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This is the full version WHITE PAPER for the Green Steps ARK. ARK is short for Activate body & mind, Restore the environment, Know your bioregion. The ARK is a gamified social network which uses a highly scalable technology and a sustainable social business model to exponentially accelerate bottom-up climate change adaptation measures. It offers a clearly structured step-by-step learning journey to users in local communities; and a global collaborative library of best practices to facilitators. The ARK uses the power of technology to drive long term behavioral change in offline communities. The Green Steps ARK is geared towards realizing triple health. Project phase 1 strengthens and connects local communities as smallest cells of a global civil society in a gamified learning platform about education for sustainable development (SDG 17, 4). Phase 2 pioneers the internet of nature and drives planetary health through stewardship over commons and the creation of bioregional identities (SDG 13, 4). Phase 3 structures a conditional universal basic income and redistributes wealth globally through meritocratic ecosystem service remuneration (SDG 10, 4). Activate. Restore. Know. A fun platform to transform our societies for good.
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ARK is short for Activate body & mind, Restore the environment, Know your bioregion. The ARK is
a gamified social network which uses a highly scalable technology and a sustainable social business
model to exponentially accelerate bottom-up climate change adaptation measures. It offers a clearly
structured step-by-step learning journey to users in local communities; and a global collaborative
library of best practices to facilitators. The ARK uses the power of technology to drive long term
behavioral change in offline communities.
The Green Steps ARK is geared towards realizing a sane society through triple health. Project phase
1 strengthens and connects local communities as smallest cells of a global civil society in a gamified
learning platform about ESD, that is education for sustainable development (SDG 17, 4). Phase 2
pioneers the internet of nature and drives planetary health through stewardship over commons and
the creation of bioregional identities (SDG 13, 4). Phase 3 structures a conditional universal basic
income and redistributes wealth globally through meritocratic ecosystem service remuneration (SDG
10, 4).
Activate Restore Know
A fun platform to transform our societies for good
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Table of Content
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1. Prologue
Man first emerged from the animal world as a freak of nature. Having lost most of the instinctive
equipment which regulates the animal’s activities, he was more helpless, less well equipped for the
fight for survival, than most animals. Yet he had developed a capacity for thought, imagination and
self-awareness, which was the basis for transforming nature and himself. For many thousands of
generations man lived by food gathering and hunting. He was still tied to nature, and afraid of being
cast out from her. He identified himself with animals and worshiped these representatives of nature
as his gods. After a long period of slow development, man began to cultivate the soil, to create a
new social and religious order based on agriculture and animal husbandry. During this period, he
worshiped goddesses as the bearers of natural fertility, experienced himself as the child dependent
of the fertility of the earth, on the life-giving breath of Mother.
At a time some four thousand years ago, a decisive turn in man’s history took place. He took a new
step in the long-drawn-out process of his emergence from nature. He severed the ties with nature
and with Mother, and set himself a new goal, that of being fully born, of being fully awake, of being
fully human; of being free. Reason and conscience became the principles which were to guide him;
his aim was a society bound by the bonds of brotherly love, justice and truth, a new and truly human
home to take the place of the irretrievably lost home in nature.
And then again about five hundred years before Christ in the great religious systems of India, Greece,
Palestine, Persia and China, the idea of the unity of mankind and of a unifying spiritual principle
underlying all reality assumed new and more developed expressions. Lao-tse, Buddha, Isajah,
Heraclitus and Socrates, and alter, on Palestinian soil, Jesus and the Apostles, on American soil,
Quetzalcoatl, and later again, on Arabian soil, Mohammed, taught the ideas of the unity of man, of
reason, love and justice as the goals man must strive for.
Around 1500 A.D. a new period began. Man discovered nature and the individual, he laid the
foundations for the natural sciences, which began to transform the face of the earth. Middle Ages
collapsed, the unifying heaven broke up, man found a new unifying principle in science, and was
searching for a new unity in the social and political unification of the earth and in the domination of
nature. Moral conscience, the heritage of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and intellectual conscience,
the heritage of the Greek tradition, fused and brought about a flowering of human creation as man
hardly ever known it before.
Europe, the youngest child of humanity, culturally speaking, developed such wealth and such weapons
that it become the master of the rest of the world for several hundred years. But again, in the middle
of the twentieth century, a drastic change is occurring, a change as great as ever occurred in the past.
The new techniques replace the use of physical energy of animals and men by that of steam, oil and
electricity, they create means of communication which transform the earth into the size of one
continent, and the human race into one society where the fate of one group is the fate of all; they
create marvels of devices which permit the best of art, literature and music to be brought to every
member of society; they create productive forces which will permit everybody to have a dignified
material existence, and reduces work to such dimensions that it will fill only a fraction of man’s day.
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Yet today, when man seems to have reached the beginnings of a new, richer, happier human era,
his existence and that of the generations to follow is more threatened than ever. How is this
Man had won his freedom from clerical and secular authorities, he stood alone with his reason and
his conscience as his only judges, but he was afraid of the newly won freedom; he had achieved
“freedom from” – without yet having achieved “freedom to” – to be himself, to be productive, to
be fully awake. Thus, he tried to escape freedom. His very achievement, the mastery over nature,
opened up the avenues for his escape.
In building the new industrial machine, man become so absorbed in the new task that it became
the paramount goal of his life. His energies, which once were devoted to the search for God and
salvation, were now directed toward the domination of nature and ever-increasing material
comfort. He ceased to use production as a means for a better life, but hypostatized it instead to an
end in itself, an end to which life was subordinated. In the process of an ever-increasing division of
labor, ever-increasing mechanization of work, and an ever-increasing size of social agglomerations,
man himself became a part of the machine, rather than its master. He experienced himself as a
commodity, as an investment; his aim became to be a success, that is, to sell himself as profitably as
possible on the market.
His value as a person lies in his salability, not in his human qualities of love, reason, or in his artistic
capacities. Happiness becomes identical with consumption of newer and better commodities, the
drinking in of music, screen plays, fun, sex, liquor and cigarettes. Not having a sense of self except
the one which conformity with the majority can give, he is insecure, anxious, depending on
approval. He is alienated from himself. worships the product of his own hands, the leaders of his
own making, as if they were above him, rather than made by him. He is in a sense back where he
was before the great human evolution began in the second millennium B.C.
He is incapable to love and to use his reason, to make decisions, in fact incapable to appreciate life
and thus ready and even willing to destroy everything. The world is again fragmentalized, has lost its
unity; he is again worshiping diversified things, with the only exception that now they are man-
made, rather than parts of nature.
The new era started with the idea of individual initiative. Indeed, the discoverers of new worlds and
sea lanes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the pioneers of science, and the founders of
new philosophies, the statesmen and philosophers of the great English, French and American
revolutions, and eventually, the industrial pioneers, and even the robber barons showed marvelous
individual initiative. But with the bureaucratization and managerialization of Capitalism, it is exactly
the individual initiative that is disappearing.
