With thanks to the Skoll Foundation who this year can look back on 10 years of constructive disruption -
Just came across this wonderful Russian video of Planet Earth from space. Linger a while.
Do you know the definition of madness?
One at least is “doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome”! For far too long we have been doing just that – propping up outdated models of education, healthcare, commerce, finance, banking, energy, agriculture, governance and leadership.
The promoters of this Laboratory passionately believe that we need to update these and all aspects of our social interaction and behaviour to reflect our current understanding of the interdependency of everything, with all life and the planet, and the finiteness of all resources.
While there are others around the globe thinking these and similar thoughts, writing books, giving talks, making films, nowhere are these ideas being systematically tested and transformed into practical, scalable working models, suitable for adaptation anywhere.
The mission of this site is to bring together all the ingredients, people and resources required to create on the ground in the UK a living laboratory, to be known as the Light Living Laboratory (LLL), the design of which will base itself on joined-up, holistic thinking and the blinding insight that humanity too is an integral part of nature. Simple as this idea sounds, it will require a radical rethink in many areas, at core of which is our economic and financial system. The design principles of permaculture will play a major role in shaping the physical Laboratory.
The mission of the Light Living Laboratory (LLL) is for a group of self-selected people to live and work together in community in order to develop and demonstrate radically new ways of living for the 21st century.
The LLL will further encourage other communities and organisations around the globe to develop or reveal their own holistic models for living. This will eventually create a worldwide network that will become a repository of practical answers towards the day when the world at large will finally ask “how do we change, and fast”.
As we look around and pay attention to the signs, we can see that much of what we take for granted is heading towards collapse and radical change. Our current social institutions and practices, ways of living, understanding of the nature of life and our place in nature have all contributed towards an acceleration of this change; we now understand that in some instances we have been the actual cause. Unless we change our ways of being fast, what has helped us reach where we are today will actually accelerate our decline.
Better in these relatively calm times to give thought to, and experiment with, new ideas and have them available when destruction really hits, rather than wait until the chaos has set in and clear thinking will become that much more challenging and implementation that much more urgent. If we were the government of this country, we would be placing war-time resources and urgencies behind developing the concepts this Laboratory seeks to promote.
Structure of the Site
When committed to holistic thinking and being it is only to help our linear minds that we have to create categories of subjects that need to be addressed. Across the top of the heading of this site you will see a number of subjects; each of these needs to be addressed in direct relationship to all the others. Each section will of course address some of the reasons why we need to change our approach and views on it, along with those on all others.
The focus however in each section will be on coming up with new ideas and proposals, identifying and discussing other’s approach to the subject; etc. and at the Light Living Laboratory we will practice the resultant thoughts, ideas and models, e.g. on education; on agriculture; on leaderless leadership and governance; etc.
The core focus of our Light Living Laboratory has to be for us to find practical and real ways in which we live as part of nature and in full partnership with it. Without this re-integration with nature, we cannot hope to create world that will even begin to reflect what we all secretly and increasingly overtly yearn for. There is nothing theoretical in living in and with nature – if we succeed, we shall have immediate feedback, if we fail, this feedback will be equally immediate but a lot less pleasant.
Or home planet is going through fundamental structural change, if we ignore what is happening our world will be changed, if we remain in harmony and aligned with Earth’s needs and challenges we shall be creating the world we all want for ourselves and those who come after us. A few years of clear thought, hard work and no fear of set-backs will definitely be worth it.
While the Light Living Laboratory (LLL) is clearly intended to be a physical place, one in a series spanning the globe, it is also a virtual place, so please contribute by throwing in your ideas, participating in our discussions, consider joining our first LLL in the UK, and provide any support of any nature you can.
This project is so much more than a few people wanting to make a difference, wanting to live in an ideal nature-based community; this is about bringing together brave, warrior souls who are willing to experiment with new ideas, new ways of living, doing and dying, so that the world they help create will be a much better place. All the information we have access to suggests that our efforts, as well as those others around the world engaged in action, will be successful. After Earth’s period of turmoil ahead, the new world we shall help create will be an even better place than we can currently project.
It is difficult to enter into somebody else’s mind when it comes to visualizing what’s in there. Film-makers, artist, even a brilliant writer, can project their mental imagery outwards and succeed to different levels. Alas, the author of these pages does not fall into any of theses categories of master-communicator, other than in personal presentation, so please bear with him and help make the vision clearer. Please ask questions about anything that you feel remains unclear. The Light Living Laboratory is from inception intended to be collaborative.
Do more to save planet or man faces extinction, warns Charles
8 Sep 2011
Mankind faces extinction unless people wake up to the “rapacious” loss of the earth’s natural resources, Prince Charles warned today.
He issued a plea for greater action, saying the planet faces a “sixth great extinction event” unless the loss of land and increasing pollution is halted.
