If we can imagine a thriving future, we can co-create it. The purpose of the “Great Transition Stories Project” is to understand, communicate, and show real-life examples of the “great stories” that can guide humanity through our time of profound transition to a sustainable and thriving future. Currently, the old stories are not working (the “American dream” is becoming the world’s nightmare) and new stories are just beginning to emerge. The human family is between stories, creating a condition of great danger and great opportunity. Where a number of “new story narratives” describe the surface changes required for a sustainable future (e.g., new energy sources and localization of food production), this project will draw insights from both science and the world’s wisdom traditions to discover the deeper narratives that can bring the human community together in the common enterprise of building a thriving future, from local to global levels.
The core attributes of these “great stories” are that they are 1) universally understood, 2) simple to grasp, 3) emotionally powerful, and 4) evocative of our higher human potentials. Instead of a single story or narrative, we envision an “ecology of narratives” that can be drawn from roughly a half-dozen deep stories that are congruent with these key features. These narratives can be combined in different ways to tell the story of transition that fits the culture and consciousness of different groups and communities, confident that a deeper alignment exists that expresses a coherent vision of a thriving future.
These narratives arise from our collective wisdom and take into account the best of what we know from science, psychology, spirituality, and on-the-ground practices of what truly works in creating sustainable and thriving people and communities. Transition narratives are archetypal in nature and describe familiar patterns in which we can each find our place.
The GTS project involves: 1) building a virtual resource hub for researching, supporting, and articulating the stories of our time of profound transition, 2) coalescing, coordinating, and providing outreach for “evolutionary leaders” who are telling the great stories of humanity’s transition (including workshops, streaming video presentations, videos, and other modes of communication), and 3) presenting inspiring examples of “great transition stories” that are manifest in real life, from the local to the global scale.
Project Director: Duane Elgin
Team: Jeff Vander Clute, Lynnaea Lumbard