Welcome

Are you concerned about the world? Do you want to change it, make it better, save it? Are you frustrated or frightened by our inability to change? You’re in the right place.

The New Culture Initiative is a network of people and a non-profit organization offering powerful new tools for social change. We don’t aspire to cause or impose change, but rather to enable it. The NCI methods and strategies free us where we’ve been stuck. They allow us to get to the very heart of our troubles, as well as deal with issues we’ve long left unaddressed.

Though people can be resistant to change when imposed or required from outside, we all want to be able to confidently create change. We all want to improve ourselves, make a better world, back away from dangers that we anticipate. Empowered with better tools, we’ll succeed when we initiate change.

The types of changes the NCI empowers us to make are safe and relatively easy. They’re not solutions, but rather changes in software that causes problems. Each change is a little liberation that frees energy for the next one. The sum of these changes are intended to be a global transformation, putting humanity’s best best millennia yet ahead.

So if you’re ready, let’s get started. Obviously, there’s a thing or two to learn to enable ourselves to make powerful change. And you must be curious what inspires us to make such bold claims. There are three central ideas, brief explanations of which will give you a glimmer of how powerful change is possible. And as you deepen your understanding you’ll prepare yourself to play a leading role in making the changes humanity so desperately needs. These three ideas are: illuminatingreinventing culture and global leadership.

We all learn best in an interactive environment. To support you in learning we ask that you comment about everything you read here. If you do, someone will respond. After you comment on this page, please read and comment about Illuminating.

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Please comment. Share your opinions. Ask questions. If you’re having a hard time thinking of something to say, try answering one of these questions:

  • How do you feel about the world’s future?
  • If you could change the world, how would it be?
  • What’s keeping the world from working the way you think it can?

If you comment, someone will respond.

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21 comments to Welcome

  • Phil Reitz

    “Are you frustrated by our inability to change?”
    Not quite. I’ve been engaged in bringing about change for many years, but I’m always looking to be more effective, learn more tools, make the change evermore systemic and cultural, and partner with other anti-cynical change agents.

    The urgency has been with us even for decades now, but is growing stronger w/ each election cycle. Let’s hope we/you can deliver on these goods…

    • Thanks, Phil. I appreciate you reading, and am grateful for your thoughts. I hadn’t really seen the site as an opportunity to get to know people better, but I can see that possibility now.

      I hope you’ll move on and read Illuminating next. Be sure to leave a comment. Thanks.

  • Keith Vega

    I believe you’re on to something here….something a lot of folks may sense is out there but may feel they’re only being overly hopeful. Trying to “fix” a system that is now demonstrating fatal design flaws is not working.
    Culturally, socially and politically.
    It’s high time for this kind of “out of the box” thinking..
    Thanks Mr. Braun…I believe you’ve got me interested.

  • “How do you feel about the world’s future?”

    The same way I did when 9/11 occurred, only more so. It was a big ‘Aw shucks!’ but I quickly came to see it as an equally large, if not larger, opportunity. Clearly this event was destined to be a game-changer, a game for which we could pretty well write the rules. But instead of a “Gosh, we have some huge problems here. How can we bridge our differences and solve them together?” type game, we turned it into an “Us versus Them” game in which there are only losers.

    Now, the Aw shucks! is global climate change. If our politics had rallied around the science, accepted human responsibility, and rolled up our sleeves to do the cultural re-tooling, we could be well on our way to creating a sustainable future, consciously re-connecting to the Interdependent Web. Instead, we could not let go of our toys, insisting that these are what bring us true happiness.

    Another missed opportunity. And nowadays every one of these we miss instead brings us closer to the brink. Our margin for error is becoming frighteningly small.

  • * How do you feel about the world’s future?
    I feel we are on a cutting edge that could go either way. On the one hand I see dynamic, exciting advances in communication technology, molecular biology, shifts in global demographics and economics that could launch us into mindfulness of evolutionary social change. This atmosphereof rapid change could help us operate on a closed spiral of upward, life affirmative social behavior predicated upon inclusive, noncompetitive, transparent accountable process.

