Vol. 2, p. 1-18
May 1986


by John Holmdahl

This research paper formulates a process, a synthesizing methodology, for integrating, synergizing and implementing holistic/systemic solutions to major world problems. Members of the systems community
have developed in-depth solutions to major world problems that offer profound insights for how to redesign and manage significantly improved social, economic, and decision-making systems that, when implemented, will create a vastly safer, saner, more productive, more profitable, less violent, more environmentally healthy, less stressful, more humane world.

This design approach presents a new paradigm that transcends the traditional industrial-age liberal/conservative, win/lose ideological framework, by offering a unifying context and protocol. This synthesizing process allows solutions to be comprehensively implemented as solutions to different aspects of a single design problem, not as solutions to seemingly separate world problems. In this way, the resources normally kept apart by different or opposing ideologies and special interests can now be enabled to work together, thereby dramatically increasing everyone's ability to achieve goals, as well as to shorten significantly previous timetables for projected implementation.

We live in a world of unprecedented change. Monumental breakthroughs and large-scale breakdowns are occurring all around us. More change happens each day now than used to take place over hundreds of years. 

Interdisciplinary futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard (Design for a Positive Future, 1984) summarizes the human condition at .this extraordinary crossroads in human history and evolution: Since the earliest religions there hai been the intuition in the human race that something new, something more, something higher is corning. Every culture has ~t its roots a transcendent vision of potentiality. Now, if you Place that deep human experience of "something more" in a larger evolutionary context of 15 billion years of natural transformation (the formation of universe, earth, life, multi-cellular life, human life what you see is that those early religions were the first harbingers of the next stage of evolution. What is traditional is transformaion through higher synergy: that is the great evolutionary tradition! we as humans intuited this from earliest days, but it is my conviction hat it is not until the very present day, perhaps the last 20 years, hat our generation recognized that we must become conscious with that design, if we are to survive. Why do we have to be pro-ac iv and conscious now? Because we have inherited the power, which ·s th power of nature itself: atomic energy, genetic engineering, brain/mind research, astronautics, cybernetics -- we're hom· ng in on God's invisible technologies of creation. We've got a mind d sign d o know the design. 

Similarly, Alvin Toffler (1980) opens his best seller, The Third wave, with the lines: A new civilization is emerging in our lives, and blind men everywhere are trying to suppress it •..• Pieces of
this new civilization exist today. Millions are already attuning their lives to the rhythms of tomorrow. Others, terrified of the future, are engaged in a desperate, futile flight into the past and are trying to restore the dying world that gave them birth. The dawn of this new civilization is the single most explosive fact of our lifetimes. Humanity faces a quantum leap forward. It faces the deepest social upheaval and creative restructuring of all time. Without clearly recognizing it, we are engaged in building a remarkable new civilization from the ground up. This is the meaning of the Third wave •... With some intelligent help from us [this could) turn out to be the first truly humane civilization in recorded history.

Glimmers of this new civilization are described in an increasing number of books and articles that are beginning to fill in the outlines of a fantastic world ahead of us. The human race will inherit this wonderful possibility if, the big IF, we can learn to cooperate with that evolutionary design and with each other in order to utilize fully the new breakthroughs for everyone's advantage. This paper outlines how we might achieve that necessary and unprecedented level of cooperation. 

The approach here outlines a protocol for designing and building a new kind of civilization where everyone can be significantly more successful than anyone now is able toe. A major distinction between the win/lose context that marked feudal and industrial-age societies and the new win/win civilization is that the two contexts generate fundamentally different psychological realities that pervade all aspects of human interaction.

The seemingly miraculous potential for a 1001 successful human community is based on the profound new technological and psychological realities of this late 20th century. These new conditions have rendered obsolete the traditional socialist/capitalist ideological assumptions that once created a world where some people had to lose for others to be able to win. 

