Blue Star Silicon Valley
A Breakthrough In Solving ‘Impossible’ Regional Challenges
Silicon Valley led the way in revolutionizing technology. As a result, our powers in the realm of ‘things physical’ have reached a point that would be considered miracles not too many decades ago. The Digital Age has been a giant step forward for humanity — a dazzling evolutionary breakthrough.
Life on our planet is sorely in need of another breakthrough, this time in the realm of social architecture. Our human systems – commerce, finance, education, healthcare, government, media, etc. – are suffering the consequences of archaic and fundamentally flawed social design. The three major design flaws are:
These design flaws are so pervasive, commonplace and longstanding that they are as water to fish — invisible. Yet essentially all of the local and global crises afflicting life on our planet – poverty, hunger, unemployment, terrorism, environmental degradation, endless wars, etc. – are a result of these flaws.
Blue Star Silicon Valley (BSSV) is a regional initiative designed to address critical socio-economic, governance and environmental challenges in the Silicon Valley region with a unique developmental approach that supports diverse leaders and human systems in the region in transforming the causes — in shifting the systemic and cultural patterns at the root of our many crises and ills — in forging a path to a thriving future for all life in the region and beyond.
There are thousands of committed ‘for-social-good’ initiatives and ventures around the world. Most of them are issue-centric. While drawing on the rich experience of many of these initiatives, BSSV is unique in a number of important ways:
The main purpose of this prospectus is to attract those leaders, entrepreneurs and stewards for the future willing to invest their various forms of capital (material, intellectual, social, cultural, spiritual, experiential and financial) in ways that help flesh out, enliven and support this audacious venture.
Now Is The Time. Now is THE Moment.
We’re at an unprecedented choice point on our evolutionary journey. We did not have this choice 20 years ago. We have this choice today.
We can choose ‘Business As Usual’, our default choice, and risk facing the mother of all crises — a drastic and potentially irreversible catastrophe for life on our planet. ‘Business as Usual’ is our painfully familiar story of separation — from self, each other and nature; of our consumption-and-growth obsession and mechanistic thinking; of narrow and myopic definitions of success; of control over people and nature. The diminishing resilience of our global life support systems and the increasing instability of many of our human systems suggest we’re already on a slippery slope. ‘Business As Usual’ is what got us here. The slope is getting more slippery and steeper every day. Incrementally improving ‘business as usual’ will merely delay the global disaster implicit in our current trajectory.
We can make a distinctly different choice. We can choose a future where we free ourselves from our man-made constraints, where we wake up to who we are and who we can be — our full potential as humans. It is a future where ‘conscious-living-systems thinking’ replaces mechanistic thinking. It is a future where we redefine ‘success’ in terms of our ‘net contribution to the wellbeing of all life’ and grow full co-creative partnership with the rest of nature. It is a future where everyone has fulfilling work and opportunities to go “Full Maslow.” It is a future where all human systems have the capacity to consciously self-evolve in ways that maximize their contribution to the wellbeing of all life they touch, for all time.
We call it a “Blue Star Future”. We are convinced that it is possible — but only if we choose it. ‘Blue Star Future’ is not just a remote vision of what might be possible if we got our act together. It is a wake up call – HERE and NOW. It is a harsh reminder that continuing with Business As Usual is an embarrassingly small, unsatisfying and wasteful choice. It is an exciting reminder that we can choose to embark on a purposeful action-learning journey together where we actualize our true greatness and our full potential as powerful co-creators and wise stewards of all life on our planet.
So NOW is the time to choose.
’Yesterday’ it wasn’t possible.
‘Tomorrow’ may be too late.
NOW is the time.
Many say that the crises and messes we face today are systemic. This is true. Our human systems — organizations, institutions, commerce, media, economic, political, education, etc. — shape our societal patterns of thinking, living, working, developing, consuming, governing and decision-making. Dysfunctional human systems create and reinforce dysfunctional social patterns. These dysfunctional patterns, in turn, produce unintended consequences that make up our myriad local and global crises.
We want them fixed. So we ‘declare war’ on poverty, on drugs, on terrorism. We invest in quick patches. We problem solve. We ignore the root systemic causes and play the blame game. We try to solve our messes with the same thinking that created them in the first place — and frequently end up creating new messes.
