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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lightfoot

13. The 2020’s: The Perfect Storm For Collective Emergence

From our time together in hunter gatherer tribes, to our more contemporary experiments in establishing Citizens Assemblies, Communes and Eco Villages, our species has a long history of forming Collective like structures. And this trend continues today, with a whole new wave of mutual aid communities now beginning to take shape all over the world, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has served as a stark reminder of just how valuable local trust networks can be in times of need. And it seems as if in the decade ahead, this trend will only grow stronger, with the conditions appearing just right for a kind of perfect storm of collective emergence. Let’s take a look now at some of the factors that are leading us away from the status quo, and towards a whole new way of interrelating.

The Factors That Are Moving Us Away From The Old Story

  • We’re Alienated - With increasingly high levels of loneliness & isolation being experienced throughout modern society.

  • We’re Stressed - We work long hours and often lack the time, energy and context to cultivate a variety of deep and meaningful human relationships in our lives.

  • We’re Separated From The Wilderness - Many of us lack exposure to the healing effects of spending time in wholly natural environments.

  • We’re Afraid - We face the prospect of our environmental and social issues getting much worse before they get better.

  • We’re Angry - We’re enraged by the inequality and injustice in our system and the ever increasing disparities in levels of wealth and income.

  • We’re Disconnected - We’re now experiencing the delocalisation and depersonalisation that has resulted from over three decades of rapid globalisation.

  • We’re Skeptical - With many of us having lost trust in our major institutions.

The Factors That Are Empowering Us To Form New Kinds Of Mutual Aid Community

  • We’re Motivated - As we come to terms with the challenges on our horizon, many of us are experiencing a strong desire to explore new of ways of living and working together.

  • We’re Networked - We have an increased ability to communicate and collaborate across new online platforms.

  • We’re Equipped - We have access to new technologies such as 3D printers, small scale renewable energy systems and blockchains, each of which increases our level of community autonomy by allowing us to further decentralise the means of production.

  • We’re Mobile - With more people freelancing and working remotely, we have more flexibility in where we choose to live and how we spend our time.

So if this gives us a better understanding of why mutual aid communities may soon start to emerge in much greater numbers, let’s now explore which kinds of people are showing up as the early adopters.



2021 Joe Lightfoot

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