Universal Platform for
Developing Sustainable Earth Vision1/Model
Global Citizens Envisioning the Future
by Mr. Jan Hearthstone - ModelEarth.Org .
A sustainable world can
never be fully realized until it is widely envisioned. The vision
must be built up by many people before it is complete and
You never change things by
fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new
model that makes the existing model obsolete.
(R. Buckminster Fuller - http://bfi.org/about-bfi/updates/2014/03/countdown-begins/ )
One can--and eventually
must--decide that a fate is an inadequate substitute for a
(Umair Haque -
We have to know what kind
of a world we want to live in, if the one that we live in now we
The challenge is to come up with an idea of a world that would
optimally suit us all; an ideal that all of us on Earth could focus
on and strive for--a harmonious, truly sustainable co-existence of
us all on Earth.
It has to be an ideal accessible, discussable, and amendable by
every- and any-body at all times--the germ of a true global (and,
of course local at the same time) governance--a government where
the governing would be done by the means of a
"vision"1/model in common worked on, held and striven
for by all continuously.
The valid competition would be to improve on the ideal
(vision/model), and to find better ways of achieving this ideal,
instead of competing for advantage over others to the detriment of
the whole, as has the prevalent practice been till now.
There would, eventually, cease any need for "leaders" and
"followers"--everyone would have the potential to take a part in
embodying their own ideas (in concert with the wishes for an ideal
existence of all others) in the continuously being shaped
collective vision/model. The resulting collective vision/model
would not be static--an ideal could not remain an ideal without the
possibility of improving on it perpetually. It would be a space to
resolve any differences, controversies, conflicts, and any
complaints that there ever might arise among us; it would become a
superior way of a collective self-rule.
What is being referred to in the quote at the beginning of the
article--the "envisioning" and "vision" of the ideal to be
realized--are indeed essential for achieving that which is being
... Vision without action
is useless. But action without vision is directionless and
feeble.Vision is absolutely necessary to guide and motivate. ...
(Meadows 2004, p272).
The vision, indeed, " ...
must be built up by many people before it is complete and
compelling. ..." (Meadows 2004, p273)--But how to do this? How to
allow a vast number of people (potentially all who live on Earth
and have a stake in the future of this world, each perhaps with
their own vision) to co-operate on creating one vision of one
This mind staggering task might stop many from even ever
contemplating such an undertaking--an assumption validated by the
lack of any progress in presenting a platform on which to unite all
of the possible visions of a sustainable Earth ever since Donella
Meadows' passing away (2001).
Despite Donella Meadows' "visioning"/"envisioning" being taught at
many places in the world, the one thing needed for starting to work
on a to all acceptable future--a place where all could relate their
ideas with the ideas of everyone else--is missing. Where is it that
anyone could compare their vision with the visions of others?
On a local level it might be possible (even though it is not done
properly anywhere, to my knowledge--correct me, please, if you know
otherwise), but how about coordinating all the local visions with
the vision for the whole world?
There could, possibly, be a way that would allow to accommodate all
of our personally and locally held visions/models on a global
level, but, only as long as we can all agree that we all want to
live truly and provably sustainably.
Imagine an Earth where humans exist in zero population growth
communities situated amidst wild, by humans unregulated nature,
where all the other species that we share this planet with live
untroubled by humans.
Each of the communities would consist of any and all possible forms
(no matter how simple or complex ) of sustainability--from
hunter-gatherer way of life to anything more complex, with the most
complex forms at the center--as long as those communities would be
transparently and demonstrably sustainable, so that their way of
living would not adversely affect the existence of other human
communities and other life on Earth.
In order to establish the basic population density level on Earth,
it should be based on the least complex ecologically and socially
sustainable life-style, so that should any forms of a sustainable
life-style existing on Earth fail for any reason, hunter-gatherer
life-style is the least complex one at which humanity could exist
comfortably, providing there is an ample territory to do it on with
sufficient safety margin that would allow for any, even now
unforeseeable exigencies--this in order to establish the basic
human population level. (N.B.--I am not advocating that all humans
become hunters-gatherers at first and then develop sustainably, as
opposed to the way that we developed actually.) In this way there
would be no need for having to accommodate all other species
sharing the Earth with us in any special way--those would always
live in balance with humans who would not be able to inflict much
damage on them due to their small number.
Any communities at a level of sustainability more complex than that
of hunter-gatherers within this universal vision (i.e.--withing a
model) would be "evolved"--not driven by external circumstances,
instead pulled towards the vision of the ideal--from the least
complex one possible step by step, demonstrating that each more
complex level of sustainability would indeed be sustainable
ecologically and socially in every aspect, all communities together
making sure not to exceed the total population level of humans on
Earth that would always remain fixed at what it would be if all
humans lived as hunter-gatherers--this as a safety measure in case
that people, if not satisfied with higher complexity level of
sustainability, would always have the opportunity to fall back to
living at less complex levels of sustainability. More on this in
'Sustainability' by Illustrating the Concept Using
(instead of by merely describing it)".