Bureaucracy has little initiative, that is its nature; nor have automatons. The cry for individual
initiative as an argument for Capitalsim is at best a nostalgic yearning, and at worst a deceitful
slogan used against those plans for reform which are based on the idea of truly human individual
initiative. Modern society has started our with the vision of creating a culture which would fulfil
man’s needs; it has as its ideal the harmony between the individual and social needs, the end of the
conflict between human nature and the social order. One believed one would arrive at this goal in
two ways; by the increased productive technique which permitted feeding everybody satisfactorily,
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and by a rational, objective picture of man and of his real needs. Putting it differently, the aim of the
efforts of modern man was to create a sane society. […] It meant a society whose members have
developed the capacity to love their children, their neighbors, all men, themselves, all of nature;
who can feel one with all, yet retain their sense of individuality and integrity; who transcend nature
by creating, not by destroying.
So far, we have failed. We have not bridged the gap between a minority which realized these goals
and tried to live according to them, and the majority whose mentality is far back, in the Stone Age,
in totemism, in idol worship, in feudalism. Will the majority be converted to sanity – or will it use
the greatest discoveries of human reason for its own purposes of unreason and insanity? Will we
be able to create a vision of the good, sane life, which will stir the life forces of those afraid of
marching forward? This time, mankind is at one crossroad where the wrong step could be the last
There is today a decisive difference between the two systems. In the Western world there is
freedom to express ideas critical of the existing system. In the Soviet world criticism and
expression of different ideas is suppressed by brutal force. Hence, the Western world carries
within the possibility for peaceful progressive transformation, while in the Soviet world such
possibilities are almost non-existent. […] But without ignoring the tremendous differences
between free Capitalism and authoritarian Communism today, it is shortsighted not to see the
similarities, especially as they will develop in the future. Both systems are based on industrialization,
their goal is ever-increasing economic efficiency and wealth. They are societies run by a managerial
class, and by professional politicians. They both are thoroughly materialistic in their outlook,
regardless of Christian ideology in the West and secular messianism in the East. They organize man
in a centralized system, in large factories, political mass parties. Everybody is a cog in the machine;
and has to function smoothly. In the West, this is achieved by a method of psychological
conditioning, mass suggestion, monetary rewards. In the East by all this, plus the use of terror. It is
to be assumed that the more the Soviet system develops economically, the less severely will it
have to exploit the majority of the population, hence the more can terror be replaced by methods
of psychological manipulation. The West develops rapidly in the direction of Huxley’s Brave New
World, the East is today Orwell’s 1984. But both systems tend to converge.
What are the prospects for the future?
In the development of both Capitalism and Communism as we can visualize them in the next fifty
or a hundred years, the process of automatization and alienation will proceed. Both systems are
developing into managerial societies, their inhabitants well fed, well clad, having their wishes
satisfied, and not having wished which cannot be satisfied; automatons, who follow without force,
who are guided without leaders, who make machines which act like man and produce men who
act like machines; men, whose reason deteriorates while their intelligence rises, this creating the
dangerous situation of equipping man with the greatest material power without the wisdom to use
This alienation and automatization leads to an ever-increasing insanity. Life has no meaning, there is
no joy, no faith, no reality. Everybody is “happy” – except that he does not feel, does not reason,
does not love. In the 19th century the problem was that God is dead; in the 20th century the
problem is that man is dead. In the 19th century inhumanity meant cruelty; in the twentieth century
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it means schizoid self-alienation. The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger
of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel. But given man’s
nature, robots cannot live and remain sane, they become “Golems,” they will destroy their world
and themselves because they cannot stand any longer the boredom of a meaningless life.
2. Problem & Mission
The founding members of this project are Europeans who witnessed the peak of air pollution in
China and were strongly influenced by this experience. The years 2013-2018 in China's urban areas
are often equated with the 1970s in the U.S. and Japan or the 1980s in Europe, when economic
progress led to damage to the environment that was noticed not only by scientists but by broad
segments of the population and initiated a “green movement.”
On the contrary to the green movements of the past, we are aware that the ecological problems
cannot be addressed without the integration into a social and economic solution. This project is
therefore structured into three distinct phases which reflect the triple health Venn diagram. Phase 1
focuses on convivial communities; phase 2 on a viable environment; phase 3 on an adequately
prosperous economy. An overview of objectives, top functionalities and project duration is given in
below table.
Top functionalities
Phase 1
Dynamic event & learning platform
custom tailored for ESD
Q2 2022
Phase 2
Activity designer frontend & gamified
learner frontend
Q4 2022
Phase 3
Decentralized timebank module for
participating communities
Q4 2023
What is the problem?
Why we don’t learn what ma0ers and act accordingly
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1. We have most likely by 2015 passed a point of no return: environmental degradation threatens the survival of our
species without massive changes in how we understand and act in regard to consumption and economic growth
2. Industrial education is geared towards academic excellence, covers only partially what really matters and does not
equip us with the tools necessary to tackle the challenges ahead
3. Children as well as adults don’t know what to do with information thrown at them in books, internet and lectures
which is devoid of knowledge or wisdom; a digital deluge obscures our vision from goodness, beauty and truth
4. Humans learn through mentoring, guidance, collaboration and play, but our societies slip into digital dementia; the
youth is glued to smart phones, video games and augmented reality while the elders suffer from loneliness
5. Ancient lore is the integral understanding of and ultimately surviving in an ecosystem; it was handed down from
the elders to the next generation
6. As the world industrializes we have lost our local ecosystems and deal with a global ecosystem;
7. Our mammalian brain usually so reliable in guiding our attention, has no perceptual apparatus or emotional loading
for systems and their dangers. it draws a blank and needs a prosthesis.
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The long-term HANDY (Human AND Nature DYnamics) study of the collapse of all previous
civilizational models has established three critical requirements to find a solution to the climate crisis:
1. Acknowledging the climate crisis, 2. Acknowledging that environmental and social crisis are
connected. 3. Creating a knowledge sharing structure which enables humanity to solve impending
Can environmental education 4.0 (® technological concept) significantly mitigate the effects
of the climate crisis?
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is stuck in a distribution bottleneck: There is a need
for sharing knowledge that can solve the climate crisis, yet, established organizations have not found
an organizational meta structure to collaborate productively and with required impact beyond
national borders. Finding such a structure is the third structural crisis, after the social and the ecological
one, modern civilization needs to face. The Green Steps ARK is conceived as such a meta structure.
The focus of existing national education systems on STEM subjects has left ESD highly fragmented.
This fragmentation materializes on a global scale through the lack of an integrated curriculum on
ecological intelligence and the absence of a single framework for learning on sustainability. We
therefore asked ourselves: how can a wide variety of actors collaborate across organizations and
nations in order to generate exponentially more climate positive impact?
Our answer goes beyond fixing our education systems, because high quality and meaningful
education, despite its central role, is a luxury which many can’t afford. In order to be ready for
education one first needs to be fed and clad properly. In order to care for the planet, one needs to
have one’s own basic needs satisfied. The climate crisis is therefore not only an environmental crisis,
a crisis of natural resources, but also and probably even more so, a social crisis, a crisis of human
The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot
adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and
social degradation.
