The greatest opportunity of our generation: that's what could be waiting for us, after we leave "green" behind. Saving the biosphere and spreading sustainable prosperity is going to take a lot more than doing things in a more environmentally-conscious manner; it's going to demand we remake much of our material civilization.
And that's good news. It frees us up to think in really new ways, to innovate, to create, to re-invent. Our day is almost defined by the exploding number of people who have access to tools and models and ways of thinking that were previously rare or expert or unimagined. If we live in an age of stark ecological limits, we also live in an age of widespread potential innovation.
We can see on the horizon the silhouette of something incredibly hopeful and exciting: a world of people whose boundless creativity within natural limits uplifts humanity and remakes civilization to be first sustainable, even restorative. This crisis could end up being the greatest opportunity of our generation.
In this work, though, we have two enemies: time and outdated thinking.
We must go fast now. We have possibilities today that we'll lose with every passing year, and the tipping points loom ahead: beyond those, only disaster awaits.
We've also got to toss aside the mindset that the status quo is reasonable. The very first step in bringing on a better future is acknowledging that our ideas of what's normal, or even what's possible, will not outlast the next decade. If we take radical change as a given, we'll quickly see that a number of solutions are already within our grasp.
Free our minds and our footprints will follow.
The movement towards planetary sanity has already accelerated to the point where it's now dragging "green" (in its shallow pop-culture sense) along behind it like an anchor. We're way past the stage of voluntary half-measures and into an era of widespread innovation, high standards and systemic change. Anything less merely distracts us from the goal.
Imagine a future that works -- that's what we must do! Not in a mushy, vague, feel-good sense, but in a concrete way; in a way that proclaims the transience of the world around us and the possibility before us.
That's the work we see ourselves both engaged in and reporting on here. We've got a big book project coming up on this very topic, and we're processing all the great feedback we've gotten from all of you lately about how to remake the site into a more effective vehicle for sharing stories about the kinds of creativity and innovation Worldchanging people around the world are summoning up at this critical moment. We think the result is going to be nothing less than transformative.
At the same time, we also think that this is a moment when we all need many more people iterating their ideas for real change. So, as a starter for that kind of conversation, we're holding a little collaborative challenge.
The idea is simple: share, in words, images or sounds, your idea for the end of some outdated aspect of contemporary society and its replacement with a better way of doing things. Start with the phrase, "Imagine no..."
Then put a link to your entry (or the text itself) in the comments below.
The best examples we know about in two weeks will get prominent coverage here on Worldchanging, and we have some swanky prizes for the folks who do the best job. In the spirit of testing the rope first, we've come up with a few examples ourselves, merely (we hope) provocations for thought. We would love to know which ones you like!
Imagine no garbage cans. Imagine recycling everything that comes through your door. It's not a pipe dream. With a new generation of zero-waste approaches, cities are building systems where everything you buy is designed to be recycled, composted, or disassembled and reused. Instead of being thrown away, materials flow again and again through closed loops. This process saves huge amounts of resources and energy, reduces toxics and creates jobs. So next time you're taking out the trash, imagine what the world would look like without it. Imagine no garbage cans.
Imagine no warning labels. Imagine bringing nothing into your home that isn't safe for you, your children or your pets. It's not a pipe dream. With ideas like non-toxic production and green chemistry we could eliminate the use of chemicals now feared to cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems, and remove them from our homes and ecosystems. Scientists have already developed safe non-toxic alternatives for hundreds of once questionable products, from kitchen cleaners to baby toys. So the next time you go to the market, imagine not needing to read the fine print. Imagine no warning labels.
Imagine no smokestacks. Imagine a world where all our energy comes from clean and renewable sources like wind, solar and hydro power; and where we produce no excess greenhouse gas emissions. It's not a pipe dream. Already, countries like New Zealand, Germany and Sweden are planning ways to make their economies carbon neutral within the next few decades--and we could do it here. We could run everything from our factories to our cars on climate-friendly clean energy. So the next time you go through an industrial area, imagine breathing fresh, clean air. Imagine no smokestacks.
Imagine no air conditioners. Imagine living in a home heated only by the sun and cooled only by the breeze. It's not a pipe dream. With green building techniques and innovative design we can build houses that are warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and that use almost no energy at all. Better still, these homes are healthier, more comfortable and less expensive. So the next time you reach for the thermostat, imagine living in a home that doesn't need one. Imagine no air conditioning.
Imagine no sidewalks. Imagine living in a compact community where people own the streets; where kids play, friends sit sipping coffee and cars move slowly when they move at all. It's not a pipe dream. In cities around the world, good design is producing vibrant, compact urban neighborhoods where streets are used as public living rooms and life without a car is made easy. So the next time you're waiting to cross a busy street, imagine a city where people, not cars, come first. Imagine no sidewalks.
Imagine no sprawl. Imagine, instead of a long drive past strip malls and subdivisions, stopping for coffee on your walk to work, or enjoying a magazine while riding light rail through neighborhoods brimming with character and activity. It's not a pipe dream. Cities around the world are creating public transit systems that are efficient, comfortable and simple to use. Smart growth policies preserve local farms and forests, while cutting both commute times and greenhouse gases. So the next time you find yourself lost in suburbia, imagine a different American Dream. Imagine no sprawl.
Imagine no recession. Imagine a thriving economy that's based on creating the solutions the whole world needs. It’s not a pipe dream. Already clean energy and green technologies are some of fastest-growing industries in the world, and billions of people will need sustainable innovations in the decades to come. So the next time you find yourself worrying about the news of another layoff, imagine a booming and sustainable economy. Imagine no recession.
Imagine no maintenance. Imagine not needing to own your own car to enjoy the benefits of driving. It's not a pipe dream. Already car sharing companies and other business like them that allow you to drive a car when it’s convenient, while they handle the maintenance, insurance, fuel and parking. And it’s not only cars. Sharing services have sprung up for everything from lawn mowers to bicycles to designer handbags. So the next time you find yourself waiting at the mechanic's garage for an oil change, imagine it was your last. Imagine no maintenance.
