Home Concepts Employee Engagement & Motivation Beyond Earth: The Future of Humans in Space/Stage Three Leadership

Beyond Earth: The Future of Humans in Space/Stage Three Leadership

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When America was founded in the late 18th century, the dominant paradigm of the natural world was one of independent particles, mirrored by a society of individuals pursuing their own ends and only related externally through contracts. Today our world no longer exists in that way. Einstein and theories of quantum physics remind us that the world is inextricably intertwined – on micro and macro-levels. Living in space, everything will be interdependent to a degree that is hard to imagine now.  Without Stage Three Leadership and a prime directive of “humanity in space”, we can expect people bent on power, position and greed to duplicate the violence, inequity and lack of cooperation that often diminishes effectiveness and the quality of life on Earth.  On our home planet we could (at least until very recently), rebound from the consequences of this behavior without overstressing the capacity of our environment to renew itself.  In the habitats of space our closed biological systems will not withstand a crash in our social systems.

In the face of these vastly higher levels of complexity and interdependence, an atomistic theory of humanity is no longer relevant. Whether the subject is the future of humans in space, or controlling nuclear weapons, or reorganizing a government agency, our nation and the world urgently need more Stage Three Leaders to generate unified and committed collective action. This is a personal invitation to join in a collective hero’s journey, and to stand for their selection, training and support.

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Author’s note:

Given the challenge presented by existing designs of governance and complex, entangled cultures and infrastructures, numbers of research questions remain, including:

–   What are qualifications for selection of potential Stage Three Leaders?

–   What does success or certification look like?

–   How do we train people to balance order, control and results focus in a context of what’s good  for humanity, locally and at large?

(1)  Dror, Yehezkel.  The Capacity to Govern: A Report to the Club of Rome,
2002.  Frank Cass Publishers.

(2)  Manji, Irshad.  “Why Tolerate the Hate?”,  August 9, 2005.  New York Times Op Ed.

(3)  Sherman, Howard.  Open Boundaries, 1998.  Perseus Books Group.   Personal conversations, 2001.

(4)  David McCullough, 1776, 2005.  Simon and Schuster.

(5)  Berne, Eric.  What do you say after you say hello?, 1975.  Corgi.

(6)  Bohm, David.  Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980.  Routledge Classics.

(7)  Senge, Peter M., with C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, & Betty Sue Flowers.   Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society, 2004.  Society for Organizational Learning.


Copyright © Charles Smith, PhD.

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