Systemic greening instigation (part 1)

How can a country kick-start systemic greening and bring everyone onboard?

“The facts of science are real enough, and so are the techniques that scientists use, and so are the technologies based on them. But the belief system that governs conventional scientific thinking is an act of faith.”
-Rupert Sheldrake

Systemic greening instigation – seeing is believing

Today, we may think that more and more people know that countries started to transition technologically, logistically, industrially in a more focussed than ever effort to green up – decarbonise – their economies. We may also assume that people should get it by now and live more ecologically, as green journalists and activists have told the world that climate change is real! However, what we are leaving behind and missing in this big picture of trying to forever keep up with rapidly changing political, scientific, and psychological landscapes is the vast potential of tapping into our collective reserves of knowledge, experience and creativity.

And that this is happening regardless of what the carbon emissions numbers are showing those in the know. The climate emergency message to act and adjust one’s lifestyle gets lost on many as the economic survival matters more and those hit the worst have little or no awareness of it or say in the matter. What we are not addressing at the core is the phenomenon of consumerism in every nation, but especially so in developed nations that have historically caused most pollution!

Systemic greening instigation – creating the right conditions in our neighbourhoods

There exists a vast untapped potential in focusing on the local route as well as international roadmap towards green transition and systemic greening. Both routes shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, and, in fact, local routes can significantly help central governments in meeting their broader sustainable development and climate action goals.

Locally, social spaces such as ecoplazas could provide a platform for us to come together to learn how to act responsibly exponentially faster than we do today in isolation. Where we can exchange our know-how, learn about all available solutions and tools to update and correct our fragmented and often skewed worldviews. They can provide a practical transitional tool for a true regeneration of our societies to take root.

Why systemic greening cannot work properly in the current political and economic climate?

We cannot talk about coherent realignment of our societies with nature and climate dynamics unless we factor the entire population in a climate action plan. I say this because, states with their artificially drawn boundaries and climate change driven pressures on resources can only flourish peacefully if their diverse peoples are entirely on board with the climate action. Otherwise, as we have seen with the “yellow vests” prtotests, a wrongly introduced green-climate reforms will meet with strong opposition.

Why do we then assume that the creation of positive behavioural change is the top-down process? That, if we make people (others outside of our intellectually hermetic in-crowd) understand that they must consume less and more ethically, and we give them gadgets and apps that somehow this switch will happen overnight. As if by some fortuity?! Such assumptions are baseless and short of irrational. Social surveys and scientific findings have proven wrong those who we consider to have had answers.

Nature-deficit not attention-deficit dis-order – how to address a growing disconnect from our green origins

Speaking from my longstanding experience of working with youth and adults, hands-on, on green projects showed me that we would not be able to achieve our outcomes had it not been for a very different approach. And that is by employing a bottom-up cooperative method of realising projects that our two-band team had to finance ourselves. It became apparent that we require an effective streamlined system of financing of green and social projects that does away with red tape, slowness, and other physical and psychological barriers to achieving tangible outcomes, fast. This is key if the aim is to address climate change resulting from environmental degradation whilst raising awareness of and solving many related issues at the same time.

And yet, the top-down approach remains a predominant collective pattern of behaviour coming again and again from the top, including the academic spheres. Not only does this run against the grain of empirical findings from the fields of applied psychology, sociology, and behavioural sciences, including ecology. This ineffective approach also ignores good practice models of self-organisation, self-determination, and self-sufficiency. Social collectives such as ecovillages continue to integrate and foster these in a way that today is the most optimal in terms of creating the right conditions for achieving our climate-nature alignment.

Positive filtering of information for effective greening – how this works in practice

It stands to reason to study diverse dynamics and achievements of social movements that apply cross-disciplinary scientific findings practically so that we grow a wider awareness and have a more realistic picture of where the advancement is at. This calls for frequent updating of our map of reality that allows us to identify, harness, endorse and extrapolate climate innovation on a continuous basis within the shortest timeframes. A fusion of thought processes developed through practical experiments and research of seemingly unrelated fields of knowledge has given us answers that led to the creation of this integrated model of sustainability which Ecoplaza is part of.

This process does not exist in our current dealings with the climate crisis. Innovative grassroot thinking is lost on many across different strata of societies worldwide. Free creative thinking linked to our environment, de-centralised self-governance and climate crises is locked in intellectual cul-de-sacs. In addition, gaps in knowledge levels of such widely covered climate issues and solutions are prevalent in many societies despite of digital literacy. Suffice to say the Internet information highway is not making us individually or collectively wiser in this domain. In fact, the opposite is true thanks to a widespread and easy access to climate counterknowledge or information that lacks context and depth.

Systemic greening – its success depends on how we treat grassroot innovation

The Yale Program on Climate Communications landmark survey attest to this. For example, it revealed that more than half of respondents in Europe, the US, and Japan believe that they know “a lot” or “a moderate amount” about climate change. Whilst far less than half of the quizzed people named the cause of climate change, correctly, attributing it to “natural changes in the environment.” (In truth, climate change is caused almost entirely by human activities, primarily the burning of oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuels according to scientifically validated reports by the IPCC and other climate research bodies, internationally.) Meanwhile, about 4 in every 10 people, mostly in developing countries, have not even heard or know the term “climate change.” Once it’s explained, however, most of them cited examples of climate changes happening all around them.