Imagine no storm sewers. Imagine communities where rain is used to grow gardens and wash clothes, instead of being channeled underground through massive tunnels, carrying oil and garbage from our streets into our rivers and waters. It’s not a pipe dream, Rainwater harvesting and natural drainage systems are already making storm sewers a thing of the past. So the next time you step over a puddle at the curb, imagine instead a rain barrel in the yard. Imagine no storm sewers.
Imagine no hurry. Imagine no hectic deadlines, frantic commutes, meals on the go, or interrupted vacations. Imagine having more time. It’s not a pipe dream. Living more sustainably, in more compact communities with more innovative tools will save us enormous amounts of time that we waste today -- time that we can use to spend with our family and friends. So the next time you find yourself grabbing food at the drive-thru, imagine a world where you have time for a long lunch with friends. Imagine no hurry.
Imagine no power bills. Imagine living in a house that create all the energy you need, and more. It’s not a pipe dream. Already millions of people around the world live in homes where the electricity is provided from a wind turbine in the backyard or solar panels on the roof. Better yet, with new “smart-grids,” the power company can buy any surplus power you create –- paying you instead. So the next time you write a check to the utility, imagine it was your last. Imagine no power bills.
Imagine no recalls. Imagine going to the store and not having to worrying that the food you buy is contaminated or covered in unsafe pesticides and fertilizers. It’s not a pipe dream. Already you can connect with the farmers growing good food, without pesticides, hormones or factory farms, in ways that safeguard our health and protect the planet. So the next time you hear a news report about contaminated spinach or sick cows, imagine knowing where the food in your refrigerators comes from and who grew it. Imagine no recalls.
Imagine no yard sales. Imagine a world where every product you buy can be given back to the company that made it. A world where you get a home full of the kind of furniture, decor and appliances that make life enjoyable, without the guilt of throwing things away or desperately trying to sell them to your neighbors when you're done. It's not a pipe dream. With ideas like closed-loop manufacturing, we can design products that can be completely disassembled, recycled and rebuilt. Already governments from Berlin to British Columbia have passed laws that force manufacturers to take responsibility for their products’ fate. So the next time you find yourself sifting through your unwanted stuff, imagine you can give it back. Imagine no yard sales.
Design credit: Morgan Greenseth
Imagine everybody in the world having enough food to eat and a place to live. I think that's a little more urgent than some of these items, you know?
And, if you want to know how to get there, to the place where everybody has the basics of life, try starting here:
or, for more depth, here
It's entirely possible. It might even be easy. But the work begins today.
Agreed on the baseline....can we feed, shelter and care for everyone without the direct to person poisons in our current system? Hopefully yes, and there's a turquoise sea of glittering possibilities beyond the green. Closed loops, growing permaculture is a great start....but there's also wisdom tradition in full integration with modern business practices, cultures that feel connected and understand each other without the tribal conflicts we know today....so many possible futures. You're right to note that there's a series of very difficult mindsets that must be changed in less than one generation. Less use and less abuse seems like a great place to start, but it manifests in the kitchen conversations with family members and friends as we learn to share new tools with each other with greater openness. Books are great, fearbusters are better!
When you run the numbers, it's just not that hard. The video presentation I did in Iceland last week has a pretty good pitch for the possibility, but the basics are:
* Ivette Perfecto's group are pretty sure we can double food supply for the one acre farmers using simple organic techniques.
* Solar water pasteurization or disinfection gets you potable water almost anywhere, and if you augment with rainwater collection it's close to 100% coverage.
* Gasification stoves (or even plain old rocket stoves) will cut deforestation down to not-much in rural areas where it's driven by firewood collection.
And then there's Kerala to consider - 76 year average lifespan, and infant mortality and birth rate right in the European range, with 99.5% literacy - on an income of $300 per year.
It's entirely doable. The Keralans are leading the way, but the rest of the world can, must and will follow, and all the additional technology and technique will help.
"We must go fast now. We have possibilities today that we'll lose with every passing year, and the tipping points loom ahead: beyond those, only disaster awaits."
"Imagine no hurry. Imagine no hectic deadlines"
Imagine no more cities (as we know them). Someday, our cities will be invisible. All the eye will see is gigantic gardens with hovering insects. Swarms of them will add to the earth's fertility and generative cycles. But these gargantuan plants house humans and machines that act like a complex biological system that is bright and full of hope.
see more here
Imagine no mines. Imagine a world where all the mineral resources we will ever need as a society have been extracted, and circulate perpetually in the economy, being endlessly transformed from finished goods into raw materials, and back again, with nothing input except renewable energy. This is a world of increasing material efficiency, and static population, in which standard of living is not defined by quantity of materials consumed. Buildings are de-constructed and re-assembled. They are designed with this in mind. Acid mine drainage is a thing of the past, and the mountaintops of West Virginia have regrown their deciduous veneer. Landfills are systematically emptied, and the copious resources placed within them by previous generations are re-organized into their useful constituent parts.
Imagine no universities. Imagine a place unlike current universities where you usually study one discipline in isolation, as if the various disciplines are not connected in the real world. Business is not just about Business. Engineering is not just about Engineering. Science is not just about Science. Imagine a place where you study the different disciplines in a holistic manner and learn how they are interconnected in nature and the real world.
Imagine a place where you study so that you can find and implement solutions to solve environmental and human problems based on the combination of knowledge from the different disciplines. No more studying for the sake of passing exams and getting jobs. There's more at stake. Study so that you can improve the lives of people and the environment. Study for the sake of a bright green future. A green future is not a dream but a responsibility to nature and our children.
