The Paradigm Junction Project


Blue Planet Governance

A Story to live by




Small blue sliver




We live on this small blue dot –     – our home as seen from space






Our Vision Statement…






The era of global tragedy of the commons ends.

The new paradigm begins when Interdependent Regional Governments unite!

To form a chaordic organization called,

the United Regions

Where coordinated expertise in Earth Science, Human-Nature and Economics,

Provide Regional Governments Guidance to Maximize Real Wealth:


Real wealth is a measurement of a robust ecology

and of the general health and happiness of the people!






















Chapters of

Paradigm Junction









The New Story



Bio Of The Writer



The Triad



2b-Dynamic Systems






3b-Paradigm Flaws



4a-Those Who Envision



4b-Dynamic Societies 050APC






4d-The View From 050APC






5a-Are We Ready To Enact?



5b-Chapter And Verse



6a-Our Journey Into Today











This paper is prepared for the  Community Indicators Consortium conference June 2017

For a printable pdf copy see


S#’s at the left refer to accompanying ppt slides.




Wealth Indicators as Elements of Paradigm Change:

A post–normal journey ~~ Blue Planet Governance


Good afternoon.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present ideas about social change:


1000 years ago, in the flat earth era, the nature and scope of lands and oceans were unknown.  There were no ‘indicators’ to suggest limits to travel.  Folk lore suggested that if you sail far into the unknown you may fall over the edge, into the…. abyss of the unknown[i].  (Footnote)


S2 Blue Planet


500 years ago we discovered the Earth was round. Therefore it had a circumference, giving us indication of definable limits to sea and land. 


S3 Limits


50 years ago the first wave of primitive global indicators were dynamically interwoven in a computer by an MIT research team that was commissioned by the science based Club of Rome.  This resulted in a highly controversial report called, Limits to Growth.  Some of the indicators used were: depleting non-renewable resources; human population growth; food and services per capita; and increasing pollution.  When projected into the future this 1972 data suggested that early in the 21st century growing human-activity would collide with the reality of resource-depletion and pollution, causing human population to peak about 2030. 


17 years ago the Smithsonian Magazine reviewed the ‘Limits’ report using the same mix of indicators to update past trends.  The heavy lines in the blue section of the graphic confirm the relative accuracy of the original projections that had been from 1972 to 2000.  The Smithson’s future projection, from the year 2000, also indicated the likelihood of peak population about 2030.


S4 World Leaders to COR

But why don’t governments change our course?

About 25 years ago I had some exchanges with Alexander King, [ii] Club of Rome co-founder.  He spoke of an event where the club had invited many world leaders (including Pierre Trudeau) to a meeting to discuss the implications of the dire message conveyed by the controversial book.  King stated that he and others were pleased with the level of understanding among the national leaders.  But would they act?  At the end of the meeting, one of the leaders spoke for the group saying that they understood what our future appears to holds, “But were he to act on this substantially, he would be out of office, not at the next election, but in a few months”.

Why cannot political leaders change the collective human trajectory?



S6 Paradigm Problem

Our leaders cannot because we have a paradigm problem.  The collective story of our times has evolved without taking into account scientific ‘indicators’ that clearly illustrate our planet’s biophysical limits.  Today’s national leaders don’t have the constitutional tools to deal with the changes needed: And if a few did, they could not act alone.   And also, the majority of ‘we the people’ be unlikely to believe or accept the types of changes that a viable future will require, which will likely include limits to population growth[iii]. 

(As they say in bridge or today’s politics, ‘We have been Trumped! :-)


This is a complex multidisciplinary issue.  Many books and papers are written each year about each of the foundational issues, but the key points are summarized within the chapters of a web-based booklet called Paradigm Junction.  The chapters briefly cover several key issues such as:

·       Energy: Today’s civilization depends on fossil energy for about 98% of global transportation.  The reality of peak oil cannot be accommodated much longer by our current form of governance.  John Howe’s studies suggest the effects will become apparent in a couple of years;[iv]

·       Dynamic systems – to have a goal – to measure critical items – to provide feedback to direct change toward that goal;

·       During the last couple of centuries of the fossil energy era various forms of economic and money creation schemes were developed in order to facilitate exponentially increasing goods and services required by exponentially growing human population - about 80% energized by fossil fuel energy, the global warming culprit. 

·       The current commercial bank-controlled debt-based money creation system is totally incompatible with either steady state or negative growth in human-activity. This is only one of several serious flaws in our Monetary Economic System of which the acronym MES makes a good summary[v].

·       During the past century of corporate lobbying, constant hegemonic pressure has resulted in what many observers refer to as ‘corporate governance’, a root cause of today’s staggering wealth inequity[vi].