Why do we have to
rethink learning?
“There is not only a
crisis in natural
resources, but also
one in human
Sir Ken Robinson
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Jean Jacques Rousseau coined the term social contract at the onset of the industrial revolution and
envisioned the redistribution of wealth between rich and poor.
We identify the persistent absence
of such a global contract throughout the industrial revolution as a metasystem pain point and observe
despite highly improved production methods an aggravation of economic inequality. Wealth
distribution in developed nations has reached pre-WWI levels
and wealth distribution between
developed, developing and undeveloped nations remains by large and wide in a pre-industrial
revolution status. As a matter of fact, back in 1800, global inequality between countries was much
lower than it is today.
The Green Steps ARK is based on the assumption that we have reached an evolutionary complexity
which needs to be mastered by charging recent technological innovations with the right
values and applying them globally for social and environmental good. The vision of humanity existing
in harmony with itself and with nature has been the theme of religions and utopias. We are now
closer to creating this reality through a social contract 2.0 than ever before.
We believe that the ARK can be a viable solution in five critical areas of human activity and
Project Potential
Pioneer a post-
education system
Structure a
Universal Basic
Reduce youth
with purposeful
and sustainable
solution to
prototype and
scale sustainable
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§ It can pioneer a post-industrial education system with a new and dynamic curriculum of
subjects that drive humanity towards sustainability, peace and enlightenment.
§ It can give youth access to a global labor market of jobs for social and environmental good.
§ It can structure a conditional basic universal income which distributes wealth across national
economies to individuals who contribute with their ecosystem services to survival and triple
§ It is a vehicle to integrate migrants and locals into a nature-based understanding of home that
focuses on where we go together and not where I come from.
§ It prototypes sustainable tourism that is not based on consumption as an economic, but on
exploration as a learning activity.
3. Solution & Strategy
Some management textbooks explain innovation excellence with four ingredients to cause disruption:
the right timing, a grand vision, irresistible appeal and a killer technology. This graph is the product of
an economic system with an implicit vision: make profit (mostly at the expense of planet or people).
It is also the product of a technology worshipping culture which makes us believe that technology
can solve any problem. Technology, however, is a blade which can be wielded for both: life affirming
intervention and total and irreparable destruction.
We decided to use a version of this graph, which puts a sincere discussion about values before the
definition of a vision, and in line with Frederick Laloux’s writing the choice of organization before the
development of an appropriate technology: “Every time humanity has shifted to a new stage, it has
invented a new way to collaborate, a new organizational model.”
There is no question that an
imminent ecological tipping point defines not only the right timing for the innovation at hand, but
more: a deadline until when the effects of the innovation need to have created impact. Looking at
the Keeling Curve
, the power of this idea needs to be disruptive.
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Timing Vision
Technology Appeal
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If our vision is humanity in harmony with itself and planet Earth (not Mars), then we need to stop
and even reverse climate change by acting in three spheres: environment, community, and economy.
The values underlying this vision are therefore ecological empathy, social inclusion, economic equality.
Yet, technologist and bankers invest their minds and money almost entirely into technology which
tries to fix a broken environment. Ailing communities and the exploitative economic system are not
in focus as climate tech investment records reveal.
Post-growth scholars have shown that the redistribution of existing wealth will significantly decrease
GDP growth driven energy use. If high-income nations shift away from pursuing GDP growth and
focus instead on provisioning for human needs and well-being, strong social outcomes create space
for countries to scale down ecologically destructive and socially less necessary forms of production
and consumption. However, existing scenarios start with the assumption that all nations should
continue to pursue economic growth for the rest of the century, regardless of how rich they have
already become.
Our solution is a gamified social network which uses a highly scalable technology and a sustainable
social business model to exponentially accelerate bottom-up climate change adaptation measures. It
offers a clearly structured step-by-step learning journey to users in local communities; and a global
collaborative library of best practice teaching material to facilitators. It does not require any technical
knowledge from its users and applies remote communication technology to deepen real world
impact. To understand how appeal, technology and organization interact with timing, vision and
values, we need to look into seven distinct design concepts.
3.1. Organizational Concept
That is the true genius of organizations: they can lift groups of people to punch above their weight,
to achieve outcomes they could not have achieved on their own. [Frederic Laloux]
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ecology pedagogical organizational neurological technological library economy
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The ARK rests on the assumption that we require an organizational meta-structure which allows
individuals to transcend the limitations and obstacles of traditional organizational structures of nations,
corporations and nonprofits. Systems theory has shown that technology outpaces regime, corporate
and society induced change.
We are therefore well advised to bet our money for a systems
transformation on technology as the agent to create a liberated and illuminated civil society.
Organizations are with the exception of kingdoms and religions a very recent human invention which
have facilitated cultural, scientific and economic progress. They are however subject to an
evolutionary trajectory as Frederick Laloux and others have shown, which points at less organizational
permanence and more individual mobility.
The megastate has contributed to this organizational
transformation, because it has destroyed citizenship. The postcapitalist polity needs a “third sector,”
in addition to the two generally recognized ones, the “private sector” of business and the “public
sector” of government. “It needs an autonomous social sector with volunteers as citizens,”
as Peter
Drucker writes, in which individuals organize themselves in transient teams which are driven by
purpose, passion and impact.
Nonprofits have fulfilled this role increasingly since WWII but systems theory reveals that they are
now themselves stuck in competition for limited resources within nation state entities and incapable
of transcending the system-immanent paradigm of economic growth and resource scarcity. The
Chinese law on foreign NGOs, which paralyzes nonprofit initiatives since 2016, is probably the most
striking example for civil society’s helplessness.
A 21st century third sector consequently ought to
transform into a global social sector, i.e. a global social market, which consists of citizens who
contribute to mutual and planetary wellbeing.
The ARK structures this global third sector in project phase 1 around three pillars: groups of people
who are united by interests (communities) and offer ESD activities (content) to individuals (learners).
In alignment with sustainability principles derived from indigenous cultures, it is recommended to
anchor communities to a common for which stewardship has been established. Sustainability serves
as common ground to unite the efforts of all ARK communities and individual users, who identify
themselves through the 17 SDGs and 15 dynamic Learning Paths. Individual users can choose to be
matched with learning content offered by communities according to their preferences. We envision
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these communities as teams of ESD educators which are responsible for communities similar to the
Buurtzorg set up for neighborhood nursing.
When we conceived the ARK as a learning platform, we thought about human nature in the best
possible way. We identified an unrecognized learning instinct which gets buried under formal
schooling experiences and paralyzing working environments as we grow older. But deep down we
all remember that we once tried to grow and become a better version of ourselves or even
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Best Practice Library
> Global Commons
Event Platform
> Local Commons
Matching Learning Instinct with education for
sustainable development
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We also noticed how difficult it has become in an exponentially changing world to learn what matters.
