Systems Change for Regeneration & Thrivability
Our EARTHwise projects are based on decades of research and field work in the inner and outer aspects of systemic transformational change. Our projects focus on the design, development, and application of evolutionary systems, cultures, and capacities for a regenerative and thrivable world. In particular, how to resolve the human condition and systemic barriers that cause our worsening sustainability crisis, including catastrophic biodiversity loss, run-away climate change, and social-economic divisions.
The Tipping Point System
We've created the Tipping Point System as an evolutionary cohering system to align our various projects for tipping point impacts, and to build collaborative capacities. Our Tipping Point System acts as the ecosystem for our work, whereas our various projects form part of the organs of the EARTHwise ecosystem.
The Tipping Point System includes the EARTHwise Collaboratory, Indigenous Council, and advisors. Serving as a co-creative visioning space where we can explore and include diverse perspectives and build synergies. As part of the Tipping Point System we also experiment with how we can co-create social tipping points for societal transformation. The first of these experiments, and the current focus of the Collaboratory, is The Earth Song project (further explained below).
Tipping points are generally defined as the point or threshold at which small changes in a system will trigger a nonlinear change. This process is driven by structural feedback loops that lead to a qualitatively different and often irreversible state of the system as a whole. A paradigm shift occurs when there is a tipping point, a structural transformation at the collective level of human consciousness that is so significant that it becomes irreversible.
We may only see glimpses right now of the paradigm shift that is already happening. Until we have actually gone through the tipping point of paradigm change as a birth point, we don’t know how these changes will manifest. Through the Tipping Point System we support the transition through the birth canal, by sense-making the complexity and uncertainty, and creating an evolutionary coherent field for the emergence of higher order possibilities.Tipping Point System
Into the Heart of Systems Change by Dr. Anneloes Smitsman
The scientific foundations for our projects
To learn about the scientific foundations and our Theory of Change for our work in systemic transformation, we recommend the Ph.D. Dissertation Into the Heart of Systems Change by Dr. Anneloes Smitsman.
Her dissertation explains about the foundations of thrivability and why this should become our focus instead of sustainability. The importance of evolutionary coherence and how this emerges from the cosmological architecture of living systems. The 5 Future Archetypes and the Thrivability Pattern. Why it is crucial to know the difference between systemic thrivability barriers that emerge from mechanistic growth archetypes, and systemic boundaries that emerge from the regulation of the interdependencies of living systems.
Anneloes received her degree of Doctor from the School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, where she conducted her Ph.D. as external researcher at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute (formerly ICIS). Her dissertation is gaining international traction for the innovative guidance it provides through its Transition Plan for a Thrivability Civilisation, and for addressing the systemic thrivability barriers of our sustainability crisis. To learn more about these living system principles and applications, watch the video below.
Unless we learn how to create our societal systems from the evolutionary archetypes of healthy living systems, we will continue to design for death and collapse.
The Earth Song
The Earth Song project was initiated by Anneloes in late 2019, as part of a vision she received for how to sing our world together for the one mother we all have in common: Mother Earth. She started working with Sasha Siem, the Music Director and composer of the Earth Song in 2020. The lyrics of the Earth Song are by Anneloes Smitsman, Sasha Siem, and Shani Lehrer. The Earth Song project is a co-creative initiative with the EARTHwise Collaboratory and our Indigenous Wisdom Council and partners to harmonically unite our world by joining our diverse voices, sounds, and instruments in one common song for Mother Earth.
The Earth Song project is our first intentional experiment for co-creating the impacts dynamics of a social tipping point for societal transformation, through the power of music.
- Music creates resonance and shifts our consciousness.
- Music builds community and enters us into common experiences.
- Music unites, igniting solidarity, and bring us together in action.
For the first time in our human history we have to resolve our greatest challenges together, or else we'll play ourselves out of the game of life on planet Earth. It is our hope and intention that the Earth Song may catalyze the necessary social tipping points for engaging collective action in solidarity with Mother Earth and for the future of life.