For exa111ple, Esfandiary 119731 asks: how do you identify space scientists who this very day are working with new sets of premises to establish communities in other worlds? Are they Right-wing or Left? Are they conservative or liberal? How do you categorize radio astronomers now scanning the galaxies in search of Intelligent Life? Or scientists working on the implantation of devices in the human body enabling the individual to control its own pain and pleasures, emotions and dreams? or those working on telefarming systems which can provide endless quantities of food? or computerers developing cybernated systems to free people of the primitive ordeals of perpetual work and of leadership government? or bio-engineers striving to conquer death? These and other breakthroughs are outside the range of all the traditional philosophical, social, economic, political frameworks. These new dimensions are nowhere on the Right or on the Left. These new dimensions are Up. Up is an entirely new framework whose very premises and goals transcend the conventional Right and Left. 

As we cross the threshold into a radically new 21st century, we need positive images to guide our actions. We need processes where people can learn how to work together in more effective and harmonious ways. Otherwise the possibility of consciously creating a significantly better world might rightly be dismissed as a pie-in-the-sky utopian fantasy.

A body of knowledge now exists that can stimulate this widespread spontaneous cooperation and significantly resolve the world's industrial-age problems. It is comprised of the sum and synergy of
the full spectrum of human knowledge (the result of thousands of years of invention and discovery) restructured into a new win/win 21st Century framework with comprehensive and specific action steps capable of catalyzing the emergence of this new civilization and the next stage of human evolution. This body of knowledge is now being assembled under the sponsorship of the peace Development and Global competence commission within the society for General Systems Research. 

Now is the time to ask entirely new questions, to operate from entirely new premises and to aim for entirely new goals. Welcome to the future 1 It has begun. 


creating unifying goals is the starting point. It is crucial to make the distinction here between the goals that we want for ourselves and the world (the direction we want to go) and the goals that we think are possible, which may take us in a direction we don't want to go.

What we "want" may sound very impractical at the outset, but it Will prove to become the most practical focus, after an interdisciPlinary synergistic synthesis occurs. current traditional planning begins with what is believed "practical" or "possible." This method ignores processes for identifying and incorporating 1 a rge numbers of unutilized breakthroughs or unexpected potentials, and has resulted in our current state of affairs, with the bitter paralysis caused by opposing special interests that we see all around us. 

since each of us is limited in our ability to know exactly what is possible for a rapidly evolving humanity, and because of the unpredictable nature of synergy (the results of successful collaboration are always greater than the sum of its parts) the goal here should be chosen to be what we really want, what inspires us the most, what transcends and frees us from the pettiness of much of ordinary life. As we begin to describe in a group what we want for ourselves and for the world, the quality of the interaction within that group is transformed!

As this synergy occurs, people discover unexpected areas of common ground and meaningful cooperation, and previously impractical goals can suddenly become possible. This process occurs on smaller scales all the time when partnerships are formed, or when people fall in love. This preferred-state planning process, as it is used here, is that same synergistic phenomenon, consciously designed and nurtured, on a much larger scale, utilizing many more people and many
more types of resources.

A goal is realistic proportional to the number of breakthrough areas utilized and to the sum and synergy of the group's knowledge and resouces. so what is "realistic" as a goal can dramatically change relative to all these variables. comprehensively focusing on what we truly want also creates a magnet of hope and new possibilities that attracts more people from all special interests, bringing in a microcosm of human resources and astounding new potentials.

Many published works (Alexander, 1971; Bellamy, 1888, 1897; Esfandiary, 1973, 1977; Fourier, 1971; Fresco, 1977; Keyes & Fresco, 1969; Price, 1984; Technocracy, 1975) describe an idealized quality of
life that can serve as potentially unifying goals that people can agree on and be inspired by. Republicans and Democrats, capitalists and communists all tend to agree on these kinds of idealistic visions. Where traditional ideologies differ greatly is on how to get from here to there. This critical aspect will be discussed in detail in a later section of this paper. The important point here is to begin to appreciate the value of people sharing a vision of what large-scale success might be like, and then to explore that vision in depth.

