Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature
Dreaming the future can create the future.
The world is entering a period of great change. The environment is collapsing. Social disruption abounds. All around, it seems, societies are experiencing breakdown. Out of this breakdown, however, comes the opportunity for breakthrough: to reimagine our future, our connection to each other, and to nature. In this time of metamorphosis, we can go in any direction we want—by dreaming it. Our dreaming can shift the course of the world.
Paradoxically, the crisis confronting us today is precisely the dream of our current civilization. The dream of endless growth, hyper-individualism and domination has turned into a nightmare. How do we dream our way out of a nightmare?
One way is to wake up. All over the world, people are awakening to a new dream and reimagining civilization in the Age of Nature.
As the Founder and Co-CEO of Bioneers, a world-renowned NGO, Kenny Ausubel describes the landscape of hope embodied in solutions inspired by nature and the surge of popular movements worldwide. He shows how it’s possible to emerge from a world where corporations are citizens, the gap between rich and poor is cavernous, and biodiversity and the climate are under assault – and create a world where people take their cues from nature and focus on justice, equity, diversity, democracy and peace.
Kenny Ausubel is an award-winning author, filmmaker, radio producer and social entrepreneur. He co-founded Bioneers in 1990 to advance breakthrough solutions for people and planet. The annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael, CA is the leading forum of social and scientific innovators who are inspiring a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations. Along with the main conference of about 3,000 attendees, 23 local Beaming Bioneers events occurred in 2012 across the US.
Kenny is the executive producer and co-writer of the multi-award-winning Bioneers radio series “The Bioneers: Revolution From the Heart of Nature,” which today airs on over 500 public radio outlets including 60 in 12 other countries. The author of several books including most recently Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature, Kenny produced, directed and wrote the feature documentary Hoxsey: When Healing Becomes a Crime, which was named for the Best Censored Stories Award, shown to members of Congress and reported on NPR, and played in theaters and on HBO and international TV. He co-founded the organic seed biodiversity company Seeds of Change.
Why I support GATE
GATE is a visionary nexus where gifted storytellers skilled in media and communications come together to learn from each other, and create and manifest transformational projects. At this life-and-death moment in the fate of human civilization, when stories change, the world changes – and GATE is at the forefront of changing the story.
My Current Media Diet
Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas
“Nature wrote the playbook on deceit. From viruses to Wall Street, nature is a hall of mirrors of lying, cheating, and camouflaging. After all, if force doesn’t work, trickery can do the trick. Shady practices can give any organism a winning edge in the ruthless struggle for survival and reproduction that powers evolution and adaptation.
“As David Livingstone Smith observed in his book Why We Lie, ‘Lying is a natural phenomenon. The biosphere teems with mendacity. Deception is widespread among nonhuman species, perfectly normal and expectable.’ Human beings, says Smith, evolved to be ‘natural born liars.’
“Yet some part of our brain seems designed to act as an unconscious mind reader, picking up reality-based signals even as we up the ante in the escalating Olympics of deceit and self-deception. Deep inside, we all possess a bullshit detector, and that may be what saves us.
“Nature is sending us extravagant distress signals these days. We’d better get really good really fast at reading her mind. The stakes are too high to keep drinking the collective Kool-Aid.
“You can’t fool Mother Nature. Trust me. That ain’t no lie.”
– Kenny Ausubel