The number of humans living on earth is growing rapidly. According to data by the UN and other sources we might reach a maximum number of 10-12 billion people by 2100. This prognosis leaves us with the question as to how 12 billion people will be able to peacefully coexist on and with this planet. While no one can predict if this is possible at all, the Cocreation Foundation believes that we have no other chance than to face this challenge: to create a world of mutuality and coexistence in peace, health, freedom and ecological abundance for all and everything. In order to achieve this goal we firmly believe that we must develop a new cultural technique of cocreation.
Humans have invented and adopted many cultural techniques throughout their evolution: the use of fire, iron and the development of agriculture. Humanity has learned to write and read. We developed democracy and human rights, we invented automation and industrialisation, and we are in the process of an all-encompassing digitalisation. While some of these cultural techniques are still not implemented or embraced in all parts of the world, and some are questionable or even at the core of the biggest challenges we will face, it is through these cultural techniques that humans have evolved to become the most potent force in altering environments and in changing the face of the earth. Now, at the time this human power has also become the greatest threat to our survival and to the survival of life on earth itself, we, of the Cocreation Foundation believe that it is through us and our ability to consciously cocreate, that we can change course to a direction that heads toward a situation where humans and the earth can peacefully coexist and flourish.
We do not believe that the solution lies in humanity reversing its course to former states of being and livelihoods. We are curious beings driven by our consciousness, realizations and interests. We are innovators, makers and creators. It is unlikely that we will step back to where we have come from. Nor will more of the same in the same old mindsets help us: the solely mechanistic and instrumentalist understanding of the world as a complex machine or a system to be tweaked and steered to work better, employing more management and more technology, will only add to the problems we are facing today. We also think that we should be wary and aware of our hybris and the belief that we are the only ones who can somehow understand and fix all this.
We are just a part in all of this. The earth is not our resource to solely satisfy our needs. The world around us is not an object for us to use and shape according to our always limited understanding. The earth is our neighbourhood, it is our kin. We fail or thrive together. So we either ignore or cocreate the world we co-inhabit. So how do we practice this new cultural technique of cocreation? The only sincere answer is: we do not know yet! This is why we see the need for the Cocreation Foundation.
We do already have strong indications as to what cocreation might mean:
• We know that we need to find new emergent solutions for the challenges we are facing: real innovation rather than incremental progress.
• We know that we will have to bring the best of our human potential to work: our love, empathy, compassion and consciousness, and our ability to create, to reflect and to design.
• We know that we have to bridge the gap between “us” and “it”, between humanity as a subject and the world as an object.
• We also know that our ability to process dynamic situations and constellations with all our cognitive, spiritual, emotional and practical capabilities needs to be trained and put into every-day practice.
• We have also already invented, prototyped and tested various procedures, formats and methods of how to positively and effectively collaborate and cocreate. We will have to build on these experiences.
• We understand how to heal personal and collective traumata and, in some cases, how to learn from our collective histories. We do have initial ideas as to how these collective historical traumata can lead to social transformation through e.g. reconciliation and commemoration.
• We are in the process of learning to master our ability to change and transform ourselves personally and collectively: our organizations, nations and societies, our ways of thinking, our habits and our attitudes in conscious ways rather than as a natural necessity.
• We are beginning to understand how to consciously create and design our culture and how to do so with a clear intent rather than by subconsciously reacting to outside dynamics.
• We also have tools for how to act from integral understanding and resonance with our environments, rather than against them.
To advance this understanding, we will launch the Cocreation Foundation. Its purpose is to further these skills and our knowledge around them. It will build on existing experiences and will host possibilities for more in-depth and broader experiences. It will help to bring together all the aspects needed to explore this new cultural technique of cocreation. We have already begun to explore and to develop techniques of deep cocreation. We learn by means of collaborative democratic and participatory procedures and projects, we learn by exploring agile and value-driven teams, we learn by creative political interventions and by processes of civic engagement and participation. We learn cocreation in design-oriented methods like social design and design thinking and through new formats of being productive together, such as open spaces, new conference formats or innovation camps. We learn cocreation by directly working in and with nature, by connecting to our sense of belonging, by connecting to our spiritual and social values and by positively engaging in with appropriate technology and by means of conscious use of digital media.
Cocreation is fundamentally diverse and multi-faceted, it allows for and encourages diverse logics, standpoints and solutions. It is an integral and pluralistic practice. The new quality of solutions will reveal itself in being manifold, adoptive, evolutionary and generative. These solutions will be developed, owned and cared for by diverse human and morethan-human communities. The Cocreation Foundation believes that our survival and that of the earth in positive coexistence is a question of learning and developing this cultural technique of deep cocreation. And with deep cocreation we mean not just humans being creative together. It means being creative in the context of the world we are living in, it means being informed and inspired by the world around us, it means immersing into a dynamic process of all that is, to find solutions that do not only work for some of us, but for all of us and our non-human kin alike.
It is the Cocreation Foundation’s goal to develop the theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of this cultural technique of cocreation. To reach this goal our mission is to empower as many people, communities and their diverse interrelating networks in the shortest possible time to grow their potential to positively cocreate solutions of peaceful and abundant coexistence in open, transparent processes that are alive.