Because Creating the Future’s work is all about changing systems, we thought it would be helpful to define what we mean by “systems” and why we focus there.
Whether we are talking about community systems, workplace systems, or the overall societal norms by which we all function, systems are the rules that support and reinforce our relationships with our stuff and with each other.
Put simply, "systems" are really "just the way we do things."
For the most part, we don’t question the existence of the many systems we encounter in our daily lives. We assume that rules of the workplace, rules of the legal system, and the cultural rules of how we be together in society are just the way things are.
We may try to tweak at a system or drastically overhaul an aspect of a system, for example, a change in the prison system. But we don’t question, “Why do we even have a prison system?” The fact that there is a prison system is assumed as “just the way it is” and often "the way it will always be."
Such systems are held in place not with grand intention, but with inertia and invisibility. We often do not even realize there are options, that there might be a world where things are completely different.
And while we all hear of those rare individuals who buck those systems with great courage and discipline, the reality for the great majority of people is that individuals will go along with the systems they encounter. Which means that if we want to see real change in the world, changing those systems is a critical pre-condition for our success.
Imagine what the world might be like if the systems we all encounter in our day-to-day lives were intentionally designed to bring out the best in us.
Imagine a world where prisons were places where people could recover from being their worst selves, creating a path to their best selves.
Imagine a world where workplace systems all brought out the best in us rather than suspecting and protecting against the worst in us. Where public education systems were places where students were supported in becoming their very best selves. A world where funding systems for social good were rooted in the concept of Collective Enoughness, providing systems for sharing resources rather than competing for them.
Imagine if our human potential was at the core of every system we encounter in our daily lives.
That vision of what is possible is why Creating the Future’s work is aimed at changing as many human systems as possible, wherever people find themselves, as a key precondition for the world being a place that brings out the best in all of us.
Systems change by 2026, in as many human systems as possible, to aim those systems at the best in humanity’s potential. Because individuals will go where systems lead them.