Imagine no box stores. In a world where everything costs more to package, store, and distribute more consumers will seek locally produced (or at the very least locally retailed) goods and services. Small is still beautiful, and sustainability will become the domain of the wise and nimble. Big chains intent on quickly swallowing up market share will find it exceedingly difficult to justify inventory at most of their remote satellite locations. Mom-and-Pop retail operations will enable people to keep their hard-earned money within the communities that support them. As wealth is circulated rather than hemorrhaged, prosperity and independence will bloom. Imagine no box stores.
The question is: can we imagine ideas like this for every aspect of our lives?
Imagine "time ans know how exchange centers"... A way people could say "I know how to do that" and "I need to find someone to help me do that". It somehow exists in some places over the world (we say "troc" in French) but it could be greatly improve, made easier, and available to every one... A way to show that being more responsible also means being more helpful to one another, to squizz the money system...
Imagine no more roofs. Imagine using all of that precious space to create verdant nature in the city, recreational opportunities, gardens to grow organic food. No longer will cities be vast swatches of hardscape that produce a heat island effect. No longer will stormwater be directed via downspouts and storm drains to pollute the rivers and oceans. Exciting new communities in San Francisco (http://www.transbaycenter.org/transbay/) and (http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/san-francisco-s-living-breathing-green-museum/) and in China (http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=524) plan to transform the previously underutilized space on top of buildings into sustainable systems and usable space.
Imagine no more personal computers of the bulky keyboard encumbered kind you're probably staring at now. I hope that the metal, plastic and batteries needed to bring computing power to people will thin down to the bare minimum and all the heavy lifting can be done by efficient servers.
I'm sure this sleek black laptop will look as quaint and antiquated to my child as the typewriter does to me. (Unless he does all his writing with chalk and slate)
There's a good calvin and hobbes where calvin's dad, after being bothered by phone messages and fax machines notes that now with better technology, everyone's expectations are raised, that people expect you to call them back the same day, that you only need 5 minutes to microwave your dinner. He says, "if people wanted more leisure time, theyd invent machines that did things less efficiently." I am skeptical and think that if people suddenly had more time on their hands, they'd spend it trying to earn more money, trying to get ahead. And eventually they'd have to even if they didn't want to, because everyone else was. That's what always seems to happen.
"Imagine no...thing lest you be recorded, spied upon, interned and tortured".
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
In Defense of Yard Sales-
While some items lend themselves to disassembly and re-manufacturing, let's also imagine a DIY world where Corporations aren't the only ones doing interesting things with old stuff. How about Swap-o-rama-rama to reimagine old clothes and Make and Ready Made magazines to tech you to maker something new out of something less new? Not to mention yard sales, along with craigslist, e-bay and freecycle are fun. So Let's not forget to imagine an alternative, grassroots economy that doesn't feed the beast of Corporate Wealth and Power (and I'd rather support individuals than even a progressive corporation any day).
Great vision, and a much needed dose of positivity in these scary times. Quickly though, the practical side of me takes over, and begs to come down from the cloud, and consider the hard steps to ascend before we get there . . .
imagine no abuse -- imagine responsible behaviour!
"love and trust and somesuch spells: the rising power of responsible people"
released under creative commons v3 pdf: http://www.makiaea.com
Imagine no Bill of Rights.
Imagine a populace that understands the overwhelming importance of freedom of speech, freedom of public expression, the right to a fair trial with habeas corpus, freedom from fear of search and seizure, freedom from surveillance, and the freedom to cross borders anytime we please without permission. In such a society there would be no need to even bother to write down our basic rights because to violate them would be unimaginable. Such persons who would try to violate our precious rights would not be elevated to positions of public responsibility, they would be pitied and offered help for their mental problems.
By the way, none of the dreams detailed in this article are possible without maintaining our freedoms.
Imagine minimal waste in the transport of goods through the creation of a hyper-efficient, speedy and easily-used publicly-owned multimode freight system, available to all for a reasonable price.
The technology exists to do so right now, particularly the key technologies of modern logistics and warehousing, made possible by advances in computer technology that didn't exist in years past.
Heavy rail, short-line freight rail could be used to move goods to and fro for everyone in the community. Goods would be loaded at their source, sorted in bulk using the rail system's logistics and then delivered to regional distribution centers.
From there, freight cars would be loaded for each city/town and delivered to a regional distribution center. Then, goods would be loaded onto short-line freight and light rail cars and sent to distribution nodes placed throughout a city or town.
In some cases, water transport via freighters and barges could be substituted for rail transport. Trucks could be used to get distribution nodes in cases where rail infrastructure is poor or non-existent, at least until that infrastructure is rebuilt.
Once goods are at the local distribution node, people could pick them up in a variety of ways. Cars, trucks, cargo-hauling bicycles, hand trucks or even by foot. Ideally, no one in a city would be more than, say, 5 miles from a distribution node. Local "last mile" services could take care of final delivery for those who can't or won't take care of it themselves.
And of course, people could also send goods elsewhere by reversing the process.
Such a system could help us avoid waste and duplication of effort in transport, save time, reduce traffic and congestion, curb pollution and raise the quality of life for everyone involved.
Call me a dreamer!
Imagine no homeless and jobless. . .
all those empty buildings that the military left behind could be renovated and lived in by the now homeless and jobless. The offices that were once occupied by officers could be drug and alcohol treatment centers. Old barracks could become wards for the homeless mentally ill, where the no-longer-jobless could make sure they get fed and take their medication. Imagine our tax money going for the good of the people.
Imagine no streetlights. Imagine being able to see stars in the city--real stars, great gauzy swathes of stars, not the feeble two or three we can see now. Imagine the feeling of being small you get in the country because you can see so much; you can feel your place in the universe.
In addition to obscuring stars, light pollution is linked to depression, unhappiness and lowered productivity. It also confuses migrating birds and animals. And--several studies have shown that lighting does not reduce crime, it just helps the criminals evaluate their targets more easily.