John Price (1984) describes his vision for the human race: Just imagine a world where there is no conflict--no selfish competition-only loving cooperation. Imagine a world free of pollution, free of
want, free of disease, free of disaster. Imagine a world populated with smiling, laughing, happy joyous people--all radiantly healthy, all abundantly supplied, all loved and loving. Get the feel of such a world--put yourself right in the middle of it. Think of yourself as filled with life and energy and vitality. see yourself surrounded with abundance and enjoying true prosperity. see yourself doing what you love and loving what you do, unbound and free. see yourself with the capacity to embrace and love and serve every single man and woman on this planet, regardless of who they are or what they have done--and feel that unconditional love radiating from you to all--and returning
from all to you. 

The process of visioning what we want begins with the general, and then moves toward more specific goals. The following is an example of a more specific preferred-state vision that was actually authored by an interdisciplinary Design Team . (Design for a positive Future, 1984). The team was composed of activists,visionaries, and design scientists who conceptually synergized perspectives from a wide range of disciplines as they began to behold the enormous, unexpected, relevant resources that exist outside their field of expertise, which could be utilized by their own special interest, as well as by our world community:


We hold these truths to be self evident: the world is designed to provide the opportunity for all people to fulfill their potential. The human community has now developed the technology, resources, and capacities to free us from want; to restore our environment; to emancipate human creativity; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to explore the frontiers of outer space and human consciousness.

We choose a w or 1 d e qua 1 to our highest potent i a 1 . We are committed to taking the actions necessary to make such a world a reality.

We maintain that it is possible for every individual in the world to have:
1. Security and peace;
2. An economy of abundance;
3. Sufficient shelter, clothing, and health-creating food;
4. Health care that supports wellness, not illness;
s. Ample, affordable energy produced in an environmentally enhancing way;
6. A healthy environment;
7. Meaningful work;
8. Self-fulfilling education;
9. Effective and just methods to resolve conflicts;
10. Access to essential information;
11. Informed participation in decision-making processes;
12. Enjoyment, creativity and self-expression in the arts and
recreation; and
13. Opportunities to explore the farthest reaches of the sciences, outer space, and the human spirit.

such visions, nurtured and expanded, can become consensus goals and a conceptual magnet around which people can unite and work together in unprecedented ways to design the systems that would
realize, support, and manage those visions.

When sufficient care is taken to create goals lofty enough to include the broadest possible spectrum of special interests, sectors of societies and cultures, those goals can have a tremendous unifying effect. The total success of 100% of humanity is one such goal. 

when sufficient time is taken to show people how to share their differences effectively and how to create win/win outcomes, differences can be transformed into additional resources. This technology is a central and essential key to transforming the world, and this technology also exists! our next big frontier as a society will be the exploration of the space that is between us.


so far, solutions to our critical world problems have been elusive because of, though not limited to, the following:
1. There are a large number of incredibly complex problems.
2. Problems can't be solved separately, as if they existed in a vacuum.
3. Trying to solve one problem without taking all the others into account usually makes the other problems worse.
4. some people's "solutions" create other people's problems.
5. Special interests and divided disciplines keep people from working together to solve problems as a whole.
6. Differences are usually seen as obstacles rather than as additional perspectives and resources.
7. Most people lack in-depth understanding and appreciation of others' disciplines, professions and perspectives.
8 . The unwillingness of many people to deal with hard facts, taboos, and difficult questions.
9. Problems don't go away by throwing money at them.
10. Problems don't go away by ignoring them.
11. problems can't be solved by conceptually simplifying them until they fit the description of a "manageable" problem that we have a solution for. ·
12. International cooperation currently depends upon political and ideological considerations which have proved themselves to be incapable of resolving the problems that confront us.
13. We have entered an age of exponentially increasing rate of change, so that plans based on current conditions are often obsolete before the plan has begun.
14. We have confused the real problem with .the myriad symptoms of that underlying fundamental systemic problem, which has not yet been publicly recognized or addressed.