There is so much on offer and it is difficult to make a decision on what to do next. Learning Paths
are intended to satisfy your learning instinct by matching your interest in sustainable development
with what is on offer nearby and globally. Understand them as the fibers which make up a rope
leading you along your individual Learning Journey towards enlightenment.
Indeed, enlightenment does not need to be a memory of antiquity, renaissance or 18th century ideals,
but it can happen also today and with the support of appropriate technology it is accessible to more
people than ever before. Considering that we live in knowledge societies and that the emergence of
management converted knowledge from social ornament and luxury into the true capital of any
learning not only transforms human beings, it transforms the process of learning into the
work that needs to be done to secure survival. Learning in that sense becomes a proof of work.
3.2. Ecological Concept
…when advancing science and acceleratingly progressive technology alter man’s long established
relationship with the planet on which he lives, revolutionize his societies, and at the same time equip
his rulers with new and immensely more powerful instruments of domination, what ought we to do?
[Aldous Huxely]
Where are you from? When we ask this question nowadays, we usually navigate a mental world
map of political entities. The maps we have in our minds are however the result of 19th century
nationalism. For the last 150 years we were taught to look at the world by thinking of such maps.
Interestingly, despite the ongoing cultural and technological globalization, recent phenomena have
sparked a surge of nationalism, most prominently the Covid19 crisis.
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Nation states are anachronisms and they are obstacles to the solutions we need today. Climate
change does not happen within national borders. It’s a global condition. We live on a single planet
and we need to understand it as a single ecosystem to be able to protect it. However, even post-
growth scholars fail to understand that nations are the largest entities in competitive capitalism, which
determine through their GDP growth policies the rules for participating system actors.
What we require is a new map of the world, which turns us into equal parts of a single superorganism
and frees a new self-understanding of being citizens of one planet. We don’t need to invent such a
new map of the world. It does already exist. David Olson, a conservation scientist has been working
on such a map with more than a dozen fellow scientists for almost two decades.
Since 2017 he
collaborates with google maps and has created a digital representation of ecoregions, a concept quite
similar to bioregions.
The map provides a much higher resolution than the 200+ nation states
which political maps count; and provides a structure to connect with the planet in a natural way.
We have taken this map as a starting point to create bioregional – instead of national – identities.
Every ARK user receives after registration the name of the current bioregion and is all set to embark
on a learning journey about what defines his/her bioregion: a distinct fauna, flora and cultural practices
derived from the local ecosystem. Why do we believe that bioregional identities are of such
importance? Because they are a steppingstone to the overview effect, i.e. an emotional
transformation which makes individuals empathetic for the planetary situation.
Anthropologist Gary Snyder draws a map of the world which adds another steppingstone extending
from the firepit as a metaphor for our private homes into the commons: “the undivided land
belonging to the members of a local community as a whole.” He reminds us that its not just enough
to “love nature” or to want to “be in harmony with Gaia.” Our relation to the natural world takes
place in a place, and it must be grounded in information and experience. “Real people” know their
turf. And because they know it, they respect and protect it. Bioregional identities create a human
scale for our connection with the planet. By guiding individuals from the firepit into the commons
and from there into the bioregion, they understand that they are part of a superorganism and acquire
the overview effect without being shot into the outer atmosphere.
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Bioregions do also play into the organizational concept during project phase 2 and 3. Bioregions are
a viable alternative to the nation state model established in 1648, which defines nations as entities of
the current world order. The Westphalian Peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not
a unique moral insight. It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in
each other’s domestic affairs and checking each other’s ambitions through a general equilibrium of
Every international order must sooner or later face the impact of two tendencies challenging its
cohesion: either a redefinition of legitimacy or a significant shift in the balance of power. The world
experiences currently both: 2008 GFC is by many observers considered as the failure of the
American world order. The return of Hong Kong to China was observed as the final end of Western
hegemony. The retreat of Western forces from Afghanistan this year will go down in history as yet
another milestone in the dissolution of the current world order.
Bioregionalism is a beautiful and underrated movement which resolves the dichotomy between
localism and globalism. By adapting bioregional identities and structuring bioregional governance
bodies, we move into a direction which is so much needed at this moment: we strengthen local
populations, knowledge and bottom-up solutions; simultaneously, we weaken the megastate, i.e. the
fossil of organizational development, which stifles self-determination and decentralization through
top down decisions, and the largest entity in global systems competition.
3.3. Educational Concept
Many contemporary Americans don’t even know that they don’t “know the plant,” which is indeed
a measure of alienation. [...] For the non-native to become at home on his continent, he or she must
be born again. [...] It takes a long education to know the edible plants, where to find them, and how
to prepare them. [Gary Snyder]
Prominent neuroscientists, educators and culture critics highlight the shortfalls of current education
We found that they are defined by five factors: time, space, attitude, content and
resources. Most governments enforce in all five factors standards which are in direct contradiction
to what the neuroscience of learning has found. Classes are too short; indoor instruction is dominant
and thus sensory stimulation limited; PISA rankings define the competitive character of schools;
content focuses on STEM subjects and does not pay tribute to different forms of human intelligence
by neglecting arts and humanities; resources are heavily allocated to tertiary education instead of
preschool and primary institutions, where education could make most impact.
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Bioregions are defined through almost identical:
§flora, fauna and climate;
§physical and environmental features, including
watershed boundaries and soil and terrain
Bioregionalism stresses that the determination
of a bioregion is also a cultural phenomenon,
and emphasizes:
§local populations,
§knowledge, and solutions.
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The educational concept explains how bioregional identities are created and establishes bioregional
knowledge aka lore as the post-industrial canon in reply to the European discussion about what
children ought to be taught in a changing world, which does not anymore value the 19th century
humanist tradition
and an exponentially transforming labor market, which heralds a collapse of the
service sector.
By what standards will our life be measured if one day there is less or indeed no
work to be done? Learning will be the work of the future.
Gary Snyder not only made a point by claiming that real people know their turf, but also highlighted
that modern man is increasingly disconnected from nature and therefore does not realize that he is
part thereof: To resolve the dichotomy of the civilized and the wild, we must first resolve to be
whole. How much work there needs to be done is reflected in studies about brand awareness among
children. While children gain substantial brand knowledge as early as three years old,
they are
oblivious about how to describe the natural world around them.
Rethink the Principles of Education
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Time Space A+tude Content Resources
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§Ecological intelligence:
how to deal with our home, planet Earth
§Intrapersonal intelligence:
how to deal with oneself
§Interpersonal intelligence:
how to deal with others
2021 ©
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§Fixing the planet: waste collection; soil
restauration; water treatment; energy
efficient production
§Growing food: without destroying the
ecosystem: self-reliance farming; urban
§Fixing the health care system: pre-emptive
medicine; healthy nutrition
§Spending time: with children, the lonely,
disenfranchised and feeble.
2021 ©
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This observation is important, because it confirms the predominance of imagined realities like
kingdoms, religions and corporations over the physical reality of nature.