Action requires emotional engagement as well as creative empowerment. This is precisely what we believe is missing in the mainstream global efforts for resolving the human condition of our sustainability crisis. The Earth Song seeks to bridge this gap by inviting people into co-creative actions for our planet through the power of music and by igniting our hearts. The Earth Song builds on indigenous practice for purposefully using song, sound, rhythm and story to build community and create a shared vision for our future.
We are currently seeking funding for this project to film people's contributions, and to develop the technology for making it possible for everyone around the world to add their voices and instruments. Please reach out to us if you are able to provide support. You can listen to a sample of The Earth Song here below.
The Future Humans Game
Changing how we Play the Game of Life on Planet Earth
Based on the enormous success of the first two books of the Future Humans Trilogy: The Quest of Rose and Return of the Avatars by Anneloes Smitsman and Jean Houston, we've now started to explore how this can be made into a game that is linked to real-life activities and projects. EARTHwise is the host and publisher for the Future Humans Trilogy and related activities.
The Future Humans Trilogy is based on radical new understandings that are emerging from the frontiers of a new paradigm in science and research. In the story of the future humans, we learn about these radical new insights experientially, woven together with indigenous and gnostic wisdom and transformation practices for shifting our consciousness to our future human potential. The new paradigm sciences offer a unitary conception of existence and the role of consciousness. These sciences include fields such as: quantum field theory, cosmology, new physics, complexity sciences, evolutionary systems design, neuroscience, epigenetics, and consciousness research.
The purpose of the Future Humans Trilogy is to make these groundbreaking ideas accessible to the mainstream. We believe that these vital new insights are essential for the co-creation of a world that is able to thrive, and for transforming the unsustainable systems, cultures, and mechanisms that are bringing us to the brink of collapse.Future Humans Trilogy
The Cosmic Compass as a Game
In the story of the Future Humans Trilogy, the Cosmic Compass comes to main character Rose in a vivid dream, when she sees it rise up from the dark waters of our collective unconscious. She then discovers how it holds the coordinates for guiding us through the dark and difficult times by applying the Cosmic architecture of life. In Return of the Avatars, Rose explores how to apply this to the design of a real world-game, which serves to:
- Playfully guide people to discover collaboratively how we can resolve the multiple crises that are threatening the collapse of our world and planet.
- Reveal the underlying unity of life and the interdependencies of our worlds, and how to make this work for solving our greatest challenges.
- Help players think and act regeneratively by focusing on improving the conditions that support life to thrive, with expanding commitments to our future wellbeing.
- Inspire stewardship for the things we share in common. Discover how we can become the future ancestors of new civilizations that place the wellbeing of life at the center of our intentions and actions, which are ecological by design.
- Invoke a deeper desire to evolve our species consciously, while becoming wiser humans, through a sense of wonder, joy, and care for one another and the earth, as our common home.
Economics, Digital Currencies & DAOs for Thrivability
Our Partnership with SEEDS
SEEDS is a global experiment and growing movement for co-creating the life-centered new civilizations that are regenerative by design. SEEDS as a technology and system is an open-source decentralized financial ecosystem and governance platform, owned and governed by the citizens who use it, to empower humanity and heal our planet. SEEDS protocols, systems and economics are designed to evolve as our journey progresses, creating new possibilities and methods for scaling and evolving coordination.
SEEDS supports the myriad of change-maker movements by providing tools and finance through its digital regenerative currency called ‘Seeds’, for harnessing the power of wealth creation and scaling global coordination of the Regenerative Renaissance Movement.
EARTHwise Centre is a founding community member of the SEEDS ecosystem, where Anneloes serves as an architect, facilitator, and researcher for SEEDS and Hypha. The design of the 5 Future Archetypes have been applied to the architecture of the Hypha DHO, and the Thrivability Compass design has guided the architecture for the SEEDS Constitution.
