Active commitment to a life-sustaining society: What you can do, now

Ehrlich, Paul R. | October 8, 2015 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

In Feeding people on our stressed planet will require a “revolution” John Harte and I argued that:

feeding the planet goes way beyond food. Revolutionary political, economic and social shifts are necessary to avoid unprecedented chaos.”

The MAHB’s mission is to inspire a global dialogue on the interconnected nature of sustainability issues, with the intention to shift the culture so that we actually become ecologically sustainable. The MAHB provides a platform for progressive civil society to actually change mainstream norms –the most fundamental step in shifting to a life-sustaining society

One MAHB Node, Andrew Gaines in Australia, has created an approach that I strongly support. It is the Inspiring Transition initiative.

Stimulated by Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest, Gaines notes that today there is a vast movement for healthy change, with millions of groups working on various aspects of environmental sustainability and social well-being. While these organizations continue to work on their own missions, they could also devote part of their efforts to educating people in our networks about the whole system change necessary to achieve sustainability.

In other words, instead of just a few groups communicating about systemic change, what if millions of groups did so? Then we would have a means of bypassing the media and catalysing the profound shift in social norms necessary for the transition.

Accelerating the Great Transition – Engaging mainstream commitment to a life-sustaining society outlines a strategy whereby thousands, indeed millions, of individuals and organisations can combine forces to affect mainstream behavior without requiring a complex administrative structure or contentious strategy meetings.

The Inspiring Transition website provides about twenty imaginative communication tactics, and has links to ready-to-use tools for communicating about the Great Transition. The tools are meant to make communicating as easy as possible.

To summarize, Inspiring Transition is a robust and yet pragmatic platform and set of tools designed to fuel a citizen-led initiative: I urge you to go to the site and get involved now. Delaying is not an option.


To learn more about Inspiring Transition, read the recent contribution to the MAHB Blog from Andrew Gaines, Communicating to Accelerate the Great Transition


MAHB-UTS Blogs are a joint venture between the University of Technology Sydney and the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. Questions should be directed to joan@mahbonline.org

MAHB Blog: http://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/active-commitment-to-a-life-sustaining-society-what-you-can-do-now/

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Dr Bob Rich

    Thank you for this, Paul. I have admired your work since the 1970s. As a member of Andrew Gaines’ group, I really appreciate your thumbs up.

    We do need to change the global culture in order to reduce the damage we are doing to the biosphere.