Page 1

19 Degrees A Global Movement September 4, 2011 By Kenneth R. Jacobsen

Confidential

1

12/13/11


19 Degrees A Global Movement Created by Kenneth R. Jacobsen “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead 19 Degrees draws from the lessons of September 11, 2001, that on a single day 19 ordinary people can change the world. Commemorating its tenth anniversary, this movement flips the story of that fateful Tuesday morning and invites passionate groups of people to carry out lifechanging events of equal impact… in reverse. Powerful initiatives will be created at local, regional, national and global levels that collectively make a positive difference for humankind. The events themselves will be conceived and carried out by each group, unfolding independently and converging simultaneously to make a profound impact on a single day. The call to action: The calling is to contribute to 19 Degrees by creating your movement… the one that inspires you and serves your deepest life purpose. Aligned with similarly inspired groups, together we can deliver visible, positive acts that help change the world. We will coordinate the process, orchestrate regular communications among the 19 groups, and generate media awareness to continually advance this movement. Note: the movement’s original title was 19 Degrees Above Zero, derived as follows: 19 is the number of hijackers on September 11th. Zero is the hallowed Ground Zero. Above is the dualistic opposite of the human aspect called up that day, i.e., the one that went “below” into our darkness, not “above” into our light. And Degrees is an inexact reference to the underlying question: how many groups of 19 people times 19 people times 19 people and so on would it take to infuse a sustained shift in who we are, and the ways in which we orchestrate life on the planet?

Confidential

2

12/13/11


Table of Contents

Prologue…………………………………………………………………………..Page 4 Introduction……………………………………………………………………..Page 7 The Mayan Calendar………………………………………………………….Page 11 A Context For Action………………………………………………………….Page15 We Have Some Planes………………………………………………………..Page 19 Linear and Cosmic Outliers………………………………………………..Page 23 Frequently Asked Questions……………………………………………….Page 26

Confidential

3

12/13/11


19 Degrees Prologue Do you think the day will come that we change the ways of the world? When we take deliberate action to consciously serve humankind and rebalance the planet for everyone’s benefit? We are certainly powerful enough as a species, possessing the innate capacity to do anything we want. Let’s say the answer is yes, that we can make that choice and conduct such a bold initiative. When would that time be? Right now? Or later, and if so, how much later? Maybe you side with those who think the answer is never… that history and current events have repeatedly shown that we can’t change the dark realities of human nature and thus we can’t expect humankind to collectively focus its gifts and talents on shaping life for the greater good. 19 Degrees believes otherwise. It invites passionate groups of people to step up and collectively carry out events that change the world at this moment in history. In a nutshell, here’s the idea: ordinary people like you and me can change the world. It’s been done. It takes inspired, courageous and committed individuals who coordinate a series of impactful actions that make the world an amazingly different place. As a point of reference, that’s what 19 terrorists did on September 11, 2001. It’s essential to come to peace with the dualistic parallels between their work and ours: they embraced shared values and had a compelling vision. They were patient, flexible and unwavering. They diligently prepared. They remained focused and persistently pursued their goals. In the end, they pulled off exactly what we want to pull off: they pointed the world in a whole new direction. That’s our goal for 19 Degrees, and it’s through those principles that we can do it. New Thinking. A New Way of Life. The events of 9/11 changed the way we think about everything. Leaders, governments, institutions, liberals, conservatives, progressives… everyone built a new way of life in response to the large acts of a small group of people. There’s our parallel. Perhaps the greatest gift we can deliver will be to reverse that. And with it change our beliefs about what’s possible for humankind and the planet, and our thinking about how to respond to the intensifying challenges we are facing. Confidential