Imagine no (okay, just fewer) grocery stores. Imagine living in a fecund world, a world in which we are connected to the natural cycles, a world in which we can dip our hands into the nutrient flows and eat our fill.
I was powerfully affected by living in Japan and seeing rice growing in the heart of Osaka, the densest city. The Japanese are intimately aware of the life cycle of their staple food; a connection so important we cannot imagine what we have lost.
The psychologist Bruce Alexander has written on how terrible loss of connection to community and nature is for us, and how we try to compensate with behaviour that often becomes addictive--drugs, sex and shopping. Reconnecting with our local food supply has much broader impact than just reducing emissions from farming and food transportation.
Imagine no armed forces. Imagine a world where the most technologically advanced, financially supported, and capable organizations in the history of civilization adopt a mandate of global change. It's not a pipe dream. Military institutions around the world have the resources and personnel to single-handedly solve global food and medicine distribution problems, respond to disasters, and construct social necessities to lead the global community into an era of health, prosperity and justice for all.
Imagine no grid.
I live in a town surrounded by incredible wooded mountains, but many of them have big swaths shaved off to make way for power lines. I like to imagine the town creating its own renewable energy, and reforesting those desertified corridors.
Imagine no utility poles.
Imagine a landscape not crosshatched with lines, a night sky not poluted with excess security light, whole cities not thrown into blackouts when catastrophies hit.
Imagine a world where each dwelling is independent of the grid - a world where we could make the choice of solar power or grid power as easily as we choose paper or plastic at the supermarket. Imagine a world where low level, direct lighting is utilized and the skies are so inky black when the sun goes down that even city dwellers can see the Milky Way.
How beautiful is that!?!
Imagine no textbooks and no schools. Someday, all the resources you need to become an expert in whatever field you are interested in will be available freely over the network in all human languages, including other students to learn with collaboratively, existing experts who can mentor you remotely, and intuitive and interactive learning tools that are updated in real time, as new knowledge is accrued by humanity. The price of a world-class education then becomes only the price of connecting to the network, and the time required to learn.
Imagine no money.
I believe it's not a pipe dream, but it would require a hugely different awareness on many levels.
Too many levels to mention here, but the model basically goes: Everyone is doing what they can do best (and enjoy most, which basically is the same) without charging anything, and at the same time, everyone is granted free access to whatever they need.
Foremost, the concepts of lack and competition would have to be conquered for this to become feasible (and that's a long way to go).
One basic motivation to think about this concept of a moneyless society is the current questionable link of the bare necessities like food, shelter, healthcare, education and environmental protection with "money". These things should be free, but I believe that does not work too well (obviously--look around you) when everything else still comes at a price. Then, it is "only logical" to ask why certain things have to be paid for while others needn't.
Another motivation for thinking "moneyless" is that commercial dictates thwart much valuable contribution (see below) because most people think: "I'd love doing that, but who will pay me for it?". Money is occupying our attention much of the time when we should ideally be thinking of other things.
I am not saying that money per se is bad, but I think it is a detour from natural principles.
Money is an artificial invention stemming out of a lack-based mindset which says that there are people who "deserve" access to things (by work, birth, inheritance, luck or whatever) while others don't. A mindset which implies that without financial motivation, humans would just sit around, picking their noses and giving a damn.
While the latter sometimes seems to be the case (think pizza consuming, WoW-addicted good-for-nothings), it is no natural state. Humans want to contribute really. It's just when a profit-based system stifles any idealistic aspirations that people get apathic.
Imagine an actual globalized world where meaningful communication can happen between people and not just between corporations. A deeper understanding and celebration the differences between cultures will lead to radical new solutions for old problems. Today globalization takes the form of "freeing" international trade and not people. But in a globalized world where real human beings are empowered and an understanding between cultural divides is celebrated I think no one would stand for poverty, environmental degradation, tyranny.
I think this could work, and that it is not a mere pipe dream. The only catch is moving away from an economic worldview to an ecological world view. It seems that those of us in the first world often think of the rest of the world as "the other". When in truth our world is connected, and all peoples are connected. Globalization under an ecological worldview would not stand for the social problems people around the world face, because those problems have roots in ecological problems. We will one day realize that we are not harming "the other" by our actions but are harming a connected system that we are a part of, I think that all who have the power to change the status quo will do so.
Poverty comes from not being in control of your environment and your future. The developed world has become developed by exporting waste and taking capital from the developing world. International aid is only a bandage that tries to cover a deeply set virus. When aid (ie. tied aid) is transferred between governments it can only provide temporary relief to a larger, systemic problem (and often even more debt!). Globalized citizens would be a boost to micro-loans, which are actually capable of helping people to get out of poverty because it empowers individuals to innovate. This boost would come out of the globalized world citizenry, because citizens in one part of the world would be able to know more about the problems in other parts of the world, and most importantly, how those problems are affecting real people (as opposed to the citizens of "Otherland").
World Changing ideas are required to make educated globalized citizens, but what is most important is how we look beyond sites like worldchanging and innovate further. Until then we need worldchanging to tell the stories of real people around the world innovating, and find ways to inspire others to innovate in their own ways.
IMAGINE CARS THAT PRODUCE LESS GREENHOUSE GASES!
Gas powered engines do not create carbon dioxide (CO2)!
The engine produces poisonous carbon monoxide (CO). The catalytic converter is designed, purposefully, to change the CO into CO2, the greenhouse gas we hear so much about.
That’s right! Catalytic converters are engineered to produce carbon dioxide!
A prominent American politician recently committed to offering a $300 million dollar prize for taking electronic car batteries to the next level.
Imagine also offering a reward to the person or company who develops an engine that does not give off carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.
Imagine offering a prize to the company that engineers a better catalytic converter, one that doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.
Imagine someone engineering an exhaust filter to capture greenhouse gases, rather than letting them out the exhaust pipe.
