The Attainable Utopias Vision
See also the Metadesigners Open Network
Why Dystopia Often Seems Nearer Than Utopia
- Resource wars have begun.
- Biological diversity is declining
- The gap between rich and poor is widening
- Why can’t we respond effectively? – because we always separate economics from ecology.
- Why don’t planners plan? – because they are taught to follow rules, rather than designing.
- Why don’t politicians look ahead? – because democracy was scaled-up for empire, not community
- Why won’t a legislative approach work? – bureaucratic approaches (e.g. carbon-trading, energy taxes) tackle the symptoms, not the causes.
- Why don’t citizens dream? – because globalized capitalism turned us into passive choosers (i.e. consumers).
- What happens when you forget how to dream? – much of what is possible becomes ‘unthinkable’.
What measures would be effective?
- Only a full paradigm shift will work
- We need imaginative, joined-up solutions that transform our beliefs, habits and culture.
Micro-utopias are unattainable unless we imagine them
- imagine a more benign world that satisfies our deepest needs…
- but before we try to build it...
- it emerges — almost magically — by itself
- hold onto this idea....
The Importance of Envisioning...
- Society needs to foster a shared willingness to 'dream'
- By 'dreaming' we mean 'daring to think beyond the possible').
- Many political systems lack imagination or shared, aspirational vision
- This is why words such as Utopia or wisdom are seldom used (see also Utopia-Britannica)
- As voters and consumers we are merely critics and choosers
- In effect, we have forgotten how to dream
- A world beyond narrow pragmatism and representative politics
- A wiser society in which individuals voluntarily enhance one another's potential.
- This might, eventually produce a synergy-of-synergies.
- Our vision emphasises the importance of 'vision'
- So we advocate far more consensual envisioning within politics.
- Unfortunately, vision can become lost in squabbles over 'truth', 'method', or 'ideology'.
- This is why we do not wish to become a sect, political party, or rule-bound organisation
Is Utopia Attainable?
- When English people say: pigs might fly they mean that something is unattainable...''
- In many ways, a single, total ‘Utopia’ may be neither attainable, nor even desirable.
- Human societies usually run according to common rules or shared beliefs...
- A Utopian world is a contradiction if it means that everyone must follow rules.
Is ours an Auspicious Vision?
- Although a single (big 'U') Utopia may be undesirable and unattainable...
- ...a network of ‘micro-utopias’ (i.e. transient, local, or immediate utopias) is attainable
- Logically speaking, this is true only if we believe it to be...
- ...and we will never believe in it unless we can imagine it.
The Right to Imagine What We Want
- In 2001 Au founders, John Wood? and Andrew Carmichael met in London to discuss the future.
- In reflecting upon previous millennia they became were puzzled by recent events.
- Why had humanity failed to create any clear, positive 'vision' for the future?
- Although we have never had so much access to so many resources, knowledge, and technology...
- ...our society was becoming increasingly pessimistic, alienated and cynical. Why?
- In politics a vision-less brand of pragmatism was emerging in politics and industry.
- Maybe this had turned voters and consumers into choosers and complainers, rather than dreamers.
- If this analysis is correct the future looks bleak.
- Without new dreams, humanity will become extinct.
- This is why they coined the term ‘Attainable Utopias’.
...you can believe in miracles...
- It may eventually be possible (logically speaking) to design miracles.
- The Attainable Utopias Network therefore invites you to take the first step with us.
- Start by envisioning the world you would like to create for your children....and their children...and their children, and....