If we create a culture that promotes well-being and prosperity for all,
then we will be in a position to discover who we really are.
                                                 Martin Seligman

Extinction Rebellion and the Great Transition initiative fit together like hand-in-glove. The ER folks are brilliant at reminding us, again and again and again, with increasing insistency, that we are headed towards catastrophic collapse.

In addition, they demand creating Citizens Assemblies – thoughtful citizen input into formulating the policies we need in our time of existential emergency.

‘Raising the alarm’ is critical. It is all too easy to go to sleep given the magnitude of the existential emergency we all face. It’s all too easy to imagine that ‘she’ll be right’, as we say in Australia, or that government will take care of things, or to hang on to devotion to economic growth because slowing the economy looks terrifying (it need not be).

Piecemeal changes won’t do it. Together we have to change all the major drivers that make things worse. And for this to occur, a critical mass of mainstream people must know what they are, and be committed to changing them.

This is where the Great Transition Initiative comes in. We have developed innovative educational tools to enable ordinary people and influential decision-makers to grasp the profound systemic changes that are absolutely necessary if we are to pull out of our ecological nosedive.

We also have a very simple model for seeding these ideas into mainstream thinking. It is to inspire the members of the millions of groups that care about environmental and social well-being to act as citizen educators and thought catalysts. Our combined personal networks are huge. All a ‘citizen-educators’ need to do is to communicate with her or his friends, neighbours and business colleagues (plus larger social networks). Our communication tools make this as easy as possible – knowing that affecting people’s thinking for the better (which is our focus) is not necessarily easy.

Individually, of course, this wouldn’t amount to much. But if we can take this to scale – given that there are millions of groups that care – then we can have a powerful influence on mainstream consciousness.

Our next milestone is the Great Transition Splash in September, 2019. The idea is to have as many voices as possible simultaneously articulating the goal oftransitioning to a life affirming culture, and explaining what’s involved.

It helps to have a positive goal. We are championing the goal of transitioning to a life-affirming culture, rather than continuing on our present course of ecological self-destruction. This overarching goal – a life-affirming culture – encompasses the millions of practical initiatives that are already underway.

In conclusion:

Greta Thunberg will have reason to hope when she sees that mainstream society is committed to doing everything required to turn things around.