Our vehicles already have oil filters, air filters, and fuel filters. I can imagine them having exhaust filters.
Imagine someone engineering an automobile exhaust filter that does a superior job without reducing performance!
Imagine a day when the norm is to change your exhaust filter when you fill your gas tank.
Cars will be with us for quite some time. We need to make them less damaging to the environment.
Imagine no industrial agriculture. No monocrops depleting the soil of its nutrients, no politics driving food production, no unsafe nor unsanitary conditions for farm workers and animals. Imagine instead that your kitchen is full of a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy, eggs and meat; that each time you sit down for a meal you know where and how each ingredient was grown, and that you are eating the freshest and most healthful ingredients for the season. Imagine that these ingredients also had a positive impact on the quality-of-life of all involved in the food system, from the farm workers, to the animals in their care, to yourself, and to the land on which the food was grown.
Read the full entry at: http://ecoinhabitant.blogspot.com/2008/07/imagine-no.html
Imagine no "day jobs". Everyone does something useful that also has personal meaning.
Imagine no ghettos. Imagine no guns. Imagine no drugs. Imagine a city where every person, young and old has access to vegetable gardens and flower gardens. Imagine a teacher or mentor on every corner. Imagine a gun that just shoots water or love potion.
Imagine widespread wisdom, the power of deeply knowing how important all our society members are, for each of our unique outlooks, views and gifts, women and men, of all backgrounds, religions, sexual and personal orientations; where we deeply know how important that view point is, that education, the health of each member of our society, so that it becomes personally important to educate all our society, to feed us all, to protect our children- all of them- to spend our money with consciousness, choice, and gratitude; in all, to know that each person is vital and that the depth of that is a global society, one family. Imagine we all understood and had wisdom of the depth of importance of each person who walks this earth.
vinay gupta forgot to mention that kerala has the highest suicide rate in india, that most of its money comes from the gulf, literacy meant can you sign your name, they only score at the midpoint in all india exams, and it never gets below 20 degrees c, low energy costs... there is no industry because strikes over anything are part of the culture... i could go on, but i thnhk vinay was trying to get links to his site, and was overstating the case...
Imagine having enough...and knowing it.
Imagine no CSR rhetoric. Corporations now attempt differentiation within the market by advertising their socially responsible practices. Indeed corporations now spend significantly more on the ads than on the actual CSR initiatives. If businesses exist exclusively to maximize profits, then this makes sense. CSR campaigns are now the new means for branding and thus maximizing profit.
However, if businesses are in fact viewed as a community with a purpose, profit will become the means to a greater end. We will no longer advertise our CSR to maximize profits. Instead we will maximize our profits in order to pursue greater societal and environmental justice.
Imagine no countries. Imagine integrating the world so we don't create borders to be separate "us" from "them", but where we attempt to share each other's cultures. Instead of only focusing on the predominant ideas, let's take from the wisdom that lies from within each race, ethnicity, childhood, environment, etc. and recognize how special it is. Instead of stereotyping and abusing others, imagine embracing them. Imagine a world with no walls.
Imagine no "imagine no".
Just to imagine is the real power.
For me, I imagine a "solutions ecology".
When he has time, I'm eager to speak with Alex Steffen to compare notes on our respective endeavors. I imagine a powerful synergy. Fingers crossed!
Imagine a world where beliefs are no longer watered down in the name of "political correctness." Where children can pray in the name of Jesus, or Buddha, or their Grandmother at school. Where debate is encouraged. Where children's beliefs matter to adults, to teachers.
Imagine a world where children are no longer placated with lcd and crt screens, be it tv, internet, or video game. Where children and adults experience a world unfiltered by zeros and ones. Where tree-houses and insects, replace play-scapes and plastic toys. Where bare feet walk across dew-kissed leaves.
Imagine a world where freedom means FREEDOM and not consumption. Where fear and war mongering in the name of profit and control is a crime. Where community activism replaces political activism.
It's not a pipe dream. Ask yourself, "How bad do I want to be this change? Would I give up my iPhone? Would I stand up in the face of injustice at school or at work despite any consequences. Would I take the time to spend more time with my son or daughter even if it meant less income? Would I admit and apologize when I wronged others. Would I examine this life, and actively change to better it."
imagine no alternative. people are still having to make the choice between want and should. there should be no choice of energy inefficient products, coal fired power stations, gas guzzling cars, cheap flights, unseasonal produce, selfish ecological choices. as long as this is down to personal choice there will be a majority too selfish, lazy, uneducated to choose the good and necessary. remove the choice of the bad through laws, regulations, prohibitions ...
or is that just the dictator in me coming out?
Imagine no close-mindedness. Imagine a world where each of us, at any moment of our thinking life, is eager to learn and and ready to examine new ideas with an open mind. It's not wishful thinking. Learning how to think openly is a skill that all of us can master and that any parent, educational institution or open-minded person can pass on to any children, student, adult or elder. So the next time any of us is presented with a view of reality beyond our understanding, an idea that totally contradicts our own, a seemingly insoluble problem, or an unthinkable and even unimaginable outcome of our actions, the world can be sure that we stand ready to change our individual and collective thinking. And thus, change our action, our life... and the world we're all part of along the way. Imagine no close-mindedness.
(Illustration: Head-shaped house with all doors, windows and airways shut tight. Mouth can be doors with padlocks. Nose can be airways with bars. Eyes can be windows of steel, shut tight. Ears can be funnels releasing only black smoke. Skin covered with thorns. Hair made of barbed wires and sparsed with land mines. This overall picture should be presented only one vertical-half, in greyscale, and gradating to the other half of the head which is beautifully colourful and has opposing characteristics where everything is open and the funnels emit no black smoke. Can anyone draw this for me? Or anyone got an idea of a simpler yet more striking image?)
Imagine a lot fewer humans?
When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done."
People did not like it here.
