What is Regional Metamorphosis?

“Regional Metamorphosis” can be thought of as a strategy, a movement, or even an “infinite game.” It takes the form of a network of regional initiatives united by the bold vision of transforming our myriad social systems in a way that they become more conscious of and accountable for their contribution to the well-being of all life they affect.

“Regional Metamorphosis” and GlobalGEA are two complementary strategies sponsored by MISA; both strategies are dedicated to promoting and supporting a metamorphosis of society’s social systems:

  • “Regional Metamorphosis” initiatives are place-centric, intended to develop the local expertise, infrastructure and resources that support its social systems in transforming themselves in ways that multiply their contribution to the well-being of all life in that place (community, organization, region, etc.) — and beyond.
  • GlobalGEA is expertise-centric, identifying, connecting and developing that expertise most relevant to supporting place-centric initiatives at any level of system (organizational, community and/or regional) and also “making a market” for that expertise.

Humanity needs to make a societal shift that is as dramatic as the metamorphosis of the Monarch caterpillar to the butterfly. Humanity’s social systems (education, healthcare, commerce, governance — our organizations, communities, etc.) have become caterpillar-like — myopic, focused on consumption and growth. Today’s social systems are leading us toward what could become an irreversible man-made collapse of our life support systems that have taken literally billions of years to evolve.

As a strategy, Regional Metamorphosis recognizes that bio-regions are the fundamentally different places on our planet, so a movement in which the people sort out the details at that scale, but share universal values, tools and knowledge, offers us the best hope of re-directing society as a whole away from the cliff.

Our social systems can become butterfly-like — cross-pollinating, beautiful, transcendent, touching the earth lightly. Our design challenge is to master the art of chrysalis work in a way that will support societal metamorphosis at all levels of system — from individuals to organizations and neighborhoods, to communities, regions and beyond. We need to be able to do for our “caterpillar systems” what nature has done for the Monarch caterpillar.

Though the starting point will rarely be an all-embracing region-wide initiative, we are convinced that the optimal unit of design for societal metamorphosis is the region. However you begin, our quest for wholeness will tend to ultimately lead us to the region.

We define a region as a geographic area that is 1) large enough to include whole watersheds and bioregions as well as viable socio-economic ecosystems, and 2) small enough to be embraced as home by its inhabitants.

The work of societal metamorphosis calls for an extreme makeover of how we traditionally approach the work of “development” for both the systems and the individuals who make up those systems. This work requires that we achieve a 10X breakthrough in the efficacy of our approaches to systemic learning and change.

We need to help our myriad social systems grow their capacity to transform themselves, to become self-evolving in ways that continually improve their net contribution to the well-being of all life for all time. The Regional Metamorphosis strategy is a bold step in this direction.

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