    On the other hand, I see the same old contents of Pandora’s box threatening us. Prejudice, superstition, ignorance, fear, chaos and confusion are fulminating as our traditional social patterns are devolving. Will we yet one more time have to bring social patterns to ashes so the phoenix can rise again, or have the holocausts, Atomic Bombs and mismanaged wars raised our awareness of the cancer of aberrant cells in the body politic killing healthy cells in a process similar to cancer in the physical body? The cancerous cells grow and self empower by killing off the healthy cells for awhile, but in the end, they kill the whole system and thus themselves. Can we get through to our students, our FUTURE, through the nation’s devolved education system? Can we heal communities physically and mentally with our devolved healthcare system? The answers will manifest as the result of the choices we make NOW.

    * If you could change the world, how would it be? The global family would realize and activate inclusive,noncompetitive, transparent and accountable practice with all living things.
    * What’s keeping the world from working the way you think it can? Ignorance, prejudice, superstition, fear.

    • Thanks, Linn. I’m impressed by the thoroughness of your thoughts. I hope you read a lot of the site. I think you’ll find many ideas that are complementary to your own.

    • Lynn, I think what you mean by “aberrant cells in the body politic” are misleaders, the epitome of which was Hitler. Is that right? Assuming so…

      I think we have some pretty serious misleaders in American politics today. They scare me. I wonder what people are thinking when they vote for these misleaders either in the ballot box, or with Nielsen points.

      Where it gets sticky for me is attempting to remove misleaders. Those who say ends justify means are misleaders themselves. So the only way to remove misleaders is to intensively lead those who voted for them in the first place. Using your metaphor, we need to build up our anti-bodies. This is a real challenge.

      This challenge is one reason why I think we need to shift the context of citizenship to leadership. Only by all of us taking responsibility for leadership can these voters be reached.

  • Lynn,
    You highlight the extreme dual nature of where the planet is standing at this moment in time. I believe this polarization is built into the process of individual and social development – clarity comes from experience of the two extremes of a possible choice. Knowing that is just the physics we live within should give me patience or at least some perspective, and a determination not to let up. I believe the underlying and overarching evolutionary trend is toward greater cooperation and interdependence.

    Another thing I need to keep in mind is that the other pole is driven by some construction of the “good” just as I am; strange but well intended from within their own world-view. Cancer cells are only trying themselves to “live long and prosper”!

  • Phil, I agree with you 100% The poles are necessary. They show us the boundaries we need to keep pushing and can be fun to explore, knowing there’s a solid middle class social order to which to return.

    Yes, everyone IS doing the best they know how, in order to survive. However, violence and vandalism does beget violence and vandalism. Developers are spending more time and money developing prisons than schools. Investors invest in prison development with lucrative returns. Jobs in specialties such as police, probation and parole officers, conflict resolution consultants and attorneys are on the rise. Artists and teachers jobs are being cut. I’m concerned that once people start getting job security predicated on conflict, it’s hard to get them to change and the end result is not pretty. I prefer a social order predicated upon conflict prevention, creative outlets for energy and spirit, the excitement of helping others release their full potential through collaboration on life affirmative projects. Similar to yourself, I believe the underlying and overarching evolutionary trend is toward greater cooperation and interdependence. I hope we can find ways to work together to ensure this happy trend.

  • 1coyote

    Wow, did you hit the nail on the head, or what?!? We have gotten ourselves so off track that the system itself has become structured (programmed its software) to reward moving in exactly the direction we DON’T want to go! We have set off on a self-reinforcing downward spiral. I think this is the point that folks like us throw in the system-towel and storm the barricades – REVOLUTION!! God, I hope it hasn’t come to that…

    But then this is where Al and the NCI are supposed to arrive on their white horses and silver bullets, right? (This is a segue to you, Al…)

  • NCI: How do you feel about the world’s future?
    George: Curious, inspired, motivated

    NCI: If you could change the world, how would it be?
    George: People engaged in clear communication of what they see and hear, simply connected to their feelings and respective needs, asking for what they want in clear, positive and doable ways.