Tom Atlee provides an elegant summary of our challenge:
The only way to change this habitual unconscious co-creation of messes, destruction, suffering, apathy, insanity and catastrophe, is to change the human systems that create them — or, more accurately, change the human systems that cause us to co-create these problems over and over and over again.
It is extremely likely that, despite how things seem, we have more resources, time, and space to make these vital changes now than we will have in the future. System changing action today will make more difference, and come with less cost, than similar efforts in the future.
It is time to shift our attention, our activism, our philanthropy, our citizenship, and our transformational agentry from fixing up symptoms — however painful and upsetting they may be — to transforming the causes. That shift can bring about the world we all long for.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them. A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” – Einstein
Let’s be clear. We are not referring to incremental change. Shifting from Business As Usual to a Blue Star Future trajectory for any human system is akin to a metamorphosis from a caterpillar into a butterfly. It is deep. It is fundamental. It is also magical. Practically, it means that the system’s stories, structures and patterns undergo a deep, conscious transformation.
How do we begin such transformation? What is most essential?
As Einstein points out, our collective thinking is a good place to start. By “thinking” we broadly mean our beliefs, attitudes, values, visions, inner and outer conversations and even our language. We are well acquainted with our Business-As-Usual thinking and its adverse ripple effects. What would be a more life-giving alternative — a true game-changer with the potential to create an irreversible shift in the social architecture of our systems and the outcomes we see? We are in urgent need of a new thinking that —
We call this new thinking ‘Generative Thinking.’
The Broad Strategy
Our human systems are myriad. They’re incredibly entangled. They are stuck in ‘business as usual.’ And they have no capacity to reinvent themselves.
Given this conundrum, most reasonable people would say that setting out to transform our human systems is ‘Mission Impossible.’ We would agree. We cannot imagine an outside-in, push-style strategy that would morph our collective ‘systemic caterpillar’ into a ‘systemic butterfly.’
What if there was a different approach — a more organic, distributed ‘pull-strategy’ that is effective, scalable, self-managing, self-improving, highly viral and self-evolving? In other words —
What if we developed and demonstrated a pragmatic approach designed to support any human system in developing its capacity to consciously self-evolve from Business As Usual to Generative Thinking, from caterpillar-like to its unique Blue Star Future?
What if this approach was designed to be adaptable, scalable, self-improving and self-evolving to fit an increasing variety and complexity of different human systems?
What if the strategy was designed to be truly viral — at first engaging those innovators and early adopters who are eager and ready to lead the paradigm shift in their systems — and continued to spread and grow organically (and exponentially) from that point forward?
At GlobalGEA we believe that we’ve made good progress in tackling these what ifs and developing the essential puzzle pieces of the metamorphosis strategy and approach referenced above.
We are ready for action. We envision bootstrapping a regional metamorphosis venture — an ‘infinite game’ — that engages and supports an ever-growing number of the region’s human systems (organizations, institutions, etc.) in the action-learning journey of growing their capacity to consciously self-evolve — to embrace and master Generative Thinking — to maximize their contribution to the wellbeing of all life they serve.
And, we believe that Silicon Valley is the perfect place to pioneer this audacious venture we have tentatively dubbed ‘Blue Star Silicon Valley.’
Silicon Valley Did It Before. It Can Do It Again.
Humanity’s evolution through the great ages of humanity — Agrarian, Industrial and Digital — has always been led by entrepreneurs, players with the vision and courage to venture forth and pioneer new capacities to improve the wellbeing of people. Our evolution into the next great age — the Age of Conscious Evolution — will also be led by a similar bold, courageous kind of entrepreneurial spirit.
The last three great ages of humanity have been thing-centric, e.g., plows, engines and electronic computers. The next great age, if we so choose, will feature social forms consciously designed to serve all life, for all time. The ‘next big thing’ will not be a thing. Rather, it will be an approach to design that is life-centric. We call it Generative Design.
The Digital Age was spawned in and continues to be nurtured by Silicon Valley. This unique region serves as a ‘Mother Node’ for an ever-growing web of ‘silicon valleys’ throughout our planet.
We envision Silicon Valley expanding its capacity for innovation from an emphasis on technology to a full embrace of all domains of design essential to wholeness. The Age of Conscious Evolution will quickly gain traction as we collectively learn to master Generative Design, especially as applied to our social forms — organizations, cities and regions.