As global diagnosticians, we are at the primitive stage of trying to cure our global ills, that we once were in when diagnosing individuals' medical problems. Two hundred years ago the first president of the United States, George washington became ill with what we now call laryngitis. A doctor was called and immediately prescribed what was the standard treatment at that time--the application of leeches to suck blood from the patient. This treatment was believed to remove bad fluids from the patient's system. NO one questioned this treatment; it had been used for centuries and was
accepted by doctors. But Washington did not get better, so hiS doctors prescribed a second bleeding . washington became even weaker, and the same treatment was used for the thir time--and then a fourth time when there was still no improvement. washington died within two days. Today doctors would agree that washington did not die of laryngitis but from the loss of blood (Leshan, 1981).

Similarly, over-population, hunger, poverty, national debts, cr1me, war, terrorism, etc., are tragic and unnecessary symptoms of a much more fundamental planning disease that is just beginning to be recognized and understood. It is this underlying, fundamental problem that we have overlooked in our sensitivity to and outrage at the devastating effects of those deadly symptoms on the lives of real human beings.

Medard Gabel (1980) explains that the fundamental systemic problem is not what is popularly depicted in the newspapers or on .television; the basic pro b 1 em is not the p r i c e of gas o 1 in e or •.• imports or windfall profits or nuclear proliferation ••• or depletable vs. nondepletable energy sources. In some sense it is all of these, but most fundamentally it is quite simple: how do we get enough energy to everyone on Earth to meet all their life-support needs? How do we harness enough energy so that 100% of humanity--those alive tomorrow as well as today--have all the energy they need to have optimally functioning life-support facilities? How do we get the energy that is needed to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, furnish health care and recreational opportunities, and insure social well-being? And, how do we do this in the cleanest, safest, and quickest way? And, last but not least, how do we do all this, not at the expense, disadvantage, or coercion of anyone, but ideally, through spontaneous cooperation?

Le Shan (1981) in The Roots of crime says that there is no easy answer to lowering the amount of crime. We know that the majority of children who grow up liking themselves, and who are therefore capable of caring about other people, are usually children whose parents have good jobs, live in decent neighborhoods, and are surrounded by loving and caring relatives, neighbors, and friends. The fact is that as a nation we are not doing anywhere near enough to create that kind of environment for all our children. people who yell and scream about "those animals" who "are turning our streets into a jungle," and "ought to be locked up or sent to the electric chair," are missing the point. It's an easy way of not facing the problem. What is important is to realize that there are millions of families who live under stress, in financial, emotional, and social deprivation; who struggle against terrible odds. They live in neighborhoods that are ugly and terrifying; they have never been educated or trained to do a job or to know how to keep a job; and most of a 11, they see themse 1 ves as second-class citizens because of their color or their accent. If the social environment is not altered, current human value structures tend to remain and hostility, anxiety, tensions, insecurity and their offshoots are maintained.

The Global problematique affects everyone of the almost 5 billion people living today. The cost of not solving this systemic problem is our continuing to live in a world of fear and apprehension where modern technologies of warfare have made it possible for an individual or a nation to bring total destruction to large segments of our population (Prescott, 1975). 

we are left with few a lt e rnative s. Either we continue our present patterns of social , environmental and political incompetence and face a continuing series of cr i ses and i nc r easi ng l y unmanageable problems, or reorganize our thinking along entirely new lines.


Many systems designers (Bellamy, 1888, 1897: Esfandiary, 1 973, 1977: Fresco, 1977: Fuller, 1981: Gabel, 1979, 1 980: Holmdahl & Golden, 1983; Prescott, 1975, 1986; shaw, 1973; Technocracy, 1975) emphasize that the transformation of humanity towards a significantly better quality of life depends upon a comprehensive redesign of our society as a whole. Total design must deal with psychological, emotional, and physiological considerations. Any environmental design that does not include its human factor would be insufficient. 

In recent years a sufficient number of systems scientists and practitioners have gained enough understanding of the human psyche and of the dynamics of systems to be able to contribute to the design of total environments that would, for example, remove the motives and the imperatives that individuals have for committing crimes and resorting to violence (Crawford, 1970, 1986; Keyes & Fresco, 1969; LeShan, 1981; Prescott, 1975, 1986; waring, 1986). Let's get these designers together with the resources they need to design a better quality society for us!

