Tuesday, October 5, 2021 12:00 pm Pacific
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My grant project started from a set of questions and interests that I could not in good faith depart from (much as I tried). The first was seemingly innocent: how does governance improve itself? A seemingly boring topic suddenly came alive. I saw governance—that which steers systems, any system—everywhere. But the question was not where governance was or how it worked—it was how it changed itself. To no one’s surprise, I found governance systems capable of self-evolving exceedingly rare… except in nature. In nature, in life itself, not only is self-governance abundant, but self-governance that self-evolves is nearly the definition of life itself.
Thus began a new inquiry. What can we learn from evolutionary process that might inform how we design, emerge, steward our governance systems? I call this type of design inquiry “evomimicry.” This design inquiry led to a set of postulates for evolutionary governance, or the kind of governance systems capable of consciously enabling and/or constraining evolutionary novelty. It turns out that most of our assumptions, our governing principles, for what enables an economy, a market, a sector, an organization, to produce valuable novelty (innovation/invention) are not only wrong, but they’re used to design systems optimized solely to reduce novelty. And that’s true for governance itself.
I will discuss the co-emerging ethics of a more comprehensive evolutionary perspective. Then I will describe how the opportunity to apply these new principles has emerged with… ParTeck! Because where else? Some of these evomimicry principles are informing the adaptations being made to the ParTeck grant process this year. I will describe the journey that got us all the way to that.
Derrick is lead editor for an 18-volume book publishing project at the Center for Integral Wisdom, a foundation seeking to weave together wisdom traditions to inform sacred activism. Derrick is an independent researcher at Ronin Institute, where he explores meta-evolutionary process and its implications for and applications in systems design. Derrick's background includes: working in the health care sector to implement evolutionary strategy functions that integrated capacity building (aka, merging the traditional strategy and human resources departments into one... thing); a few years working on a small team to develop and test governance information systems and group process toolkits to enable communities to be self-governing; meandering paths in meta-existential risk research, psychedelics curricular development, and running a group process laboratory for discovering novel, capacity-building group process methods. Derrick is recently engaged thanks in large part to ParTeck - woo!