What is GlobalGEA?
Why GlobalGEA?
What is “conscious evolution”?
Who is “social architect”?
What is “evolutionary architect”?
What is “social architecture”?
What is “social system”?
What do you mean by “generative”?
What is “generative initiative”?
What is “generative action-learning organism”?
What are GlobalGEA’s core features?
What are GlobalGEA’s offer, request and promise?
What are the benefits of being part of GlobalGEA?
How does GlobalGEA become financially sustainable?
What is a “WeBe Agreement”?
What kind of initiatives and projects will GlobalGEA engage in?
How can I become a GlobalGEA ally?
What is the relationship between GlobalGEA and MISA?
How is GlobalGEA different from typical OD/OE consulting firms?
Is there a difference between “metamorphosis” and “transformation?”


What is GlobalGEA?

GlobalGEA (Global Guild of Evolutionary Architects) is an emerging global web of evolutionary architects committed to developing themselves and their work in a way that maximizes their collective contribution to reinventing our social systems and pioneering societal metamorphosis worldwide. More specifically, GlobalGEA aims to achieve three mutually reinforcing breakthroughs in the design of social systems:

1. From today’s narrow/myopic definitions of success to defining success in terms of net contribution to the well-being of all life.
2. From today’s control-over-people designs to designing to unleash the full potential of people.
3. From social systems that resist learning and change to social systems designed to consciously self-evolve.

At GlobalGEA, we see these breakthroughs as absolutely essential in solving and healing today’s spreading and deepening global crises, and building a prosperous, fulfilling and nourishing society that works for all life.

The GlobalGEA initiative, founded by Bill Veltrop and Max Shkud in 2011, is being launched in 2012.

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Why GlobalGEA?

There are thousands of wonderfully generative initiatives committed to addressing our myriad local and global crises. However, we know of no initiative focused on what we see as the root cause of essentially all of these crises — fundamentally flawed social architecture.

Our various social systems (education, healthcare, commerce, governance, media — our organizations, communities, etc.) seem to be trapped by their dysfunctional social architecture without realizing that, collectively, these systems have been “perfectly designed” to produce today’s crises.

Ironically, we have all the “raw material” we need to re-invent our social systems. However,

  • The special expertise for this transformational work is scattered.
  • There is little to no infrastructure in place to support such a societal metamorphosis.
  • Adequate resources (e.g. leadership attention, funding, spacious time) have not been dedicated to developing, planning and carrying out this profound undertaking.

GlobalGEA aims to fill these gaps by:

  • Identifying, attracting, developing and connecting that global expertise which is best equipped to support the local and regional metamorphoses of our social systems.
  • Developing the infrastructures that (a) support the development of GlobalGEA as a robust resource to local/regional initiatives, and (b) support co-creative collaboration within and among these initiatives.
  • Attracting global and regional resources in support of this transformational work.

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What is “conscious evolution?”

“Conscious evolution,” as used on this web site, is much more than a philosophy. It’s an in-your-face global imperative. We have a choice. We either take extraordinary initiatives to learn how to consciously evolve ourselves and our social systems, or risk a spiraling devolution into an increasingly hellish global situation. Conversely, if we get serious about serving as co-evolutionaries, we have the potential to design a future that nurtures all life for all time.

Humans are a recent product of Nature’s 4.54 billion year evolutionary journey on this planet. We are a very young species, still pretty much in the adolescent stage of our development. 2012 is the year to declare that we’re ready to make the passage into adulthood — to consciously choose to take responsibility for the well-being of all life. The well-being of our children and their children are dependent on the well-being of all life. We can demonstrate our passage into adulthood by learning what it takes to consciously evolve ourselves and our social systems in ways that serve all of life.

The evolution of our biosphere is our best example of an “infinite game.” Today’s social systems (education, healthcare, commerce, governance, etc.) overflow with examples of devastatingly “finite games.” Conscious evolution can be seen as a commitment to transform these systems from finite to infinite games.

