Business completely reimagined. The Story of Syntropic Enterprise
It is so hard to tell the story of something so new people cannot fit it into the box of the already known.
How do you speak to the existing structures, cultural beliefs — the assumed and never questioned, like water to the fish?
How do you point out that the very things that we rarely question might need to be questioned?
And how do you do this in a way that becomes an invitation to consider, and not a threat to everything we have been told is true, to our identity and the entire infrastructure upon which we have built our life?
This has been my struggle with Syntropic World.
What I have learned is that we can only speak to those who are in the early, middle or late stages of interior change. Where they might have accumulated the spoils of success to find that it did not make them happy. Where broken relationships, illness, accidents or financial stress have them challenge principles they previously held as sacred.
Where a hunger lives deep. The quest for…
something else…but what?
Where heartbreak of what we are doing to our beautiful home planet cannot be ignored.
Where we hear of poverty and hunger, again…decades on…still there.
It is through a crucible experience that we might open our eyes to see for the very first time that this water to our fish is toxic, laden with various poisons that will not only slowly kill us, but will take out all life and aliveness along with our own demise.
We might genuinely ask questions….
How come poverty and hunger still exist? After decades and millions and billions of dollars, time, input, work?
How come our own communities have homeless, addicted people? How is it that women are still missing in the board rooms and leadership positions? How is it that skin colour difference determines anything at all?
How did we get to a place where lies are political currency and BS is business-as-usual? Spin is the weapon of best use case, and the ‘proles,’ “the underclass” are named by our elected politicians as the problem. (I am a prole.)
How is it that we deny that all creatures have intrinsic value as a central element of every model we build? That nature has rights as much as any other living thing?
I wonder at the extreme lack of imagination we humans have. Is this the best we can do? The world we have made? Threatening to become a desert to life on earth? Where in this year 2021, a single child dying of hunger is one too many? Millions/billions of people cannot access basic health care, education, dignified work?
I see so many brilliant, wholehearted people dedicated to changing all of this. To making a difference. To doing something good.
Yet almost all of them are trying to do this beautiful, extraordinary world-changing work using the very tools and thinking that got us right here, and hoping for a different result.
The petrol powered vehicle is already a dinosaur, in lag to its full demise. The world of Electric Vehicles (EV) is the near future. (Still imperfect, with batteries and parts that are rare, costly and damaging in their own right.) Almost every business is trying to create EV world using a petrol powered operating system, never questioning the operating system they are applying to their business.
The operating system? What is wrong with the operating system? Capitalism for example?
Capitalism has served some humans well yet it is past its use-by-date. There is no tweaking, no rearranging deck chairs on our Titanic mothership. Conscious capitalism will not cut it. Nor natural capitalism. Nor socialism.
We need a new model, something we have yet to create or see. (*New to the Western Human industrial/business model, yet in truth old and well known to Nature and many indigenous people and communities.)
A model that places the well-being of life, Earth, our all-collective future, as central to its design. A model that incentivises the very best of humanity, rather than an us-and-them, winner takes all.
A model where the monoculture money enjoys is no longer. Where we hold value in multiple domains, never reducing one domain to supremacy over the others. Where love, care, beauty, kindness, compassion and integrity are all considered of extraordinary value, the ‘gold in them there hills!’ Where mining these values exponentially creates more and more, and more. A home planet flooded in love, in integrity, in care? Why do we not dream of that?
How do we coordinate humans? Beautiful, complicated, crazy, difficult, inspiring humans? How do we coordinate the jumble of diversity into some form of coherence that enables synergy — where together we are better than when we work alone? Not perfect, sometimes a chaotic rabble, but always dignifying each individual as they work collectively. Refusing BS, refusing petty, mean, small-mindedness, insisting on our better, best.
How do we enable flourishing, without the crippling dependence on some temporal human construct called money?
How do we lead, govern, agree?
How do we measure in a way that doesn’t reduce, diminish, slice and dice gorgeous complexity into consumable, commercial bits?
How do we honour the profound gift of a tree, a forest, water flowing?
These are the questions that begin to arise for so many of us.
When I was introduced to the work of R.Buckminster Fuller back in my mid-twenties I had never considered any of these questions.
Like any great question, once asked they cannot be unasked. They brew away quietly, sometimes for decades. They inhabit our dreams. They show up randomly. They will not be ignored.
And when life in its habit of throwing us into a crucible has us burn away so many of the inherited stories and fictions that we did not even know we adopted as ours, the questions are there.
Syntropic World seeks to answer these questions. To partner with the laws and principles of nature, tested over billions of years, breathtaking in their capacity…murmuration anyone?…or our neurobiology? …or the exquisite return of the salmon to spawn?
Our world needs to change the large systems that we have assumed are unchangeable. The systems that create the social glue of all forms of human coordination. Economic, currency, legal, accounting, education, governance, politics, health care, human care, work…
Most importantly, how we bring people together to work on stuff that truly matters for a world with a future for earth and all her creatures.
We need the next stage humans and the next stage enterprises and businesses. Not overlaying the old petrol car operating systems and structures onto the brilliant idea and hoping for better, rather thinking differently about everything we do. This is Syntropic’s EV business equivalent.
This is daring, bold, beautiful work. Incredibly creative. Deeply humbling.
No more dominant superior human better than nature or nature’s laws. Instead beautiful wholehearted humans who embrace the brilliant working laws of Universe and incorporate them into how they do everything.
I wrote the following piece some time ago. It is a shorter summary of the riff of this note. I hope you enjoy it.
We stand on that distant shore and look to the horizon. Not with longing, but with certainty that the path we’ve set will have us arrive.
On this horizon we have created a world where human enterprise — any human endeavour, from community groups, to the not-for-profit, to large companies, to families and partnerships — as a direct result of our actions, increase the wellbeing of Earth and all her creatures.
Where integrity and beauty are our foundation and love is our fuel.
Where all-human dignity, respect, love, kindness, generosity, and care is the way we do business.
We are idealists, yet incredibly practical. The models we’ve created are not new, they have been deployed by nature, of which we’re an integral part. And have been for billions of years, with stunning success.
One has only to marvel at the stars, to gasp at the complexity of soil, to watch an ant go about her business, to know brilliance of co-ordination, collaboration, harmony, the great dance that flows in infinite spirals.
We have simply stopped imposing our egoic and arrogant stance that we are superior to nature, that Earth and many of her creatures, including other humans, are there for our domination and exploitation.
We are a global community of way finders and map makers, daring to write a new story in partnership with nature.
Everything is considered, from how we account for value, honour diversity, how we enable individual agency within community, our formal structures that hold us in community, the currencies that flow and nourish, the goods and services we create that offer real value to the now without costing the Earth or any sentient’s future.
This is a bold endeavour and we, the pioneers of this new frontier, hold each other to our best, dare to bring to life this new story against the odds of our incumbent system.
How we create business is completely reimagined. No longer entropic and degenerative, instead syntropic and eternally regenerative, for Earth and all her creatures.
If not now, when. If not us, who?
It is time for a Syntropic World?
If this sings the song of your heart, please join us in the creation of a Syntropic World.