An historic first step would be to establish an ongoing interdisciplinary synthesizing arena and process, (similar to the Manhattan project that resulted in the end of World war II) where we could identify and integrate the thousands of isolated potentials and resources that now exist, and translate them into evolving approaches for creating a new civilization. only then would we begin to discover and understand exactly what is possible and what is our potential. 

Banathy (1984) states that in an age when the speed, intensity, and complexity of changes increase constantly and exponentially, our ability to shape change rather than being its victims depends upon whether we are competent and willing to participate in a design that gives direction to change in the systems of which we are a part. Through our participation, we can give direction to the evolution of those systems.

Radically humane premises need to be the bases for designing these new systems. Fourier (1971) saw no inherent flaw, no evil in human nature, and realized that the goal of society should be the
fulfillment of all man's powers. Fourier mapped out plans for social reorganization that would transform isolated human beings into truly social creatures who could realize all their faculties. Psychologically, the program consisted in transcending the social structures that impeded an individual relating to other people as an end rather than as a means. Alexander (1971) notes that this approach would support the theory about mental illness occurring in direct proportion to the degree of separation one feels from his fellow human beings. 


The following synthesizing process enables humanity to begin to work,together. as, a. single team to actually solve the world's problems. The . o P Po .s 1 t 1 on 1 s no 1 on g e r the p eo p 1 e o f d i f f e r en t i d eo 1 o g i e s or special 1nterest groups. The opposition now becomes the lack of adequate design of our social systems that created the necessity of opposition in the first place. only when we reach this point will we be able to say that humanity is finally growing up, and beginning to learn how to live.

The predictable list of objections to the declaration that we might actually be able to solve the world's problems is indicative of the widespread narrowness of vision that is caused b specialization. The following methodology is also a framework for systematically satisfying those important and necessary objections.


1. All of us, to varying degrees, are necessarily blinded by our focus on specific specialized areas of interest, which exclude us from understanding other areas and thereby prevent us from being able to see the full spectrum of what the possibilities actually are for our world.
2. The sum and synergy of the enormous knowledge gained through specialization are sufficient to create a significantly better world.
3. A specific methodology is required: to create a unifying set of goals· to facilitate the sharing and resolution of differences (Crawford: 1970, 1986); to transcend the societal paralysis caused by opposing special interests; and to implement newly designed system, that would actualize idealistic goals.
4. There is a pattern, a design, to human evolution and there exists an emerging methodology for humanity's transition into a rna ure species. This design and methodology are teachable; and people can even learn to live their lives and collaborate together in delightful ways that cooperate with that design. 


This methodology is a synthesis of five existing methodologies: (1) Preferred-state planning applied to global issues, as exemplified by the work of Buckminster Fuller's World Game, (2) the Declaration/Dialogue synthesis Technique, as exemplified in NASA's program, most notably, the Apollo Moon project, (3) the World Game / Sociocyberneering / Technocracy approach which focuses on redesigning the environment (as distinct from trying to change or convert people), (4) the protocol that "imaginal" cells utilize in their role in the transformation of larval organisms into adults, and (5) the advantage of creating "low pressure zones." The protocol is the following: 

1. DEFINE THE IDEAL OR PREFERRED STATE, as detailed in the beginning of this paper.
SPECIFIC DATA THAT ANSWERS THOSE SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS. This dialogue allows unexpected resources to be brought into the arena of discussion in order to move towards a consensus on the practicality of achieving the vision.

vlhen specialist A says that the vision of what we want is practical from his or her perspective because of reason "x," but not practical because of reason "y," this gives Specialist B, whose
domain of understanding and resource access is different, the opportunity to answer Specialist A's objection with a resource unknown to Specialist A.

