SEISMIC SHIFT: How to go from Old to New Economy?

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How to go from Old to New Economy?—Field case studies.


“Everything is always changing. Everything is connected to everything else. Pay attention” ~ Jane Hirshfield

The reason why this shift from an OLD Story to a NEW Story has seemingly caught so many people off guard is summed up by this Zen quote. Quite simply, most people alive on the planet today have been educated, socialized, and indoctrinated to deny the nature of constant change. We exist without realizing our fundamental connection to everyone and everything. Finally, our busy, noisy, confusing world does not reward paying attention to the here and now. Most live in the nostalgia of days gone by and some others in a fearful fancy of a cloudy future (rehashing and rehearsing). Waking up to what actually is can be a scary thing.



Humankind finds itself at a fundamental evolutionary change point. We stand at the edge of a chasm of social change greater than what we have seen in the agricultural, industrial, and technology revolutions. Human society has been constantly evolving and changing: we moved from an oral culture to a print culture to one of mass communication. Now, we are moving into a digital culture.

We are entering a chasm of chaos and confusion. Trust in our social institutions is at an all-time low and anxiety at an all-time high.

The good news is that if you are aware of what’s coming, you can be prepared, and that preparation can mitigate adverse impacts. We like to think of this coming change, this shift as a part of a larger cycle of history and human evolution. Roughly we move from awakening, to unraveling, to crisis, and finally to a rebirth of a NEW order. Right now, we are in the middle of the crisis stage. We’re not there yet but its’ coming quickly and can happen at any time. The heart of our intent here is to offer you a close look at three pioneers who have already made that change.

What is this shift from OLD Story to NEW Story? 

This is an awakening to wholeness and a realization of what Jane Hirshfield offered up front. In a sense we become more human in the process.

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So What?

OLD Life Story was about coercive power, focus on primacy of oneself, and your social role was given to you or ascribed. Fear and ego dominant everything.

NEW Life Story is about shared collaboration, focus on the Us of interconnected humanity, and your social role develops from interaction with other beings. Love and generosity dominate all interactions.

Our Case Studies

Moving from the OLD Story to the NEW Story requires three concurrent shifts: spiritual/will, emotional/being and physical/doing. So, here are three short case studies of those shifts.

• GIRLMADE—Lauren’s Story: The DOING of it. The functional, or physical shift.
Lauren is a great example of harnessing technology to promote the creation of more social capital. Specifically, she has focused on young women who are motivated to be the next peer group of business leaders—the CEOs of the future. Part of what is so intriguing about her story is that it is not just a GenX USA story.

She began the shift using her knowledge of social media and on-line community building. That got extended to develop both on-line tools for girl-to-girl networking coupled with tightly designed face-to-face events called “Brekkies”.

Bottom line, GIRLMADE is an example of the DOING part of the shift from OLD story to NEW story. Technology is being used to help young talent become more connected and related based on the assumption that these connections are a key to building future leaders. Simply put, the use of social media to build entrepreneurial networks for young women.

• Norma’s Story: The BEING of it. The emotional shift.
Norma lived this shift. Using her entrepreneurial skills, innate talent, and interest for system building, she moved from being a single parent living in poverty to a recognized and successful change agent within her community. She went from “I” to “Us”. In the process, she built an organization, Avadon, which over time directly helped 5,000 others to follow their pathway to a sustained and purposeful life during the downturn of the last Great Recession.

Norma’s inspiration: John F Kennedy’s quote “The rising tide lifts all the boats.” She asks: Are we creating a tide that can lift all boats…. especially for single parents?

“The rising tide lifts all the boats.”

What happened is that Norma became aware of the stifling burden of the OLD story and created a purposeful community centered on self-control. Her values? Family and tribe in service through knowing yourself—purpose, place, and practice. Her current practice is about learning, connecting, and facilitating others through positive change.

• Rebecca’s Story: The WILLFULLNESS shift. The spiritual shift.
Most shifts in willfulness and spirit come from deeply tragic events in our lives that clarify our own impermanence. Rebecca is no different. Following a failed marriage and death of a close family member, she turned inward recognizing there is ‘no Me’. A shift from ‘Me’ to ‘We’. She is now turning that realization into programs and structured experiences to help others learn compassion, the worth of others, and the power of quiet mediation. Indeed, a Zen master in training.

Instead of just having a ‘busy ness’ that is profitable, is all about being in service to others and doing that in a way that is flexible and responsive to customers, even though they may not understand at first the nature of the coming transformation. She embodies envisioning the future to inform the present.

She will realize her ultimate goal, which is to leave a better world for future generations.

OK, So What Do You Do?

You can make the shift, but don’t try it alone. Find a mentor, or coach, to guide you along the way. Work The Future! Today is making the art of the possible, practiced well in advance like Lauren, Norma, and Rebecca.


Post script—

Shift Happens: New Symbols of Meaning

This is deeper than a mere shift in economic systems, or political philosophies. It is deeply symbolic, which gets expressed in our stories. We will spare you the deep psychoanalysis, but suffice to say that in Jungian archetypal terms, we are in the midst of moving from a dominant ‘male’ image of stern father control to one more ‘female,’ which emphasizes nurturance. In our contemporary American culture, we see it as a symbolic change from John Wayne to Ophrah Winfrey. Ultimately, we see shifting from a focus on “he” to “she” to “we”.

Are you going to drive the bus of the future, or are you going to get run over by it?