One of the biggest challenges that we are facing in the right here and now is how do we create a mass movement for change in this era of catastrophic environmental destruction?
The environment movement has largely been ineffective at the macro level because there has not been enough of that critical interconnection of localised grassroots activism with a broader movement for systemic and behavioural change.
Holistic Activism is tackling this issue by developing what is referred to as a ‘movement of movements’. This acknowledges that we can each bring our unique skills, knowledge and insights into a growing interconnected web of change. This goes well beyond tackling the various crises inherent in a system that is out of kilter. It is also about working towards a shift in thinking and approach.
Any activist group that joins the Holistic Activism Movement of Movements, will not lose any of their autonomy but they will become part of something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
To be a signatory, the group or the individual activist will connect on five principles, three of which are the three principles of Extinction Rebellion (see below). The idea is that this movement can interconnect with Extinction Rebellion but it will also not be confined by it.
The fourth principle is about shifting our behaviour towards interconnectedness with each other and the earth with the understanding that we will not achieve meaningful change with the same thinking that led us into the current crisis.
This will be achieved by utilising social permaculture, eco-psychology and holistic activism principles in the way that we communicate and determine policy, from one-on-one interactions all the way through to conversation cafes and citizens assemblies.
The fifth principle is based on the premise that we will work towards some form of post-growth or degrowth society that does not operate under the current premise of infinite growth on a finite planet. This will be determined through the citizens assemblies as highlighted in principle three.
These assemblies will be a platform for rational and nuanced discussion that seeks to find a common pathway forward in a society of diverse opinions and values. The assemblies will listen to a diverse range of perspectives including professionals in their field.
Crucially they will ensure that vested interests and ideologies do not dominate at the expense of rational and nuanced discussion. This will be achieved by utilising the social permaculture, eco-psychology and holistic activism approaches as outlined in the fourth principle.
The good news is that groups can join the Holistic Activism Movement Of Movements, even if they do not agree with all of the values and approaches of every group in the movement. What matters is that each group can connect on the five principles with the understanding that what they are promoting is part of a wider, ongoing conversation.
For example, vegan groups and ethical omnivore groups could both join despite having very different ideologies. Importantly what they could do is connect on the five principles, while at the same time, have a platform to discuss their knowledges at the citizens assembly level.
The outcome could be that people will choose between ethical omnivorism or veganism and farming methods will adapt to reflect that. Crucially, by working together, the assemblies would help to create a world where discussion around food ethics is central to a de-growth based regenerative society.
Therefore if the vegan movement is to grow or, if ethical omnivorism is to grow, it will happen under those circumstances, not through the cognitive dissonance that comes when one ideology is pitted against another.
In summary, the principles of the Holistic Activism Movement of Movements are:
1) Tell the truth
The government must tell the truth about the scale of the ecological crisis by declaring a climate emergency, by “working with other groups and institutions to communicate the urgent need for change”.
2) Net zero emissions by 2025
The world must drastically cut its greenhouse gas emissions, hitting net zero by 2025 or as soon as possible after.
3) Citizens’ assembly
We will create citizens’ assemblies to hear evidence and devise policies to tackle the climate crisis. Citizens’ assemblies bring together ordinary people to investigate, discuss and make recommendations on how to respond, in this case, to the ecological emergency.
4) Recognising the need to change our behaviour
We recognise that we will not overcome the climate and ecological emergency with the same mindsets that led us into it. Therefore, social permaculture, regenerative consciousness and holistic activism need to be integral to whatever we do both at an individual and a group level.
5) The need to transition to a form of post-growth or de-growth society
We recognise that the current system works around the premise that there can be infinite growth on a finite planet and that this is a major cause of the crisis that we are facing. Therefore, we must transition to something different. This will be determined by the Citizens Assemblies (as outlined in the third principle) using the approaches as outlined in the fourth principle.
You are invited to join us
If you connect with the four steps of Holistic Activism and connect with the above five principles, we strongly encourage you to join the Holistic Activism Movement of Movements (HA MoM) either as an individual or as an activist group. You can do by this by contacting us through the Get Involved/Contacts link on the menu.
If you would rather not join the movement of movements that we are developing, please consider connecting with other activists and organisations in another way. This may include a movement that has a different focus. We will all likely connect in one way or another over time.
Also feel free to join the Holistic Activism Movement of Movements as well as other movements for change. Feel free also to connect to Holistic Activism in any way that feels right to you and please free to connect with us, even if the broader movement that we are developing is not your thing… as there is always a potential for us to play a role.