SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions

July, 2010
Vol. 9, Number 7


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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds





This Month's Article

Organization or Organism?

Many social movements as well as businesses begin life as organisms and die as organizations. An organization is a static structure while an organism is living and dynamic. Organizations survive because of a set framework of rules and expectations, while organisms survive due to their ability to adapt to changing conditions.

Over the past several years we have seen corporations and institutions that have been icons of our culture die (or suffer paralysis) because they did not change soon enough to meet new realities. Their structures and paradigms fossilized and became obstacles to adapting to a changing world. Political parties and religions have similarly fallen into disrepute and incompetence when they fail to adapt to current social, political, environmental and economic needs and conditions. The very structures that supported them as they grew have become weak crutches in their old age. At the same time, they are obstructing innovation and necessary solutions.

When the anti-war movement gained in popularity and effectiveness in staging protests during the Vietnam War, the FBI was working very hard to find its central leadership. They became very frustrated that that movement didn’t appear to really have a structure or central group of directors. It was a loose confederation of many groups that communicated (before cell phones, twitter and the internet!) and supported each other. A group would call a rally and many people just showed up. It was a movement that showed its power through spontaneous action, consistent with the logic of their anti-war appeal: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” The organization of the movement was organic — people just did the jobs that needed to be done according to their interests, abilities and acceptable level of risk. Everyone found his or her place. When the war was over most of the anti-war groups just disappeared.

Today we are engaged in a different kind of war — a war of planetary survival. The psychology of this war is characterized by the slogan, “Think globally and act locally.” There are an abundance of groups working for ecological sanity and sustainability. They are united by a common vision of a healthy and secure way of life for the planet and the human race. At this point the movement is very creative and organic, made of small groups of visionaries who are striving to solve our common problems within their communities and within the limits of available resources. When people act as an organism they do a job with little ego or selfish interest, since the life of the greater organism is paramount to their motivation.

The organizations that grow out of this organism are for managing human and material resources, and for developing strategies to work together to accomplish their respective roles, their piece of the puzzle, within the body of the big picture. When a movement is an organism, each organ or organization must be dynamic and adaptable to the changing conditions on the ground. The new “soldiers” are self-motivated, flexible and problem solvers. They are open to new approaches and are team players. They are not afraid of taking risks and are willing to learn from their mistakes.

The new and successful organizations take their managerial style from this model of a living organism. They succeed because of their relevance to the needs of the time. Such management is pro-active because their vision relates to promoting the well-being of the greater whole. This describes their reason for existence, and their willingness to continue to adapt and improve. If any organization could answer “NO” to the question, “Is the world better off because we exist?” then it is not an organism that the life of the greater organism needs. A civilization made of groups that have the qualities of a healthy organism is urgently needed to heal our social and environmental illnesses, and to prepare us to meet the needs of the future.

© 2010 Richard V. Sidy


Read Related Articles on SNS Press — Politics & Society

The New Anarchy

The Good New Days

The Time is Right

Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future

Criminal Justice Part 2 — The Ethic of Custodianship

Read Related Articles on SNS Press — Sustainable Living

"Fast Food is really Slow Food"— A New Look at the Food Chain

Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity

Energy Independence

Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival

The Art of Living

Sustainable Development is Nature's Way

The Imaginary Economy — Part I

Read Related Poems on SNS Press

Lady Liberty

Making Friends


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Archives Column Menu
archives archives archives
Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity
Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"
Archives 2007:
Vol. 6, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
State of Fear
Criminal Justice
Culture Shock
Personal Ecology
Exploring the Mind - Parts 1 and 2
How Much Pain Can We Stand?
Archives 2008:
Vol. 7, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Beyond Ideology
The Imaginary Economy
Tribalism and the 2008 Election
Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice
Have We Been Willing Slaves?
Are We Ready for the Future?
Archives 2009:
Vol. 8, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Good New Days
The Time is Right
The New Anarchy
The Art of Living
Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?
From Cowboys to Cowed
Who are the Real Game Changers?
Archives 2010:
Vol. 9, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Music of Place
Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
The Sense of Place
Why do People Serve?
Ecological Literacy
Organization or Organism?
Are we afraid of our Better Angels?
Choosing our Battles

Meeting the Need
Diplomacy Help for Teens Science and Religion Poetry Archives
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