4

12/13/11


Five Themes There are countless ways to present this concept. Our goal is to plant the seed in a short treatise focusing on five integrated themes. 1. The tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the irrefutable power of 19 ordinary people is the driving force behind 19 Degrees. 2. The groundwork has been laid. Research by Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, and by Paul Hawken in their respective works The Cultural Creatives and Blessed Unrest (among many other sources) shows that millions of individuals, groups and organizations are embracing these shifts in thinking and engaging in positive action throughout the world. The flywheel is already spinning. We can easily join the momentum that’s been generated by so many before us. Chapter 4 talks more about this. 3. The first day of a new cosmic era is right around the corner.  We lighten the air around this movement by embracing a historical artifact as if it’s the most valuable resource in today’s world: the Mayan Calendar. Long gone from the scene yet remarkably accurate over 5,000 years, the calendar clearly informs us that an epochal shift is occurring in the universe in this moment, which you will read about in Chapter 3. The myths surrounding 2012 persist but the calendar’s noteworthy accuracy inspires us to wholeheartedly celebrate the arrival of the emerging age by consciously choosing to make something of it. A 500-year era begins on December 22, 2012, and whether real or allegorical the coming of a new age moves us to target that date to launch a new human story. 4. 19 Core, Millions More. The movement begins with a small group of people and expands organically from there. Introduction day is September 11, 2011. Our invitation is for 19 people to join us, not only in getting this started but inspiring others through the visibility, effects and momentum of our work. Our dream is that by December 22, 2012 millions of groups are ready to celebrate World Day with amazingly transformative acts that change the ways of the world. 5. World Day. With 15 months to develop and coordinate our initial actions, World Day becomes a crowning moment. That’s the day we intend to point the world in a powerful new direction. The new 500-year era will be well served by that sendoff. Of larger note, World Day will be celebrated annually on December 22nd, sustaining this movement for humankind and the planet.

Confidential

5

12/13/11


A Creation. Not a Revolt. It’s constructive to share what 19 Degrees is not. The idea of this movement is not to rouse protests, uprisings or revolutions. It offers no manifesto or utopian model. It doesn’t denounce capitalism or socialism or any other ism. It doesn’t blame. It simply moves into the creative space of designing and delivering the future we would like to see. Its highest hope is to change our thinking and inspire thoughtful, impactful events that create a major shift in the ways in which we steward our societies, economies and ecosystems. By raising the question: how many groups of 19 people would it take to infuse a sustained shift in who we are and the ways in which we orchestrate life on the planet, we hope to evoke a real, sustainable and life-changing movement for humankind. The question put differently is: how many degrees of positive, intentional actions, and by how many groups of people, would it take to irrevocably create the shift we are longing for, and that the earth and its full family of living creatures deserve? That’s the provocative work of 19 Degrees.

Confidential

6

12/13/11


19 Degrees Introduction A few moments after exchanging their vows at Los Abrigodos in Sedona, Arizona, Johanna Ariker and John Merkel simultaneously held two separate candles to the single flame burning on the main altar. In an instant, three flames were glowing where a moment before there was one. Turning first to Johanna’s parents, she connected her flame to the two candles her mother and father were holding. Then John turned to his parents and lit theirs. Guests at the ceremony had each taken a candle from a container prior to the service. In vivid harmony, all four parents simultaneously lit the candles of two other attendees, who in turn moved into the congregation and passed the flame to yet two more. Soon the entire congregation was illuminated as one. In less than two minutes the flame had passed through Johanna and John to everyone in attendance, 80 people sharing an inspiring moment. The powerful expression of oneness touched every person there. A few years later John Merkel described the splendor of his wedding day to me at a Virginia Highlands coffee shop in Atlanta, Georgia. John has a Ph. D in Mathematics, and is an Oglethorpe University math professor. Inspired by the image he shared of 80 candles being illuminated into a single radiant glow in just two minutes, I began sharing my vision for this movement with him, and sought his help formulating a computation that serves its underlying premise. About this Movement 19 Degrees is a movement about intentional action. It invites the leader within all of us to step up and change the world, and offers a context in which to do it. This movement does not formulate political, economic or social solutions and then ask you to contemplate or act upon them. It doesn’t even consider that a viable musing. It is about collectively revitalizing our whole makeup so we can start leading from the innate place that knows we are here to serve. In essence 19 Degrees is about shifting how we think and who we are being when engaging in acts of doing. And as a result, flipping the collective intention of the entire planet as we explore solutions to the growing challenges we face as humankind. September 11th Talking with John at the coffee shop that morning, I shared a thought that has been with me since September 11, 2001. Volumes of history and commentary have been chronicled about that day, and major acts of retaliation were carried Confidential

