Humanity 4.0 
Michelle Holliday 
www.cambiumconsulting.com 
© Copyright Michelle Holliday
Humanity is crossing into a new era
Humanity is crossing into a new era 
Why can’t we agree 
what to call the new era?
Humanity is crossing into a new era 
Why can’t we agree 
what to call the new era? 
Do we really understand the 
nature of...
Humanity is crossing into a new era 
Why can’t we agree 
what to call the new era? 
Do we really understand the 
nature of...
To answer these questions, 
we first need to recognize that 
humanity is evolving 
according to the pattern 
of all living...
The pattern of living systems 
is everywhere 
Across the eras of humanity 
 Throughout our individual lives 
 In our ec...
Like a roadmap, this pattern 
offers important clues about the 
journey into the emerging era.
It works like this: 
All living 
systems have 
4 defining 
characteristics
1. There are Parts 
cells in your body bees in a hive 
trees in a forest 
people in an 
organization
The more divergent 
(or diverse) the parts, 
the more resilient, adaptive 
and creative the 
living system will be.
2. There are 
Relationships 
The dynamic web of internal and external interactions between parts
The more open and free-flowing 
the relationships, 
the more resilient, adaptive and 
creative the living system will be.
3. There is a Whole 
an emergent level of life with characteristics & capabilities of 
its own that can’t be understood by...
The more convergent the whole 
(for example: the more you remain 
recognizably you even as your 
cells are continuously re...
4. There is a 
“Self-Integrating 
Property” 
This is how biologists describe the way that…by itself the living system 
int...
That’s life, right? 
It’s whatever it is that animates us and makes us alive.
We can imagine this pattern as 
a prism 
Context* comes in 
and as it 
passes 
through 
the living 
system 
it is 
transfo...
With living systems, we can 
imagine it as a 3-sided prism… 
© Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday 
1Individual parts make di...
2 These parts come together to create a 
convergent whole that cannot be 
understood simply by looking at the 
behavior of...
The whole is created as parts 
connect to each other and to context 
in a dynamic web of relationship. 3 
© Copyright 2010...
as the spark of life. 4 
The whole system is coordinated by a self-integrating 
property that can be understood 
© Copyrig...
As the system evolves in reaction to 
changes in its context, it becomes 
increasingly integrated with its environment. 
©...
Through feedback, it becomes ever more 
sensitive to changes in context, driving 
more evolution, in turn driving infinite...
In all, living systems are 
creative, regenerative and 
adaptive by their nature. 
They seek always to 
transcend themselv...
This 
means: 
You have to polish all 
three sides of the prism, 
so each “ingredient” 
is present at 
high levels …
…if you want to create the fertile conditions for life 
to shine through and do its self-integrative thing.
That’s the 
secret formula 
for how life 
works* 
* Even in our organizations and our economies.
Now here’s where it 
gets interesting…
When you take a closer look at 
the eras of humanity… 
Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
…you notice that each era has had a distinct 
guiding story about life. 
The universe is 
an unbroken 
whole. There is 
no...
Each story represents a different (and equally valid) way of 
understanding reality and engaging with the world. 
The univ...
But what’s his story? 
Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
Action 
Plan 
The universe is 
made of 
individual parts.
systems 
thinking 
The universe is 
a web of 
interconnected 
relationship. 
the 
network
Gaia 
The universe is 
an unbroken 
whole.
systems 
thinking 
Action 
Plan The universe is 
a web of 
interconnected 
The universe is relationship. 
made of 
individ...
It’s as if we focused on one capability at a time in order to 
become more resilient, adaptive and creative as a species. ...
And so it seems that humanity (in general) has 
progressed along the pattern of all living systems. 
Era of Convergence 
1...
As we’ve moved into each new era, it’s as if we’ve 
turned down the volume on the intelligence of the 
previous era and de...
The nature of intelligence 
1 Intelligence is learned, not inherited genetically. 
Feral children do not develop self-awar...
The nature of intelligence 
1 Intelligence is learned, not inherited genetically. 
Feral children do not develop self-awar...
The nature of intelligence 
1 Intelligence is learned, not inherited genetically. 
Feral children do not develop self-awar...
Convergent intelligence 
 All hunter-gatherer cultures (past and present) 
exhibit shamanistic practices to tap collectiv...
Relationship intelligence 
 In the Agrarian era, we worked on the ability to be in relationship with 
nature…and with eac...
 The modern era (originating with the ancient 
Greeks), with its focus on separateness 
 Clockwork Universe (Newton) 
 ...