In turn, Specialist B will likely have a different objection to the practicality of our attaining the preferred-state, specific to his or her unique limits of knowledge. The dialogue then enables yet another specialist to share his or her unique and complementary domain of understanding to answer Specialist B's specific objection. Examples of general objections are:

1. This doesn't seem possible, because it is too complex.
2. I'm not sure that getting a bunch of people together will do it.
3. How will you get the will to do it?
4. How will you deal with all the problems that will come up?
5. Where will you get the money?
6. What about the people in positions of power?

These valid questions and objections, as well as the additional concerns that the reader may have regarding the practicality of this methodology are all examples of specialists offering objections in
order to gain understanding. The objections and the dialogue that follows are the mechanisms for identifying and synthesizing the resources that are necessary for the goals to be achieved. It is a central thesis of this paper that all possible objections can be satisfactorily resolved through this declaration/dialogue process (Chestnut, 1986; Davis, 1986; Franz, 1986; Gabrynowicz, 1986; Holmdahl & Golden, 1983; O'Leary, 1986; Perk, 1986; Prescott, 1986; Waring, 1986; Watson,

similar processes have been used many times to achieve monumental goals that were widely thought impossible at the time of their conception. For example, it was used by NASA during the planning stages of the Apollo Moon Project when most people thought that our going to the moon and back was impossible. The declaration that John F. Kennedy made and the subsequent dialogue allowed those who had specific objections to hear from people outside their limited field of expertise who could supply the former group with new resources, data, and/or ideas. The continuation of that dialogue allowed a synergy of resources from many formerly isolated sectors to be synthesized for achieving a common goal. That process demonstrated to many people's surprise that "impossible tasks may be impossible only because people have not combined resources from separate areas of knowledge. 

continuing this process can lead to a powerful alignment between all involved, and can demonstrate that "what is possible" is indeed proportional to what we collectively know. Therefore if more people and more disciplines are involved, more is possible. The limits to what ultimately is possible are not at all known until the synergies of the process are allowed to take place. Ultimately, there may be no limits.

3. DESIGN A NEW CIVILIZATION. once consensus and a general sense of excitement and awe are achieved regarding the possibility of attaining what we truly want for ourselves and for the world, the next step is to design the social, economic, and decision-making systems that, if implemented, would create and manage that preferred-state. Many participants in the SGSR Peace Development and Global competence commission are already world leaders in the design of such systems. so, much of the components of that work has already been done. our next step as a commission is to understand what has already been designed, then to synergize those designs into a comprehensive whole capable of including and enhancing all people and all special interests.

Toffler (1982) points out that if we look back, we find that our ancestors invented all the political apparatus we still use today: bureaucracies, parties, parliaments, presidencies, prime ministerships.
They created the entire system, but for a different, distant age. we are light years from our origins. Now the time has come again: a revolutionary moment in human history, when we will have to
be as creative as our ancestors were. As a new civilization arises, we will have to use imagination to invent new forms for tomorrow: an expanded democracy, fit for the 21st century.

4. BECOME THE "IMAGINAL" CELLS OF THE BUTTERFLY OF HUMANITY. The ability of a general theory.of systems. to access otherwise unavailable knowledge is exemplified 1n our being able t? formulate a s~c1~l action protocol by studying the cellular dynamics that occur w1th1n larval organisms (e.g., tadpoles, caterpillars, etc.) during the transformation process of metamorphosis into the adult. 

Biologists find in the larval stage of organisms that undergo t h · (change into an entirely new form) that there are me amorp os1s . 11 ( d f 1 f ha t are called imag1nal ce s name a ter the word c usters o w . . t i th f t. i f h "imagine"). These cells do not part.1cd1pa e. t e) un~ 10~\ ~g o t e larval stage of, for example, the ( 1n us.trla -age ca ehrp1 1 ar. In- " t rk" and move toward alignment among t e se ves, in stead ' th. ey f ne twhoe rapid growth that 1. s to come d ur1· ng me t amorp h os i s. preparatlon or 1 tation period comes to an end (which determines When the natura ges . ble to be a caterpillar) then it is th e normal lifespan. o. f be1ng a 1 cells that design and grow into the ain those groups of 1mag1na t organs of the butterfly: the wings, antennae, e c. 