We envision the following initial milestones in the bootstrapping and unfolding of the ‘Blue Star Silicon Valley’ venture:
Phase I: Shaping The Story
We see Blue Star Silicon Valley as a rapidly evolving, ever-expanding multi-year action-learning journey engaging an exponentially increasing number of the region’s human systems. Given the magnitude, sophistication and complexity of this transformational effort, gaining traction in the early stages will require stewardship and support of well established, highly respected Silicon Valley leaders, organizations and institutions. Attracting and beginning to grow generative alliances with these individuals and organizations is the highest priority in this beginning phase.
To accomplish this, it is critical to create a powerful ‘strange attractor’ – a rich and compelling Story, the story of how Silicon Valley pioneered the Next Great Age of Humanity. It is a living, growing and evolving story — an infinite game of its own right — that more and more ‘players’ want to live into and be part of. It is a story that evokes genius, awakens highest purpose and inspires commitment.
To create and evolve this story, GlobalGEA will partner with a world-class transmedia team. Together we would engage Silicon Valley’s most visionary leaders, entrepreneurs and world-class providers of change expertise in weaving and co-evolving this story.
The process of producing this emerging and ever-evolving story will do much to develop a Core BSSV Startup Team. The Story and the Core Team will provide the context and legitimacy for moving into Phase II.
Phase II: The Inaugural Intensive
The Core Team would then recruit and enroll the founding cohort of (18-24) pioneering ‘evolutionaries’ – leaders and practitioners who are open to the possibility of serving as ‘Silicon Valley Stewards for the Future.’ They are all players with the commitment and the potential capacity to lead a generative action-learning expedition (GALE) toward a Blue Star Future for Silicon Valley and beyond. This cohort would be recruited with care, seeking those GRIPs who collectively can influence the flow of all forms of capital needed to seed and nurture this grand expedition toward a future that works for all life.
We launch this venture with a 5-Day “GALE Leadership Intensive.” (Follow the link to get a feel for the broad Intended Outcomes and distinctive Design Features for that ‘intensive.’) The 5-Day Intensive serves as a microcosm of the multi-year GALE experience. It equips the participants with a deep understanding of the nature of this journey and provides in-depth experience with the other members of the cohort.
The main outcome of the intensive will be a shared commitment to begin the serious capacity-building work implicit in the BSSV journey — to attract, develop and deploy the necessary Expertise, to develop and demonstrate prototype support Infrastructures and commit seed Resourcing — all in a way that helps gain traction in the hearts and minds of leadership throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.
[GlobalGEA would be providing ‘architectural’ and guidance support for the intensive and the early stages of the evolution of this journey.]
Phase III: The BSSV Journey Begins
The BSSV Journey will be an extraordinary co-creative developmental undertaking:
Meeting this multi-layered capacity-building challenge will require carefully designed regional support architecture. It will involve developing and growing three key elements:
As an example, we can imagine several kinds of infrastructure that would seem essential, given the size and nature of this undertaking:
Each of these teams will develop their capacity to become self-regulating, self-improving, self-sustaining and self-evolving. They will each be fully engaged in an individual as well as collective transformational journey.
Silicon Valley led the way in reinventing technology. As a result, our powers in the realm of ‘things physical’ have reached a point that would be considered miracles not too many decades ago. The Digital Age has been a giant step forward for humanity — a dazzling evolutionary breakthrough.
Life on our planet is sorely in need of another breakthrough, this time in the realm of social architecture. We must learn what it takes to reinvent our social forms (governance, economics, commerce, education, agriculture, security, healthcare, etc.) Our human systems are mostly born in the Industrial Age — and it really shows.
Every one of these systems can develop their capacity to multiply their positive contribution to the wellbeing of all life they impact — to help move toward a Blue Star Future.
Bottom Line — Silicon Valley is in an ideal position to explore and pioneer this new territory. It won’t be easy. Historical success can be a powerful anesthetic. To paraphrase Ken Wilber, we will need to transcend the gravitational pull of Business as Usual while including all its existing contributions to humanity till now.
Though it won’t be easy, this audacious Blue Star Silicon Valley journey will prove to be enormously rewarding for those who choose to lead the way!