-like commitment to growth and consumption is not sustainable.

The Monarch caterpillar is designed to transform itself into a chrysalis and then to undergo an even more dramatic transformation into the colorful Monarch butterfly. Unlike the caterpillar, the butterfly doesn’t consume its habitat. It feeds on the nectar of flowers, and in the process supports their cross-pollination. The butterfly is an extraordinary elegant being, not only touching the earth lightly, but also making a net positive contribution to the well being of the life it interacts with.

Our caterpillar-like socio-economic systems have produced dramatic “progress/growth,” especially in the last 100 years, and have made an enormous contribution to the evolution of our species. However, we’re now waking up to the fact that these systems are not sustainable – and at times downright toxic. We’re learning that “consumption” is a false god and all growth is not healthy. Unfortunately, unlike the caterpillar, our socio-economic systems haven’t been designed to transform themselves. Big omission!

By regional metamorphosis, we mean the transformation of all those systems (social, economic, physical—natural and built) that are eroding or limiting the well-being of life in the region and beyond. By transformation we mean the healing and “wholing” processes needed to reverse the constraining or adverse effects of those systems. This calls for our systems to develop their capacity to multiply their net contribution to the well-being of all of life they affect.

Regional metamorphosis calls for an extreme makeover of how we traditionally approach the work of “development” — for both the systems, and for the individuals who participate in those systems.

What if our next great evolutionary shift is to social systems that have the consciousness, caring, commitment and capacity to be self-evolving in a way that best supports all of life?

What if we co-created a regional metamorphosis movement designed to free us from the extraordinary true costs of today’s social system designs — to eliminate the waste implicit in today’s flawed designs, and to unleash the co-creative energies that are yearning for expression at this crucial moment in our journey together?

What if our “butterfly” destiny is to co-create a Blue Star Future?


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