It is important to note that the i mag i nal cells d o not a tte mpt to "convince" the caterpillar to become a but t er f ly, but instead develop among themselves the design of what is t o come, in preparation for the time of critical unworkability of the caterpillar. 

If we understand and take advantage of this potentially equivalent sequence of growth and model our actions after nature's method for achieving transformation, this potential isomorph formulates and supports the strategy of our collaborating as an interdisciplinary team to design the "organs" of a new civilization: the systems that will give humanity its new "wings" and carry it to its next l eve l of evolution. At the same time, th i s methodology by-passes the age-old power struggle over which opposing ideological strategy is to be used to get us from here to the preferred state, by enabling us to jump directly to the preferred state.

5. CREATE LOW PRESSURE ZONES. Buckminster Fuller (1981) emphasized the importance o knowing how best to work together as we collaborate to create a better world. For many serious reasons, it is to our advantage to insist that we make this work FUN. This project can be approached either as an enormous burden or as an exciting adventure. Often potentially great undertakings fail because people burn out or become overwhelmed by what seems to be an insurmountable number of barriers. Therefore, this exciting adventure needs to be and can easily be designed to be an invigorating and joyous experience.

Like the imaginal cells, social imagineers need only work with those people who are most ripe and most ready to participate in visioning,designing, and becoming. Those who are the most prepared to risk dreaming "the impossible dream" still have a lot of learning and synergizing to do among themselves to be able to understand and behold what this new civilization will be like. In the joyous exploration of fusing together the components of that potentiality, we create a morphogenetic field of "limitless creativity" which becomes an irresistibly attractive "party" that others are spontaneously attracted to join. one obvious reason that people like to go to parties is that
they are fun, that is, they don't have the usual pressures of life associated with them. Parties are "low pressure zones."

This attraction into a low pressure zone is reinforced by the increasing pressures in our stress-filled societies. This low pressure environment then naturally attracts more people and more spontaneous, joyous cooperation, which could eventually spread throughout all levels of all societies. Embryonic organisms grow in stages, relative to chemical gradients of "ripeness" that allow an ordered and coherent development into the new form. 

The evolving quality o f our own personal interactions and the synergistic relationships that we learn to develop and enjoy with each other literally becomes the new social model and the new social reality of the civilization that we are designing. 

As we become accustomed to the authenticity of our ability to consciously create significantly preferable environments, we can then create larger-scale low pressure zones. For example, we could build a model 21st century community. It might be something like the "Experime? t~l Prototype~ community of Tomorrow" (EPCOT) that walt Disney or1g~n~lly. env1s1oned~ wh1ch was never built according to his original spec1f1cat1ons. It m1ght be something like the exciting telecommunit~ es that Esfand~ary (~973) so brilliantly describes. It might be l1ke the fantast1c soc1ocybernetic 21st century cities that Jacque Fresco ( t 9 77) has planned.

Learning from these examples, our futuristic community could be composed of an optimal arrangement of newly designed systems to meet the needs of education, housing, medicine, manufacturing, architecture, and recreation, revising the entire approach of the old order of industrial-age cities. All of this integrated technology would be designed to prima r i 1 y promote the happiness, safety, we a 1 th, psychological well-being, mobility, freedom, and health of the entire population.

This futuristic sociocybernetic/EPCOT/telecommunity, by using available but not yet widely utilized, state-of-the-art, late 20th century technologies, would be free of noise, smog, traffic tensions and most of today's urban inconveniences and dangers, and would make available hundreds ·of additional acres of land which were formerly paved beneath concrete roads and sprawling suburbia (Fresco, 1977).

Then we might design and build a series of sociocybernetic/EPCOT/ telecommunities, designed as self-operating, unique entities, which would include sophisticated systems capable of handling unforeseen variables that confront communities, e.g., floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. A main focus will be to exploit the abilities of full-scale automation, computerization and creative manage en in order to minimize monotonous, dangerous and time-consuming jobs, so that everyone might have maximum time and resources to pursue chosen endeavors, such as educational pursuits or participation in art, music, and travel. The development of stimulating environments ould generate the maximum express ion of ind i v idua 1 i ty and soci a 1 ini t iatives (Fresco, 1977).