The SEEDS Constitution
The SEEDS Constitution is a unique founding document that revolutionizes governance, technology, and economics for regenerative human development. it serves the evolution and development of the SEEDS ecosystem, and serves as an evolutionary blueprint for Constitutional design for regeneration and thrivability. It became official on 10 July 2021, as the result of an extensive consultation through 8 Constitutional Assemblies, with over 1500+ comments between various drafts from 120+ people from around the world. The "Declaration" of SEEDS reads:
"We, as the people of SEEDS, adopt this Constitution as our living compass, to co-create the evolutionary systems, cultures, and tools for thriving civilisations and the regeneration of our planet."
Anneloes served as the lead architect for the design of the architecture of the SEEDS Constitution, based on her work through EARTHwise and her doctoral research in systems change. Part 1 of the Constitution is designed as a Thrivability Compass, based on her Cosmic Compass design. For more information read the Constitution via the link below, and watch the video.
Hypha and its tools for DAOs
Hypha is the organization behind SEEDS and a key partner for EARTHwise in the development of the tools and technologies that make coordination and scaling for regeneration and thrivability possible. Hypha has created a range of flexible and easy tools to help you create your own decentralised organisation to fit your style of governance and to achieve your goals. Knowing how important the right technologies are, Anneloes is part of the Hypha Strategic Council.
Politics, Law & Governance for Thrivability
A new paradigm in politics, law, and governance is an absolute necessity for resolving the root causes of our sustainability crisis. Our current political, governance, and legal systems are unfit for the demands of our future wellbeing and planetary safety.
The Earth Constitution Project
Anneloes initiated the Earth Constitution project as a long-term commitment to co-creating institutional design for the future, which was the focus of her first doctoral research at the Australian National University from 1998-2000. This project serves to provide essential support and guidance for the redesign and evolution of existing Constitutions, and how to co-create life-centered governance.
Anneloes obtained her Master's degree in Law and Political Science from Leiden University in 1996, and has since worked behind the scenes as a legal strategist for important campaigns. Her vision for an Earth Constitution includes whole new ways of thinking about the role of law, based on her research on the informational architecture of living systems. In particular, how law can serve as systemic affordances and attractors, rather than as punitive and constrictive mechanisms in the way it functions now. From this evolutionary perspective, the Earth Constitution project also seeks to explore how the Cosmos can be considered as a living constitution for how Universes form, grow, evolve, and die. With the aim being, discovering how to mimic these principles and systemic conditions in human constitutional design for our societal development.
A new paradigm in politics requires new ways in which people form agreements, cast or distribute their vote, and participate in decision-making. The Earth Constitution project also seeks to bring together different forms of Earth citizenship, as a bridge from the future, when the nation-state is no longer the norm for human governance on planet Earth.
We currently seek funding for this project, please get in touch with us if you know of ways for this project to receive institutional support and financial backing.
Education for Systems Change & Thrivability
Our EARTHwise Thrivability Education programs are for schools, businesses, and communities. We trained over 300 teachers and reached more than 20,000 students in Mauritius since 2012. Our classes include: fundamentals for ecological sustainability, eco-systemic health, systems thinking and systemic dynamics, complexity sciences, evolutionary systems design, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity protection, eco-systemic governance, ecological food security, cultural heritage, zero-waste campaigns, regenerative design principles, social innovation, eco-social entrepreneurship, wisdom development, peace-building, healing and reconciliation, law and governance for thrivability, creativity and innovation, indigenous wisdom and stewardship, storytelling and communication of complexity and sustainability issues, future visioning, and diversity inclusiveness.
The r3.0 Educational Transformation Blueprint
Anneloes Smitsman is the lead author of the r3.0 Educational Transformation Blueprint with 7 Transformative Learning Perspectives for Regeneration and Thrivbability, published by r3.0. This Blueprint features the EARTHwise Education for Sustainability program as case-study, as well as the transformation strategies that have evolved from the EARTHwise research over many years.
The purpose for this Blueprint is to inspire, catalyze, and support a much needed shift in the role and focus of education towards developing our transformative capacities for regeneration and thrivability. Major inner and outer shifts are required in our perspectives, understanding, attitudes, expectations, behaviours, and actions for safeguarding the present and future wellbeing of life on earth. Without this, the survival of our own and many other species is not guaranteed.
