We need more comprehensive, ‘joined-up’ ways to feed, cloth, shelter, assemble, and communicate. This amounts to a paradigm change, which requires radical innovation, both at a conceptual and at a pragmatic level. So far, top-down methods have failed to achieve this within a liberal, democratic context. This proposal therefore calls upon world leaders to collaborate with ‘design thinkers’ to help them change social paradigms that sustain our collective habits of behaviour. This approach would require support with the continuing development of a more high-level, self-reflexive, comprehensive, inclusive and integrated mode of design that it refers to as ‘metadesign’. Design thinking is important, because designers are trained to attract behavioural change in direct, imaginative ways, via products, services and images. Working in metadesign teams, they would apply their skills to the search and cultivation of synergies on every level. Ultimately, this would achieve a global synergy-of-synergies.
a) What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20? What are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?
The cultivation of synergy would be a key principal objective for Rio+20. Synergy is an affirmative, under-explored factor that transcends the current, parsimonious, obsolescent paradigm of ‘sustainability’. The ultimate aim of Rio+20 would be the co-creation of a global synergy-of-synergies. An introductory definition of synergy is that it is the free, unforeseen abundance that emerges from a judicious combination of existing resource entities (e.g. materials, actions, ideas and/or problems). Primary synergies can also be synergized with other entities (including synergies) to create secondary or subsequent orders of synergy. As the origin of synergy is always ‘difference’, Rio+20 would publish a practical framework in which a diversity-of-diversities (e.g. political / cultural / biological / ecological / monetary) could be locally identified, managed or created. These would become the basis for new, more complex and integrated, modes of entrepreneurial (and entredonneurial) prosperity.