Global Challenges Foundation had given the following criteria for the assessment of proposals for The New Shape Prize. For the success of any proposed model its important to meets these criteria. This proposed governance model satisfies all of the criteria. Fulfillment of the following criteria demonstrates feasibility, success and sustainability of this model.
- Core Values
- Decision-Making Capacity
- Resources and Financing
- Trust and Insight
- Protection against the Abuse of Power
The vitality inherent in the worldview of harmonious coexistence is closely related to the strengths represented by the assessment criteria. They are mutually reinforcing in a way that seems natural and necessary. This will be discussed in detail for each of the criteria.
It is essential to start with an understanding of existence that is conducive to success in global governance. By taking harmonious coexistence as the fundamental principle of the universe, we create conditions essential for success in governance. We set ourselves up to create a world which is harmonious, peaceful, balanced and sustainable. Conversely, if we insist on seeing existence as chaotic, uncertain, and
unstable, we create conditions that lead to failure in governance. We largely preclude the possibility of a harmonious, stable, resilient and effective system. By choosing and promoting a dysfunctional (and erroneous) way of thinking, we set ourselves up for failure.
Our understanding of human being and human nature is also essential. The human being is a unique natural entity on the planet, capable of imagination and freedom for action. Because of this, they are capable of exploiting, abusing, and destroying, or nurturing, conserving and responsibly using the entire planet. We can witness imagination in every human child from birth. Due to this power of imagination every
human being wants to understand existence and their own place in it. There is an inherent human desire to understand the aim and purpose of living and how to fulfill it. In this process, imagination has often overemphasized material goods. While this materialism has resulted in many achievements, it has also produced a sense of perpetual lack of fulfillment. This inner discontent has pushed humankind into wrong- doings and transgressions, whereas the human child since birth innately wants-
- Justice and fairness
- To behave in the right way (humane conduct)
- To speak truthfully
Humane conduct is necessary for harmonious interactions with humans and the environment. Wellbeing and genuine human prosperity at every level from the personal to the global depends on harmonious human interactions. Thus, living with humane conduct is the foundation for actualizing harmony and sustainability on Earth. In order to ensure this we need a good global governance system so that every citizen has equal
opportunity and an environment to understand and live with humane conduct.
The worldview of harmonious coexistence takes the following core values as shared human aims. The global governance system based on these values is designed for universal participation. The related education system is designed to foster the values and enable the goalsl. By actualizing these core values, every citizen can live in harmony within themselves, within society locally and globally, and with the natural
- Inner resolution in every individual
- Prosperity in every team or family
- Fearlessness and trust in society
- Harmonious coexistence in nations and at the international and environmental level
Inner Resolution: Each person should achieve a clear understanding of the needs of a human being at every stage from birth to death; and of the shared responsibility within society for fulfillment of those needs in a just and sustainable way. Accordingly every individual must have a clear vision of the governance system that can make that fulfillment possible; and of their own responsibility for that governance. This enables the individual to achieve inner confidence and genuine happiness.
Prosperity: Recognition of the material needs in every family is the starting point for a cooperative process of meeting those needs through production using science and technology responsibly, while maintaining ecological balance. This enables prosperity (absence of the feeling of lack and deprivation) in togetherness and the experience of inner peace.
Fearlessness and Trust: Universal participation in the process of meeting human needs using people and planet-friendly means, and in holistic education conducive to that process, makes exploitation and profiteering pointless; and steadily builds trust within society. This eliminates fear, leading to inner contentment.
Harmonious Coexistence: A culture that honours and promotes a way of living that enhances the lives of others and conserves the ecological balance and the sustenance of everything on the Earth. This leads to harmonious coexistence in nations and at the international and environmental level.
The values described above are intuitively persuasive because they derive from basic human aspirations. They are truly universal, uncontaminated by distinctions based on race, religion, class, etc. The ability to understand and live according to these values is achievable through proper education. As the culture based on these values gradually takes root, it leads to solutions for complex global issues. Crisis can be avoided, barriers to empathy dissolved, and a healthy global community can be actualized.
