Transition Plan for a Thrivable Civilization

The Problem with Mechanistic Systems

Diagnosing Systemic Thrivability Barriers

Source: Into the Heart of Systems Change by Anneloes Smitsman, Ph.D. Systems map for showing the conditions of mechanistic systems and how this gives rise to systemic thrivability barriers, degenerative growth patterns, and degenerative behaviours.
Source: Into the Heart of Systems Change by Anneloes Smitsman, Ph.D. Systems map indicates the systemic barriers that were identified from collective evaluation processes and questionnaire results.

7 Key Systemic Thrivability Barriers

  1. Collaboration and coherence are blocked — Competitive win-lose dynamics, either-or thinking, and dualistic choices force a sense of separateness from life and inhibit healthy collaboration. This causes divisions, distrust, conflicts, and disunity between people and their communities, and polarises our diversity.
  2. Interdependencies are harmed by mechanistic goals — Economic goals for maximising extractive growth and development are imposed on, and harming, our interdependencies with life, and the planet’s capacity to support populations.
  3. Reciprocity with living systems is blocked — By treating life and our planet as mere commodities, mechanistic systems are degenerative and block our reciprocity with living systems and nature.
  4. Distorted informational loops — By not accounting for the real costs and impacts that our mechanistic growth models create, and by not including essential planetary feedback loops in the ways we govern our development, we create illusionary models of progress and distorted worldviews.
  5. Thrivability learning and development are blocked — By creating cultures of competition, division and narrow educational goals, our learning and development capacities for regeneration and thrivability become blocked and are underdeveloped.
  6. Empathy and love are blocked — By incentivising domination and duality, and by blocking the development of thrivability consciousness, our capacities for empathy and love become blocked and diminished. Accordingly, people feel isolated, disconnected, disempowered, and alone.
  7. Responsiveness to pain is blocked — By ignoring essential feedback in the governance and cultures of our human development, and by numbing ourselves to the pain we inflict on our planet and each other, our responsiveness to pain becomes blocked and we fail to learn from the vital signals that pain provides us.

A Transition Plan for a Thrivable Civilization

Source: Into the Heart of Systems Change by Anneloes Smitsman, Ph.D. Systems map of proposed Transition Plan for a Thrivable Civilisation
  1. Diagnose and make visible the presence and impact of systemic thrivability barriers that result from mechanistic systems, models, and growth archetypes.
  2. Address and transform the systemic thrivability barriers through transformation strategies that address the dualistically polarising dynamics of mechanistic systems, and transform degenerative behavioural patterns that undermine the transition to a thrivable civilization.
  3. Develop future creative capacities through evolutionary learning processes that are embedded within evolutionary learning communities and evolutionary learning ecosystems.
  4. Apply evolutionary growth archetypes and thrivabilty patterns for our societal and human development. For example the 5 Future Archetypes that feature in my Ph.D. research for actualizing our future potential, and which have been applied in the archetypal design of our EARTHwise Constitution for a Planetary Civilization, as well as the DAO roles for Hypha, and the SEEDS Constitution (for which I served as the lead architect and applied many of the strategies mentioned here).
  5. Develop regenerative, inclusive, and distributive economies that are designed as evolutionary living systems. Promote the development of a planetary conscious economic and political paradigm where success and progress are based on our common capacities to thrive and evolve with our planet as a whole.
  6. Develop governance systems and institutional design that enables the transition to a thrivable civilization, by empowering people with the means and opportunities for deciding together on the necessary actions for a thriving world and future. For example, the EARTHwise Constitution for a Planetary Civilization and the SEEDS Constitution that outlines a set of inclusive shared agreements with web3 based governance tools that make it possible for people to co-create regenerative economic and financial systems for thrivable worlds and futures. Furthermore, the Hypha DAO tools enable the exploration of new governance and coordination systems for empowering direct democracy, based on holarchic governance principles.
  7. Work with the transformative potentials of social tipping points dynamics for the required societal transformations and grassroots engagement for a thrivable civilization. For example, the EARTHwise Tipping Point System and its Earth Song project for creating generative social tipping points through the power of music and narratives that promote evolutionary coherence, rather than social divisions.

New Narratives for Systems Change

Source: Into the Heart of Systems Change by Anneloes Smitsman, Ph.D. Systems map of qualities and behaviours of healthy living systems, and how our desire to grow can also expresses through wholeness and collaboration

Exploring Future Archetypes of the Emerging New Era

  1. The Wholeness Coder — Senses the deeper structural and archetypal layers of reality, and knows how to work with complexity, codes, and symbols. Enables whole system change by enabling new choices points and new codes. Catalyses change at the causal levels and by changing the rules of the game.
  2. The Future Creative — Envisions and opens the greater possibilities of our futures and life. At home in the imaginal realm, acts as the imaginal cells for enabling new growth and development. Catalyses change at the imaginal level by exploring and opening future possibilities.
  3. The Evolutionary Catalyst — Enables transformation, evolutionary learning, and healing. Develops and embodies the capacities of our future potentials. Knows how to work with tipping points dynamics of transitions through death, dissolution, integration, conception, and birth. Catalyses change at the evolutionary level by developing our future capacities.
  4. The Pattern Weaver — Weaves with the connective and collaborative patterns of our future potentials, prepares the soil for planting. Develops partnerships for the realisation of our future potentials. Catalyses change at the integral level by weaving the conditions for emergence and building communities.
  5. The New Paradigm Storyteller — Inspires our future becoming and communicates our future realities in ways that are sensory rich and evocative. Fertilises our world with the future patterns, and focusses on creating abundance for all. Catalyses change by becoming and communicating the new stories of our future becoming.
5 Future Archetypes for actualizing our future potential and thrivability by Dr. Anneloes Smitsman
Source: Into the Heart of Systems Change by Anneloes Smitsman, Ph.D. Systems map of 22 qualities of life as a thrivability pattern

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Anneloes Smitsman, PhD

Anneloes Smitsman, PhD


Futurist, systems scientist, award-winning author, coach, CEO & founder EARTHwise Centre