Over twenty years after the fact, chief scientists at NGOs echo today, in 2023, what I have been saying since the early 2000, when we first introduced our findings, that: we need to talk about climate change to make it relevant to people’s lives. And the best way to do is in an informal setting open to all. Why? By having a safe social space where we can talk about it widely, we then accelerate this understanding, which is a precursor to action. Action is though what needs to follow immediately after to solve environmental crises in places that we live and outside our communities.

As we have seen to date, an uptake of new thinking is too slow partly because politicians and think tanks turn practical ideas like the one, I am presenting here into catchy but short-lived slogans. Thus, re-inventing of the ‘climate change-action innovation’ wheel continues. This requires an immediate redress to change the way ordinary people think and feel about impacts of climate on their lives. Secondly, even if people talk about it with their friends, family, and coworkers, they quickly revert to normal as there is no multi-level frame and support to enact these good intentions of making positive lifestyle adjustments.

How to empower Green Mimicking to boost our resilience to climate impacts

More effective greening also means extending our knowledge beyond textbooks while learning how to efficiently extrapolate new findings so that we can have positive social mimicking of green action in our communities. Still, most importantly, we want to see recycled and upcycled products but not practical workable ideas being recycled back into theory. Which is what’s happening presently. And whilst it is vital that ‘green knowledge’ institutes and other similar organisations disseminate the knowledge and know-how; practical application should take precedence over theoretical deliberations. ‘We do as we preach’ must become an overarching philosophy of every green NGO or company to influence and steer a society and thus its sectors towards a genuine shift.

Rethinking our technological relationship to re-envision our regenerative pathways

We have extended the potential of technocratic solutions to be the transitional strategic answer to all our, mostly man-made, problems faced by our civilisation. Yet, technology itself can only ever be a mere tool that can help us in getting from A to B, a means not an end to our problems.

It is beyond doubt that we have collectively put too much faith in technological processes and not enough in natural and cultural ones. Consequently, today we are reaping the rewards of this socio-cultural re-routing, the advent of which our industrialisation godfathers are credited with. To shift this current status quo and to avoid the inevitable by stubbornly and irrationally clinging to this model, we want to seek to replace outdated, no longer serving us, models with better alternatives. Models, whereby entire populations can engage socially, environmentally, culturally, and spiritually with the current crises to think up solutions.

Our integrated sustainability strategy of 2004 showed how society in the middle ground could become a vehicle for a broader green agenda. The UK’s Coalition government copied and applied this with funding agency/ green investment bank.To restore balance and heal our sick planet and societies we can harness the potential that global diversity of plant, animal and human dimensions offer us today. Anything else is, in my mind, just a denial of the apparent truths reflecting to us – in a mirror like images -social disconnect due to our radical severance from nature. What’s more, civil discontent, conflicts, and wars continue to mar this century because we have departed from natural laws that have governed our indigenous pasts.

Ecoplazas – social spaces regenerating whole communities and regions today

Social spaces expressed as a new eco socio-cultural dynamic within every community would function as a building block for a new alternative model to the one that is shaping many communities today. Replacing indolence and corruption with a swift focussed action and newly found altruism rendering the old impotent systems obsolete with time. Today, a visceral sense of civilisational and environmental crises compel many of us to act.

However, a lack of workable framework where we can invest our resources as a collective i.e. our altruism, time, knowledge, and money to co-create a better reality now, locally in our neighbourhoods, prevents us from doing just that. Living and working in a greater harmony with the ever-evolving ecosystems within the constraints of finite resource reality whilst creating abundance through regeneration. We are facing two options: we either blame this on a flawed direction that an unchecked industrial development and a dominant cultural model has taken us in and do nothing to alter it. Or we face the music with a heightened consciousness and reroute to safety, before we reach the point of no return, environmentally speaking.

Maturation process – how ecoplazas become buffer zones against climate denial and inaction

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of laying down a path for everyone to invest and co-opt in environmental problem-solving paradigm to re-balance today’s nature-deficit and consumerism paradigms. Ecoplazas create a cohort of knowledge keepers whom we learn from. Meanwhile, we all participate in the process of identifying, protecting, and applying this knowledge using location and culture-specific tools that we have at our disposal.

This helps us innovate in this self-perpetuating process of mastering the excellence of living more closely aligned with nature. Until we can mature this process that no longer involves inflicting harm upon the Earth and ourselves. Although, it is an uneven, and gradual process at first, if the right conditions are in place, it has a potential to transform our communities’ thinking so that we can practically enact this regenerative concept. This concept has just entered our thinking sphere. Next step is an effective and globally present, physical catalyst that can practically integrate many of the concepts inherent in the ecoplaza-social space model that I present here following its first introduction over twenty years ago.

This article presenting the original award-winning concepts is the work of the Earthvoice editor, Kinga Monica. She is available for consulting on practical instigation of these concepts, sustainability, and ecotourism consulting, internationally.

To read more on this topic and the solutions that have helped shift some gears of the climate change action to date, please follow my articles here and on Medium.


A Big Strategy: In times of Crisis. A Model to Help Regenerate The Environment, Community And Sustainable Economy. Published in 2012. Authors and innovators of this advanced methodology: Peter Hughes & Kinga Monica

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.