The features of this governance model that provide for timely and effective decision-
making, capable of addressing challenges without undue delays, are as follows:
- The equal rights of members and a small assembly size at each tier
- No veto power for an assembly at any tier of the model
- A well networked, self-organized and collaborative global system with each tier being a subsystem of the next larger part
- Active participation of every citizen in decision-making, building confidence in the governance process
- Availability of means for every citizen to help fulfill shared human aims
- Multilevel participation of each elected representative, i.e. any member of an assembly is also a leader of an assembly at the next lower level
- Unique rights, responsibilities, and duties of each tier assembly leading to synergy and complementariness due to unity of the goals
- Entire global governance system sharing a worldview, aims, and programs; and acting to address oncerns and challenges as a unified organism.
In comparison to most existing systems of governance, the global governance model proposed here has an inherent effectiveness both for handling global challenges and risks and for mitigating, and sometimes precluding, those challenges and risks even before they arise. By its very nature, it is more effective at every level since it follows natural patterns and principles. Just as a cell is a stable and self-organizing subsystem aggregated into the larger system of an organ, or as an organ is to the body, every tier is a self-organizing system aggregated into the larger system of global governance.Each tier can largely take care of its own needs, especially once the autonomous township/village has been established. That which can be resolved on the local level gets resolved, and if it requires further intervention, only then are higher, more distant tiers engaged. This increases effectiveness by reducing complexity and easing communication.
This self-organizing network allows many decisions to be implemented organically at every tier of the ten-tiered system; others are easily implemented when a decision is made because of the shared goals and values on which the system is based. Older established systems of governance tend to assume that competing individuals and groups have incompatible goals and that they see themselves as separate from each other and from the natural environment, so these older governance systems have a built-in lack of effectiveness for meeting global challenges and risks and for implementing decisions. They are largely unable to see anything instructive in a natural ecosystem that is in balance, carrying out extremely diverse functions organically.
Conversely, the worldview of harmonious coexistence recognizes in such an ecosystem exactly the paradigm for effective global governance. Individuals and states then are no longer assumed to be in isolation and in competition. Instead, they are assumed to have the capacity for synergy and effectiveness of organ systems in a healthy body.
Only by starting with this assumption that such effectiveness is perfectly normal and therefore expected at every level from the individual on up, can a global governance system actually achieve such effectiveness. All tiers of the system are mutually supportive. The basic unit of the entire system, the team or family, lives out this same cooperative synergy on a day-to-day basis. The tension that may arise frequently among individuals or families or townships, and the ongoing resolution of that tension, is itself essential to effectiveness because no individual, family or township can have the depth and breadth of experience, awareness, and wisdom available to the whole. Even so that dialectical progression of tension and resolution is governed by the sense of responsibility of every participant for the effectiveness of governance, of the whole.
The human and financial resources are voluntarily offered from myriad sources. This is because the worldview and the purposes of the governance system are inspiring and the outcomes of implementing the system are rewarding; and participation is essentially universal. This has been the experience of participants in this system where it has been set in motion. Where necessary for specific purposes unique to the assemblies or to implementation of specific decisions, the provision of resources and finances will be arranged based on standard measures of capacity such as GDP and population. The United World Organization will operate without being at the mercy of or dependent on any particular nation, because contributions will be fair and proportional to each nation’s capacity.
In general, costs are not expected to be high. The worldview and the global governance system are designed with personal fulfillment as an intentional outcome. It is likely that many costs encountered in societies today would diminish as the values of harmonious coexistence begin to transform culture and society. To cite one specific example, a state can drastically reduce the costs of its military budget if its citizens decide they prefer its border defence to be provided by the global governance system rather than by the state. As states discover the fiscal advantages that result from freeing up resources that previously were sunk in militarism, a ripple effect can be expected to spread regionaly and globally, with further reductions in costs a likely outcome.
Because the global governance system proposed here is extensively networked and integrated, is based on a holistic set of core values, and arises from universal participation, transparency is largely assured and insight into how decisions are made is part of the experience of citizenship. Details of how decisions are made and the basis for those decisions can easily be made publicly available on a website. The entire system is designed in a way that hidden agendas and special interest groups are far less likely to develop than in the old established systems of governance.
