The Attainable Utopias Vision

See also the Metadesigners Open Network (external link)

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 (external link) or wisdom are seldom used (see also Utopia-Britannica (external link))
  • As voters and consumers we are merely critics and choosers
  • In effect, we have forgotten how to dream

We envision

  • 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 (external link) 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 Au (external link)spicious 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 (external link) 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’. 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....