Integral intelligence 
 Values multiple perspectives, all types of 
intelligence 
 Able to hold the paradox of individua...
Developmental psychologists have noticed 
the same pattern across our individual lives. 
What if we were raised in an inte...
Generation Y…or Generation I? 
Refuse to compromise on total individuality. 
Value multiple perspectives. 
Could they be t...
Why is this important now?
Why is this important now? 
Humanity is at a fork in the road.
This is the path 
we’re on.
It’s the path of 
divergent thinking 
alone.
It’s not a good path to be on. 
“Our world society is 
presently on a non-sustainable 
course.” 
page 498
1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). 
If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages....
1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). 
If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages....
1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). 
If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages....
1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). 
If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages....
The most important task of 
our era is to acknowledge life.
The most important task of 
our era is to acknowledge life. 
Our current guiding story tell us that: 
 Everything in the ...
The most important task of 
our era is to acknowledge life. 
Our current guiding story tell us that: 
 Everything in the ...
Life is the critical missing piece in 
the dominant mechanistic paradigm.
Life is the critical missing piece in 
the dominant mechanistic paradigm. 
We know that integration must increase 
with ri...
Life is the critical missing piece in 
the dominant mechanistic paradigm. 
We know that integration must increase 
with ri...
Life is the critical missing piece in 
the dominant mechanistic paradigm. 
We know that integration must increase 
with ri...
So how do we 
build a bridge to 
Humanity 4.0?
Through 
conversation
Through 
conversation 
We evolve our thinking – and our world – 
not by reading books or presentations, 
but through conve...
This is the conversation we need to have:
This is the conversation we need to have: 
How can we re-imagine our lives not as 
consumers, not as “human capital,” but ...
This is the conversation we need to have: 
How can we re-imagine our lives not as 
consumers, not as “human capital,” but ...
This is the conversation we need to have: 
How can we re-imagine our lives not as 
consumers, not as “human capital,” but ...
This is the conversation we need to have: 
How can we re-imagine our lives not as 
consumers, not as “human capital,” but ...
Remember 
stories, 
where you 
got to 
choose the 
ending?
This is 
that kind 
of story.
This is 
that kind 
of story. 
But we’ll all 
make the 
choice 
together.
4.0 
or 
status 
quo? 
So which ending 
will we choose:
Join the Conversation: 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AgeOfThrivability 
Twitter: @thrivability 
Blog: www.solarium.cambiumco...
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Humanity 4.0

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  • Michelle, this is still awesome and relevant in 2015. Well done and thanks for sharing. ... still lots of prep work to do ... or wait for indigo, crystal, diamond and Y generations to be at the forefront of organisations and meanigful life initiatives. Any latest versions or other presentations ? I love your tedx too. Very inspiring !!
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  • @EkiLaitila Thank you for your kind comment, Eki. And I'm happy to learn about your company. I wonder if you had any inspiration about other ways we could visualize the concepts in the presentation.
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  • Excellent presentation, Michelle.
    I am a systems thinker by my title, developing a methodology for argumenting and visualizating complex systems in order to seek a better future for all of us. www.goodreason.fi
    Regards
    Eki
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  • Thank you, Brigitte. I'd love to learn more about Conversations at the Mending Edge.
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  • Thanks again, Michelle. This slide presentation is excellent. I remembered it today in a conversation with a colleague at HUB Melbourne, Eyal Hamish, founder of OurSay.org, an online democracy platform. So useful to transmit my ideas about the relevance of conversation. I started 'Conversation at the Mending Edge- where Presence meets Future'.
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Humanity 4.0

  1. 1. Humanity 4.0 Michelle Holliday www.cambiumconsulting.com © Copyright Michelle Holliday
  2. 2. Humanity is crossing into a new era
  3. 3. Humanity is crossing into a new era Why can’t we agree what to call the new era?
  4. 4. Humanity is crossing into a new era Why can’t we agree what to call the new era? Do we really understand the nature of the journey?
  5. 5. Humanity is crossing into a new era Why can’t we agree what to call the new era? Do we really understand the nature of the journey? Are things getting better or worse along the way?
  6. 6. To answer these questions, we first need to recognize that humanity is evolving according to the pattern of all living systems.
  7. 7. The pattern of living systems is everywhere Across the eras of humanity  Throughout our individual lives  In our economies and organizations Fractals display self-similar structure at different scales, the way the pattern of this leaf mirrors the pattern of the tree itself. Examples include leafy trees, cauliflower, broccoli, and systems of blood vessels. This phenomenon may help explain why the pattern of living systems is so prevalent at all scales of human activity.
