We must be the model. Demonstrate the change. Live the new language, the new mindsets

Christine McDougall
7 min readSep 14, 2022

At Syntropic World, we intend to demonstrate Nature’s Laws in all that we do, to remember that we are Nature. Nature does not deplete herself to empty. She refuses to respond to the timing of individual creatures, instead following the cycles of the whole.

Night to day. Summer to winter. Growth to decay. Birth to death.

No matter the importance or urgency of our work, we must find the time to pause, step back, breathe, restore, regenerate. Are we any better than the old models we seek to change if we do not model this?

For years I tried to be everything to everyone. To force time onto things. To follow the plan. To assert my dominion over the idea I was stewarding.

This is not the way of Nature. It is the way of the colonial, industrial, capitalistic, dominator mindset.

We must be the model. Demonstrate the change. Live the new language, the new mindsets.

In all things.

And be self-compassionate when we reflexively do not. Or when we do not even know we are following the path of the culture we are part of. Similarly, to be compassionate towards our fellows as they do not question the culture and operating system, even and especially as they work wholeheartedly to create a more beautiful world.

I admit I struggle to do this. I see hypocrisy, and I am fast to judge.

The untangling from the systems we are born and educated into requires a profound unravelling.

Given this, we also need, more than ever, to be able to pause, step back, change perspective, and connect with Nature, our passions, our play, our love, each other, and the things that fill our mind-body being with joy. Unfortunately, the constant busyness does not allow the space to do this.

Lucky me, I have had two weeks of glorious soaking in Nature and the Ocean. Week #1 was spent camping right by the beach in a National Park in New South Wales. Surfing several times a day, dawn beach walks, long sleeps with the sound of the waves in the background, and great food cooked over an open fire.

Week #2 was spent on Heron Island, a coral atoll on the Great Barrier Reef. Diving twice a day. Sharks, turtles, Manta Rays, coral fish, beauty.

I step back into the end months of 2022 with even more gratitude, love and delight for the work I am gifted to Steward. My heart is full.

I am a late bloomer in many ways. The work of Syntropic World could not have been born any earlier. Nature has its own gestation. (Bucky Fuller said this.)

This perfect intersection of Kairos time.

I needed all of the previous years to synthesise into a whole body of work.

I needed to become the person who could Steward this work without the need to dictate, dominate, impose or control.

I had to navigate out of my dark night of the soul — to commit to no longer trying to fix or change the current models. Instead, to build new models that make the existing obsolete. I know the work we do at Syntropic World is rare in this regard. Instead, we are invested in transformational change of most of our current human-designed constructs.

I stand on the shoulders of so many. Not the least, Buckminster Fuller, my mentor for most of my adult life. The Syntropic Blue Community — intrepid brave souls who are applying this work while keeping me honest. Those who have held me up for so long as I stumbled in the dark trying to find my relevance and worth. My partner, Tony, arrived simultaneously with the birth of Syntropic World and is integral to it. My daughter Natalie, a constant source of inspiration and truth-telling.

The journey of Syntropic World is entirely emergent. There is no master plan.

There is a clear purpose: to have Syntropic Enterprises — how we coordinate humans to do work that matters for a world with a future for Earth and all her creatures, without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone — become the way most businesses and enterprises operate. From the community group, family, partnerships, not-for-profit, teams, small businesses and large global companies.

To date, Syntropic World has no traditional investors — others who have put money into the business with an expected financial return on investment.

We have investors who have contributed love, care, ideas, rigorous feedback, participation, design ideas, voice, art, money and word of mouth. We value these investors beyond our ability ever to repay them.

Syntropic World is not a traditional company. We are still in the process of creating a legal code that best reflects what we do. This will combine a Trust, Not-for-profit, Steward Owned, and Co-op. We are guided by the revealing work of Katherina Pistor — The Code of Capital — and Bucky Fuller’s thoughts on legal codes and capital and the progressive work of the Purpose Economy team

The centre of everything we do is the Global Community of Practice in 25 countries. People committed to building Syntropic Enterprises for a world with a future. Bucky Fuller said — build the models. Argue with the model. That is where I spend my time. Supporting people to build models of Syntropic Enterprises, applying Nature’s Laws to all things as we go. We experiment, share, learn, grow and play together. It is highly developmental both with our interiors and with the actions, community, systems and structures we are working on.

I started Syntropic World because I knew we need to do things VERY differently in how we create, design, grow, and support enterprise — all forms of human coordination, collaboration, synergy, work, collective genius and design.

A Social Enterprise is only half of what is needed. Not just for society, for people, for planet, for our future, but also to redesign every underlying operating system of human coordination and action, to demonstrate that we are Nature, and as such, as Nature, we design everything using Nature’s Laws, rather than the human-designed constructs we currently deploy that are causing our Natural systems to collapse.

We called this advance on a Social Enterprise a Syntropic Enterprise -which means leaving everything better.

Why does this matter? Because unless we undergo a transformative change in how we humans do pretty much everything, we are screwed.

And — because every person I have ever met has unique value that, if given the space to come alive, can contribute to a better world for all. Most people want to do work they love that allows them to express this value in a way that dignifies them as we create a more beautiful world for all.

Everything we do at Syntropic World is about how to demonstrate human coordination — through enterprise — that is in harmony with life, Nature, and our collective wellbeing.

We do not have hard and fast maps or blueprints, as this work is new to our Western mindset. Instead, we turn to Nature. We are inspired daily by the work of Buckminster Fuller, who chose the path of Natural Design Science back in 1927.

We treat all participants in our programs as peers. Our community of graduates and practitioners of Syntropic Principles are invited at every turn to co-create Syntropic World with us.

The income from our classes and mentoring/consulting is re-invested into the creation of Syntropic World, including enabling access to all materials and classes for those who might not be able to access them for financial reasons. No one is denied entry for lack of financial resources.

Every year we write a comprehensive Synergistic Audit on what we have done, where we have invested love, care, time, resources, energy, effort and money, and what has been the outcome of these investments. This is a public document.

We hold truth, integrity, dignity, respect, care, beauty and love as the critical ingredients for all we do.

We are not afraid to speak up for truth, to speak out against hypocrisy and greenwashing. We intend to change the system which enables people to change rather than try to get people to behave differently within a system that incentivises exploitation, extraction and profit at all costs.

That is a little bit about us.

We are so glad you are here. I do so hope to get to know you personally.

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Syntropic World is a global education and community of practice applying the organising principles of nature to enterprise design and human coordination. Creating ecologies of trust, ensuring integrity in everything, enabling collective sense making, and organising around a central purpose — how to create a world that works for 100% of humanity without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone.

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Christine McDougall

Committed to supporting those in business who strive to leave the world better. syntropic.world