7

12/13/11


out in response. But John and I were not speaking of terrorism and jihad and homeland security. We were discussing oneness and duality. We agreed that at a much deeper level, something beyond the linear story was being told on September 11th. In the deeper seas of consciousness, the darker side of our human nature was acting out with a vengeance and sending a screeching message into the collective. It is the same dark side that lives somewhere within each of us, although it rarely turns into such treachery. On September 11, 2001 that dark side brashly pronounced that something is terribly out of balance in the universe. We witnessed untold horror and devastation that morning, but more than that, we were being informed at a fundamental level that our way of interrelating as a human community is provoking a deep resentment. We have dangerously separated ourselves and it is time to take a conscious look at the implications of doing so. It is instructive to ponder this conversation from beyond the carnage and destruction that took place that morning. From there it shapes up as a discussion of crime and punishment, right and wrong, good guys and bad guys. Clearly we would acknowledge from that level that the mass murder of thousands of innocent civilians is an egregious act which commands a swift and measured response. Here, we are contemplating a wholly different dimension of the events of September 11th. Not to bypass the raw and deplorable truths of terrorism, but rather to see what else there is to deliberate. We needn’t go very deep to see a universal spirit so broken that parts of it are acting out to reveal that we are living more in our shadow than our light; that too often we are not nurturing one another, but inflicting harm. When we take a larger worldview, when we tap more fully into the vast consciousness so accessible to us, this reflection transcends debate and becomes a simple knowing – one that none of us would fail to recognize. We Can Change That More strikingly, here’s the reflection I shared with John that has beguiled me ever since the terrorists struck: on a routine Tuesday morning, 19 ordinary people woke up and changed the world. Leaving all judgments aside, this is a straightforward truth. Granted, the change they wrought is not the one we would admire. The act was evil. But in a pure state of mind, we can’t miss the remarkable certainty that any “ordinary” one of us has the power to step up and change the world on a single morning. 19 Degrees evokes that message. It stretches our imagination to consider millions of us, in deliberate creation with small groups of people, taking on the conscious intention of changing the ways of the world. Higher Math

Confidential

8

12/13/11


Stimulated by the image of a full congregation illuminated as one, I asked Dr. Merkel for his mathematical assistance creating an idealistic metaphor for reawakening the consciousness that would inspire us to become new kinds of leaders-in-action. My question: if it took under two minutes to light 80 candles, how long would it take to light up the entire world? In a perfect model, suppose all 6.9 Billion people were within reach of two other people, and everyone was ready to go. If one person’s flame could light two, and each of those lit the candle of two more, and so on, how long before the entire planet were aglow as one? A math professor presented with a word problem, John dove straight into established mathematical principles and in a jiffy he created a formula. Jiffy is a technical term that represents my own mathematical acumen, so you can imagine how we bonded as he spoke excitedly of parameters, periodic growth rates and varying time periods. He of course had my rapt attention when he shared that: S = 2(2N – 1) And that S is the total number of lit candles at the end of the compounding time period, and N is the number of 10 second time periods. All we have to do then, John beamed, is plug in our assumptions and play with them to find an exact time period for the end number of 6.9 Billion. So in plain English‌the mathematical impact of one person passing the flame to two, and two passing it to four, then four to eight and so on has a modest initial effect, but then it expands dramatically in a very short time due to the principle of exponential growth. It takes 10 seconds for each passage in our assumption and each passage doubles the number of lit candles, just as John and Johanna did at their wedding ceremony. After one minute, 126 candles are lit. In three minutes, the number increases to 524,286. By four minutes, the exponential growth rate has produced 33,554,430 lighted candles. From there the numbers explode. By the fifth minute it grows to 2,147,483,646, and at five minutes and 10 seconds 4,294,967,294 candles are lit. In the next 6.84 seconds the iterative effect jumps the number to 6.9 billion. Amazingly, before five minutes and 20 seconds have passed every candle is aglow. Ponder that for a moment: in less than 5 1/2 minutes, we can light up the entire world! As you might suppose, I am not literally preparing to connect 6.9 Billion people with candles, although seeing the entire earth harmoniously aglow would be an amazing experience, and perhaps someone here will be inspired to take that on. I am much more captivated by the idea that ordinary people like you and me can wake up one morning and change the world. A world that needs us more than ever. 19 Degrees Above Zero Confidential