Imagine no more plastic bags stuck in bushes at the side of the road, or even available for use at any store. And while you're at it, imagine no more paper bags as well. If you can't remember to bring reusable bags with you when you shop, then it's your fault if you have to carry handfuls of groceries between the store and your (green) car. After being forced into doing that one time, you won't forget again.
Imagine no risk of a rogue asteroid repeating the C-T event of 65 million years ago.
Imagine a great hand, reaching out into the stars.
-- Imagine this beautiful Earth preserved as parkland and museums, while Humanity does its serious business, its mining, its manufacturing, its day-to-day living on the moon and in the Asteroid Belt.
By the categorical imperative, that all billions of people should be able to enjoy nature and all nature be able to enjoy life unencumbered by humanity... a park-world, long term, is our only option.
Emigration, or extinction, in the very long run are our only two choices.
Wemagine no more loneliness.
IMAGINE NO MORE AUTO-DEFAULT TO "PROBLEM-SOLVING"!
Imagine a world in which creating what matters is our predominant way of producing results. Imagine citizens equipped with the skills, structure, and design awareness to create and co-create the things they most want to see exist in life, work, relationships, etc…
Imagine no more "the problem is …" and almost endless dickering about what the so-called solution is. Imagine, instead, "the result I/we want to create is…" and alignment around that end result.
Imagine individuals, families, communities, organizations and businesses, municipalities, nations, the global community able to co-create what matters most -- with whatever life throws at them.
It's possible. For more: go to http://www.bruceelkin.com/writing/common_future.pdf
Imagine no roads or highways... Covered walkways and bicycle paths provide transportation within villages. Solar/Wind powered cable cars provide transportation for longer distances. Instead of clear-cutting and bulldozing land for roads, we have a transportation system that is above the tree-line with a minimal footprint on the Earth.
Imagine no subdivisions... Instead of clearing and bulldozing the land to provide cookie-cutter housing, a octagon-shaped house on a single central pole is put above the land, blending in with the trees. All electricity and plumbing is in the central core, and all the living areas are on the perimeter, making the design simple and easy to maintain. Imagine walking out the 360 degree deck and being above or amongst the treetops, knowing that you did not have to ravish the natural beauty and wonder of the land below.
Imagine no more Consumer Culture...
Imagine instead a Giver Culture. A culture of creative consciousness. A culture that gives back more than it consumes through creativity and discovery. A culture that keeps improving efficiency and adds value, beauty, and meaning to the world. A culture that doesn't simply survive, but thrives.
“Like Shel Silverstein’s concept of “The Giving Tree” there are aspects of culture that are dedicated to giving rather than exploiting or acquiring power. Imagine an entire culture emerging from within the belly of our narcissistic capitalism. This culture is a culture of giving, of selfless compassion and helping, not because we are of any religion or law, but just because it is who we are. "
For more, please go to: http://giverculture.com/the-giver-culture.htm
Imagine no exorbitant tuition fees...
Instead imagine an education system patterned in an Apprenticeship program, and powered by giving. Where masters provide lectures and materials as digital recordings and paperless interactive lessons. Where those that can do and those that teach are those that do also. Where these digitally recorded materials are paid for as a reasonable fee by those of us that live in a society of plenty, but are carried and delivered and projected in a make-shift classroom in societies that don't have. That the production values are of the highest quality, like the best BBC or Discovery program, and the interactive lessons are as engaging as the highest-budget PS3, Wii or Xbox game. But even as good as this is, the true value of the education comes from the hands on learning that comes after the lessons and interactive materials.
Imagine no more religion...
No more thinking we, as finite beings, hold the one truth. Imagine instead an eternal search for truth and meaning, sharing our discoveries and bringing about a spiritual revolution akin to the scientific revolution. Finding out what works and sharing it with love, so that we can build a deep and solid foundation for life that has true meaning.
Imagine no more 'isms'...
Imagine a world without nationalism, sexism, racism, communism, capitalism. Imagine instead a world that does not put up barriers and shallow comparisons. A world that looks at itself in the largest, most vast archetype possible as a means of continuously improving. A world that realizes that when two opposing viewpoints meet, a new dimension is discovered.
Imagine no more worship of growth everlasting. www.growthbusters.com
Imagine a world that has recognized Earth’s resources have limits, and that technology and liquidation of the planet’s fossil fuels will allow us to stretch these limits no further.
We understand happiness is not linked to GDP. Increasing commerce (and the overpopulation and overconsumption it promotes) is no longer a goal. Instead we endeavor to see that basic needs are met, and we find that’s remarkably easy in a world where the rich aren’t so busy trying to get richer and we aren’t stressing the planet and her resources in pursuit of MORE.
In this world we’ve discovered MORE was not what we were looking for all along. We have stepped off the hamster-wheel and find we can work much less. We have time to pursue true happiness. The kind that comes from reading a good book in a hammock under a shade tree. The pleasure from sharing dinner and conversation with family and friends. The joy of lying in the grass and staring at the clouds.
We pursue growth of a different kind – personal growth. Growth in understanding, knowledge, spirit and compassion. We find that LESS is the answer to all the old world’s environmental challenges and its cultural and political strife.
Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity
Imagine no Final Delivery Attempt notices.
How much fuel is wasted in this country every day by mail delivery trucks driving around making failed delivery attempt after failed delivery attempt to people who work too much to ever be home to accept packages? I’m scared to even find out. There must be a better way…
In Sweden, they have set up a system where every neighborhood has a drop-off/pick-up point for mail and packages that need to be signed for. This is usually at the local grocery store. You receive a slip in the mail, bring it there to pick up your package, at whatever time is convenient for you. How brilliant is that?
Fuel-efficient trucks would go to one destination, once. No more failed delivery attempts. And no more stressing over having to pick up your stuff at the nearest FedEx location half an hour away, or having it returned to the sender.
We would save fuel, sanity, and lots of sticky paper.
