This week I interviewedCettina Martorana, a candidate in Sicily’s regional elections on the subject of regenerative politics.
Can politics be regenerative at all?
Martorana is a professional business woman who finds herself in an election because she was drafted by Caterina Chinnici – the candidate on the left for president of the Sicilian Assembly.
Here are five points I got out of our discussion:
Nature must be at the heart of all future decisions.
The climate crisis is an economic crisis and a social crisis.
Regeneration is an alternative to polarization
Regenerative politics is beyond left vs. right
Regenerative politics is based on problem solving
If our politics don’t engage the youth, what’s the point in politics at all? Martorana’s idea is simple: ask the students what they want and find ways to create opportunities for them. She does this through an old media format – comics!
But her message is serious.
Here is Martorana’s tree of regeneration – a symbol to capture the interconnected nature of all things in the community:
Martorana’s unique campaign is based on a deep understanding and empathy for the plight facing Sicily’s youth. Jobs and employment are scarce, and now with COVID and climate change, things may get much worse. As a problem-solver, she aims to explain why regenerative politics is not just a word, but the way forward.
Join us for the latest webinar from the Wicked7 Project >>
Join Philip Kotler and Christian Sarkar as we discuss the final wicked problem of the Wicked7 Project. With us for the webinar – a group of dynamic personalities from Palermo, Sicily:
– Leoluca Orlando. As Mayor of Palermo, Orlando’s extraordinary vision and courage has changed our understanding of immigration, tolerance, and the fight against corruption.
– Claudio Arestivo. A co-founder of Moltivolti – a unique regenerative business – which serves as an example for the future.
– Melania Memory Mutanuka. An immigrant from Zambia, she is an emerging leader with a purpose.
– Carmelo Pollichino. A passionate leader and the head of the non-profit Libera Palermo contro le mafie
– Francesco Bellina. An award-winning photographer and artist whose brilliant work on the problems of migration and exploitation are featured in leading newspapers such as the Financial Times and The Guardian.
It was my great honor to interview the “Father of modern Marketing” on his lifetime of achievements in marketing.
Professor Philip Kotler received the Thinkers50Lifetime Achievement Award for his work over the past 50 years. I am deeply grateful for his friendship and mentorship – and everything he has done to demonstrate how marketing must be a force for good.
Stuart Hart – a leading authority on the implications of environment and poverty for business strategy. Hart is the Founder and President of Enterprise for a Sustainable World
Bob Freling – Executive Director at Solar Electric Light Fund, Freling developed the “solar village development model” – a wholistic community-based approach to development.
Hennie Botes – CEO and founder of moladi Construction Systems, Botes is an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. The designer of a multi-award winning affordable housing technology, Botes has over 30 years of experience in the building industry.
Sometimes I wonder why we have forgotten these principles from the late Paul Polak. When I chatted with him about the $300 House, he wanted me to reconsider and make it a $100 House. His point was simple: affordability drives design.
Now, as part of the research agenda of the Regenerative Marketing Institute, I’m thinking about how these BoP principles and Stuart Hart‘s BoP protocol apply to the developed world — to communities trying to find a way back from the COVID-crash.
Here are Polak’s principles:
1) Go to where the action is. You can’t solve poverty from a World Bank office. 2) Talk to the people and listen to what they have to say. 3) Learn everything about the context of the problem and the people. 4) Think and act big. No reason to be modest. Small solutions applied thousands of thousands of times. 5) Think like a child to find the obvious solution people have missed in the past. (Irony of thinking big and like a child) 6) See and do the obvious. Emersing yourself in the problem helps. 7) If someone has invented it–you don’t have to. Find existing solutions 8} Make sure your approach can be scaled up. 9) Design for the poor. Affordability rules the design process with poor customers. 10) Follow practical 3 year plans. Must transform into effective work plan for 3 years. 11) Continue to learn from your customers. (Interviewed more than 3000 farm families, $12 solar lantern) 12) Don’t be distracted by what other people say (Almost every project I’ve done has had sceptics)
Regenerative marketing is defined as marketing practices which nurture communities and build local prosperity over the long term. The outcomes of regenerative marketing include value creation for customers, employees, and local communities. Regenerative marketing practices must – by definition – build community wealth.
It’s time to put aside our toys – our ideologies and guns – and look at this time in history as our final exam. This is a test, as Buckminster Fuller said, to see if we, the human species, deserve to carry on. COVID has shown us that we cannot find consensus on how to deal with the virus.
What are we going to do now? The #forkintheroad which Buckminster Fuller warned us about is here now >> “Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment… Humanity is in a final exam as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in the Universe.”
P.S. – Bucky Fuller was wrong. Thanks to Sonmoy, one of our W7 advisors, we now see that there’s a triple fork in the road, and utopia is simply no longer an option. What we must fight for is survival.
Once again, it is useful to study the past to learn what applies here to our ecosystematic journeys. Of particular interest is the work of Donella Meadows, who taught us how to focus on having the most impact on a system (Bill Gates, listen up!) >>
Where to intervene:
12. Constants, parameters, numbers (such as subsidies, taxes, standards). 11. The sizes of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows. 10. The structure of material stocks and flows (such as transport networks, population age structures). 9. The lengths of delays, relative to the rate of system change. 8. The strength of negative feedback loops, relative to the impacts they are trying to correct against. 7. The gain around driving positive feedback loops. 6. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to information). 5. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints). 4. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure. 3. The goals of the system. 2. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises. 1. The power to transcend paradigms.
Those of us who have been building digital communities know that we were simply trying to re-interpret and re-create the rules of real, living, communities. Wendell Berry had something say about this many years ago which applies to the “ecosystem builders”of today.
These “rules” or steps are not optional – you can’t pick or chose. All or nothing. Our survival as a species may depend on understanding this.