9

12/13/11


The original, longer title of this movement was 19 Degrees Above Zero, derived as follows: 19 is the number of hijackers that were involved the morning of September 11. Zero represents the hallowed Ground Zero. Above is the dualistic opposite of the human aspect that was called up that day, i.e., the one that went “below” into our darkness, not “above” into our light, which we encourage here. And Degrees is an inexact reference to the underlying question: how many groups of 19 people times 19 people times 19 people and so on would it take to infuse a sustained shift in who we are, and the ways in which we orchestrate life on the planet? Put differently, how many degrees of positive, intentional actions, and by how many groups of people, would it take to irrevocably create the shift we are longing for, and that the earth and its full family of living creatures deserve? The upshot is this: we were shown on September 11th that any of us can not only send a message, or set off a chain of events, but genuinely produce a sustained shift in the human experience…. if we simply set our minds to do so. And imagine if we chose to do so in the opposite direction of the many unconscious, often malevolent acts that dominate the human experience today, impacting both ourselves and the planet we inhabit. The request is oddly simple: Notice that most of the big acts carried out by humans are egregious and harmful. And most of the good and benevolent acts are smaller and less impactful. Don’t you think it is time that we consciously step up and reverse that? We believe so and invite you to step up with us and take action. In the immortal words of United Flight 93’s Todd Beamer, “Let’s roll!”

Confidential

10

12/13/11


The Mayan Calendar Note: Because we have marked a specific day, December 22, 2012, for the culmination of our inaugural actions, it is beneficial to take a look at its source, the Mayan Calendar, summarized below. Scientifically reliable and provocatively debatable at once, its historical accuracy and notable insights inspired our designation of December 22 as World Day. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Some five million Maya are living today, a fraction of their population at its peak. They mainly inhabit Belize, Mexico, and western Central America. The ancient Maya contributed many gifts to civilization in the areas of mathematics and astronomy, science, architecture, and the arts. Between 200 and 900 AD the Maya developed advanced cities, written language, splendid artworks, and architectural marvels, including pyramids, palaces, ball courts and temples. Prized Mayan art can still be enjoyed in museums throughout the world. However, much of their great legacy was compromised by two significant events. Between 800 and 900 AD the Maya people mysteriously abandoned their cities, seemingly vanishing without a trace. Many theories exist as to why they left, ranging from water system failures to famine to foreign invaders, but what actually occurred has never been determined. The other event happened some 700 years later, during the 1500s. The Guatemalan Maya were conquered by the Spaniards in 1523, followed by the Yucatan Maya in the 1540s. The Maya lands became Spanish owned and controlled and soon after, in order to cease the worship of Maya gods, Christian missionaries burned their ancient books and manuscripts. On top the direct cost to the Maya themselves, this destruction exacted a significant loss of intelligence on the larger story of civilization. The Maya quietly wrote some new books to preserve their traditions, four of which remain today. In addition is perhaps the finest of the surviving Maya works, The Dresden Codex, which explains the details of the Mayan calendar and its number system. Commonly acknowledged as the most accurate of all such timepieces, the Mayan calendar measures time in multiple cycles and of varying lengths. Many Mesoamerican peoples, including the Maya, had calendars that accurately measured extended cycles, typically 52 years. What distinguished The Mayan calendar was its synchronization of three different dating systems. The Haab measured the solar year, or 365 days, for planting and harvesting, political decision-making, holidays and so forth. The Tzolkin measured the sacred cycle of 260 days. And the third, the Long Count, measured extended cycles spanning 26,000 years. From their meticulous astral studies, the Maya came to understand Confidential