Imagine No Eco-mafia!
Imagine no more wars - for whatever reason.
Many wars are started because one group of humans want what another group have or simply believe they are right and the others wrong.
Elizabeth Kolbert in the latest New Yorker challenges us to imagine no lawns. It's a good read:
imagine moving all freight via safe, clean and efficient point to point airship.No large trucks creating highway congestion and pollution, no costly and noisy conventional aircraft, massively reduced sea shipping. Its possible NOW. Back to the future!
Imagine a world with 1 billion people, instead of 6+.
Imagine homo sapiens getting a grip on its overpopulation problem.
Imagine no infernal combustion. Vehicles for personal transportation - whether 2-, 3-, or 4-wheel, and in a myriad of designs - slip along quickly and quietly powered by their passengers, many augmented with electric assist. Streets are quiet and convivial. Travel speeds are similar to today's (your 4 person commute vehicle clips along at ~50 mph, and you always arrive energized; through town the flow of human/electric hybrids easily maintain 20-30 mph.) The mistake of starting with the car and trying to green it up, instead of starting with the bicycle, and expanding its utility, has been rectified. Safety, pleasure, fun, and quality of life have all vastly increased. Road maintenance costs, aggressiveness, and isolation have all declined drastically.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen more things in one place I’d like to see us do without. What a great place to live this would then be. Can I add:
Imagine no one worshipping stress?
Instead, couldn’t we be contemplating whether what we have inherited is only interested in its own success and not ours; contemplating which of our memes might be acting in our best interest and not just in their own? Maybe making those distinctions would divert us from the cliff.
The eco-disasters we want to do without are obviously heinous because they stress the planet — and us in turn — past the point of sustainability. One push-back from the other end of that equation might be to get some sense of the moment, instead of obsessing about any advantage over the next guy, the next moment might bring.
(We don’t need to worry about Moore’s law being severly retarded by a peaceful population; by people who aren’t busy doing lots of meth, tailgating each other in their Hummers and voting each other off the island ...or by people who just aren’t busy playing that video game. Technology is a product of connections. Conflict is the thoughtless byproduct.)
While bomb craters may only make okay fish ponds, and of course that’s kind of a long, tragic loop, compared to the natural alternative, a world of bomb-crater-fish-ponds is nonetheless pretty much what we have to work with anymore. We might want to wonder about the ultimate outlook.
If the choice were between everybody sitting by the side of bomb-ponds seeming tardy and overly sensitive, watching the fish finning around in the reeds, or the opposite — everybody making more bombs — which of the two possibilities is ultimately going to be more productive?
imagine no industrial schools or universities and imagine no industrial hospitals and medical clinics
Based on the devastating critique of schooling by Illich, Holt and others and on the growth in holistic home, neighbourhood, community and alternative learning such as neohumanist, waldorf/steiner and montessorri I imagine a post-industrial plethora of learning modes and sites. Adults and elders are valued for their wisdom and experience and see their primary purpose as passing on wisdom to the next generation. They engage and mentor children's development assessing and building on their strengths, not based on having to perform on standardised tests to gain access to further education or employment.
Biosensitive Holistic education would be the norm with children finding multiple sites to support and enable learning and many opportunities to learn by doing.
Based on the devastating critique of industrial medicine by Illich and on the growing understanding of the social and environmental determinants of health I imagine biosensitive communities both local and virtual sharing knowledge, supporting cultures and enacting behaviours that promote health and wellbeing. Remediation needs decrease as knowledgeable people and communities conciously prevent and treat problems earlier and earlier, decreasing the need for costly and exclusive professional industrial medicine.
Imagine no black rooftops and no black roads. It's quite simple. How quickly can you paint the top of your home to white? Not long. If everyone did it along with corporate america I would think we in fact give the sun some much needed reflection back so that we would ultimately cool back the earth. Perhaps reduce the increase melt of the poles, cool our homes and buy us some time while those plants and trees grow. While we're at it, lets change all of the existing black top roads to white and create new roads that cover the populate areas of our world with something that will not absorb heat from the sun but reflect the light back. Give the sun a welcome break
Imagine Legal Cannabis!
No more wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars to fly cops around in helicopters, scouting for illicit patches; no more needless imprisonment of otherwise peaceful, law-abiding citizens... imagine free medicine growing in your yard, treating nausea, PMS, insomnia, chronic pain, wasting syndrome, fiblomyglia, MS and other diseases... imagine the funds saved by lack of enforcement, and the funds gained by taxation and regulation - billions!
500+ Economists Endorse Repealing Prohibition: http://economics.about.com/od/incometaxestaxcuts/a/legalize_pot.htm
Come to hear a free open to the public talk by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Global Humanitarian, Master Yogi from India.
Midnight With The Mystic Book tour
Grand Hyatt Saunday Aug. 3RD at the Grand Hyatt Courtney Cambell 6:30
Isha Foundation or Isha Yoga
here goes nothing... or, by this late date, is it there goes everybody? Oh well, whatever...
Imagine no election day. The much ballyhooed three or four year ritual where you may queue for hours for the five minute chance to question the divine right of political kings on a day of their choosing: gone.
Imagine, instead, a system where you can cast an electronic ballot on a system that is secure, accountable, ubiquitous, trustworthy and, above all, convenient: a part of everyday life.
Imagine how that convenience might encourage you to pay more attention to the running of your country!
It's not a pipe dream! After all, you do something similar each time you manage your online banking details or make an electronic transaction. Indeed, initiatives like the Open Voting Consortium are already developing such a system for the 2008 election. Indeed, such a system was used in the 2003 Australian Capital Territory elections.
Bring on government by the people. Imagine no election day!
