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A Systems Approach to World Peace

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The greatest of all problems: How do we finally achieve World Peace? I used my background in Systems Thinking and Buckminster Fuller's work to speak about solving this problem at Rotary International's NYC Chapter on April 13, 2017

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A Systems Approach to World Peace

  1. 1. A Systems Approach to Solving Society’s Problems ( Serious Play for Serious Times ) Steven G. Brant, Founder & Principal Trimtab Management Systems steve@trimtabmanagementsystems.com Rotary International’s NYC Chapter April 13, 2017
  2. 2. Thank you • Larry Cohen, for proposing me as a speaker to the Board • Marcia Daszko, my friend from the W. Edwards Deming management community, for introducing me to Larry • Andreas Runggatscher, for coordinating with me on the details of being here • The UN, for setting me on this course when I was 7 years old
  3. 3. FourYin-Yang warm up questions • What big problem do we face? • What big accomplishment thrills you? • What is your worst nightmare? • What is your most optimistic dream?
  4. 4. My yin-yang question answers • A divided America and world, caught up in a fight over what’s true and what’s false • Established thought leaders are questioning the status quo / some know new thinking is needed • WW III caused by hate and fear driven by global ignorance, while the truth that war is literally obsolete thanks to scientific advancement remains unknown to the public • A UN - Hollywood partnership that offers an educational cure to the “mental illness” currently infecting humanity
  5. 5. My goals for today • Describe my unique place in the quest for World Peace • Explain why Systems Thinking in a breakthrough approach for achieving World Peace • Explore the potential for Rotary International in supporting this educational adventure
  6. 6. My quest for peace (both personal & societal) • My father / knowing there must be something better than the “war zone” at home • My life saved by a class trip to the UN at 7 years old • My Mom’s (and UNICEF’s) connection to Danny Kaye • NASA and StarTrek convincing me exploration and adventure are key aspects of true World Peace
  7. 7. Life-long learning adventure • 1979 - Buckminster Fuller’s “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” • 1981 - Harvard Project on Negotiation’s “Getting toYes” • 1983 - Meeting Bucky after “Integrity Day” • 1986 - James Burke’s “The Day the Universe Changed” • 1989 - Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” • 1991 - W. Edwards Deming - John Denver’s Windstar Foundation • 1993 - President’s Council on Sustainable Development
  8. 8. Seeing our challenges through new eyes W. Edwards Deming, Russell L.Ackoff, and R. Buckminster Fuller
  9. 9. Systems (not mechanistic) Thinking From analysis to synthesis • We learn analysis (universe is giant clock) in school. Look for the broken part. • Synthesis recognizes that how parts interact with each other counts too, as does the overall design controlling the existence and functioning of those parts • Examining the assumptions underlying the design of the system is key, because innovation can make assumptions become obsolete
  10. 10. A Systems Approach to World Peace as seen by Bucky Replacing scarcity with abundance
  11. 11. A redesign of the global human social system, because the current system’s design is obsolete
  12. 12. This redesign recognizes that Human Sustainability is as important as Environmental Sustainability
  13. 13. The key to implementing a redesign • Knowing your new design is what the world needs is useless if you cannot implement it • Hollywood must be used to tell the story... to present the benefits... to inspire the most people possible to join the journey • Then “spontaneous behavior” will occur, as happened when the Berlin Wall came down
  14. 14. Hollywood has “told the story” before • First Motion Picture Unit of WW II headed by Jack Warner of Warner Bros • Disney - von Braun partnership of 1955 • Danny Kaye / Paramount (for UNICEF) (1953-86) • Earth Communications Office (1990s) • Visions for Tomorrow (2006-2009)
  15. 15. Visions for Tomorrow Academy Award Nominee, Mary McDonnell, spokesperson
  16. 16. My past attempts to advocate this systems thinking-based methodology • ASQ’s Community Quality Councils Committee • The UNA-USA’s UN at 50 Conference • BSR & the UN Global Compact • Star Trek / Paramount -Viacom • Russ Ackoff / Wharton / Baldrige Program • The Huffington Post (Capitalism Is Dead; Mountain Redesign) • William Shatner’s documentary about Star Trek fans • NASA’s 100Year StarShip initiative led by Dr. Mae Jemison • Bill Clinton / President’s Council on Sustainable Development
  17. 17. The UN’s own new initiative: the SDG’s: Bold?Yes! Systems-Based? Not yet... and not the UN’s fault
  18. 18. Serious Play for Serious Times • We were going to the Moon when I was a child; Remember Walter Cronkite’s delight? • We can “boldly go” to World Peace by healing both humanity’s relationship to Mother Earth and its relationship to itself. • Entertaining education is the key, the solution to the “untruth virus” that includes both active untruths (lies) and passive untruths (what people just don’t know)
  19. 19. The what is true battle is very real
  20. 20. Rotary’s Opportunity • View eradicating ignorance as it viewed eradicating polio • Think of the lives to be saved when war is declared an obsolete form of socio-political problem solving! Making a HUGE difference! • Leveraging a CSR movement ripe for transformation, as per recent BSR & UN Global Compact essays
  21. 21. From the UN Global Compact
  22. 22. From BSR
  23. 23. Additional current leverage points (existing and potential) • Solutions Journalism • The Sanctuary Cities movement • The World Of Our Dreams* / Roddenberry Fdn • Wonder Woman / DC Entertainment / UN • Star Trek / CBS - Paramount / UN • Bill Clinton / Amory Lovins / PCSD Revived (* My proposed new nonprofit organization)
  24. 24. Rotary’s President, Ian H. S. Riseley, speaks about the 2017-18 theme
  25. 25. Making the impossible possible • Please be my partners / project incubator • I need to work with a team on this • Let’s set up a strategy meeting • Let’s dream that a uniquely qualified star will be the public face of our work...
  26. 26. Tom Hanks ... Space Travel & Star Trek Fan;“America’s Dad” ... speaks on making the impossible possible
  27. 27. Thank you very much! Let’s make her dream come true...