Never before has learning and education become this important for developing our navigational capacities during this catalytic time of compounding tipping points. This includes preparing humanity for what we have set in motion by destabilizing our climate systems and damaging our biodiversity, and to catalyze the required actions for preventing the worst case scenarios from happening by shifting gears and trajectories now towards regeneration and thrivability.
Our Educational Projects for Schools
Since 2011, we've been training schools in Mauritius to transform their systems and curriculum to become future relevant for developing competencies and understanding for sustainability, regeneration, and thrivability.
Thrivability education empowers by facilitating experientially the teachings, knowledge, principles, and practices for systemic understanding and capacities. We trained over 300 teachers and reached more than 20,000 students in Mauritius since 2012. Our educational best practices have become embedded in mainstream education at a national level in Mauritius. Several of the schools we' trained have received their International Eco-School certification. This program has been fully implemented in Loreto College Curepipe, St Mary’s College Rose-Hill, and BPS Fatima College Goodlands, Mauritius. We have also provided training to Westcoast International Primary school.
Our program is open to all schools and aims to innovate and transform the educational systems through a systemic whole curriculum based approach. Teachers and students are also trained in working with complexity and the informational dynamics of living systems through systems sensing, thinking, and mapping.
Psychological first-aid & Crisis Management
This important project is led by Dr. Kurt Barnes, who specializes in psychological first-aid as a senior psycho-social expert, psy-coaching, and crisis management. He is currently researching how increase in climate change extremes is impacting psycho-social issues and mental health. As part of this project, Kurt is involved in setting up PFA training to prevent the development and escalation of psychosocial unrest and violence. This includes a preliminary survey on the correlation between the rise of temperature and increases in violence and unrest.
Kurt also consults on issues of migration and refugees, and has provided training in Africa for how to manage revolts in migration related crisis situations.
Cultural & Indigenous Heritage
Many people today grow up without a sense of roots and belonging. Cultural and ancestral heritage education is essential for the development of regenerative and thrivable cultures that are rooted in ecological consciousness.
We have worked extensively in Mauritius to help raise awareness about the cultural and ancestral heritage of the Maroons and their vital role in the fight against slavery and oppression. Since 2007 we have been directly involved in the Le Morne Cultural Heritage (LMCL) process by documenting the Maroon Oral History and providing critical input for the inscription of LMCL as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn more about this through the following articles below.
The Fall and the Maroon Queen
By Anneloes Smitsman & Kurt Barnes
Le Morne Cultural Landscape in Mauritius is one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Maroonage and the resistance to slavery and oppression, due to what took place by the tremendous courage, bravery, strategy and skilfulness of the maroons who fought against slavery and oppression since the early days of colonisation. The first slaves on the Island could have been those who were brought by the Dutch around 1598. The maroons referred here are the people who managed to escape the hands of their oppressors (colonisers) and sought refuge in the caves and other hiding places that Le Morne Mountain provided them.
With the opening of the most important heritage trail to the general public, we feel it is time to come forth with some of the oral history that has been kept from the people. These stories are very important for the healing that still needs to occur in Mauritius as well as the deeper transformation of the underlying slave-mastery archetypes and dynamics. What is happening in Mauritius serves as an example for similar processes in other places in the world that were impacted by the same patterns. Before we share with you more background information regarding this unique World Heritage Site, we like to first take you on a journey.
Around 1850, or just before, a massacre took place on top of Le Morne Mountain that became the source of legends long after. Nobody knows exactly what happened and why, but this story, here written in the first-person of the ‘Maroon Queen’, is inspired by the interviews we conducted with the descendants of the maroons and slaves who were living in the Cultural Landscape of Le Morne.....