The leaders who attended the COR meeting 25 years ago acknowledged they could not escape the growth paradigm.  It’s the same today.  Governments at all levels pursue economic growth even though, as enlightened economist Kenneth Boulding quipped:

Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever

in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.

S7    and yet your daily media report will cover the local stock exchange numbers giving the impression that growth is seen as the holy grail of progress. 

Today’s governance appears to be guided by a mix of surrealism and dreams of past glory.


S8 Our predicament is summarized in a chapter of a 1988 book called Dream Of The Earth by Fr. Thomas Berry where he also suggests what is needed:

The industrial context in which we presently function cannot be changed significantly in the immediate future.  Our immediate survival is bound up in this context, with all its benefits as well as its destructive aspects. What is needed, however, is a comprehensive change in the control and direction of the energies available to us.  Most of all we need to alter our commitment from an industrial wonderland achieved by plundering processes to an integral Earth community based on a mutual enhancing human-earth relationship.  This move from an anthropocentric sense of reality and values to a biocentric norm is essential.





Blue Planet Governance

Providing Stewardship for a Small Blue Planet


Wealth Indicators as Elements of Paradigm Change:

A post–normal journey, where,



Real wealth is a measurement of a robust ecology

and of the general health and happiness of the people!

… as penned by Riane Eisler in her ’89 book, The Real Wealth of Nations


Let’s consider a few wise words by a few other notables:

S10  James Kunstler warns:

Don’t be fooled by the idiotic exertions of the Red team and the Blue team. They’re just playing a game of “Capture the Flag” on the deck of the Titanic.

S11 In her book, This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein tells us straight up:

So we are left with a stark choice: allow climate disruption to change everything about our world, or change pretty much everything about our economy to avoid that fate. But we need to be very clear: because of our decades of collective denial, no gradual, incremental options are now available to us.


S12 And the ever realistic Buckminster Fuller commented:

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.


S13 Professor Helmut Burkardt laments:

Today’s global polity needs our attention because it is as ugly as fascism. It is violent, destructive, dangerous and expensive. It is incomprehensibly violent and destructive as witnessed in Aleppo or in Mosul. It creates deadly danger for all by threatening the application of nuclear weapons. It is expensive due to the costly arms race, which the existing political reality requires. We live in a global anarchy of self centered sovereign nations vying for hegemony and carelessly ruining our “Lebensraum”, the ecosystem. This is a nightmare. How can we tolerate and even hang on to such a bad political culture?

S14   The Future starts now:
The foregoing points about our obsolete paradigm were made to establish that this paper assumes that the current growth-driven national governments of the world are incapable of changing civilization’s “Titanic” course into the future.  This information is not intended to depress but to inspire intelligent young minds to capitalise on the wealth of measurement tools and well-established technologies that could enable us to govern ourselves towards the biocentric norm of which Fr. Berry spoke.  

In the past few decades there has been a groundswell in appetite for change, with thousands of NGOs working for improvement in many of our critical areas of interest.  Data produced by the Community Indicators Consortium will be essential for the production of vitally-needed data providing feedback guidance within any viable governance system.  What is missing is a common realistic vision; a holistic goal that could enable these now disparate energies to gain the synergistic boost of common-cause, to build team spirit while achieving our common goal of reducing our excessive footprint to live within the biophysical limits of the systems of life on our small blue planet.  

Job one is to envision, to discuss with a team and then develop the documentation framework that can move communities of minds toward a biocentric form of governance capable of providing stewardship of the Gaian living systems.  For now we’ll call this system, Blue Planet Governance (BPG).

From within today’s geopolitical worldview Blue Planet Governance seem like a pipe dream.  But if we look around we see ample opportunity to begin areas of implementation.   Many essential components are already being established.  There are several organizations promoting regionalization.  In the real wealth measurement area we have the well-established Ecological Footprint organization, the Community Indicators Consortium and various energy assessment groups.  Bitcoin and other blockchain monetary systems are already making inroads and could easily become a commodity-based currency rooted in measured real wealth of each Region.  The Population Institute provides instruction on family planning in areas where information is scarce.  Existing government structures, from municipal to state or federal, could remain much the same as they are today but simply operated somewhat differently. 

Paradigm change does not come easy. The biggest obstacle will be to change the human mind-set as commented by cyberneticist Stafford Beer in his 1972 book, Designing Freedom: [vii]

I am proposing simply that society should use its tools to redesign its institutions, and to operate those institutions quite differently. You can imagine all the problems. But the first and gravest problem is in the mind, screwed down by all those cultural constraints. You will not need a lot of learning to understand what I am saying: what you will need is intellectual freedom. It is a free gift for all who have the courage to accept it. Remember: our culture teaches us not intellectual courage, but intellectual conformity.


