They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Decades of work and billions of dollars of "aid" have proven that it's time to reinvent how we organize for social change. If we fail to change now, we should all be locked up.
We are in the midst of an emergency. The planet is experiencing an unprecedented era of climate and ecological breakdown. We are part of the generation that will witness the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Thousands of species that have existed for million of years have already gone extinct. And despite living in the most productive era in human history, the gap between rich and poor has never been so great, and groups that have traditionally been oppressed by those in power are still bearing the brunt of this inequality.
For decades, NGOs, charities, social change movements and consumers have tried to change our course and prevent the immanent disaster that has been predicted for as long as we've been working against it. Some impressive gains have been made along the way - often led by women, people of colour and the working class - with massive sacrifices along the way. Civil society has been an essential part of the journey towards a more just society, but we are also part of the same mechanisms that extend and entrench the arms of white-supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and colonialism across the planet. We duplicate and replicate the very structures that are at the root of injustice and oppression. Our left hand is claiming to dismantle injustice while our right hand is building it up.
We can no longer avert a global crisis. It's simply too late for that. We only have to look around us to see climate breakdown in action: wildfires, massive storms, droughts, floods and other extreme climate events abound. Our vapid exploitation of the planet has already seen the destruction of countless ecosystems and indigenous homelands. Our obsession with incessant economic growth has destroyed the planet and communities alike. The reality where eight humans - all men - own the same wealth as half of our global population is proof that we are not waiting for shit to hit the fan. We are living through the proverbial pebble-dash, the effect of our failure as a species.
The question is not what we can do to prevent disaster, but what we can do with the disaster we should have prevented. What do we do from here. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can respond, and as ever, we don't have time to waste. We have forests to protect. Women to empower. Young people to engage. Species to restore. Communities to rebuild. A climate to liberate.
We have to move forward with the greatest hope we've ever known - an unbreakable belief in the part our species has yet to play on this planet. A deep knowledge of our call to be guardians of each other, other species and the ecosystems that make up this unspeakably beautiful home.
To do this we need a new movement. One that functions like we mean to go on. That embodies the same qualities we are striving to create in the world. One that redefines what it means to be working for social and environmental justice while simultaneously redefining what it means to be human.
Collective Edge will be part of the movement that is working not only for a new reality but a new destiny. We believe in radical unity, and we want to alter the course of the human story in the history books of time.
What we want is something different, so the only option is to do something different. We'd be crazy not to. Watch. This. Space.
More details on how to get involved coming soon. To get us started, Collective Edge will be led by social and environmental justice practitioners from around the world who attend the Justice Based Approach: Advanced Course in 2021.