Contemporary systems of governance fail to tap into the genius of responsible citizens.Instead they create barriers between citizens and their elected “representatives” so that civic imagination is neither fostered nor heeded when it arises. This severely limits the flexibility of the system. In extreme cases the rigidity of the system and deafness to the voices of dissent can result in revolutions, civil wars, and other forms of violence. Yet the revolutionaries and anti-government forces themselves, even if they overthrow the government, are incapable of replacing the old system with one that is more flexible. One of the reasons for the inflexibility of established systems of governance is the lack of harmony in the alues that inform them. The genius of responsible citizenship itself is empowered to the extent it is informed by a system of truly universal values.
The system of governance proposed here derives its flexibility, including its ability to develop new structures in response to emerging challenges, from its system of values and its universal participation in decision-making. Every participant shares values that – instead of the divisive materialism and cynicism so prevalent in the world today – move into the open field of a different worldview, harmonious coexistence. This inspires people in much the same way that any bonding experience (love, team spirit, etc.) inspires them. Thus, it enables communication in public affairs to transcend even generative dialogue as a source of fresh approaches to emerging challenges. Participants with breakthrough ideas for innovative approaches know that their ideas will be taken seriously to the extent that they are innovative, in accord with core values, evidence-based, and carefully considered. The system not only inspires civic genius but also uses it as a resource for continuous change.
Other specific reasons for and examples of the flexibility in the proposed system can be cited:
- No demands are made of existing state governments, nor any budgetary resources required from them. Participation in the proposed system of global governance is envisioned as arising from the “grass roots” and its implementation evolving to progressively higher levels, without posing any threat to existing governments.
- The ten-tiered system, with assemblies at each level at and above that of the township, encourages local self-reliance as well as a mutually supportive network. A sense both of autonomy and of responsibility for the whole is fostered by the nature of the system’s structure.
- This system recognizes only five programs sufficient to meet all human needs; but its structure also provides for development of new programs if required for particular situations.
- Recognizing the Earth and the living systems it sustains as one undivided whole, the system tends to dissolve boundaries in a gradual process driven by growing trust among all participants. This does not accentuate or do away with international borders in the near future. Instead it is realistic and flexible, working to protect existing borders in the near future, while engaging in education for a more distant future in which they would no longer be needed.
- The entire system is designed with the assumption that the world’s population may grow to 10 billion people over the time that the model is adopted worldwide. Today thepopulation is over 7 billion. The model itself has a built-in flexibility that allows for population growth.
This is a collaborative and decentralized model, very different from the current system, in which there is enormous centralization of power in the hands of political leaders and those with excessive wealth. In the model proposed here, as the town, province or nation becomes self-sufficient, there will be less concern about abuse of power. Abuse only arises when power becomes centralized.
Because the system is structured into many tiers of gradual increments, it discourages inappropriate concentration of power based on wealth or position. Decisions must pass though many tiers, and no one tier has “power” over another.
As the model proposed here grows, we can anticipate that it will influence the political
establishment in nation-states, but this is incidental to its intended unifying effect on the
global community. Another incidental or ancillary effect would be a tendency to enhance the influence of individuals, organizations, and states that share the vision of a healthy global community. Yet none of this is intentional. For example, there is no intent to form a political party or enter a candidate for office in any national election. On the contrary, the entire vision and design of the governance model proposed here militates against intrusive, disruptive, or subversive involvement in organizations or states and against favoring special interests. Such interference or favoring of special interests would elicit censure and corrective action from every part of the system, most pointedly from the assembly within which it arises and the assemblies in tiers immediately above and below it. Moreover, and importantly, the proposed model would eventually reduce the ability of existing states to interfere in the internal affairs of other states.
The proposed model of governance has an inherent accountability dynamic that operates internally and externally, both before and after the fact of decision-making. Every decision-maker in the proposed system is interacting with peers and within a networked, organic system that holds the decision-maker accountable. Each decision-maker in any assembly is also the head of an assembly in the next lower tier, and therefore personally accountable for the cooperative implementation of decisions by those in their part of the lower tier. Furthermore, the tasks with which the governance model has been charged are for the purpose of meeting human needs and actualizing genuine happiness and prosperity throughout the system. Awareness of the importance
of their part in fulfilling that purpose and performing the related tasks serves as an internal motivator, in other words, an internal accountability system within each member of the assembly at every level.