The Metacrisis is Giving Rise to the Transformation Age

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“There really is one planetary civilization connected in real-time, and much more so than any other era we’re going to rise together or fall together. The global pandemic demonstrates that. The threat of nuclear annihilation demonstrates that. Climate change demonstrates that. If we don’t reorganize ourselves to handle these things together, a serious planetary regression is possible. The risks go up a lot from here forward.” — Robb Smith


iles Seiden is a talented creative executive and complex thinker who approached Robb to help him make sense of the “Great Release” and decide how he could contribute to the rise of the Transformation Age. To answer this question, we first need to understand what’s driving the emergence of the Transformation Age out of the Information Age: a global metacrisis, occurring amidst a great release of global power, which as it becomes more acute is exposing the limitations of the current era’s structures, sensemaking, key contradictions (all pluribus, little unum), scarce resources (meaning), and the sources of power themselves (convening power).

Indeed, it is the integrative innovation underway as we speak that is growing the Transformation Age structures that will integrate and overcome today’s contradictions through transitions to new consciousness (from pluralistic self to integral self), technology (quantum computing, effectively free energy, nanotechnology, personalized genetic medicine etc.), governance (dysfunctional oligarchy to representative panarchy), education (economic-focused, job preparatory translational education to citizen-focused, lifelong transformative education), economics (accelerated decoupling of the physiosphere from noospheric economic growth) and environment (full, internalized costing and circularity).

But this transition to the Transformation Age is not inevitable. In the face of exponential tech and existential risks, today’s Great Release could end up catalyzing a cascading set of failures that send humanity back to the dark ages. This is why every person listening — you! — have such an essential role to play in understanding the outlines of what’s at stake, and why it’s essential we expand our minds to see a fuller picture.

“Isn’t there some global, all encompassing, overriding context that can be brought to bear?… Why can’t someone come save us, an all powerful [integral] President of the United States that comes to save us?… No, because the United States and its power function is exactly what is breaking down today… There is no one to save us, there is no overriding power function to be had here, no single dominating context… But there are leaders operating at the edge of their own Transformation Age being, who are accruing the power they’ll need to help us adapt to the Transformation Age… The Green-stage Information Age has created the tools that help save us from its own contradictions, becoming the rocket fuel that takes us into the Transformation Age…. You get the resilience [arising in the Transformation Age] by distributing wisdom down to the individual levels from the hierarchical savior leader, you get resilience by having power, wisdom and economics distributed amongst the crowd. So it is implicit in the nature of Green that, as it breaks down centralized power, what it’s also doing is reconfiguring it in a preparatory way for the resilience that’s needed at Teal, sowing the seeds for its own solution to emerge.”

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Article Cognitive Leadership Perspectives Premium The Transformation Age What is a more hopeful future for civilization?
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Robb Smith

About Robb Smith

Robb Smith is a leading thinker on the Transformation Age and the global Integral movement. He is the creator of the augmented leadership platform Context, co-founder and CEO of Integral Life and founder of the Institute of Applied Metatheory.