400 years of capitalism
has distorted our perception and does so in children with increasingly efficient tools. Once more
Gary Snyder: In the old ways, the flora and fauna and landforms are part of the culture. The world
of culture and nature, which is actual, is almost a shadow world now, and the insubstantial world of
political jurisdictions and rarefied economies is what passes for reality.
Our educational concept is based on the pedagogical anthropology of Dr. Maria Montessori. It is a
multisensorial method with a focus on bioregional flora and fauna. It equips the learner with a
structure and vocabulary for the bioregional information he receives through his senses. It is a means
of classifying and categorizing the world around him in a new bioregional context. It harvests the
sensitive periods of human development through engaging, collaborative and transgenerational
experiences. Prior to boarding the ARK, the learner generally perceives the world through his senses,
but he has no bioregional framework for his impressions and no language to organize his
understanding of his environment.
This bioregional body of knowledge shall be curated by scientific institutions and regional mentors
who structure it in physical ID cards and a digital database. The explicit objective of the educational
concept is bridging science and society with the help of an appealing media interface. Specimen
mastery lists are integrated in the learning platform and learning goals are set either autonomously
or by somebody in a guardian role. Facilitating Nature Guides assess the bioregional knowledge of
users continuously and help them to grow their bioregional identity in gentle steps. Amateur and
professional Nature Guides develop guided and self-guided experiential learning routes which
enthrall with different concepts of the natural world.
Why is this necessary you might ask? Can’t we simply assign people to spend 12 hours a week in a
forest? Studies have shown that a majority of the population prefers guided nature experience over
Educational Concept
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§Based on the pedagogical anthropology
of Dr. Maria Montessori
§Sensorial education with a focus on
bioregional flora and fauna
§Provides the user with a structure and
vocabulary for the bioregional information
he receives through his senses.
§Is a means of classifying and categorizing
the world around him in a new bioregional
§Harvests sensitive periods of human
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solitary experience. While people over age 30 prefer personal guides, the young generation under
30 shows a growing interest in online formats which they can access through their mobile devices.
This “user behavior” points at the next two concepts.
3.4. Neurological Concept
Why don’t we react as individuals and as collective humanity to this imminent threat of civilization
collapse? What is wrong with us? Don’t we care about the future of our children? Psychologist Daniel
Goleman explains that our brains can’t react to global system collapse: If our emotional circuitry
(particularly the amygdala, the trigger point for the fight-or-flight response) perceives an immediate
threat it will flood us with hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which ready us to hit or run. But
this does not happen if we hear of potential dangers that might emerge in years or centuries to
come; the amygdala hardly blinks.
Goleman suggests a prosthesis for the mind as a solution to this physiological “defect.” We have
picked up his idea and researched what is already available. The Keeling Curve appeared to be a
dominant source of meta data: a single number indicating how far we are from our own demise. Yet,
it is a prosthesis which does not spark any action. An increase in CO2 concentration in the
atmosphere does not tell me what I ought to do to avoid a climate disaster, even if I put the real
time ppm measurement next to my alarm clock reminding me every morning of how close I am to
be gone for good. The Keeling Curve is a great argument in discussions with climate change
neglecters, but a poor prosthesis for the mind. It does not motivate to do anything with climate
positive impact.
Digitally Supported
Nature Experience
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How do you want to be informed about nature
protection areas? Please select three preferred
means of information.
Guide Onsite
Population average
Indicated in
< 30 years old
Guide supported
nature experience:
< 12 yrs & > 30 yrs
Self guided / digital supported
nature experience:
> 12 yrs & < 30 yrs
Source: Naturbewusstsein 2019, Bevölkerungsumfrage zu Natur und
biologischer Vielfalt
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We continued to tinker and studied how the human mind operates. If learning new ways of living is
central to a solution, we need a prosthesis which shows our learning progress. That’s already a game
changer, we figured. Instead of a number which instills fear, we would have a number which instills
hope and a way to go. The human mind likes good news. It tends to gossip about the bad news but
does nothing about it.
Looking for a prosthesis which works for literally every citizen on this planet, a true design for all,
we were however stuck with defining a unit that is equally accessible to humans from different social
and economic backgrounds. Despite strikingly different life expectancies in different parts of this
planet, time is the most egalitarian unit we came up with. The idea of Impact Points measured in
hours x 10 was born. Peter Drucker writes in unsurpassed clarity:
The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not increase.
There is no price for it and no marginal utility curve for it. Moreover, time is totally perishable and
cannot be stored. Yesterday’s time is gone forever and will never come back. Time is, therefore,
always in exceedingly short supply.
Time is totally irreplaceable. Within limits we can substitute one resource for another, copper for
aluminium, for instance. We can substitute capital for human labor. We can use more knowledge or
more brawn. But there is no substitute for time. Everything requires time. It is the one true universal
condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this
unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource.
The Keeling Curve
A scientific prosthesis for the mind – causing fear and stirring helplessness
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The neurological concept consists of a second element which is summarized by an enigmatic key
word: ΔFosB. ΔFosB is an agent in our brain chemistry that is crucial in forming new habits. This is
good news: we are capable of forming new – climate positive - habits, in particular if lots of ΔFosB
flushes through our hemispheres. The important takeaway for The ARK however is that increased
neuroplasticity requires three ingredients: a pleasurable activity, which is repeated with intense focus
creating a flow experience.
We believe that a smartly designed cyber-physical nature experience will complement and accelerate
the impact of environmental education across society. It will lead to more empathy for the planet,
Prosthesis for the Mind
Driving human behavior through a focal point of reference indicating my contribution to the solution
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Layer 1: total number of
contribution hours
Layer 2: split into learning,
facilitation, coding, design,
translation, community
Layer 3: learning and
facilitation is shown
in learning paths
Layer 1: show bioregion location
Layer 2: show current bioregional
identity percentage
Layer 3: show past
bioregional identity
Green Steps ARK
Driving human development towards increased empathy for self, others and planet
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ARK Pillars
Learning Paths
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will contribute to stronger communities and individual wellbeing. We think that we can replicate our
own flow experience
when guiding or being guided into nature and scale the effect of such
supernormal stimuli
with the help of our technological concept. We like to talk about our nature
experiences as dives, because similar to an open sea dive they are extremely pleasurable and build
an intense focus.
3.5. Technological Concept
Tech is not inherently good or bad. The same is true for gamification. Stripped of its faddish popularity
and buzzwordy name, the heart of gamification is just an effective way to design experiences. [Adam
Communication anthropology shows that recent technological development transforms the ways
we consume and digest information. While printed media was the main form of information
consumption until roughly WWI, radio, tv and recently internet and mobile devices have altered our
ways of learning. Business has pioneered highly addictive means of marketing and information
dissemination with examples like TikTok or Instagram, but technology is sparsely and inefficiently
used for social and environmental good.
Exponential technological change makes it easy to forget that at least until the beginning of the
industrial revolution interpersonal relationships between teacher and student were the main channel
for transmitting information, knowledge and wisdom. This is true for cultural as well as natural
knowledge aka lore. Ancient lore is the integral understanding of and ultimately surviving in an
ecosystem; it was handed down from the elders to the next generation.
