President-elect Obama is carefully staffing his administration with people who are respected and thoughtful. But the Obama Administration inherited "silos," existing cabinet posts and staff offices that have historically been organized by topic and function. It is the thinking behind this organizational structure that may now be part of the problem.
The complex problems of today are not problems that can be solved in isolation or even within departments, nor will they be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. We need “out-of-the box” thinking and systemic solutions that are mutually reinforcing.
We need to ask President-elect Obama to host a working conference* of the best “out-of-the-box” thinkers, researchers and practitioners along with members of his Administration, to meet together to develop integrated, systemic solutions across traditional boundaries.
CONFERENCE FOCUS: What integrated approaches can we put in place for the prosperity and sustainability of our people, our country and the world?
WHAT "OUT-OF THE BOX" THINKERS, RESEARCHERS AND PRACTITIONERS WOULD YOU INVITE?
Here are some of my thoughts:
- Peter Senge, MIT, a longtime proponent of systemic thinking and sustainability who’s working with businesses and corporations through Society for Organizational Learning (SoL).
- Bernard Lietaer, an economist , Chairman of the ACCESS Foundation, an educational non-profit organization relating to monetary innovations aiming at re-aligning sustainability and global financial interests and a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley.
- Paul Hawken, an sustainability entrepreneur and author who is continually challenging the status quo and looking for what works.
- Judy Wicks, co-founder of “Business Alliance for Local Living Economies” (BALLE), and owner of the White Dog Cafe. in Philadelphia.
- Arie de Geus, formerly of Royal Dutch Shell, is an author and consultant who believes most enduring companies treat their enterprises as 'living work communities' rather than purely economic machines.
- Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of the DC Public Schools who is working to revamp their whole system.
- Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Labs (corporations that write their social and environmental commitments into their charters).
- Dean Radin, PhD, is Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) who’s working to understand the practical applications of the power of our minds and our intentions.
- Greg Morrison, author of Three Cups of Tea, co-founder of nonprofit Central Asia Institute, founder of Pennies For Peace known for building schools in Pakistan.
- Maya Angelou, a poet and activist and author of "Pledge to Rescue our Youth"
- Amy Domini, founder and CEO of Domini Social Investments.
- Someone from Shore Bank in Chicago or similar banks or micro lenders (sustainable community investing)
- Someone from Green Jobs: The Los Angeles Apollo Alliance
- Innovative Mayors (e.g., Thomas M. McDermott Jr., Hammond, IN with his College Bound program for homeowners
- Local Green Activists
- Some young people who will be inheriting what ever we do......
Who would you add? (Health Care innovators? Corporations working green and/or across boundaries with communities and non-profits?...)
and oh yes...if you agree, please email Obama's transition team! If you figure out another way to reach him, please do.
* There are meeting technologies (e.g., Future Searches) that would enable such a diverse group to work together and identify projects, policies etc. they'd be willing to pursue.