A Deepened Democracy

A paradigmatic shift

The 21st century as an era of reconciliation

Now, obviously I cannot know how humans in 180 years will be looking back on us today. But it might be that, if things go well, the history books of the 22nd century will describe the 21st century as an era of reconciliation. An era when human society re-integrated itself into the boundaries of the eco-system. An era when, for the first time since the beginning of modernity, humanity successfully balanced its immediate needs with those of non-human life and future generations.

A shift in how we see us, the world, and us in it

Grand words, I know. But I do indeed believe that, ultimately, this is what is at stake. When we discuss the ecological and social transformation we are currently facing, we discuss the fundamental rebalancing of short-term material and long-term systemic interest. A fundamental shift, not only in structure, but also in culture and worldview: how we as humans see us, our context, and how we relate to it.

Three strategic imperatives for 21st century politics

The question democracy faces is this: How can democratic societies foster a culture of liberty that does not systemically violate the greater whole? What does a democracy look like that understands itself as part of the ecosystem’s life web, not external or superior to other life on earth?

Two core challenges for the coming years

Now, what does these three imperatives mean for the political agenda of the coming years?

The inner dimension of democratic transformation

The second task is harder, because there is less awareness for it, and there are less ideas ready for realisation. I would call this task the inner dimension of democratic transformation. The question is: how can we systematically incentivise and catalyse a mainstream culture that accepts and embraces a wider systemic perspective?

The System we need, from Unlearn. A Compass for Radical Transformation, Perspectiva Press 2021

It can be done

And yet, there are things that can be done politically to foster this inner development of society. If we take the insights from adult development psychology seriously, the task at hand is to systematically provide impulses and nudges for and towards the inner development of all citizens.

Tomas Björkman at Innocracy 2018

We have all we need to change course — except the consciousness

What I learned over the past 15 years on the political playfield is this: we do not lack information regarding the situation we are in. We do not lack ideas that help us tackle the challenges of our times. We also do not lack the economical means to implement these ideas.

Thank you

As some of you know, one of my intentions when we started the Innocracy conference was to gain attention for the inner dimension of democratic transformation.

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