As Tom Atlee reminds us so poignantly, “the question now isn’t whether we will evolve—because we will and are evolving, no matter what. The question is rather how consciously and wisely we will go about evolving… If we fail to harmonize our individual and corporate self-interest with the wellbeing of the whole of life, we will soon be gone. We have become too powerful for it to be otherwise. This is not a fate to which we are doomed. It is a challenging opportunity to which the evolutionary process has brought us. And rising to that challenge will constitute a heroic evolutionary leap — one we can only take consciously. The more consciously we leap, the more likely we’ll succeed with the least unnecessary suffering and the most powerful learning and thrill.”

GlobalGEA is part of the kind of social architecture needed to support the emergence of an Age of Conscious Evolution.

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Who is “social architect?”

Below is a “Personals Ad” that describes an ideal “social architect:”

WANTED: Social Architect (of Generative Change)

You’re a veteran of a variety of community/organizational change initiatives. You’ve worked with a variety of design and change practitioners and methodologies. You’ve learned that no one has THE solution. You’ve seen how flavor-of-the-month approaches invariably erode trust and credibility. You don’t settle for simplistic solutions. You’re a systemic thinker. You challenge yourself to design for multiple and multiplying benefits, in ways that make a lasting contribution to all stakeholders affected.

You’ve also learned that the secret to high leverage, low risk change work is to invest in equipping those closest to the action, players on the front lines, with the capacity to manage their own learning and change processes.

You function as a true architect. You —

  • Are able to inquire deeply into the needs and aspirations of all those affected by the change initiative — with special attention to the voiceless, e.g., nature, the disadvantaged.
  • Draw from and creatively balance cutting edge expertise from the arts as well as from technological, environmental and social design.
  • Effectively convene/engage key stakeholders in a way that enables them to understand, contribute to and truly own the change initiative as it evolves.
  • Are convinced that elegant simplicity lies on the other side of complexity — and are not willing to settle for simplistic solutions.

Essentially, a social architect is someone who is masterful at generative C-work.

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What is an “evolutionary architect?”

An “evolutionary architect” is a game-ready infinite player (GRIP) who:

  • Is committed to free humanity from the tyranny of unconscious social design — to make the shift from “mechanistic” to “generative design principles.”
  • Sees humans and their social systems as having the potential to consciously evolve to ever-higher levels of well-being — and is committed to that quest.
  • Strives to achieve the same level of design excellence for our social forms as is present throughout the rest of nature.
  • Is concerned with the interplay of whole ecosystems — natural, social, economic, etc., in the service of maximizing the contribution of these systems to the well-being of all life — for all time.
  • Is committed to master the emerging field of Generative Design as it applies to all systems at all levels of system.

While an individual evolutionary architect can have a powerful influence, we see the “evolutionary architect” needing to take the form of a unique kind of community — a generative action-learning organism. We see all participants in the GlobalGEA organism as life-long apprentices in the greatest undertaking imaginable — the conscious evolution of our species.

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What is “social architecture?”

Social architecture is the conscious design of an environment that encourages a desired range of social behaviors leading towards some goal or set of goals. As such, it includes all of the domains in what we call Generative Design, i.e. Context Design, Technological Design, Environmental Design and Social Design. While it is crucial to approach social architecture with wholeness-centric mindset, at this time this website primarily focuses on Context and Social Designs. We will rely on the growing community of GlobalGEA allies to contribute their deep expertise in other areas of Generative Design.

Two crucial elements of social architecture are Stories (i.e. our inner and outer conversations, our visions, our dreams, our fears, our metaphors, our beliefs, our values) and Structures (our roles, rules, principles, objectives, strategies, our built infrastructure, even our language.) An effective social architect is able to choose the Stories and Structures that best support social system leadership in turning a Sad Face system into a Happy Face system. An evolutionary architect strives to help leadership adapt their Stories and Structures in ways that imbue the system with the capacity to continue to evolve toward ever-improving well-being of all life affected by that system.