We believe that the solution is not either technology or teacher as learning medium, but that qualified
teachers (in the widest sense possible) and appropriate technology will harvest in combination the
Communication Anthropology
Humankind is at the brink of turning into a virtual society. The threat: a digital deluge
The opportunity: a rebirth of our self-understanding as being an integral part of creation.
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learning outcomes we need at this point. Technologies ought to help us customize learning and
provide universal access to information through useful, well organized, and curated content. Learning
is optimized when it involves sustained interpersonal relationships, emotional connection,
embodiment, and dynamically interactive hands-on experiences.
Bioregions and commons break down earth into “human scale” entities which allow the formation
of bioregional identities. Bioregional identities, however, cannot be created with a map or Google
Earth, but only through physical and multisensory engagement with nature. The ARK applies the
concept of the industrial revolution 4.0 and the internet of things (IoT) to environmental learning
and creates in project phase 2 a cyberphysical system (CPS) which combines the natural world with
a gamified online experience which follows the technical concept of Pokemon Go.
After Internet
of services, people and things, The ARK pioneers the internet of nature.
Environmental education 4.0 is derived from the term Industrial Revolution 4.0 and induces a
combination of existing environmental teaching techniques with state-of-the-art technology used e.g.
in smart factories. Environmental education 4.0 is enabled by the internet of nature which is a
combination of internet of people, services and things. The internet of nature is a representation of
the natural world in the internet and could therefore be conceived as a web 4.0, i.e. an extension of
the existing web.
We will pioneer and use this additional cyber-physical system to meet the demands of digital natives
to experience nature with the help of their devices. A landmark study
found in 2019 that the
average population has a higher demand for nature experience guided by a natural person than the
population younger than 30 years of age. The population younger than 30 years of age shows an
almost twice as high demand for nature guidance through digital devices than the average population.
Environmental Education 4.0
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Green Steps facilitates since 2016 experiential environmental education activities in city parks and
suburban areas. We have transferred the Montessori Method into nature and activated up till know
more than 5000 participants to engage deeper with themselves, others and the planet. Our
professional experience has confirmed that children up till age 12 need intensive guidance into nature.
We therefore apply a ratio of 1 guide for 6 children.
At about age 12 their wish grows to explore nature independently - through games like treasure
hunts - and peaks during young adulthood like the before mentioned study confirms. From age 30
onwards the wish increases again to be led into nature by a person with advanced knowledge about
the local ecosystem. The special communication “needs” of the digital native generation remain
largely unanswered by established organizations. Green Steps organizational relevance is therefore
anchored at the intersection of education, ecology and IT.
In order to make selected pilot and beta projects successful, we have already prepared the hallmarks
of gamification - points, badges and leaderboards - on the platform. Users collect Impact Points for
their time spent on learning or facilitating activities. We have chosen time as a meritocratic and fair
unit, which reflects how much we have contributed to a solution. Each hour equals 10 Impact Points.
Users receive badges along their Learning Journey to mark milestones or specific accomplishments.
An age badge accompanies every user in the form of a spirit animal. Learning badges are made up
by symbols of the planets in our solar system - reflecting a deeper connection to heavens. Facilitating
experience is visualized with badges of tree leaves - reflecting a deeper connection to earth.
A global leaderboard lists all ARK users and currently shows the ten users with most Impact Points.
This global leaderboard shows that we all sit in the same boat and intends to motivate users to adopt
sustainable behavior. A global leaderboard of communities offers the possibility to filter four types of
communities to enable friendly and playful competition: nonprofits, schools, corporate or
government entities.
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3.6. Library Concept
How did Kissinger write 2014 in World Order? In the Internet age, world order has often been
equated with the proposition that if people have the ability to freely know and exchange the world’s
information, the natural human drive toward freedom will take root and fulfill itself, and history will
run on autopilot, as it were. But philosophers and poets have long separated the mind’s purview into
three components: information, knowledge, and wisdom. The Internet focuses on the realm of
information, whose spread it facilitates exponentially. Ever more complex functions are devised,
particularly capable of responding to questions of fact, which are not themselves altered by the
passage of time. Search engines are able to handle increasing speed. Yet a surfeit of information may
paradoxically inhibit the acquisition of knowledge and push wisdom even further away than it was
Neil Postman went even a step further. The culture critic gave a well-known speech at the meeting
of the German Society for Computer Science on October 11, 1990 in Stuttgart. He argued that our
society relies too heavily on information to fix our problems What started out as a liberating
stream has turned into a deluge of chaos ... Everything from telegraphy and photography in the 19th
century to the silicon chip in the twentieth has amplified the din of information, until matters have
reached such proportions today that for the average person, information no longer has any relation
to the solution of problems."
The ARK sets out to not only connect scientific insight with mainstream society, but also to
communicate solutions to problems. It is conceived as a 21st century global commons library which
takes the place of disappearing local lore. Ancient lore was the integral understanding of and
ultimately surviving in an ecosystem, which was handed down from the elders to the next generation.
As the world has industrialized, we have lost our local ecosystems and deal with a global ecosystem.
We have lost our lore and are rendered blind to the system at large.
Libraries of the 21st Century
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Psychologist Daniel Goleman explains: Through human history, system awareness – detecting and
mapping the patterns and order that lie hiding within the chaos of the natural world has been
propelled by this urgent survival imperative for native peoples to understand their local ecosystems.
They must know what plants are toxic, which nourish or heal; where to get drinking water and where
to gather herbs and find food; how to read the signs of seasonal change. […] Native lore has been
a crucial part of our social evolution; the way cultures pass down their wisdom through the time.
Primitive bands in early evolution would have thrived or died depending on their collective
intelligence in reading the local ecosystem: to anticipate key moments for planting, harvesting, and
the like – so the first calendars came into being. […] But as modernity has provided machines to
take the place of such lore – compasses, navigational guides, and, eventually online maps – native
people have joined everyone else in relying on them, forgetting their local lore, like wayfinding.
3.7. Economic Concept
Automation through robots and algorithms will make human labor in the course of the next few
years largely obsolete. People will nevertheless need both an occupation and an income to live in
A new social contract is required but spreading nationalism and decreasing wealth
makes the implementation increasingly unlikely. One thing is sure: jobs disappear faster
than national politicians will find a consensus on a solution.
It is therefore the civil society and
individual self-responsibility which has to push for a solution to the problem; and the solution must
be radical.
Blockchain technology has set out to solve the problem of power concentration in centralized
national banks by e.g. establishing with Bitcoin a digital currency which is secure and potentially
Bitcoin has nevertheless not solved the problem of scarcity, but in effect established
a new scarcity system which operates along the same lines as fiat currencies: it is only a small tech
savvy elite that is able to gross huge profits, while the masses have been left out.
Bitcoin has
The transformation of intimate communities into anonymous societies and local
ecosystems into a single global ecosystem requires a new ecological body of knowledge
organized in bioregions.
