Meet, search and share.
The Embassy of the Earth is a Foundation. The people involved in the Foundation share an important guiding principle:
“One earth is enough for the whole world”.
Within the neutral zone of The Embassy people can meet, search and share.
The Embassy also has a mediating role between complex issues and people willing to help solve them. We have a pool of experienced social designers, artists, communicators, indigenous leaders ready to go where help is needed. The members bring with them their experience in and knowledge of group processes, psychology, arts, sports and communication.
The Embassy of the Earth also functions as a social network for people who share our guiding principle. The members of this network call themselves ‘Ambassadors of the Embassy of the Earth’.
The Embassy creates meetings and knowledge transfer sessions for these members. Active members become part of the ‘Social Design Pool’.
People are ‘hardwired’ to work together. A good two hundred years into the ‘industrial revolution’ and a couple decennia of information age is not changing that. Sharp distinctions between generations, fictional layers of organization, focus on isolated problems have now reached its absolute peak. This excursion to breaking-things-down-to-their-smallest-parts has a tremendous impact on planet Earth and tears the bond between people, the social fabric, to pieces.
It’s time to move on to our innate and timeless resources and restore, put the pieces back together. Like coming home on Earth.
To make sure that we weigh our far reaching, possibly razor-sharp and creative solutions against a ‘still point’, we have established ‘sacred space’. Next to ‘shared space (planning, design), ‘work space’ (making, prototyping) and ‘world space’ (open source, social media/networks). In the ‘sacred space’ we slow down, get in touch with ourselves, feet on the ground. Listening to the ‘undercurrents’, discriminating what’s essential.
By linking the metaphor of the Hero’s Journey (Joseph Campbell) to the principles of Social Ecology and Positive Psychology, namely Flow/Optimal Experience (Emery, Trist and Csikszentmihalyi), the Embassy of the Earth becomes a social platform for accelerated action.
The Search Conference is a real practical application that fits the idea and concept of the Embassy beautifully. The SC implies that any system – an organization or community – has an open and direct relationship with its larger environment. A system learns from its environment and, in turn, changes its environment in a purposeful way. This is called active adaption and allows ‘systems’ to thrive, in even the most turbulent environments. Workplaces and communities behaving and acting as an eco-system. To get organized, develop and evolve the ‘system’ – village, neighborhood, workplace -, we apply a fast cycle, full participation and effective method called Participative Design. For creating and developing new products, concepts, services we have employed Scrum Short Cycle approach. In all, as aforementioned the Embassy makes use of the the best possible interventions in all Four Spaces of its Design. Often we use local approaches, or novel ones, because foremost, the people, who are the problem-owners, are in charge!
We believe in open communication and knowledge sharing. On the internet a wide range of communication tools is available to make interaction easier.The Embassy of the Earth uses open source tools, such as WordPress, wherever possible.
Open source does not mean that everything is open. On many occasions a community needs a ‘social island’. The Embassy of the Earth supports these ‘social islands’ by building social platforms, accessible by the members of the community for online working & sharing.
The Embassy also helps creating the public online spaces, where the community is able to communicate to the world.
The Embassy of the Earth
The Embassy of the Earth is a concept created by Frank Heckman in 1999 when he came back from a UN mission in Kosovo. The challenge there was to ‘repair’ the war damage to power plants and main roads before the harsh winter was setting in.
By creating a social platform and assisting a very diverse group of people to design the way towards solution(s) was in retrospect the fastest way to get the job done. The local culture of sitting on the ground in a ceremonial room (oda) proved to be very effective for constructive dialogue.
We were working in an ‘Embassy of the Earth’. Later on, we chose the Mongolian Ger to symbolize the ceremonial room for the Embassy of the Earth.
The Embassy of the Earth Foundation follows the simple line of thought: ‘Instead of constantly trying to adapt to change, why not change to be adaptive?’ ‘Without losing focus on the issues at hand, the greatest impact comes through unleashing the power and spirit of the social community’. ‘About creating an environment in which responsible people are prepared to go beyond self-interest to serve the common purpose. A community of people that can dream possible futures, create new realities and actively adapt to new challenges’.