  8. 8. Like a roadmap, this pattern offers important clues about the journey into the emerging era.
  9. 9. It works like this: All living systems have 4 defining characteristics
  10. 10. 1. There are Parts cells in your body bees in a hive trees in a forest people in an organization
  11. 11. The more divergent (or diverse) the parts, the more resilient, adaptive and creative the living system will be.
  12. 12. 2. There are Relationships The dynamic web of internal and external interactions between parts
  13. 13. The more open and free-flowing the relationships, the more resilient, adaptive and creative the living system will be.
  14. 14. 3. There is a Whole an emergent level of life with characteristics & capabilities of its own that can’t be understood by looking only at the parts your body the beehive the forest the organization
  15. 15. The more convergent the whole (for example: the more you remain recognizably you even as your cells are continuously replaced) the more resilient, adaptive and creative the living system will be.
  16. 16. 4. There is a “Self-Integrating Property” This is how biologists describe the way that…by itself the living system integrates all those divergent parts into a convergent whole in dynamic relationship internally and externally in an ongoing, moment-by-moment process of self re-creation. In other words, it’s what makes the living system alive.
  17. 17. That’s life, right? It’s whatever it is that animates us and makes us alive.
  18. 18. We can imagine this pattern as a prism Context* comes in and as it passes through the living system it is transformed * People, matter, energy, information…
  19. 19. With living systems, we can imagine it as a 3-sided prism… © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday 1Individual parts make distinct, divergent contributions.
  20. 20. 2 These parts come together to create a convergent whole that cannot be understood simply by looking at the behavior of the parts. © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday
  21. 21. The whole is created as parts connect to each other and to context in a dynamic web of relationship. 3 © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday
  22. 22. as the spark of life. 4 The whole system is coordinated by a self-integrating property that can be understood © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday
  23. 23. As the system evolves in reaction to changes in its context, it becomes increasingly integrated with its environment. © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday
  24. 24. Through feedback, it becomes ever more sensitive to changes in context, driving more evolution, in turn driving infinite and unpredictable creativity. © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday
  25. 25. In all, living systems are creative, regenerative and adaptive by their nature. They seek always to transcend themselves by connecting with other life to create novel forms. © Copyright 2010 Michelle Holliday
  26. 26. This means: You have to polish all three sides of the prism, so each “ingredient” is present at high levels …
  27. 27. …if you want to create the fertile conditions for life to shine through and do its self-integrative thing.
  28. 28. That’s the secret formula for how life works* * Even in our organizations and our economies.
  29. 29. Now here’s where it gets interesting…
  30. 30. When you take a closer look at the eras of humanity… Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
  31. 31. …you notice that each era has had a distinct guiding story about life. The universe is an unbroken whole. There is no separateness. The universe is a web of interconnected relationship. The universe is a machine made of individual parts. Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
  32. 32. Each story represents a different (and equally valid) way of understanding reality and engaging with the world. The universe is an unbroken whole. There is no separateness. The universe is a web of interconnected relationship. The universe is a machine made of individual parts. Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
  33. 33. But what’s his story? Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
  34. 34. Action Plan The universe is made of individual parts.
  35. 35. systems thinking The universe is a web of interconnected relationship. the network
  36. 36. Gaia The universe is an unbroken whole.
  37. 37. systems thinking Action Plan The universe is a web of interconnected The universe is relationship. made of individual parts. The universe is an integral living system made up of parts, relationships and wholes. Gaia The universe is an unbroken whole. the network
  38. 38. It’s as if we focused on one capability at a time in order to become more resilient, adaptive and creative as a species. The universe is an unbroken whole. There is no separateness. The universe is a web of interconnected relationship. The universe is a mechanism made of individual parts. The universe is an integral living system made of parts, relationships and wholes. Hunter-Gatherer Era Agrarian Era Industrial Era ????
