|The impulse to write Feeling for Stones came out of a long-standing interest in how societies change fundamentally and systemically. Development is an example of one such fundamental change as it is directed towards transforming essentially agricultural societies into industrial societies. Development, however, uses the existing models of industrial societies. We now face a bigger systemic change: the need to invent ecological societies we have never seen before. How might that be done? What is the nature of systemic social change?
The graphical notes collected here were created while thinking through the answer to these questions.
(1984) Double-S Curve: the social foundations of economic growth
(2004h) Double-S Curve - social foundations before economic .pdf
These graphics are hand-drawn copies of the key statistic diagrams showing how high levels of health and literacy in the whole population precede economic growth. They were originally done in 1984 and updated in 1990. Later, the same concept was applied to statistics of life expectation and literacy in pre-industrial England. The questions raised by this work led to the writing of Feeling for Stones.
(1998d) Ecological cribsheet.pdf
(1998) Ecological cribsheet
Several of these graphics were developed while working on a scenarios projects with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. They are a reminder of some of the basic ecological principles and concepts which shaped the issues discussed in Feeling for Stones.
(1998e) English Agriculture - a history.pdf
(1998) English agriculture – a history
Mark Overton has written an excellent history of the development of English agriculture. This is a good example of systemic change in society. The graphics here were developed from his book in order to see what patterns emerged from his research.
(2000c) Is Technology the only driver of change - GBN talk.pdf
(2000) Is technology the only driver of change?
Global Business Network used to organise chapter meetings in London. This presentation was given at a one of the London chapter meetings of Global Business Network. As GBN often talks about the role of technology in shaping society, these graphics looked at the deeper drivers of change in pre-industrial England to understand what led to the invention of the industrial revolution.
(2002d) Tension of two worlds.pdf
(2002) Tension of two worlds
These notes were used to write chapter seven of Feeling for Stones. They were begun in 2002 and have been updated repeatedly since then. They explore the legacies of Western capitalism as seen in Europe and the United States versus the legacies of pre-colonial African societies. These notes are highly speculative, but it is just possible that the post-colonial tension of these two cultures in Africa could create some of the foundations for future ecological societies.
(2004e) Governance & civil society.pdf
(2004) Governance and civil society in England – a long view
One of the clear foundations for systemic change is the capacity for political agreement and experimentation. Ronald Bull’s A history of Parliament: the Middle Ages is a detailed description of the evolution of the English Parliament from its earliest origins to about 1400. Some of the lessons drawn from that history are collected here in a presentation given to a conference organised by the Southwest Regional Development Agency in England.
(2005b) Meandering on the Margins, extremity, engagement & e.pdf
(2005) Meandering on the margins
These graphical notes accompanied another talk to Global Business Network, in California. These note further develop the argument that African societies are, of necessity, likely to be amongst the most inventive societies we know today.