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What is “social system?”

A social system is a purposeful web of social arrangements (relationships, agreements, accountability loops, etc) that shapes people’s lives and interactions. Our social systems are all around us. They vary widely in size and complexity – from families, communities and neighborhoods to corporations, industries, governments and regions. We each belong to multiple social systems. We’re born into, live within and die as members of our social systems. In a way, they are to us as water is to a fish — invisible and indescribable, yet absolutely essential. Continue to “Social Systems” article.

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What do you mean by “generative”?

“Generative,” as used on this website, refers to that which is enlivening and produces results that are self-regulating, self-improving, self-sustaining, self-propagating and/or self-evolving.

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What is “generative initiative”?

Generative initiatives are known for their enlivening ripples (through time, within systems and across boundaries), multiplying benefits and ultra-high ROI. This article describes generative initiatives in great detail.

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What is “generative action-learning organism?”

It is useful to think of all organizations as social organisms – living, changing, evolving. They’re not machines.

An effective action-learning organism gives balanced priority to taking action (e.g., rapid prototyping) and harvesting the systemic learnings from those actions. Action and learning become partners in synergy.

A generative action-learning organism is an entity that is engaged in conscious action-learning in a way that continuously maximizes its long term contribution to the well-being of all life it affects, or, using GlobalGEA’s terminology, reinforces a Blue Zone culture and produces Blue Zone consequences.

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What are GlobalGEA’s core features?

  • The purpose of GlobalGEA is to attract and connect that global expertise best equipped to support leadership committed to the metamorphosis of our social systems throughout the planet.
  • GlobalGEA will focus on identifying, understanding, appreciating, connecting, developing, challenging, supporting and promoting diverse evolutionary architects whose work is directly relevant to our mission of societal metamorphosis.
  • 10X Principle: We seek to work with those systems, leaders and providers who are committed to at least a 10X improvement in their lasting contribution to the well-being of life they affect.
  • GlobalGEA’s commitment is to wholeness, with respect both to vertical levels of system and the horizontal embracing of diverse sectors, functions, domains, specialties, aspects of being, etc. The commitment to focus on a region as the primary unit of design is based on this drive toward wholeness.
  • GlobalGEA intends to operate as a consciously evolving social entity — a generative action-learning organism.
  • GlobalGEA will consist of a growing network of generative alliances, each making an important contribution to the emergence of a robust, entrepreneurially driven generative business ecosystem.
  • GlobalGEA is strongly committed to its financial sustainability; we intend to pay equal attention to “doing well” and “doing good” from the start.

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What are GlobalGEA’s offer, request and promise?

GlobalGEA’s offer is to serve as social architects, guides and allies to those leaders and providers who share a deep commitment to the transformation of our social systems and creating a future that works for all life — for all time.

GlobalGEA’s promise is to help find and navigate a path forward that is pragmatic, doable, mutually fulfilling and maximizes our potential for co-creating the future we all want.

GlobalGEA’s near term objective is to attract allies and grow generative alliances with those pioneering leaders, providers and organizational entities who are ready and able to step up to this great evolutionary challenge and opportunity.

For more details, please refer to GlobalGEA’s Offer, Request and Promise.

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What are the benefits of being part of GlobalGEA?

  • Satisfaction and thrill of helping to pioneer the next great era of humanity.
  • Co-creating, experimenting with and evolving a new social form – a generative action-learning organism – designed to support the emergence of the Age of Conscious Evolution.
  • Discovering your unique gifts and potential role(s) in the particular infinite game(s) that are yours to play.
  • Developing alliances and on-going working relationships with this planet’s most co-creative evolutionary architects, providers and leaders.
  • Growing a new field of expertise with unlimited generative ripple effects – the Blue Zone B- and C-work.
  • Being a part of initiatives and projects that are bigger and more generative than anything previously experienced.
  • Learning to maximize “doing well” and “doing good” from the start.
  • Your emergence as a practicing evolutionary — architect, leader, provider and/or entrepreneur — within a growing ecosystem of evolutionary players.