Of course another global economic collapse, as almost happened in 2008[viii], will inspire many to seek the safety of a regional/global lifeboat economy – presuming we have built one.


While at an economic conference in UK October 2008, I visited by Bull of Birmingham.




Post Normal Speculation:[ix]

Section 4 of the Paradigm Junction booklet is about envisioning, which is a form of post normal design.  In engineering, when new concepts are imagined, we move from a sketch to a prototype for testing, and then to the finished product.  Quite a lot is generally known about many of the parameters that will affect the outcome, such as in the case of a new type of aircraft, or a new energy conversion system.  However, when speculating on the design of a sustainable human civilization, the term post normal encapsulates fuzzy parameters.


Drawing from a 2003 ISEE presentation by

S.Funowitz & J.Ravetz



This figure shows diminishing certainty and increasingly high stakes as we move from relatively familiar applied science and sociology towards the fuzzy world of post normal – our common future.


Post-normal science is a concept developed by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz, who illustrate a methodology of inquiry appropriate for cases where: facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high and decisions are urgent.   It is primarily applied in the context of long-term issues where there is less available information than is desired by stakeholders.  These conditions certainly apply when speculating on a sustainable global governance system.


Professor Professor Hartmut Bossel speculated on paradigm change in his 1998 book, Earth at a Crossroads: Pathways to a Sustainable Future, his list of considerations of needed changes are very much aligned with the ideas with Blue Planet Governance, as listed in the reference material.[x]





Blue Planet Governance

Providing Stewardship For A Small Blue Planet


Here is a simplified[xi] big picture view of BPG as it might appear in about 10 to 20 years if a few good men and women can accept with optimism we reach Paradigm Junction with a vision capable of guiding us through the chaotic times that we know will be in our short term future – one way or another.


Fig. 1

Regions & Their UR


Fig. 1 provides overview of the United Regions (UR) where many today’s medium size counties such as those in the European Union, Africa, South America, and also bioregional segments of large landmasses such as Asia, USA, Canada or Russia are referred to as Regions.  These regions are united in common cause and have changed the nature and the name of the United Nations to the United Regions (UR)[xii].

Borrowing a successful concept from the corporate world[xiii], the UR is a chaordic organization[xiv], meaning that it has been created by the highly autonomous regions of the world in order to deal with common issues that are beyond the scope of any one region.  Fig. 1 shows the cluster of regions that are part of this stewardship system of global trade and commerce.  Some small regions are represented through a continental hub to represent their common interests. 

Two key concepts underly the dynamics of this system of governance;

Concept 1: A changed definition of wealth:
Gone are the fatally flawed debt-based, computer-generated numbers that create today’s vast ‘wealth’ inequity.  As penned by economist Riane Eisler in The Real Wealth of Nations, here is the new definition of wealth: 
Real wealth is a measurement of a robust ecology and of the general health and happiness of the people!

The many elements that go into that definition are called Wealth Factors.  These ‘indicators’ of physical and social reality become the commodity basis for the Gaia$ money system.  It is their scientific measurement that determines a region’s human carrying capacity and Gaia$ supply.  Since these ‘indicators’ are such an important part of the dynamic interaction of Blue Planet Governance, we’ll dwell more on those later.

Concept 2:  Monetary availability and flow rate can be seen as a dynamic regulator of human-activity. I.e., more money = more resource throughput, less money = less resource throughput.  Monetary affluence also influences procreation considerations, especially when the potential ‘real wealth’ and well-being of one’s region is inversely proportional to population level.  This may be thought of as per capita dynamics.



Figure 2

UR Expanded View



As illustrated in Figures 1 & 2, the UR has various sections as listed:

·       The State of Gaia (SOG) section is responsible for scientific observation of, and needed response to, our natural world;


·       Indicators: Because you can’t manage what you don’t measure[xv], the Human Activities Index (HAI) gathers data from the regions that ‘indicate’ the well-being of local natural systems, of energy usage, of energy generation, of wetlands, etc., of the state of industry, of the state of civic infrastructure, of farming, of human happiness and population numbers;

·       The Global Standard (GS) section develops:
- laws that apply to the global commons;
- the criteria for a region’s acceptance into the UR community;
- the standards that apply to the ‘indicators’ that represent regional wealth, based on the HAI data. 

·       The Bank of Gaia (BoG) gathers data from the HAI in order determine how many Gaia$ dollars can be issued to each region, based on their wealth factor assessment. In this system an individual’s wealth potential is inversely proportional to their region’s population.   Now population and procreation considerations become dynamically tied to regional wealth and wellbeing.  This data will now influence personal resource throughput and procreation considerations.  

·       UR Defence: There is a UR military presence in each continent to police the global commons and as the tool of last resort in inter-regional disputes. 

Here are a few suggested standards for Regional acceptance into the community of United Regions:


ü Regional governments should be democratically elected. 

