Saturday, October 16, 2010

What is Culture Change?

It is the description of the task we have before us as a civilization required to transform the incompatible constraints that emerge before us as a Global Community: our pace of economic growth and the pace of environmental unsustainability at which we are retrogressing.

We need to revert the sense of the engine, in more than one sense of the word. One certain way to do it is to coordinate our leaders into understanding that the problem at hand is anything BUT a political problem. They as well as we depend institutionally for our social cohesion on the Rule of Law reigning our global governance. Humanity has not encountered a better way to coexist peacefully than through the language spoken at the United Nations. The Security Council has delivered much order and security, and much peace and prosperity to billions of citizens. Making it a stronger organ is in our best interest as a concert of nations. The solution is not political. In politics all ideas but one are defeated and only one survives, governing the rest for a very long time. That has never been the source of progress of a people. Progress has been the result of coordination between a people to achieve a common task.

Let's stop telling China to democratize its political system. Let them be. That is their culture. They are proud of their Communist Dynasty and what it has achieved so far in only 61 years. Jiang Zemin said at the turn of the century that China pretended to recover the leading role in human civilization that it lost a thousand years ago and that they had for a thousand years before that. One of the most ancient civilizations in our world that are still thriving. Like Jews and Hindus alike.

What a beautiful diversity of wealth and love we have created! We have made sure to create the most comfortable place to live in the entire Universe. In terms of real estate, we have the best location in the universe, and believe-you-me it's true. There is no place around like Earth. Nowhere. Not that we know of. Not even close. Nothing lives out there that we have discovered. Nothing thrives. No one dreams. No one enjoys. Nobody laughs. Nobody cries. Nobody sleeps. Just silence. And mostly darkness. For miles and miles around. For millions of years around. We are completely alone in the Universe. So far. So let's make sure we fix things up in here and ensure that it will remain the best place to live. We all benefit from this.

Human collapse or extinction are not a devastating event for the planet. More than ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND (100,000) species of living organisms have ceased existing this year 2010 alone (scroll down to Environment for other scary revelations: I would even dare argue that the planet could take a break from us sometimes, but we insist in toiling away incessantly.

More than EIGHT MILLION HECTARES (approximately 8,913,392 as of the instant I last checked today, Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 21:28 hrs. GMT+10.5) of forests have been lost in the entire planet this year alone. That is more than two times the size of Costa Rica. I think what would happen if next year it was my country which would lose all its forest. Even worse. At the rate at which we are deforesting the planet we would deforest Costa Rica's more than 50% of its territory covered by forests (approximately 25,000 square kilometers, or 2,500,000 hectares) in three months. To imagine arriving back home in March of next year to a country without a A SINGLE TREE makes me react concerned in call for action and attention.

I am working on an independent academic study with Ari Lightman ( on Social Media Strategy and Analysis. Part of what I am doing is learning how to connect more effectively with others to communicate messages virally and intentionally. What a blessing, I thought. People still listen! And what I have learned so far is enormously valuable for all of us to know: everyone listens! We are always listening. All day. All the time. Let's do so with Unconditional Positive Regard (Carl Rogers) as Steve Olweean teaches and preaches and practices at the Common Bond Institute (

Let's listen to each other with admiration. Let's not stop asking questions, as Isaac Newton reminded us. And let's learn now to listen and talk to the Groundswell (, which is where we can communicate the fastest we have ever done so. Global Community, meet Twitter ( This is the tool we needed to implement some minor adjustments -attitudes mainly, and some information- to outpace the rate of degradation of our planet by restoring its ecosystem.

Would you give us a hand? How do you want to participate? Please be creative and ask for your friends' help. Make a hugely constructive use of Facebook. It's more fun than before, believe me. You have a role to play. It's your planet too. We got in this together and only together will we manage to succeed. Look for us in Twitter under #culturechange or follow @alvarcidane. Let's get going. Pura vida.

PS. I regard Michael Jackson as the first global humanitarian of our civilization. Blessings to him for singing. Global Community, meet Grooveshark. (

1 comment:

ari said...

Very nice piece Alvaro, there are a number of mega trends converging including energy reform, social community acceleration of global messaging, empowered citizenry and corporate citizenship that are combining with government legislation to promote change. Unfortunately with the global recession and high unemployment these all take a back seat to other more pressing matters. However, I agree with you that these have to be escalated to the forefront because in actuality they exacerbate the issues. A think a necessary and very sobering read is James Martin's The Meaning of the 21st Century.
Sort of a wake call to our generation to not palliate the situation but to address it head on. It takes conviction, sacrifice and courage. It also take an engaged in some cases global audience which can be achieved with smart crowdsourced campaigns. The next generation of civic minded leaders like yourself will help lead the charge