Humans have been considered the world’s greatest evolutionary force, constantly driving what is now called “contemporary evolution,” “rapid evolution,” or even “evolution on ecological time scales.”
Some early contemporary evolution had anthropogenic drivers, which included commercial fishing, pollution, weed control in agriculture, enzootic parasites, species introduction, and more. These early examples served to help spread awareness of our evolution to the point that we have reached an accelerating accumulation of diverse additional examples. Consequently, recent discussions and research have highlighted the potential of eco-revolutionary consequences for community structures, human societies, ecosystem functions, and population dynamics.
To further understand how far such thinking has developed, let us look at the work contributed by Dr. Anneloes Smitsman, a renowned Dutch futurist and systems scientist who is also known for being an award-winning pioneer in human development and system change.
Smitsman’s career spans many domains, starting in law and political science, she then expanded her work to training people and educational, corporate, and governmental organizations in developing essential capacities and systems for thriving through uncertainty and complexity.
In 2014, Smitsman founded EARTHwise Centre, serving as a global educational, training, research, and leadership center for developing the outer and inner systemic capacities for a generative future. The EARTHwise projects and initiatives focus on designing and developing evolutionary systems, cultures, and capacities for a thriving world and future. They also focus on how to solve the human condition and systemic barriers of our sustainability crisis.
Moreover, Smitsman has gained international popularity over her recent launch of the EARTHwise Constitution for a Planetary Civilization, which serves as a Compass for co-creating thrivable worlds and futures. There is a growing Partnership Alliance of organizations that have endorsed this Constitution, which is indicative that the time is ripe for this innovative approach. Empowering new and inspiring solutions for a regenerative modern society by placing the wellbeing of life at the center of decision-making.
The EARTHwise Constitution is one of Smitsman’s most ambitious initiatives that is focused on addressing the root causes of our sustainability crisis. The Constitution has been designed as a guide for co-creating thriving worlds and futures by applying the wisdom and evolutionary principles of living systems.
There are a few different ways one can work with the Constitution. Some ideas to get you started include using it for creating new, effective frameworks and evolving current constitutions in service of life. You can also create new tools, technologies, systems, and policies while simultaneously developing evolutionary capabilities as future humans of the emerging new era.
The Constitution serves as a guide that helps us actualize our purpose as co-creators of our world based on the three evolutionary principles of life. It starts with acknowledging how our universe exists and evolves as a unified entity, rather than mechanistically through separate parts and particles. Then we can acknowledge how the universe evolves coherently, in ways that makes life possible based on the relational dynamics it fosters. And finally, to understand how our universe actualizes its cosmological potentials by creating systematic conditions for self-aware consciousness, and by developing capabilities for exploring and realizing our potential.
As a result, Smitsman has clearly put forth tremendous effort in effectively evolving our sustainable world conditions, one step at a time, and through life-centered collaborations.