The Prince used his appointment as president of environment charity WWF-UK to declare: “Its ultimate impact is plainly not at all clear to most people – without the biodiversity that is so threatened, we won’t be able to survive ourselves.”
Charles, who today succeeded his cousin Princess Alexandra as president, suggested it might take a “cause célèbre” akin to the survival of the panda or banning of DDT pesticides to “make humanity really see the extent of our predicament”.
Bemoaning the loss of “our personal sense of connection to the natural world”, he said: “Every year, for instance, we seem to come ever closer to the terrifying prospect of an ice-free Arctic Ocean, the loss of sea ice on the top of the world.
As we view the world from space, just think what we might see all too soon – nothing but dark oceans rather than white at the top. Would this make us all think more profoundly about what we are doing to our world?”
He added: “What I am alluding to is our spiritual connection to the natural world because, without it, life would surely be pointless.
“It may not seem to make much difference economically if the swallows, swifts and house martins no longer turn up each spring, but what would life be like if we just accepted their extinction?”
Joking that he had backed the 50-year-old WWF-UK since childhood because it “stood up for endangered species” like himself, he said he had been “harping on” about sustainability for years.
But he withstood the “brickbats” and criticism “because the issues we face are so important”. He added: “None of us must be afraid to stand up and be counted.”
Our world is heading towards rapid change, as is our planet; the indications are that these changes will make the emerging world a very different place. How different is up to us – we can change our world, and, in a more modest way, contribute to planet Earth’s transformation. It behoves us well to develop some ideas about what it is we want this future world to look like, how we want it to be different to today’s.
Lots is spoken, written and filmed about why we are where we are, what we do not like about the present and how we need to change to survive in future. But where is the translation of these sentiments into action taking place, on a greater than simply community scale? Have we truly defined what we want? Do we know how to get from here to there?
Why a laboratory, and not a community? Is there a difference between the Laboratory here being developed and a community, like the 33 listed in Wikipedia under “eco-villages”, or the many more in the Global Ecovillage Network?
Yes & No. This is not intended to be an evasive answer, rather it indicates that there are quite a few similarities as well as some fundamental differences. All however have in common people who have got together out of a desire to live more lightly on this earth and in more meaningful interaction with nature, the planet and all life.
Let’s start with the differences : although all sharing the common desire mentioned above, many are essentially formed around an idea, a charismatic leader, a belief, in response to surrounding circumstances, etc. and may have a central theme, e.g. be an agrarian community, be an artists or writers’ colony, or wish to give expression to some belief or lifestyle. The diversity and scale of these eco-villages vary greatly.
The Light Living Laboratory goes much further by being created to develop, test, refine and then teach and make available models for new social interaction with a world mostly not yet aligned with the principles of sustainable living. Unless we change, society as we know it will disintegrate.
This key characteristic of the Laboratory being an outreach organisation requires that all who join are very clear that this is a place of experimentation, of trial and error, of dynamic development. Its underlying intention is that all who live in it need to be willing to try new approaches to anything that constitutes a community or social issue. Only people within the community will determine what needs adjusting or needs to be tried out. People who enjoy set ways and look forward to retiring to a quiet spell of rose-breeding are unlikely to enjoy the Laboratory setting (although, to be complete, the Laboratory will require the right type of rose breeders too!).
So, by way of generalisation, a community would be a more settled place, while the Laboratory will continually seek out areas that lend themselves for improvement and change (against the backdrop provided by our philosophy), and thus will be a more dynamic environment. View the Laboratory as an old-fashioned workshop from which wonderfully crafted and tested models for living harmoniously with nature will be released to the world and will help shape this future world.
The Laboratory’s output will be available to anybody anywhere; the service and consultancy function of the Laboratory will provide assistance in adapting and scaling any model for any specific environment or application.
To avoid delay in delivering its concepts, and not reinvent the wheel, the Laboratory anticipates working closely with leading eco-villages and sustainable communities globally. Indeed, early contacts are in the process of being set up. We seek to operate as consciously of our Oneness as possible, and in the knowledge that this needs to be given expression anywhere.
To be able to serve the ideals of the Laboratory, the definition and design of the physical community is required to adhere to certain 3 key guidelines : (a) as the community is dedicated to helping heal the earth through strong intentions its centre will be a community meditation / intention centre; (b) all building works need to harmonize with the landscape and will involve intuitive exploration with the land and nature; and, (c) as one of the core principles of the Laboratory is to encourage a greater re-integration of humanity into nature, the physical design of the community will be required to show a nature-centric design.
We came across this very short YouTube video by Prof Ervin Laszlo who says in just over a minute what this site and the Laboratory it serves is all about. He has been saying a lot about what we need to tackle for a long time.
If you have not heard of Ervin Laszlo, one of our leading systems theorists and the Founder of the Clubs of Budapest and Rome, author of 80 plus book and twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, then please head on over to YouTube and Google and see what they have to say about him and what else he has to say. His earlier predictions (1960s) are all coming home to roost.