We’re standing at a crossroads in history. The planetary systems that sustain us are collapsing, exemplified by the climate emergency and growing global unrest. In front of us, there is a choice: continue on the road to self-destruction or redefine the role of humanity within nature. Changing direction means questioning the basic assumptions of our society, and reshaping its structures, institutions and tools. It means building an **ecological civilization**, in which collective human actions work to create the ideal conditions for life to flourish. ## What does an Ecological Civilization look like? Indigenous [[Ecocultures]] that have lived in harmony with their environment for thousands of years can show us what an ecological civilization might look like. In healthy systems, careful observations of nature shape cultures over time, and in turn these cultural narratives and institutions [guide our actions towards nature](https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/environmental-conservation/article/interdisciplinary-progress-in-approaches-to-address-socialecological-and-ecocultural-systems/7D74F7B3F1E1E4B3820B9592B1A03100), and each other. ### Trunks of an Ecological Civilization The cultural and ecological components that build ecosystem health: #### [[1.1 Resilient Ecosystems]] Natural capital that delivers a flow of ecosystem goods and services. #### [[1.2 Epistemic & Cultural Commons]] Human capital in the form of knowledge, skills and capabilities to produce the technologies for well-being. #### [[1.3 Equitable Governance & Institutions]] Social capital that takes the form of relations of trust, norms, obligations and institutions fundamental for collective action. #### [[1.4 Regenerative Bioeconomy]] Physical and financial capital that provide infrastructure and financial resources. This framework is based on studies of [social-ecological and ecocultural systems](https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/environmental-conservation/article/interdisciplinary-progress-in-approaches-to-address-socialecological-and-ecocultural-systems/7D74F7B3F1E1E4B3820B9592B1A03100) by Jules Pretty, along with the [6 Ingredients for an Ecological Civilization](https://spencerrscott.substack.com/p/an-ecological-civilization-is-the) by Spencer R. Scott. ## Why build an Ecological Civilization? Solving the critical problems humans are facing feels like a game of whack-a-mole: 1. In the rush to implement green energy, new landscapes are being destroyed to source rare minerals, while fossil fuel use grows at an increasingly faster rate; 2. Digital technologies, which some believed would one day "democratize everything", are causing our democracies to collapse by driving misinformation and polarization; 3. In the name of progress, we are experimenting with artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which exponentially increase civilizational risks. Why is it that every time we cut off the head of the dragon, three more grow in its place? Because we keep treating the symptoms without facing the real disease: a large-scale breakdown in coordination across human society known as the [[Metacrisis]]. Our current civilization is built on credit, borrowing from the bank of natural and social capital we need to sustain life in the long term. The longer we live outside of our means, the higher the risk of sliding towards catastrophic and dystopic futures. If we don't treat the root cause by repurposing our systems and institutions to support the flourishing of life on earth, no amount of solar panels will change the game. ## How do we build an Ecological Civilization? Every one of us is a product of a society which prioritizes the extraction of profit above the health of our ecosystems. Therefore, the first step to building an ecological civilization is to regenerate ourselves and our relationship to others by centering care in every interaction. [[0.1 This Project]] is an artifact of my own journey towards self-healing, which you can read more about here: [[0.4 It breaks my heart, my soul, my body]]. In additional to that, we need to start experimenting with new institutions and economies based on the values of an ecological civilization, starting at a local bioregional scale. With [[0.1 This Project]], I aim to document these principles and experiments, in order to guide future initiatives supporting this transition.