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How does GlobalGEA become financially sustainable?

We envision GlobalGEA allies draw financial sustenance from a variety of sources; some of them might be:

  • Evolutionary Angels committed to ultra-high true returns on their investments in growing the capacities of participating social systems to transform themselves.
  • Generative B/C-Work Consulting Fees — The nature of our work places us in the center of an incredible learning vortex focused on identifying, understanding, appreciating, promoting and supporting that expertise most relevant and effective for the work of metamorphosis of our social systems. As we develop an intimate understanding of what is producing generative results in various client systems and regions of our planet, our ability to help multiply the effectiveness of existing and emerging initiatives will increase exponentially. This, in combination with strong new alliances with various client systems and their “gatekeepers”, will provide us with widening access to new generative B/C-work projects.
  • GlobalGEA WeBe Agreements — Our startup process will generate multiple and multiplying benefits for pioneering evolutionary architects (EAs). We will be working with EAs committed to creating at least a 10X shift in the lasting contribution from their work. The WeBe Agreements will help in spreading new GlobalGEA-based earnings among those who played important roles in stimulating that flow.
  • There might need to be a membership fee to help support those participants who will play a central administrative role in coordinating, maintaining and evolving GlobalGEA.

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What is a “WeBe Agreement”?

WeBe is short for well-being. The WeBe Agreement idea was born out of a commitment to achieve a breakthrough in the quality of relationships and agreements implicit within and among today’s traditional social systems. The “WeBe Agreement” is a young and untested idea; it will be advanced and evolved by the early GlobalGEA allies.

A WeBe Agreement —

  • Not only supports the well-being of the individuals directly involved, but also produces a variety of generative ripples.
  • Is anchored in a commitment to set aside and subsequently distribute a predetermined portion (say 15%) of revenues that are generated as a consequence of the individual’s involvement in GlobalGEA.
  • The distribution formula would be left to the discretion of the individual making the distribution. Some criteria to be considered:
    • What distribution will best honor and support those who supported your development and created the opportunities to generate this income?
    • What distribution would best strengthen GlobalGEA’s capacity to maximize its lasting contribution to the well-being of all life on this planet?
    • What distribution will best attract and develop promising new prospects?

The goals of the WeBe agreements would be —

  • To support growing a culture of collaboration, appreciation, abundance, innovation, caring and trust throughout GlobalGEA.
  • To experiment and find effective solutions for aligning individual well-being of GlobalGEA allies with the well-being of the whole.

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What kind of initiatives and projects will GlobalGEA engage in?

We envision at least two broad categories of initiatives/projects:

  • Entrepreneurial initiatives that create new Green/Blue Zone ventures/systems. These initiatives might be standalone ventures or joint ventures with existing entities. GlobalGEA is one example of such an initiative.
  • Transformational projects, (normally place-centric e.g., community, organizational, regional) where there is a leadership commitment to go for a dramatic breakthrough in the lasting contribution to the well-being of life affected by the social system(s) involved.

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How can I become a GlobalGEA ally?

It starts with a conversation with Max Shkud and/or Bill Veltrop. Please, refer to GlobalGEA’s Offer, Request and Promise for further details.

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What is the relationship between GlobalGEA and MISA?

GlobalGEA is a MISA initiative. MISA (Monterey Institute for Social Architecture) currently has two complementary strategic thrusts, both dedicated to promoting and supporting a metamorphosis of society’s social systems: Regional Metamorphosis and GlobalGEA. Learn more here.

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How will GlobalGEA be different from typical OD/OE consulting firms?