11

12/13/11


something significant: the sky presents the timetable for the cosmos. Accordingly, not only does their calendar compute dates, years, and cycles with remarkable accuracy, it also captures “ages.” It is the contents of The Dresden Codex that are of unique interest, revealing how the Maya tracked the movements of the universe. The Dresden Codex contains a table that calculates the Long Count, precisely tracking the movements of the sun, the moon and the planets, particularly Venus. Sophisticated astronomers, they meticulously chronicled Venus’s movements as a morning star and as an evening star, and synchronized that data with other astronomical and mathematical permutations to create a system that calculated extensive cycles with amazing accuracy. So accurate that the Mayan calendar needs to be adjusted by just one day every 380,000 years. Contrast that, for example, to the Egyptian calendar, which in 30 AD had to be adjusted by 12 days. Or the Julian calendar, which contained an error of one full day every 319 years. The Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in 1512 when Pope Gregory XII established a calendar that supported the church’s decision regarding the timing for Easter, and in the process their appointed astronomers did an excellent job of creating a calendar whose secular reliability has stood the test of time, including the addition of leap years as periodic adjusters. While their mathematical systems are a true marvel, the Mayan calendar is above all a prophetic calendar. Experts explain that it provides an exact schedule for the cosmic plan. And here’s what’s really fun: according to the Mayan calendar we happen to be alive today during the arrival of an epochal shift - the first such new beginning in 500 years. The recently completed era, which their calendar predicted to be one of growing materialism and linear thinking, began in the 1490’s and ended in 1987. The presently emerging age which starts in 2012 is separated from that one by a series of short transition periods, which we are experiencing today. As Jean Houston puts it, we are living in the parenthesis. The old is moving out but the new has not fully arrived. In every respect, this puts us between worlds. What’s even more fun is that according to modern interpretations this new age is the first one in over 5,000 years that the Maya could not predict. The Mesoamericans, who studied the larger movements of time, observed that every 500 years a life transformation occurs and a new age arrives. The recent age of linear thinking was ushered in during the 1490s and is just now reaching its natural end. Lance Secretan, in his book ONE: The Art and Practice of Conscious Leadership adds historical perspective, noting that modern thought methods have their roots in the teachings of Machiavelli, Descartes and others who shaped the beginnings of that age: “…in the late fifteenth century, the evolution of the scientific method received a critical boost from Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), who initiated an Confidential

