Monday, July 24, 2017

Working WIsdom for Global Change

Last month, in preparation for a conference in Assisi, Italy, home of St. Francis, the Happiness Alliance asked newsletter friends, the Ad Hoc Happiness and WEllbeing Movement Group (convened at the 2012 UN High Level Meeting Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm),  people on Quora and others the question: What are your key recommendations for transformative global change based on spirituality and sustainability?

The answers, along with wisdom gathered from the conference, are presented here:

What is working?
Spiritual ceremony in community divested of language and rites that separate, and that focuses on commonalities and connections to all that is spiritual in us.
What is being called for?
Religious experience and institutional orientation, process and delivery that gives opening to a spiritual experience regardless of belief or dogma.
Religious and spiritual, a-spiritual and contra spiritual leadership to forge connections based on commonalities and develop traditions and ceremonies that transcend identification with a belief system or creed.
Spiritual and religious ceremony and institutions connect and integrate love and care for our earth, oceans, all beings, and in particular the ecosystems, animals and people who are suffering in us.
Integration of spiritual and religious experience that connects and integrates love and care for all in all other areas (government, education, business, non-governmental organization (NGOs), etc.).
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Bring ceremony into private and public life (for example, mindfulness practice before meetings, indigenous ceremony to open public events, process and outcomes guided by spirituality and values, etc.)
Raise awareness about the need for spiritual ceremony (being the change you want to see and speak about it).
Provide non-denominational or non-dogmatic and belief based modules for institutions to access and experience spiritual ceremony.
Use spirituality as a means to measure the success of projects, to assess the wellbeing of people and care for the earth, and to empower action for sustainability, social justice, peace, and all other work for wellbeing of people and other being and health of our ecosystem.
Hold religious ceremony in nature and to restore nature through dire
Petition for eco and community restoration through direct action, petition and symbols.  

What is working?
Science-based understanding of status and trends of problems and threats to our earth and peoples on it; and identification of interventions to stave disasters, heal ecosystems and societies, and implementation of some interventions at individual, community, national and international level.
What is being called for?
Interconnected and heart (adding to the intellect) based  (i.e. Integral) understanding of the problems and threats facing our earth and us and the integration of integral, integrated, holistic, and interconnected ways into interventions already developed and development of integral interventions.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Develop new narrative and experience that celebrate and grow love and an experience based knowledge of oneness with each other and our earth.
Adapt current interventions and innovate interventions.

What is working?
Local politics and local government.
What is being called for?
Taking back the political process from the corporation control of campaigns and elected officials, special interests, and other corruption of the democratic or other participatory government process and institutions.
Campaign finance reform.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Engage and support local political activities that are not entangled in any way with corporate finance.

What is working?
New free or very inexpensive education and learning programs and opportunities, in person and online (apps, you tube, websites, TED talks, etc).
What is being called for?
End of corporate control of education and innovation of new ways to bring in support and resources including money to support operations.
Re-democratization of higher education and equitable access to education for all people, particularly girls & women, muslim youth, and people trapped in urban poverty.  Update our education system though shifting the mindset and underlying world view about what education is for education based on self inquiry, discernment, meta cognition, gratitude, compassion and care for all.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
At conferences, summits, and other knowledge sharing events hold youth panels
Participate in and innovate ways to provide learning opportunities.
Offer experience based, service learning, and job training opportunities.
Find ways to be in empathetic relationship with those who can't afford education; teaching in prison, teaching in poor urban environments, involving the police force, etc.  
Participate in education in Africa.

Transformation of political systems
Our world view drives our behavior
Sanctification of nature, honor the Divine on every corner,
Indigenous wisdom of people and the planet
Preserving culture and language
Gender as Mother Earth and

What is working?
Metrics drive policy, business and personal lives, and beyond gross domestic product (GDP), also called happiness or well-being, metrics, which aim to get us off the singular reliance on GDP (and economic growth and consumption) by government, profit by business and wealth or income by people, are in use by governments, researchers and communities around the world.
What is being called for?
The use of beyond GDP metrics by communities and local governments to assess the wellbeing of peoples (and differences among people); inform and secure the circumstance in life that provide equitable happiness, well-being, sustainability and resilience for all; and share practices in ways that support greater learning and application by government, business and people of wider measures of wellbeing.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Use happiness and well-being (beyond GDP) metrics at a community level and encourage local government to use beyond GDP metrics in lieu of GDP.
Raise awareness and support efforts to supersede the use of GDP metrics with happiness metrics.
Evolve happiness (beyond GDP) indicators to measure interconnected and universal value-based spirituality.

What is working?
Local economy, slow food and ecological businesses are providing ways for people to redefine ways to interact with business.
What is being called for?
Childhoods without the influence of commercialization of a child’s development and mentality.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Take logos off clothing and other articles.
Ban advertising to children.  

What is working?
Earth Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals (and other efforts) encompass a holistic perspective to our earth and what it means to be a part off the earth and have spurred the birth of sustainable business, and, increasingly government.
What is being called for?
Earth jurisprudence whereby protection and restoration of the ecosystems, human rights, indigenous culture and communities is protected by law.
End of biopiracy that strips indigenous people of culture and resources.
Transition from looking to nature as a resource to use to looking to nature with the goal of  restoration.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Creation of blueprint of model policies, regulations and laws for governments to consider when promulgating policy and laws for holistic sustainable nations.
Creation of model constitutional language for protection of earth, culture, community and other areas of sustainability and wellbeing.
Use of the earth charter as a checklist for business product decisions.
Promote the joining of Charter for Compassion and similar efforts in your city.
Bring spirituality and values into SDG and other UN institutions.
Issue an Apology to the future.

What is working?
Sustainability instutions informing higher education (AASHE, etc)
Education, from primary to higher, in nature, on farms, in gardens.
What is being called for?
Transformation of education systems for integrated and interlinked disciplinary education; and a purpose of happiness, sustainability and spirituality in education.  
Campuses with farms on campus and around campuses, sourcing food from the local farms and serving local food.  
Education that teaches all aspects food systems (including small farming, food delivery, no food waste, composting etc), installing renewable energy, food justice, local indignation culture, ecosystem sciences, etc.
End of university culture in which students are called customers
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Spread and evolve curriculum in and for nature that reconnects us to the knowledge of being of and for the earth.  
Adoption of all education institutions of a healthy, just and sustainable world as the primary goal of education, from education to financial investment.
Creation of practices and lessons learned for transforming campuses and education institutions for use by students and others.

What is working?
Celebrations and honoring of  of sustainability, happiness, Mother Earth,and other aspects of our work through declarations of celebratory days (Earth Day, International Day of Happiness, etc)
What is being called for?
Joy and fun work in the sustainability, spirituality, wellbeing and happiness movement.
Allow students, and all people, to express grief.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?
Do our work in ways that allow and create fun.
Leadership that publicly shares feelings making it socially acceptable to others and investment in integrating into all institutions the ability to share feelings, not to sequester feeling in therapists offices.

What is working?
Innovative information technology is solving global, cultural and personal problems. For example language teaching apps are preserving and restoring indigenous languages, closed loop built environment energy and water systems, and grief processing artificial intelligence programs.
What is being called for?
Information technology that develops our compassion, spirituality, sustainability of our earth, social justice, happiness and wellbeing.
Guidelines for the creation of technologies that are brought to market.
What can individuals, communities, or organizations do?

Learn how to use and develop technology that develops our compassion, spirituality, sustainability of our earth, social justice, happiness and wellbeing.