Initial costs would be used to support a design ea housed near a "Solution center" where they could imagine and work together on an on-going basis. There are numerous foundations that have supper d peace development projects in the past that could finance this initial design phase. The first sociocybernetic/EPCOT/teleco uni y could b financed as either:

1. an advertising windfall for some c~rpora ion, group o
corporations or wealthy individual(s) who woul li o be non in
their lifetime as well as to go down in history as the one<.> ho had
the vision and foresight make possible the mo~t monumental, 1 portant
interesting, exciting, and historic effort 1n the history of humankind,
or as
2. a 21st century club Med type venture.  once the initial sociocybernetic/EPCOT/telecommunity is developed, others could be franchised, or the plans could be freely given to a grateful public, by now likely overwhelmed with curiosity and excitement at the possibility of being able to live in a world where everyone is successful, and free from the enormous stresses and problems that marked the end of the industrial age. 


First we should fund, organize and harness the talents of the greatest reservoir of scientific, psychological and technological capability, and direct it toward implementing solutions to the problems that confront our civilization.

A major step towards this effort was the establishment of the SGSR commission on peace Development and Global competence. This commission has all the essential characteristics to host such an enormously complex and monumental task. The commission is interdisciplinary, scientific, global, systemic, and humane, with a context able to include and enhance all people, cultures, and special interests. 

The commission is also an integral part of the society for General Systems Research, which is affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of science, which is linked to multi-national corporations and to national governments. This sequence of affiliations and friendships provides a continuity of collaboration for growing new levels of trust and sustaining the exchange of critical information. This continuity over time among a rich diversity of competent specialists is essential for implementing the vision of the preferred state. ·

This process has already begun, and participants are realizing that it might actually be easier and much more realistic to solve all the world's interconnected problems simultaneously through this kind of synthesizing methodology than it has been to try to solve any major world problem by itself.


Note that we all, no matter how wealthy or powerful, still have to be concerned about our homes or automobiles being broken into; our children, relatives, or ourselves being mugged or kidnapped, or the competition eating away at our wealth, power, or market share. or, as Herbert Scoville, former Deputy Director for Research at the central Intelligence Agency warns, we may be included in the increasing "liklihood . that a nuclear conflict will actually break out, and that somebody w1ll use one of those 50,000 nuclear weapons in a conflict or perhaps even by accident" (Keyes, 1982).

we are all the victims of crime, poverty, pollution, the psychology of scarcity, and monetary instability. We are all the victims of ignorance, inequality, selfishness, and fear. we are all the victims of narrowness of vision and understanding. we are all the victims of our inabi 1 ity to acknowledge the existence of some truth in every perspective and point of view.

We, as a society are in great need of going forward to new basics. This is the recurrent pattern in the history of science, whenever the Copernicuses and the Einsteins respond to the increasing unmanageab i 1 it ies and o vercompl exit ies of any outdated theory by discovering a new and significantly more useful explanation and course of action (Kuhn, 1970).

With acknowledgment to Edward Bellamy, you and I may one day be "looking backward" on these final decades of the 20th century, and on what we did then, and we may see, as Bellamy (1888) predicted, t hat successfully creating a system that provides for a ll of humanity ' s needs is far from an ultimate attainment, but, i n the long term, i s only a preliminary to anything like real human progress. We will merely be relieving ourselves of a needless harassment which has hindered our human family from undertaking the real ends of existence. To wonder at the rapidity with which the Transformation will be completed after its possibility is first entertained, i s to forget t he
intoxicating effect of hope upon minds long accustomed to despair.

we have the choice of how to relate to the barriers that lie between us and our chosen goals. We can be defeated by those barriers or we can take them as the unique challenges and oppor t un i tes of evolution that life is presenting to us. We can release the curiousity and imagination within us that exemplifies the imag i na l cel l s of our newly forming 21st century butterfly or we can go down with the Caterpillar.

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