12

12/13/11


extraordinary new way of thinking by separating politics and ethics. This introduced a radical departure from viewing life as a complete, integrated whole to viewing it in small, discrete parts in order to explain the whole…. With the introduction of Machiavelli’s new way of thinking, people were being encouraged to analyze decisions by breaking them up into discrete, separate parts… Rene Descartes (1596-1650), another important contributor to this radical change in thinking about the world, who asserted that unless something could be measured, it was not real… Descartes’ theory, and the thinking of the new contemporary scientists, gave rise to the scientific revolution, ushering in the beginnings of the paradigm based on analysis and logic.” There are, of course, believers and non-believers regarding any connection of this historical information to the Maya’s studied perspectives of the universe. To its adherents, what emerged beginning at that time (1490’s) was true to the cosmic plan, a period the Mesoamericans foresaw as being skewed to the rational, intellectual side of our nature and a gradual de-emphasis of our spiritual side. Likewise, the emerging “Aquarian Age” presents the opportunity to rebalance our rational, intellectual powers with our heart and spirit powers, aligning with the next phase of the cosmic plan – the one beginning now. While the Mayan Calendar did not predict what would happen in this age (this is the first age they did not predict), many interpretations indicate it did say that what happens is up to us, the people who (will be) alive on the planet at that time. We are the ones to guide the next segment of the story of the universe. This is of course an entirely wacky dialogue – I.e., alerting us to lead humankind through a cosmic transformation. Especially in a culture like ours, which neither tracks nor gives credence to “oddball” concepts like cosmic indicators. Indeed, a conversation of this nature could readily be dismissed as nonsense, a choice we leave to the reader. But consider it’s perhaps only foreign because we’ve gotten sidetracked for a few centuries, confining ourselves to a narrower measure and understanding of time, and not because the science and wisdom itself is unfounded. Now is the Time In the book Presence (Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers), Mayan priest Carlos Barrios explains: “The calendar said that the cycle called the Bolopumi, or “The Long Night,” beginning in 1518 would be a period of darkness, when materialism would take root among the peoples of the world and when people’s hearts would become cold. The Bolopumi lasts nine cycles of fifty-two years each, or 468 years. The calendar then describes several different shorter cycles, marking a period of transition… and in the last of these transitional cycles ‘a new child is born’… Carlos said that this cycle represented ‘an opportunity to create a new world’ but ‘this child will be born among great

Confidential

13

12/13/11


chaos and upheaval.’” In real time, it’s hard to miss the insight of that calendric prediction. Willaru Huayta, an Incan Spiritual Messenger who grew up in the jungles of Peru studying with the shamans, says that, “his native Quechua Incan prophesies predicted…500 years of materialism and imbalance. But now they say that era is coming to an end and the Age of Aquarius will ‘signal the return of Light to the planet and the dawn of a golden era. We live in a time of the fulfillment of prophecy.’ ” Says Willaru: “Now it's happening. Now is the time. The Aquarian Age is an era of light, an age of awakening, an age of returning to natural ways. Our generation is here to help begin this age, to prepare through different schools to understand the message of the heart, intuition, and nature.” Now it’s happening. Now is the time according to these scholars. When better, then, for us to take on a movement like 19 Degrees? World Day The Mayan calendar points to December 21, 2012 as the end of the present age. In fact, their calendar actually stops that day. Much debate exists as to what that suggests. The burning of Maya records resulted in so little clarification that we are left with many questions about the calendar’s significance today. What is clear is that the Maya were astute astronomers who made great sense of time and ages, and we can presume they would have continued to do so had their civilization not been halted by history. So be it. What we have in this moment is the premise of a cosmic timetable that ends on the winter solstice in 2012. And PS: how fun is that for the numerologists… 12.21.12? The idea we choose to embrace is that 19 Degrees is right on schedule with the universe, and that 2012 presents a cosmic opportunity to inspire a new story. A 500-year era is complete, and the next era is getting underway. That’s big. To understand Mayan concepts is to know that this is as much about beginnings as endings. In that spirit, we choose to think of December 22, 2012 as a creation day, a day we have named World Day.