The typical OD/OE consulting firm —

  • Tends to be focused on one or more B-work “practice” areas, e.g., Socio-Technical Systems design, leadership development, team-building, strategic planning, executive coaching, process re-engineering, etc.
  • Tends to measure its success in terms of the demand for their services and the revenues generated.
  • Tends to focus on solving problems and/or building problem-solving capacity.
  • Tend to utilize traditional organizing structures, e.g., partnerships, consortia, hierarchical management.
  • Has pre-defined bases for most all financial arrangements.

GlobalGEA —

  • Will design itself, function and evolve as a generative action-learning organism, an entity that is engaged in conscious action-learning in a way that reinforces a Blue Zone culture and produces Blue Zone consequences.
  • Will be embracing all of the domains implicit in “Generative Design,” i.e., Context Design, Technological Design, Environmental Design and Social Design (which includes all of the above OD/OE practice areas). GlobalGEA will be developing its capacity to provide wholeness-centric Blue Zone B and C-work support to client systems, including local and regional metamorphosis initiatives.
  • Will measure its success in several ways, in addition to the traditional demand and revenue metrics:
  • True ROI as experienced by the client system’s stakeholders over time.
  • Degree to which relevant GlobalGEA expertise is woven into the fabric of the client system.
  • Irreversibility of client system’s movement in the direction of a Blue Zone culture.
  • Will focus on equipping local/regional leaders and practitioners in reversing those systemic design flaws that are the root cause of the problems being experienced.
  • Will be structured as networks of allies and generative alliances organized around a particular challenge/opportunity area, in somewhat the same fashion employed in the movie industry.
  • Will develop agreements among the providers and with the client systems in ways that are most generative for all involved/affected.

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Is there a difference between “metamorphosis” and “transformation?”

We use both terms and see them as synonyms in the context of our work. We use “metamorphosis” because it turns out to be a wonderfully robust metaphor that helps us appreciate the profound nature of the transformation we see as essential throughout today’s social systems. The metamorphosis of the Monarch caterpillar is magical. The metamorphosis of our social systems can be equally magical in terms of the potential for generative ripple effects.

Another reason is that “metamorphosis” emphasizes both appreciative inclusion of the old and its transcendence.

Lastly, “transformation” is widely used to refer to any kind of big change. Its utility to describe the profound changes we want to evoke has been watered down.

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  1. Laaurence J. Victor says:

    As a person who has been working to catalyze Societal Metamorphosis through Learning Expeditions since the 1970s (and using those terms), and struggling to clarify the essential distinction between transformation and emergent metamorphosis, it both saddens and frustrates me to see them declared as synonyms. The caterpillar doesn’t morph into the butterfly, which you acknowledge using the inaccurate description of insect metamorphosis provided by Norie Huddle. She confuses “imaginal cells” with “imaginal buds” or “imaginal discs” – which are embryonic components of the coming butterfly present in the caterpillar from very early on. To my knowledge the scientific literature of metamorphosis doesn’t refer to imaginal cells, a term unfortunately now viral – all leading back to Norie Huddle. Nor am I aware that the caterpillar destroys imaginal cells. However, metamorphosis is a process in many species and there will be variations.

    The critical issue is that by declaring synonymy you exclude from consideration the very viable model of a true emergent metamorphic emergence of a nu humanity which avoids the probably impossible task of transforming global civilization. This is a difficult enough meme to share without having it declared null & void before evaluation.

    Everything else you are proposing in GlobalGEA is impressive and I was initially very excited when I discovered you. What you call Regional Metamorphosis is valid, and the creation of imaginal buds appropriate. Whether they lead to attempted transformation or metamorphic replacement will depend on circumstances. I hope to engage some participants in GlobalGEA in constructive discourse on the option of full metamorphic emergence of Humanity from humankind, models for which I have worked on for many decades.

  2. [...] in FAQ of GlobalGEA    Is there a difference between “metamorphosis” and “transformation?”     We use both [...]