The Commission

“…the real challenge and barrier to change is how to ‘socially construct’ a personal- to civilizational-scale transition to a whole new cultural narrative, one that eschews perpetual growth and abandons most of the other beliefs, values and assumptions of modern techno-industrial society concerning long-term human well-being.

Any takers for the job?”

Bill Rees [1]

My midwestern, blue collar upbringing taught me the value of work and how to get a job done. Despite what my degrees and somewhat esoteric interests might suggest, I remain a thoroughly practical person. When there’s a problem or something needs doing, I feel compelled to lend a hand if I can.

So, when Bill Rees asks if there are “any takers for the job” of constructing a new cultural narrative, I raise my figurative hand and step forward.

It’s work I’m doing anyway, and have been for a while, in my own small ways. But his clear and persistent articulation of need sparks a desire in me to do more and do it faster. Revered as the high priest of ecological overshoot and, as Ruben Nelson [2] recently declared, among the “best of the prophetic tradition,” Bill’s call feels like more of a commission.

Consider this series intro my official acceptance, a public renewal of commitment to do my small part to help bring into being a new way of being.

It sounds grand, I know. And it is in a way, but it’s also thoroughly practical.

I know too that it’s only one item on a long list of work that needs to be done. But it’s the one I’m in a position to work on, so work on it I will.

What to Expect

Among other related projects, the book I’m currently writing responds directly to the pleas of Bill and so many others for concerted efforts toward a transformational culture shift and a paradigm that better reflects biophysical reality. I figure it might be more efficient to develop and share those ideas in bite-sized pieces here. That way, if there are any other takers for the job, we can get a head start on working together.

Who knows where it may lead?

The overall goal is to contribute to the work of confronting the genuinely “grand challenge” that goes mostly unaddressed: how to grow and live our way into a better understanding of reality as it actually is.


[1] Rees, William. May 24, 2022. SCORAI email listserv.

[2] Nelson, Ruben, hosting Bill Rees on Canadian Club of Rome webinar. “Too clever by half, but not nearly smart enough.” May 12, 2021.

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