Local Ecosystem
Global Ecosystem
Ancient Lore
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moreover developed into an environmental threat as its operation, in particular its incremental proof
of work (PoW)
, consumes huge amounts of energy.
The universal basic income (UBI)
on the other hand, has been conceived as an unconditional
income which resolves decreasing wealth distribution. However, it creates in societies similar to
bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a state of anomie. Anomie is best understood as insufficient
normative regulation and leads to an alienation from common goals and values. Individuals lose sight
of their shared interests based on mutual dependence. In this condition, they are less constrained by
group norms. Normative values become generalized, rather than personally embraced.
On a planet with a population of eight to ten billion a universal basic income needs to encourage
sustainable behavior in the social, environmental and economic realm. We need incentives to
collaborate on a global scale and these incentives need to align global goals with things that matter
to our individual lives. Ethical questions about how to structure such a conditional universal basic
income therefore take center stage.
Should somebody who disposes of used batteries in a pristine lake or spills cooking oil into the
kitchen sink receive the same basic income as a person that collects used batteries and cooking oil
and brings them to a recycling center? Should somebody who consumes enormous amounts of
energy to mine for cryptocurrencies pay for electricity the same price as an average household? Such
ethical questions need to be addressed in a global economic framework for which nation state
governments are too slow to find an agreement on.
We need an economic system that encourages us to do the right things; we need a conditional basic
income embedded in a sustainable universal currency, which is based on a PoW that does not
encourage meaningless calculations performed by algorithms but a PoW which is connected to our
own impact on self, others and planet. We need a conditional universal basic income that is subject
to continuous learning (eradicating ignorance) and proper behavior (reducing negative social and
environmental impact). We need an economic system which motivates humanity to focus on
contribution to the system at large (globalism) instead of system fragments (nationalism, corporatism,
family mindedness, egoism).
The ARK establishes a blockchain based currency which does not store profit made but is rewarded
for social and environmental value created. The ARK empowers a paradigm shift from HAVING to
BEING, from investing into a currency as a storage of profit extracted to being rewarded for
meaningfully investment in self, others and planet.
In an environment which requires us to transform our habits of consumption, learning how to adapt
and learning how to live sustainably, turns into the work required from each one of us. Our
contribution in form of individual ecosystem services are PoW. Our interdependence with a
commons and/or a community are Proof of Stake (PoS).
The ARK uses the map of terrestrial
to structure human ecosystem service contribution and therefore pioneers post-
national economics geared towards human flourishing and planetary health.
There is a traditional understanding of ecosystem services: varied benefits to humans gifted by the
natural environment and from healthy ecosystems. This understanding implies that the human being
is different from these ecosystems and only on the receiving end. Man has however always been a
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part of nature and was separated from nature only in the course of the industrial revolution. This
process of human alienation from nature has been symbolically explained in Adam and Eve’s
expulsion from Eden. Making humans again part of nature, empowering each single human being to
perform ecosystem services, is the only way to survive. In a way, making the human being capable of
performing ecosystem services is not only ecological, but also spiritual atonement. Now, facing the
6th mass extinction, more than ever.
4. Mindful Social Media
The impact of existing social media platforms like facebook, twitter, tiktok, etc. has been described
by industry insiders as driven by three paradigms which follow the dictate of profit maximization:
user engagement, user growth and advertisement sales. Users are aggressively pushed into harmful
behavioral addictions and are effectively exploited by turning their opinion into the product which
the platforms sell to their paying corporate and political clients.
It has been confirmed that these value deprived corporations
- drive alienation from self, others and nature
- destroy democracies and established forms of consensus building in society
- undermine self-esteem and cause severe mental health damage
- create a world of fake news and low trust
- make people spend more time online instead of living a rich offline life
- drown users in a flood of irrelevant information
The Green Steps ARK applies life affirmative values and intends to
- connect people with self, others and nature
- strengthen democratic consensus with new mechanisms of communication
- build strong offline relationships which heal communities and individuals
- offer truthful information and create strong mutual trust
- provide only relevant information online to be able to spend better time offline
   
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& Utilities
Transforming Economics
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- bridge science and society smartly to offer the information which matters
5. Impact & Involvement
The project concepts have explained that this project is designed for all (DfA) and therefore aims at
maximum participation and inclusion from all levels of society. Phase 1 establishes an event and
learning platform which is potentially open to anybody who can find alignment with SDGs and
learning paths. Phase 1 removes the fragmentation of ESD and aligns the forces for societal
transformation in a single but decentralized structure (SDG 17, 4). Phase 2 calls upon local actors to
drive the creation of bioregional identities through a gamified cyberphysical system. This process will
accelerate cooperation between different organizational structures and deepen community and
commons awareness (SDG 13, 4). Phase 3 structures a global meritocracy and pioneers a potentially
global social contract based on individual ecosystem service remuneration (SDG 10, 4).
The different but interconnected focus of each project phase is reflected in a changing subtitle.
§ Phase 1: learning what matters. now.
§ Phase 2: pioneering the internet of nature.
§ Phase 3: structuring a bioregional meritocracy.
The ARK only provides a dynamic technological and organizational structure to drive decentralized
action, empower local actors and accelerate impact. Environmental and in particular social impact is
difficult to measure quantitively and it is almost impossible to evaluate short term results. We
perceive Impact Points not only as a prosthesis for the mind or a railing which tells us what we should
do next when we watch a sinking ship, but also as an individual and collective key performance
indicator (KPI) which enables comparable quantitative assessment.
Evaluation of the ARK thereby follows the three numbers displayed on the app landing page:
§ number of users – currently about 1200
§ number of communities – currently about 20
§ number of impact point generated – currently about 70.000
It is possible to set additional evaluation criteria e.g. for user engagement in specific communities, but
it must be understood that the more time we spend on ESD either as learners or as facilitators, the
more likely it is that we move towards a transformation of our societies.
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Communication is the essence of any social network. We envision the ARK as a social network
which drives offline connections and sets a clear agenda for online conversations. Discourse forums
will be structured around Learning Paths, bioregions and questions around sustainability which still
require solutions derived from an interdisciplinary discussion. We have kickstarted a monthly beta
user call where we update about new functionalities, answer immediate questions and collect
feedback on usability. Apart from the central ARK roles Learner, Facilitator and Community Mentor,
we have established the role of the Regional Mentor. Regional Mentors are advanced users who help
in a specific territory or bioregion to board new communities. They undergo a short training and
form part of the biological relationships which interlace in the ARK design with online connections.
The preliminary structure of Regional Mentors will serve as a starting point to develop a
commons/bioregion based governance system that prepares the ability to drive local and potentially
global democratic decisions through the ARK. We have started to implement as a
forum, where Regional Mentors will moderate topics of relevance; and we consider
to tap into mainstream opinion building. The bioregional governance system will transform the
hitherto largest entities of global capitalism - competitive nation states - into collaborating bioregional
Individuals who have already created an ARK profile are pioneers who show others the way to go.