  39. 39. And so it seems that humanity (in general) has progressed along the pattern of all living systems. Era of Convergence 195,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago Era of Relationship 40,000 years ago to 500 years ago 40,000 BC First storage settlements, evidence of emotion and ritual 1.000 BC You Are Here Divergence 3,000 years ago to present 500-300 BC Socrates, Aristotle, Plato 10,000 BC 1st written language, agriculture introduced Rise of Ancient Greece, first evidence of self-awareness Era of Constitution 1700 AD Newtonian physics Time & Technical Progress Focus of Human Consciousness 195,000 BC Homo sapiens appears, survival through collective instinct Era of Integration 250 years ago to 2000 AD Internet increases complexity 1789 AD US 1900 AD First findings in quantum physics present © Copyright 2010 Note: To allow all eras to fit onto one page, the rate of time progression is not depicted consistently along the timeline. Michelle Holliday
  40. 40. As we’ve moved into each new era, it’s as if we’ve turned down the volume on the intelligence of the previous era and denied its relevance. Now, we’re discovering that if we turn up all three, we find the harmony of integration. We’re realizing that they’re all necessary and valuable, particularly in high complexity. This matches the pattern all living systems follow to become more resilient, adaptive and creative: converge relate diverge integrate
  41. 41. The nature of intelligence 1 Intelligence is learned, not inherited genetically. Feral children do not develop self-awareness, language or concepts of relationship, though they share our basic genetic code.
  42. 42. The nature of intelligence 1 Intelligence is learned, not inherited genetically. Feral children do not develop self-awareness, language or concepts of relationship, though they share our basic genetic code. 2 In our lives, we’re constantly spiraling around the living systems prism to polish, learn and integrate all three sides. We may pause to focus on one type of intelligence for a moment, an extended time or even a lifetime. Our journey around the spiral is influenced by the focus of our surrounding culture. The current Western culture is focused on divergent awareness, to the near exclusion of the other types of intelligence.
  43. 43. The nature of intelligence 1 Intelligence is learned, not inherited genetically. Feral children do not develop self-awareness, language or concepts of relationship, though they share our basic genetic code. 2 In our lives, we’re constantly spiraling around the living systems prism to polish, learn and integrate all three sides. We may pause to focus on one type of intelligence for a moment, an extended time or even a lifetime. Our journey around the spiral is influenced by the focus of our surrounding culture. The current Western culture is focused on divergent awareness, to the near exclusion of the other types of consciousness. Imagine: how different things would be if our culture actively supported and integrated all types of intelligence.
  44. 44. Convergent intelligence  All hunter-gatherer cultures (past and present) exhibit shamanistic practices to tap collective intelligence.  Contrary to popular belief, hunter-gatherer cultures are the happiest on Earth – one researcher calls them “the original affluent society.”  Unity consciousness, non-duality  A living, conscious world  Present moment awareness, “The Power of Now”  Tapping into the will & wisdom of the whole – Instincts – Inspiration – Communion with nature – Meditative states – Dreams (Jung’s universal archetypes)  Abundance mentality, gift economies  Quantum physics, the non-local unifying realm
  45. 45. Relationship intelligence  In the Agrarian era, we worked on the ability to be in relationship with nature…and with each other and the world around us.  Agriculture emerged, but also language, mathematics, architecture, religion, civilization …all artifacts of our ability to be in relationship.  Systems thinking, complexity science  Social networking, informal networks  Emotional Intelligence, EQ  Relationship economies  Never-ending circle of life, cycles  Web of interdependent existence  Community, belonging, rituals  Play, curiosity, flow  Process, “the journey is the destination” systems thinking the network
  46. 46.  The modern era (originating with the ancient Greeks), with its focus on separateness  Clockwork Universe (Newton)  Mind/body dualism  Individual achievement, individual rights  Science (Newtonian physics in particular)  Scientific management, mechanization  One right answer  Rationality  Reducing things to their component parts  Continuous improvement, progress, problem-solving, efficiency  Market economies  Scarcity mentality Isaac Newton Ludwig von Mises, Father of Libertarianism Divergent intelligence
  47. 47. Integral intelligence  Values multiple perspectives, all types of intelligence  Able to hold the paradox of individuality within the unity of all life  Wisdom  Gaia Theory, nature-based spirituality  Multi-disciplinary studies  Evolutionary enlightenment  The Perennial Philosophy  Synchronicity, the power of intention  Theory U, Presencing  The US Constitution, the Founding Fathers  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Buckminster Fuller, Buckminster Fuller Albert Einstein, Karl Jung, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ken Wilber, Margaret Wheatley, Joanna Macy, Brian Swimme, Peter Russell, Elisabet Sahtouris Ken Wilber
  48. 48. Developmental psychologists have noticed the same pattern across our individual lives. What if we were raised in an integral society? Might we reach the wisdom stages in youth rather than waiting for old age (if we’re lucky)?
  49. 49. Generation Y…or Generation I? Refuse to compromise on total individuality. Value multiple perspectives. Could they be the first integral generation? Recognize their connection to the whole, having grown up in a global, interdependent context. Place high priority on constant learning and play. Value connectivity and their network of relationships. Want to make a contribution to something meaningful (social, environmental). Stereotypical traits of Gen-Yers
  50. 50. Why is this important now?