ü There will be no corporate or private ownership of land[xvi].  The lands, forests and lakes are under the stewardship of the Regional government, but can be leased to individuals and corporations.

ü UR recommends that individuals in each Region are provided with a minimum income and will be subject to a maximum annual income. 

ü Regional money is generally expressed on a per capita basis.

ü Regional governments are the shareholders of all multi-regional corporations, not individuals as it was BPC (Before Paradigm Change).  This change enhances the common good wherein automated production now provides enjoyable leisure time instead of unemployment.

ü The relatively transparent blockchain (Bitcoin-like) system of accounting enables regional governments to limit external trade as necessary, and it enables them to have full control over immigration because only registered citizens can use their Region’s Gaia$ money system.


S20 We have work to do.   Are We Ready To Enact?


On November 12, 1936 Winston Churchill grew so exasperated with the continuing failure of Britain to prepare for Hitler’s onslaught that he charged in a speech to the House of Commons:  “The government simply cannot make up their minds, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind.  So they go on in strange paradox, decide only to be undecided, resolve to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all –powerful to be impotent... the era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients of delays, is coming to its close.  In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”


The End   The Beginning


Links to all chapters of Paradigm Junction at the end of the notes: [xvii]



























[i] From a photo of a painting in a Newfoundland seafood restaurant with the caption, “I told you so!’.  Artist unknown.


[ii] Here is a personal letter from Alexander King


[iii] Jack Albert illustrates population growth dynamics in a 9 minute video Underestimating Overpopulation  

  .. and a paper about Deer at St. Mathews Isl.


[iv] Civilization VS the Oil Age by John Howe


[v] Links to articles about flaws in the Monetary Economic System:

Comment by Jada Thacker


[vi] Chris Hedges at The Earth at Risk Conference 2014 and the Moral Imperative to Resist
Sheldon Wolin  Political Science  Inverted Totalitarian  Economics Primary Democracy’s Failure


[vii] Stafford Beer 1973 book, Designing Freedom

I had many discussions with Stafford Beer when we both lived in Toronto in the early 1990s.


[viii] The root causes of the economic collapse of 2008 have not been fixed  Ref The Balance  Monbiot  The Economist  … many others.



[ix] Post-normal science is a concept developed by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz, attempting to characterize a methodology of inquiry appropriate for cases where "facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent" (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1991). It is primarily applied in the context of long-term issues where there is less available information than is desired by stakeholders.,%20Post%20Normal%20Science,%20Funtowicz_1.pdf


[x] These are points of agreement between Hartmut Bossel’s book and the BPG proposal:

·        We have common understanding of the nature and importance of systems thinking.

·        Individuals can learn to accept moral responsibility for our common future on behalf of those who will follow.

·        We must accept that we are a part of nature, not a special species.

·        Global standards must be developed and respected with regard to the environment, trade and other areas of common interests.

·        While some common standards are essential, a robust system requires diversity of subsystem components such as variety in regional cultures and social practices.

·        “The unaccountable shareholder”, must be removed from control of local resources, e.g., absentee landlords.

·        Private ownership of “the commons” must end.

·        Money available for human activity must be dynamically tied to the availability of replenishable resources to support the activity.  (Bossel does not expand on this key idea)

·        Instead of military intervention, trade sanctions, tariffs and education must be the primary tools to coerce reluctant regions into participation in the global network of agreements and standards.

·        Subjects related to sustaining the living systems of our small blue planet must be taught in schools from an early age.  Understanding of foundational issues must become a prerequisite to the right to vote.

·        Regions need to have control over immigration.

·        Regions need to have their own currencies, and yet a means of trade with other Regions.

·        There needs to be an agreed balance between one’s personal right to procreate and the rights of people of the region to have a sustainable future.


See the PJ overview at Or even better, read the chapters of Section Four, Envisioning. All chapter links are at the end of these notes. 


[xii]  Alperovitz calls for an evolution, not a revolution, from the old system to the new. That new system would democratize the ownership of wealth, strengthen communities in diverse ways, and be governed by policies and institutions sophisticated enough to manage a large-scale, powerful economy. - See more at:

Alperovitz explains that, for many reasons, geographically large nations such as USA, Canada, Russia, China, as example, are too large to govern satisfactorily and that smaller Regional governments are likely to serve the people much better. 


[xiii] Chapter PJ/4a illustrates how corporate management has many policies and procedures that could work extremely well in global and regional governance.


[xiv] Chaordic


[xv] You can’t manage what you don’t measure  While this management consultant site is about increasing corporate profits, the same message applies to reaching goals in any complex system.


[xvi] The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality


[xvii] Chapter index with fully addressed hyperlinks:                                            


…. The beginning…