Jane Loevinger
and other researchers have explained that social transformation always starts with
people whose ego development stage is post-conventional (7-15% of any society).
They are
intrinsically motivated and succeed or fail in turning their new world view mainstream. Increasing
appeal to mostly extrinsically motivated individuals (80% or more of any society), is therefore a crucial
task. Gamification and supernormal stimuli will be part of the solution, but they need to be combined
with industrial age incentives.
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block economy
national economy
national economy
Block economy
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Our feedback from early adopters has confirmed that the ARK is more likely to be accepted as an
informal ESD learning platform, if Impact Points are connected to existing learning progress units
such as the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The question of appeal also extends to project
phase 3, which intends to define a pilot project that connects the collection of Impact Points e.g.
with social welfare payments. This combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation methods
cause much discussion but it is without doubt the time to use civil duties
as a means to unify society
instead of adding to its segregation.
6. Epilogue
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Source: Thomas Binder, Ich-Entwicklung für effektives Beraten
     
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I do something
because it feels
right & good
I do something
because my
parents tell me
I do something
because I pay less
I do something because
everybody else does it
I do something because I
get punished if I don’t
I do something because I
loose face if I don’t
I do something because I
feel ashamed
I do something
because I have to
compete with …
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The greatest risk is that we could face a “perfect storm” – a situation where technological
unemployment and environmental impact unfold roughly in parallel, reinforcing and perhaps even
amplifying each other. If, however, we can fully leverage advancing technology as a solution – while
recognizing and adapting to its implications for employment and the distribution of income – then
the outcome is likely to be far more optimistic. Negotiating a path through these entangled forces
and crafting a future that offers broad-based security and prosperity may prove to be the greatest
challenge for our time.
Understanding education as a public good which must not be influenced by
competitive profit or power maximation is key to finding that path.
Knowledge is not impersonal, like money. Knowledge does not reside in a book, a databank, a
software program; they contain only information. Knowledge is always embodied in a person; carried
by a person; created, augmented, or improved by a person; applied by a person; taught and passed
on by a person; used or misused by a person. The shift to the knowledge society therefore puts the
person in the center. In doing so, it raises new challenges, new issues, new and quite unprecedented
questions about the knowledge society’s representative, the educated person.
In all earlier societies, the educated person was an ornament. He or she embodied Kultur the
German term that with its mixture of awe and derision is untranslatable into English (even “highbrow”
does not come close). But in the knowledge society, the educated person is society’s emblem;
society’s symbol; society’s standard-bearer. The educated person is the social “archetype” – to use
the sociologist’s term. He or she defines society’s performance capacity. But he or she also embodies
society’s values, beliefs commitments.
If the feudal knight was the clearest embodiment of society in the early Middle Ages, and the
“bourgeois” in the Age of Capitalism, the educated person will represent society in the postcapitalist
world in which knowledge has become the central resource. This must change the very meaning of
“educated person.” It much change the very meaning of what it means to be educated. It will thus
predictably make the definition of an “educated person” a crucial issue. With knowledge becoming
the key resource, the educated person faces new demands, new challenges, new responsibilities. The
educated person now matters. […] There is no queen of knowledges in the knowledge society. All
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Social Design
Security Design
Survival Design
Source: adapted from Friedrich von Borries – Weltentwerfen
Self Design
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knowledges are equally valuable; all knowledges, in the words of the great medieval philosopher Saint
Bonaventura, lead equally to the truth. But to make them paths to truth, paths to knowledge, has to
be the responsibility of the men and women who own these knowledges. Collectively, they hold
knowledge in trust.
One thing we can predict: the greatest change will be the change in knowledge – in its form and
content; in its meaning; in its responsibility; and in what it means to be an educated person. The ARK
postulates a paradigm change in how we define an educated person. An educated person can no
longer be homo economicus, i.e. someone who has learned to create matter and increase profit. An
educated person must be able to go beyond this industrial age education paradigm. This does not
mean that we abandon what the industrial era has taught us; but is means that we need to
differentiate between learning that matters and such that does not. Learning needs to serve the far
end of increasing overall wellbeing, not profit.
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (1955), Chapter 9: Summary and Conclusions (edited by the author)
Sarah Manski, Michel Bauwens: Reimagining New Socio-Technical Economics Through the Application of Distributed Ledger
Knut Wimberger, Learning What Matters in the Anthropocene - Why we need a Prosthesis for the Mind to React to Climate
Ken Robinson, Bring on the Learning Revolution
Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home
Jean Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century
David Christian, Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History; Fred Spier, Big History and the Future of Humanity
Frederick Laloux, Reinventing Organizations
The State of Climate Tech 2020
Haberl, H. et al. Environ. Res. Lett. 15, 065003 (2020).
Frederick Laloux, Reinventing Organizations
Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker, Chapter 25: Citizenship through the Social Sector
Industrial Education > Integral Education
10/7/21 2017 © 43
Learn to create matter
and increase profit
Learn what matters and
increase value
Transforming education
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watch our manual video on Learning Paths
Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker
Aldous Huxley, The Politics of Ecology, in The Triple Revolution Social Problems in Depth
Jason Hickel et al, Urgent Need for Post-Growth Climate Mitigation Scenarios
David Bryce Jaden et al., The Overview Effect: Awe and Self-Transcendent Experience in Space Flight
Henry Kissinger, World Order
e.g. Neil Postman, Ken Robinson, Gerald Hüther, Karl-Heinz Peterlini
Konrad Paul Liessmann, Bildung als Provokation, p71
Martin Ford, The Rise of Robots
Yasare Aktas et al., The Development of Brand Awareness In Young Children
Watch also this interview with a 2-year-old and his parents on the US talkshow Ellen: this is probably the best example available to
show how children are sucked into nationalist and consumerist thinking and how their perception of the world has changed since
Yuval Harari, Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind: Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens has thus been living in a dual
reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions. On the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and
corporations. As time went by the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and
lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as gods, nations and corporations.
Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
Naturbewusstsein 2019, Bevölkerungsumfrage zu Natur und biologischer Vielfalt
Daniel Goleman, Focus The Driver of Excellence
Design for all (DfA):
Pace, S. (2014). Acquiring Tastes through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity and the Flow Experiences of Web Users. M/C Journal,
compare the methodology of our signature activity Plants & Friends
Acquiring Tastes through Online Activity: Neuroplasticity and the Flow Experiences of Web Users.
Zachary Stein: Covid-19 A War Broke Out in Heaven
Naturbewusstsein 2019, Bevölkerungsumfrage zu Natur und biologischer Vielfalt
Henry Kissinger, World Order
Daniel Goleman, Focus The Driver of Excellence
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century
Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots
Nathan Schneider, Cryptoeconomics as a Limitation to Governance
David Olsen et al., Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth
Knut Wimberger, The Breakdown of Nations through a Bioregional Blockchain
Thomas Binder, Ich-Entwicklung für effektives Beraten
David Richard Precht, Von der Pflicht Eine Betrachtung
Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots
Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.