These are also the rules for sustainable development. Gandhian all the way.
Supposing that the members of a local community wanted their community to cohere, to flourish, and to last, they would:
1. Ask of any proposed change or innovation: What will this do to our community? How will this affect our common wealth?
2. Include local nature — the land, the water, the air, the native creatures — within the membership of the community.
3. Ask how local needs might be supplied from local sources, including the mutual help of neighbors.
4. Supply local needs first (and only then think of exporting their products, first to nearby cities, and then to others).
5. Understand the ultimate unsoundness of the industrial doctrine of ‘labor saving’ if that implies poor work, unemployment, or any kind of pollution or contamination.
6. Develop properly scaled value-adding industries for local products in order not to become merely a colony of the national or the global economy.
7. Develop small-scale industries and businesses to support the local farm or forest economy.
8. Strive to produce as much of their own energy as possible.
9. Strive to increase earnings (in whatever form) within the community, and decrease expenditures outside the community.
10. Circulate money within the local economy for as long as possible before paying it out.
11. Invest in the community to maintain its properties, keep it clean (without dirtying some other place), care for its old people, and teach its children.
12. Arrange for the old and the young to take care of one another, eliminating institutionalized ‘child care’ and ‘homes for the aged.’ The young must learn from the old, not necessarily and not always in school; the community knows and remembers itself by the association of old and young.
13. Account for costs that are now conventionally hidden or ‘externalized.’ Whenever possible they must be debited against monetary income.
14. Look into the possible uses of local currency, community-funded loan programs, systems of barter, and the like.
15. Be aware of the economic value of neighborliness — as help, insurance, and so on. They must realize that in our time the costs of living are greatly increased by the loss of neighborhood, leaving people to face their calamities alone.
16. Be acquainted with, and complexly connected with, community-minded people in nearby towns and cities.
17. Cultivate urban consumers loyal to local products to build a sustainable rural economy, which will always be more cooperative than competitive.
From a speech delivered November 11, 1994 at the 23rd annual meeting of the Northern Plains Resource Council.
I still think of Larry Keeley‘s 10 types of innovation – and think about how the model can be applied to social innovation – to meet the “unmet needs” of society.
The 11th type of innovation is purpose – to what ends are your capabilities and talents being deployed? Are you inclusive or is your company supporting new forms of apartheid? That is what Brand Activism, and by extension – the Wicked7 Project – are about.
One of the points of the Wicked7 Project is to demonstrate how we have a shared responsibility — business, government, and social institutions — to work together for the future of the planet.
By definition, solving society’s most urgent problems is a balancing act between the various requirements and needs of the different stakeholders across all sectors. Our policy-making must be driven by this idea of balance if it is to create a sustainable and resilient society.
This letter spells out the duopoly which is now in full force in US politics. The last remaining chance for Democracy to survive in the US is for us to heed this warning >>
A Letter to the Democratic Convention from Franklin D. Roosevelt July 18, 1940
Members of the Convention:
In the century in which we live, the Democratic Party has received the support of the electorate only when the party, with absolute clarity, has been the champion of progressive and liberal policies and principles of government.
The party has failed consistently when through political trading and chicanery it has fallen into the control of those interests, personal and financial, which think in terms of dollarsinstead of in terms of human values.
The Republican Party has made its nominations this year at the dictation of those who, we all know, always place money ahead of human progress.
The Democratic Convention, as appears clear from the events of today, is divided on this fundamental issue. Until the Democratic Party through this convention makes overwhelmingly clear its stand in favor of social progress and liberalism, and shakes off all the shackles of control fastened upon it by the forces of conservatism, reaction, and appeasement, it will not continue its march of victory.
It is without question that certain political influences pledged to reaction in domestic affairs and to appeasement in foreign affairs have been busily engaged behind the scenes in the promotion of discord since this Convention convened.
Under these circumstances, I cannot, in all honor, and will not, merely for political expediency, go along with the cheap bargaining and political maneuvering which have brought about party dissension in this convention.
It is best not to straddle ideals.
In these days of danger when democracy must be more than vigilant, there can be no connivance with the kind of politics which has internally weakened nations abroad before the enemy has struck from without.
It is best for America to have the fight out here and now.
I wish to give the Democratic Party the opportunity to make its historic decision clearly and without equivocation. The party must go wholly one way or wholly the other. It cannot face in both directions at the same time.
By declining the honor of the nomination for the presidency, I can restore that opportunity to the convention. I so do.
We are now at that point in history where collapse seems inevitable: political, social, environmental, civilizational. The decisions our politicians make are killing us.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” — Proverbs 29:18
In Texas, we can applaud our fearless Governor Greg Abbott and his Republican mafia for destroying any pretense of serving the public good (see exhibits A and B). Every decision made by leaders in the Republican Party is made based on ideology, not reason, science, or even common sense. Some argue we live in the Age of Social Murder. The Democrats, for their part, are slightly better — but certainly not equal to the task which lies ahead.
The work of leadership has never been more clear: it is to bridge the gap — across all boundaries — and to create a way forward for the common good. The pyramid of love reminds us that it is possible to resolve conflicts and escalate peace.
Says David Hinds of Steel Pulse: “Where there is no love, there can be no justice; and where there is no justice, there will never be peace.”
As the Senate holds its second impeachment trial of president Trump, they would be well advised to educate their members on how incitement and escalation of hate can indeed lead to violence and even genocide. Here’s a slightly modified version of the Pyramid of Hate developed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Echoes and Reflections, and the Holocaust Center for Humanity.
The pyramid reminds us that hatred can be used to dehumanize people by race/color, tribe, ideology, and faith. The misleader polarizes and radicalizes their followers, pushing them up the pyramid of hate.