Moving from Transactional to Intentional Cultures

The Preface Story…

And The Post:

When teachers and students are seen as sellers and consumers that’s transactional culture.

When the people in local government and in a city are seen as service providers and consumers, that’s transactional culture.

In the U.S. since the Reaganite 1980s the U.S. became a largely transactional culture. Today the language of much innovation, design thinking, service design, etc. is still thoroughly colonized with this hyper-corporate transactional hollowed out reduction.

Intentional communities care about broader and deeper impacts in the way our short brilliant lives are lived. The Net and a desire to renew local and longer lasting values is allowing the deliberative space and speed to spread a renewal of more intentional community living. From the rise of Meetup groups and Twitter leading to the addition of the words meetup and tweetup to the Oxford English dictionary, to collectives united by all sorts of shared values, to hyper local community groups, and more… the pattern isn’t just about making, hacking, or meeting up… more deeply it’s about an explicit awareness of intention.

Any sort of viable future for everyone will not be centered on efficient transactional cultures, so if you start noticing this in your work and conversations speak up and turn to those you’re with and ask, how can we find and meet the deeper intentions people have about life today and in the future? How can we organize and work on *that*?


(Photo: Park surveillance camera, McGolrick park, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, 2014)

6 Questions For Our Social Networked Globe

Paul Hawken asks 6 great questions in his book “Blessed Unrest”.

  • “At what point in the future will the existence of 2 million, 3 million, or even 5 million citizen-led organizations shift our awareness to the possibility that we will have fundamentally changed the way human beings govern and organize themselves on earth?
  • What are the characteristics of leadership required when power arises instead of descends?
  • What would a democracy look like that was not ruled by a dominant minority?
  • What would a world feel like that created solutions to our problems from the ground up?
  • What if we are entering a transitional phase of human development where what “works” is invisible because most heads are turned to the past?
  • What if some very basic values are being reinstilled worldwide and are fostering complex social webs of meaning that represent the future of government?

These are but a few of the questions collectively posed by a movement that has yet to recognize it is a movement.”

He’s coming from his survey of the global and distributed environmental movement and his book is aimed at this diverse audience, but these questions are equally apt for the Gov 2.0/Civic 2.0 movement, or the Placemaking movement in urban planning, or the Ed 2.0 movement in education, etc.

From where I stand his observations three years since publication resonate even stronger.

The sheer size of the current paradigm shift can numb or make us cynical in the face of the parallel massive consolidations of power by those who already have too much. But take time to recognize the size of this massive change, understand this evolution, then get engaged with this world of ours and help figure out how to best live together. Get inspired…