Lost in Paradise, the Maroon Quest
By Anneloes Smitsman & Kurt Barnes
Le Morne Mountain became the most important place of refuge for the maroons in Mauritius. It also became a beacon of hope for other maroons and slaves in other countries, who heard about the achievements and courage of the maroons in Mauritius.
The following narrative is inspired by historical events and based on our interviews with the slave and maroon descendants in Mauritius. This story is in the voice of a young Kreole man to take us into the heart of the Maroon Quest. This Quest is part of our deeper Quest as human beings, irrespective of ethnicity or race, in the search for meaning, freedom and the expression of our authentic ways of being.
“I wake up confused, my mind is still trembling with the echoes of my dreams. Each time the same dreams re-emerge. I am always on the run, no matter where I go it is not safe. I never know who I can trust. I am always on guard, not knowing what is next. I cannot ever put down my roots to remain in one place. I have to run, all the time. One does not know who is friend and who is enemy. I want to rest, but i cannot. I do not feel safe. There are voices in my head that I cannot silence. Images of flames that I do not understand. Voices of women and children screaming in terror. Behind the flames I see their eyes. They stare at me, penetrating me deeply with the terror of their pain as their bellies are cut open and their babies brutally taken out of their belly. How can they be so cruel, what did these women do to deserve this? Left to die in their own blood while seeing their children taken from them? For what? What happened to the babies; did they survive? I do not know my mother. I was taken from her when I was born and raised by women of different colour."......
Why America also owes its Independence to Mauritius
By Kurt Barnes
This is a Story of Impact that has been never been told, yet it is so significant that once you know this story you cannot possibly understand why others don’t know it too! This story will reveal to you some facts about key contributing factors to the American Independence war that few have ever realised, and is rarely acknowledged if at all. It all happened over a three year period from 1780 to 1783. This time period is known in Mauritius as part of “the little Golden era”. Those conversed with the link of the island to America might be thinking that this is about the time when Mark Twain visited the island and wrote his famous phrase: “Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” Yet this is not what this story is about.
Mauritius Island was one of the first countries, if not the first in the world, to be granted an American consul in 1872 by the name of Nicholas Pike. Some say this was done as an acknowledgment of the Island’s contribution to the Independence war. Nicholas Pike says of Mauritius that it is “in reality the Gem of the ocean, but little known to the world at large, small as it is, only a dot in a vast ocean”. However due to the inconsistency of the alliance with the French one might think that Mauritius contribution was quickly forgotten.
Hence to start this story let us first look at the maps of the World and Mauritius, or rather the absence of Mauritius on some important maps. Naming a person or a place is a form of acknowledgement. It is very revealing, therefore, and key to this story that it was made to look on some maps as if Mauritius never even existed. Look at this map from the site of the Cincinnati historian society in France. It is easy to believe, if you go by this map, what was accomplished in the Indian Ocean during the American Independence war had little or nothing to do with Mauritius. The island does not appear on this map at all despite our significant contributions, as you will come to understand later on in this story. Mauritius was first colonised by the Dutch who brought the first slaves to Mauritius in 1638. The Dutch left officially in 1710. The French then colonised Mauritius in 1715 and called it “Isle de France”....
Climate Change Advocacy
Our Climate Change Advocacy project aims to catalyze collaborative impact based on long-standing indigenous wisdom principles and practices that focus on stewarding the conditions for Planetary Health and Collective Wellbeing. Our key partner for this project is Chief Phil Lane Jr. and his Four Worlds International Institute. EARTHwise Centre hosted the online global Talking Circle Leadership program for FWII in 2020, which can now be accessed via Four Worlds Indigenous University.
Through our many years of advocacy work we have also been providing key strategic and legal advice for movement building related to climate change and sustainability issues. Through our Climate Change Education programs we have been supporting schools and businesses to develop their climate change literacies and competencies for climate change adaptation and mitigation in their local and regional contexts, and how to stop the ecocide. You can learn more about our approach through our conversations below with Chief Phil Lane Jr., Dr. Anita Sanchez, and Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler. As well as the TEDx talk by Anneloes from 2016, and her interview with the Shift Network in 2019.