The Future Is Greener Than You Think

In my network, many share a similar obsession. We want to create desirable futures.

Now more than ever

Our planet needs

Your light to thrive

In my network, many share a similar obsession. We want to create desirable futures. While I'm listening to my Buena Vista Social Club playlist again, which always makes me feel like I'm on vacation. I want to talk about a greener future. Because it seems to me that this topic has been lost in the last months.

Discerning the truth. There is an information war going on right now that never before has been seen on such a large scale, corporations like Google and Youtube have heavily censored information coming from Doctors and experts. This creates a great deal of confusion and as Daniel Schmachtenberger coins it, this is a war on sensemaking. Covid-19 is showing us that when humanity is united in common cause, phenomenally rapid change is possible. None of the world’s problems are technically difficult to solve; they originate in human disagreement. In coherency, humanity’s creative powers are boundless. Many times we are looking for the most complex solutions, not the simplest one. For Consultants and more a complex solution is easier to sell, cause there is an information asymmetry. We are living with complex systems all the time, but that does not mean we need a complex solution for that. What we need is a solution that works, and if it does not work anymore, we need to change it. This is called the Linda effect, and with our Jungle Thinking Method, we also keep that in mind.

After years of recycling, carbon offsetting, and light bulb replacement, it is clear that individual action will never be an adequate response to the climate crisis. Climate change is a collective problem and it requires collective action. One of the key areas where this collective action must take place is in large-scale investments aimed at reducing our emissions on a large scale. That means metros, trams and light rail systems that are not only everywhere but affordable and perhaps even free of charge for everyone; energy-efficient, affordable housing along these transit routes; smart grids that transport renewable energy; and massive research efforts to ensure that we use the best possible methods.

The private sector is poorly placed to provide most of these services as they require large up-front investments and if they are to be truly accessible to all, some of them may not be profitable. They are, however, firmly in the public interest, which is why they should come from the public sector. Completely new infrastructure models are needed, which are long-term and interchangeable. It is not important how well thought these ideas are on paper are. But more important than they will work (remember the Linda Effect).

In addition to reversing the privatization trend in recent years, a serious response to the climate threat is to recover art that has been relentlessly denigrated in these decades of market fundamentalism: planning. A lot of planning. Industrial planning. Land-use planning. And not only on a national and international level. Every city and community in the world needs a plan for how to move away from fossil fuels, what we might call an "energy descent action plan". In those cities and communities that have taken this responsibility seriously, the process has opened up rare spaces for participatory democracy, with neighbors convening consultative meetings in town halls to exchange ideas on how to reorganize their communities to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience for tough times ahead. Sometimes I go so far and tell myself, we should continue everything like it is now for the next 10 years and came up with a plan and consequences for those who not stick to the plan. It will be about results and not about predictions.

Climate change demands other forms of planning as well, particularly for workers whose jobs will become obsolete as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels. A few “green jobs” training sessions aren’t enough. These workers need to know that real jobs will be waiting for them on the other side. We see the same shift currently for corporates who needs “Digital” Knowledge. That means bringing back the idea of planning our economies based on collective priorities rather than corporate profitability—giving laid-off employees of car plants and coal mines the tools and resources to get equally secure jobs making subway cars, installing wind turbines and cleaning up extraction sites, to cite just a few examples. Some of this will be in the private sector, some in the public realm, and some in cooperatives, with worker-run green co-ops serving as a possible model.

What I am looking for?

For the last few years, I am quite interested in the combination of Biology and Technology and found some companies within this field with so much power to change industries (if you know some investors let me know).

But what is Biomimicry?

Biomimicry is based on the idea that we can take inspiration from nature when solving problems in design and engineering. Humans use the biodiversity found in nature as a material, yet it is also a major source of information from which we can draw inspiration through biomimicry, providing models that can be replicated, especially in terms of transition and adaptation.

This need to reconcile the Technosphere, created by humans, with the biosphere, to which we belong, is one of the major challenges of our time. Although the human brain is very powerful and capable of remarkable inventions, we are fundamentally biological beings, who are a part of a biological ecosystem.

This reconciliation, in essence, requires that we converge our economic systems and activities with the great system of life on which our survival depends. In practical terms, this means focusing on two essential points of reference: climate change and the impact on biodiversity. Humans have always known how to adapt, but lessons can be learned from nature about crisis mitigation, with one example being how oceans and trees absorb carbon. Therefore, it is essential to establish a framework for skills and knowledge development, as well as for all of our interactions, which puts the oceans, the climate and biodiversity at its heart.

But for most of the projects I see this is a less watched topic. Unfortunately! Let us have a look at the EU.

So in the EU, we have got a plan?

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. To overcome these challenges, Europe needs a new growth strategy that transforms the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where

  • there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050

  • economic growth is decoupled from resource use

  • no person and no place is left behind

The European Green Deal is our roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable. This will

  • happen by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas

  • and making the transition just and inclusive for all.

The European Green Deal provides a roadmap with actions to

  • boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy

  • restore biodiversity and cut pollution.

It outlines the investments needed and financing tools available and explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition. But it is less focused on antifragile systems and truly change. It will. Build upon the same fragile operating system we already have. And if we are moving towards some problems, it will be hard to shift.

They are saint that the EU will also provide financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses, and regions that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. This is called the Just Transition Mechanism and will help mobilize at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions. Let us see how that will work.

If you are interested in more, you will find some more information here:

Worth reading today:

How to cut CO2 by 65%?

Mental models help us understand the world better, something which is especially valuable during times of confusion, like a pandemic. Here’s how to apply mental models to gain a more accurate picture of reality and keep a cool head.

Know your Domain — The Cynefin Framework

A very nice Podcast


That´s it for today, btw for the German speakers. There is also a new Podcast Episode out.