    NCI: What’s keeping the world from working the way you think it can?
    Ignorance, apathy, misunderstanding, violence and despair.

    • Al Braun

      Welcome to the NCI, George. I hope you’ll continue to read and comment throughout the site. I think you’ll find a lot of ideas that you can use both in participating with us, and to empower other work in which you’re engaged.

      I can “hear” Nonviolent Communication (in Wikipedia) in your writing. I’ve read Nonviolent Communication (at Amazon), attended a couple of workshops with Marshall Rosenberg, and actually taught NVC in Sunday school. I think it’s excellent work, and hope its influence spreads.

  • It looks as though a number of us have discovered through this site that we are philosophically on the same page. The choice now is do we keep sharing philosophy and wait for Superman, or do we start to act based on existing resources and begin spinning straw into gold (the existing resources enhanced by our creativity and efforts) to inform, engage and empower the next generation to empower itself and the nation? Do we enact the Dream of the founding fathers to keep ourselves One People/One Nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all or do we talk about what’s wrong with the existing system and wait for others to act. I say, ‘Democracy, use it or lose it. However, alone, I’m but a voice in the desert. Only when we act one for all and all for one can we develop the capacity we need to ensure a bright future for the next generation….and ourselves.

    • Al Braun

      You know, Lynn, I believe that what’s on this site is genuinely new. I agree that we come from the same sensibilities, but ideas like illuminating are new philosophy. Reinventing culture is a replacement for problem solving, which though deeply flawed, has been our primary method of conceiving strategies for millennia.

      I’d say the sensibilities we come from, as you’ve articulated beautifully just above, have failed to enroll people. Though I think you and I want the same thing, I’m not up for strategies that require superpeople to implement.

      The dreams of the founding fathers are centuries old. They were a breakthrough. But they’re played out. I don’t mean they’ve been realized, but rather that they no longer inspire. They are great vis-a-vis what came before but so was the Model T. If only we were as willing to reinvent their work as we are Henry Ford’s. Rather than invoke the founders we need to emulate them. We need to create new visions.

      I think if you read more of the site that you’ll find new possibilities and visions. I’m hoping that they’ll take you in new directions that will better reward your superhuman passion and commitment.

  • First let me rush to explain that there is nothing superhuman about my aspirations or my actions. I aspire to be but an elinghtened self-interested citizen who grasps that by tithing effort and funds to inform, engage and empower the next generation, I will experience quality of life. I believe that if standard of living is your major
    objective, quality of life almost never improves; if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves. So you see, I’m just selfishly enjoying my last quarter here enjoying my grandchildren and everyone else’s children and grandchildren as we learn this new, exciting communications technology and and work together toward a bright future!

    • Al Braun

      I’m with you, Lynn. I’ve done a lot of volunteering over the years. Everywhere I’ve been seriously involved, we’ve laughed with a little irony at what I’ve come to call “the same three volunteers” phenomenon. You know how there always seems to be a few that invest significant time, energy and funds while the vast majority barely show up. Phil calls it the “free rider” phenomenon.

      Being one of the same three volunteers, I know it’s not superhuman, but I also know just setting the example doesn’t enroll the others to participate. We can frame it as “enlightened self-interest,” “tithing,” “many hands make light work,” or some other way, but the results are the same. We need something new.

      I agree that we mis-focus on standard of living over quality of life.

      As an alternative to “enlightened self-interest” I offer another approach here.

      Fundamental to all of these issues are the roles that we play. If the majority of us keep coming to public affairs as vassals, artisans and serfs, no amount of cajoling will create the participation for which democracy calls.

      I invite you again to read more of the site. I think you’ll find opportunities to create movement where we’ve been stuck.

  • Phil Reitz

    This may come as a non-sequitor, but it is most germane to the “Welcome”/introductory page. As I was researching the “Epic of Evolution” concept and reading the front page of the EarthLight Magazine’s website, I saw their use of the three statements:
    > Vision
    > Mission
    > Seven Principles

    Using these three woul be a concise way of capturing the essence of any project, maybe even NCI.

  • Wonderful information – keep it that way

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