I imagine that people (both--in constructing the vision/model, and
in the sustainable world that would be the vision realized) would
be able to "vote with their feet"--at any time when they would feel
that they would like to live, either at a different place, or at a
different level of sustainability, they would just
re-group/re-locate. In this way social sustainability would be
ensured--no one would be forced to stay at any place, or at
any level of complexity of sustainability.
Again--it must not be understood that I advocate that all
the billions of people on Earth that there are now should become
hunter-gatherers and then tried to work their way to the level of
complexity of sustainability that they would like to live at in
real life! All this above would be happening in models (of any
appropriate kind, e. g. "gedanken experiments, etc.) for the
purposes of getting a practicable "vision"/model together.
The what-so-ever model(s)/vision(s) that would be arrived at should
not be anything less than a portrayal of an as perfect as
possible situation. (However--"visions" should never be considered
as being static; they would evolve along with the evolution of
thoughts on the subject.) The model(s) arrived at should not be
impeded by what might be considered possible, or impossible, in our
current, very imperfect world that we are forced to live in
Visioning means imagining,
at first generally and then with increasing specificity, what you
really want. That is, what you really want, not what someone has
taught you to want, and not what you have learned to be willing to
settle for. Visioning means taking off the constraints of
"feasibility," of disbelief and past disappointments, and letting
your mind dwell upon its most noble, uplifting, treasured
dreams. (Meadows 2004,
The ideal should not be
limited by what might be thought of as being "possible", or
"impossible" at any given time!:
"... In order to conceive
of what you truly want to create, you must separate what you want
from what you think is possible. ..." (Fritz 1984, p71)
The ways of achieving the
ideal depicted in the "visions"/"universal models" should start
suggesting themselves as soon as the model would appear to be
A great number of variations on this "vision"/model suggest
themselves--the result would still be a humanity that would
harmoniously exist with itself and all other life on Earth,
providing that humanity would adhere strictly to the
"zero population growth" policy, and to living demonstrably and
A way of providing a satisfactory definition of
"sustainable"/"sustainably" would be to demonstrate transparently
in models (of any appropriate kind) that any situation would, or
would not, indeed be "sustainable", that at no point there is
anything that would be deleterious to the comfort of other humans
or other species.
There is a need for such a model of what the Earth should ideally
look like that would be freely accessible by anyone on Earth, so
that everyone can, at any point, see what progress is being made
towards the ideal at any time, so that there is a reference
available for any undertaking that might concern the welfare of
anyone on the planet.
"Model" - definitions:
"... 10. a simplified representation of a system or phenomenon, as
in the sciences or economics, with any hypotheses required to
describe the system or explain the phenomenon, often
A representation of a system that allows for investigation of the
properties of the system and, in some cases, prediction of future
outcomes. Models are often used in quantitative analysis and
technical analysis, and sometimes also used in fundamental
The "vision" in the title harks back to Donella Meadows'
"visioning"/"envisioning", which owes its being to Robert Fritz's
"Technologies For Creating" (TFC). What "visioning"/"envisioning"
is for Donella Meadows, Robert Fritz calls a "choice". Fritz'
The Path of Least Resistance (Fritz 1984) is a necessary
reading for anyone who wants to understand what Donella Meadows'
I think that "model" could be a more fortuitous choice of a term in
the context of this writing.
Donella Meadows' "Envisioning a Sustainable World", in which she
explains what "visioning"/"envisioning" is, is online:
and so is what I wrote that touches on what her
"visioning"/"envisioning" concept is:
Citizens Designing a Sustainable World Together -
In Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update the authors write
about the "sustainable revolution", the next biggest social change
coming. (Meadows, et al. 2004, chapter 8, p273)
The "Universal Platform for Developing Sustainable Earth
Vision/Model" is a basis for a complete, all-encompassing
vision of a sustainable Earth; Complete, because any
sustainable life-style can be accommodated within the model, as
long as that "life-style" indeed is provably sustainable.
What is needed now is to make this all-encompassing vision/model of
a sustainable Earth "compelling".
1984 The Path of
Least Resistance. Salem, MA: DMA Inc., ISBN:
Meadows, Donella H., Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows
2004 Limits to
Growth: The 30-Year Update.
Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company
A synopsis of Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. Online
at the Sustainability Institute (founded by Donella Meadows):
You might also, perhaps, look at what I wrote about R. B. Fuller's
"World Game" -
Buckminster R. Fuller's World Game and ModelEarth. -