Imagine no more flat, monoculture fields denuded of nature, spilling poisons into rivers. Imagine instead, vertical farms that are enclosed so that no pesticides or herbicides are needed, where water and nutrients and waste are recycled, where sunlight is drawn from surrounding buildings by reflective mirrors and utilized by cheap, large diameter fiber optics in the farms' walls to direct that light to its interior. An added benefit of the sunlight redirection would be a reduction or elimination of the need to cool the now shaded building. The mirrors would not require too much precision in their manufacture as the sunlight would only be redirected, not concentrated. A small portion of the sunlight could be refracted to the edges of the mirrors to be converted to electricity by photovoltaic cells to power the motors needed to track the sun.
Imagine no more people wishing for a reduction in population.
Those that had wished for such reduction had started with themselves and their families.
Imagine a world with no more borders. Where people are free to travel, seek opportunities, live and work anywhere in the world irregardless of their nationality, race, colour, religion, gender and wealth. Imagine not needing to apply for visas and to queue in immigration. Where an exchange of knowledge and culture is not limited to only the virtual world but also a physical experience. This is happening now where border security in some parts of the world such as the EU or schengen countries are merely a check on the movement of goods and not people. Imagine the future where there is freedom to travel for everyone. With the prices of flying become lower (with more competition between the airlines, bioenergy fuelling the airline industry, more global economy leading to more global companies and organisations. Imagine a world without borders.
Imagine children being allowed to live their joy.
Imagine parents all being emotionally and spiritually mature before having kids.
Imagine leaders all being emotionally and spiritually mature before being able to be elected.
Imagine fresh air in every region, in every dwelling in the Earth.
Imagine letting ourselves be truly known be each other and to ourselves, no more isolation, destructive behaviours, desolation or suicides.
Imagine everyone having accessed healthy food eating habits for their particular needs. Given access to the information and diet system that matches their current needs.
Imagine free healthcare with alternative and complementary medicines.
Imagine Homes and buildings that are alive.
Imagine going to every space that humans inhabit and leaving feeling more refreshed and alive than when you entered.
Imagine our biggest concerns being how we can thrive, love and be loved more, as all of our survival needs and fears have been addressed.
Imagine compassion welling up in your and my heart with each person we meet and when we look in the mirror.
Imagine when we can just enjoy what is here now.
Imagine music that moves you into deeper states of mystical union.
Imagine a molecular recycling device that takes all 'trash' and reassembles it to a new item to be used, no waste and renewably sustained for use.
Imagine our society having no idea what a gun is used for.
Imagine us no longer having any idea what a drug is needed for.
Imagine no more bored and apathetic children.
Imagine no more squashing of youthful creativity because it is easier to teach children to conform. Imagine no more homework. Children already spend half their day at school - why should the other half be eaten away with busywork? Children (and adults) learn by playing. We have been mindlessly chipping away at their time, energy, and places in which to play (sprawling suburbia isolates each inhabitant), probably because it is convenient for adults for the children to be busy being quiet and unremarkable. Imagine no more teaching for a test - imagine teaching for learning and even more wonderful, children choosing to learn for learning's sake. Imagine a world in which a core curriculum is concisely taught and then children are free to study subjects in detail that they are passionate about. Astronomy, the rain forests, ocean science, multivariable calculus, quantum physics, the mating rituals of a praying mantis... Imagine a world in which children did not have to sit still and submissive indoors for the majority of their waking hours. Yes, this world would create adults not socialized to conform to unquestioned norms and unfair authorities. Would that really be so scary? Imagine no need to be afraid of being different. Imagine a world in which the innovative research, discoveries, and inventions children are involved in change the world while they are still children.
Imagine no more culture war. Imagine no more simplistic political polarization. Imagine no more categorization of human beings, no assumptions made based on the smallest possible sampling of ideas.
Instead, imagine a worldview that integrates the best of all those that came before it, that treasures the unique abilities of traditional, modern, and post-modern people. Imagine humans cultivating the ability to listen without judgment, to interact without venom, to disagree without rancor. Imagine us learning to concentrate on our vast similarities rather than our minor differences.
Imagine no more fears of scarcity. Imagine a world where, upon a child's birth, we celebrate the unique and valuable gifts she brings to the planet rather than shaking our heads in sadness that a limited pie now has to be divided amongst more people.
Imagine no more thoughts of limitation and pie allocation—there is no pie!
Instead, imagine boundless faith in human ingenuity and trust in our fundamental ability to make things work beautifully. Imagine a future where the gifts we all bring with us when we come here are given freely to a planetary economy that never stops growing, because it is based on life itself.
Imagine not being satisfied with "sustainable." Imagine going for magnificent.
I really took the going beyond green a little further to imagine a balanced life with nature.
Here is the post that I've written
Hope you like it too
Imagine no more partial, compartmental thinking. Imagine taking a big step back - bigger, the bigger and more far reaching the decision, and taking into account all aspects involved in it, the inner and outer, individual and collective, human and non-human , physical, social, cultural, emotional and (maybe even) spiritual - all the components we can possibly think of and then look together and let the right way emerge.
Imagine no holding back, being able to work together for the future, focused on the goal, freed from personal fear, the need to prove oneself, need to look smart, need to dominate, need to be better than,released for the good of the whole...... it's in the works....see www.holacracyone.org, www.enlightennext.org
That's the work we see ourselves both engaged in and reporting on here. We've got a big book project coming up on this very topic, and we're processing all the great feedback we've gotten from all of you lately about how to remake the site into a more effective vehicle for sharing stories about the kinds of creativity
While I agree we would bebetter off without many of these things. without many of them we would be unable to communicate these ides to the masses. ie: the internet.
Just a small point on this: I'd reframe the vision in positive terms rather than negative terms. Instead of "imagine no garbage", say "imagine a closed-loop home" or "imagine a zero-waste economy" or whatever.
This isn't just a semantic issue--often times the hardest part of solving a problem is framing the question the right way--once you get the right perspective on the problem, answers start falling out by themselves. Plus, a vision is all about offering hope, something to reach FOR, not to reach away from.