  51. 51. Why is this important now? Humanity is at a fork in the road.
  52. 52. This is the path we’re on.
  53. 53. It’s the path of divergent thinking alone.
  54. 54. It’s not a good path to be on. “Our world society is presently on a non-sustainable course.” page 498
  55. 55. 1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages. (Think of the Dark Ages that followed the fall of ancient Rome.)
  56. 56. 1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages. (Think of the Dark Ages that followed the fall of ancient Rome.) 2 Divergent thinking keeps us stuck looking for ways to tweak “the machine” and to make the “business case for sustainability.”
  57. 57. 1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages. (Think of the Dark Ages that followed the fall of ancient Rome.) 2 Divergent thinking keeps us stuck looking for ways to tweak “the machine” and to make the “business case for sustainability.” This is like slowing down a bus that’s going the wrong way fast. It’s a good first step, but eventually you want to turn the bus around.
  58. 58. 1 Many predict crisis & crash (economic, social, environmental). If this happens, we risk falling back to earlier stages. (Think of the Dark Ages that followed the fall of ancient Rome.) 2 Divergent thinking keeps us stuck looking for ways to tweak “the machine” and to make the “business case for sustainability.” 3 What’s truly needed is wholesale revision of how we think of and craft our organizations and our societies.
  59. 59. The most important task of our era is to acknowledge life.
  60. 60. The most important task of our era is to acknowledge life. Our current guiding story tell us that:  Everything in the universe operates like a machine (especially our organizations and economies).  We are separate from each other and from nature.  We exist to compete and consume.
  61. 61. The most important task of our era is to acknowledge life. Our current guiding story tell us that:  Everything in the universe operates like a machine (especially our organizations and economies).  We are separate from each other and from nature.  We exist to compete and consume. With what we know about how life really works, is it any wonder that the society we’ve built based on that story is unable to sustain life over time?
  62. 62. Life is the critical missing piece in the dominant mechanistic paradigm.
  63. 63. Life is the critical missing piece in the dominant mechanistic paradigm. We know that integration must increase with rising complexity – and it is life that integrates and animates.
  64. 64. Life is the critical missing piece in the dominant mechanistic paradigm. We know that integration must increase with rising complexity – and it is life that integrates and animates. Acknowledging life invites wonder and reverence – for all life, including our own.
  65. 65. Life is the critical missing piece in the dominant mechanistic paradigm. We know that integration must increase with rising complexity – and it is life that integrates and animates. Acknowledging life invites wonder and reverence – for all life, including our own. Only by acknowledging life - in all its underlying integrality - will we develop sufficient will and compassion to achieve not just sustainability but thrivability.
  66. 66. So how do we build a bridge to Humanity 4.0?
  67. 67. Through conversation
  68. 68. Through conversation We evolve our thinking – and our world – not by reading books or presentations, but through conversation.
  69. 69. This is the conversation we need to have:
  70. 70. This is the conversation we need to have: How can we re-imagine our lives not as consumers, not as “human capital,” but as vibrant contributors to the whole of life?
  71. 71. This is the conversation we need to have: How can we re-imagine our lives not as consumers, not as “human capital,” but as vibrant contributors to the whole of life? How can we reinvent our organizations so that they work with the full pattern of living systems to build not just sustainability but thrivability?
  72. 72. This is the conversation we need to have: How can we re-imagine our lives not as consumers, not as “human capital,” but as vibrant contributors to the whole of life? How can we reinvent our organizations so that they work with the full pattern of living systems to build not just sustainability but thrivability? How can we restructure the artifacts and architecture of our lives so that they support wiser, life-enhancing ways of living?
  73. 73. This is the conversation we need to have: How can we re-imagine our lives not as consumers, not as “human capital,” but as vibrant contributors to the whole of life? How can we reinvent our organizations so that they work with the full pattern of living systems to build not just sustainability but thrivability? How can we restructure the artifacts and architecture of our lives so that they support wiser, life-enhancing ways of living? What will it take to make life the true bottom line?
  74. 74. Remember stories, where you got to choose the ending?
  75. 75. This is that kind of story.
  76. 76. This is that kind of story. But we’ll all make the choice together.
  77. 77. 4.0 or status quo? So which ending will we choose:
  78. 78. Join the Conversation: Facebook: www.facebook.com/AgeOfThrivability Twitter: @thrivability Blog: www.solarium.cambiumconsulting.com Email: michelle@cambiumconsulting.com

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