Confidential

14

12/13/11


19 Degrees A Context for Action September 11, 2001 provides utter viability to the assertion that a small, committed group of people can change the world. We add a few other correlatives to frame up the movement and add context to our call for action. These include the shifts reported in Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson’s Cultural Creatives, and the “movement with no name” captured in Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest. Those two works join innumerable others we could cite to present a clear picture of the fertile field we already stand in, and how well positioned we are to truly create this impact. The Cultural Creatives It is informative to take a concrete look at what’s going on around us. Clearly the groundwork has been laid by many before us to coalesce a movement that changes the world. In their book, The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World by Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, they reported that: “Since the 1960s, 26 percent of the adults in the United States – 50 million people – have made a comprehensive shift in their worldview, values, and way of life – their culture, in short. They are at the leading edge of several kinds of cultural change, deeply affecting not only their own lives but our larger society as well… innovation by innovation, they are shaping a new kind of American culture for the twenty-first century… and because Cultural Creatives are not yet aware of themselves as a collective body, they do not recognize how powerful their voices could be.” A review from Amazon.com noted: “This subculture could have enormous social and political clout if only it had any consciousness of itself as a cohesive unit, a society of fellow travelers… The members of this vast but diffuse group…are not alone and they can reshape society to make it more authentic, compassionate, and engaged. It is an idealistic call for a new agenda for a new millennium.” I. Crane That’s the message for 19 Degrees: it’s how powerful we can be by raising the awareness of ourselves as a cohesive unit, leveraging the comprehensive shift that’s underway. We are well positioned for massive change based on the actions already in place. Blessed Unrest

Confidential

15

12/13/11


In Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken also provides telling insights that a collective movement is already underway. Hawken counted the number of organizations involved in progressive causes. He “looked at government records for different countries and, using various methods to approximate the number of environmental and social justice groups… believes there are over one – and maybe two – million organizations working toward ecological sustainability and social justice. “By any conventional definition, this vast collection of committed individuals does not constitute a movement. Movements have leaders and ideologies. People join movements, study their tracts, and identify themselves with a group… This movement, however, doesn’t fit the standard model. It is dispersed, inchoate, and fiercely independent. It has no manifesto or doctrine, no overriding authority to check with. It is taking shape in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, companies, deserts, fisheries, slums – and yes, even fancy New York hotels…a global humanitarian movement arising from the bottom up.” We see 19 Degrees no differently, with one critical distinction: we too propose no manifesto nor claim central authority; we don’t submit the idea, or the authoritative plan to change the world. However, 19 Degrees does aspire to connect the synchronized actions already impacting the world, and specifically invites even more initiatives to arise. And it seeks to inspire one another by converging our life-changing stories as they unfold. We concede that in effect, this constitutes a “movement.” Hawken does say later: “this is the largest social movement in all of human history. No one knows its scope, and how it functions is more mysterious than what meets the eye… What does meet the eye is compelling, coherent, organic, self-organized congregations involving tens of millions of people dedicated to change.” 19 Degrees doesn’t strive to fit a particular model, or desire to be owned by anyone. It is “Open Source.” Its intention is to inspire thoughtful, impactful events that create a major shift in how we steward our societies, economies and ecosystems. These events will be impactful in and of themselves, and will boost – hopefully solidify - the collective impact of the millions of dedicated actions already in motion. Shared Values. Utopian Message. Autonomous, Ubiquitous Pursuit. The September 11th case of the power of 19 people is critically instructive. An essential reflection to take from that lesson in order to effectively pursue a BHAG1 like changing the world is: What did these 19 human beings tap into that made them so inspired that nothing would stop them from seeing their dream through? That’s the same focus and passion we need. It’s a crazy sounding question at first, 1

Big Hairy Audacious Goal, from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great.

Confidential

16

12/13/11


i.e. how can we think about modeling ourselves after them, but if we are to create change of such magnitude, we must accept its parallel. And secondly, how were so few able to seem like so many? In the book Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It. Terry McDermott writes that, “Shared values enabled the organization to amplify its power by aligning with similarly politicized fundamentalist groups, many of them completely autonomous, around the globe. This made the group at times seem ubiquitous, but in fact it was a few men persistently pursuing a few…enterprises.” Their intentions notwithstanding, this is our goal as well: shared values, autonomous groups aligned around the globe, seeming ubiquitous, pursuing more than a few life-giving enterprises… The idea of waking up on a single morning to a bright new world is eminently doable. Our proposed model is that of autonomous groups running independent local operations generating the iterative impact of 19 times 19 times 19… Not following the leaders, but being the leaders in ubiquitous pursuit of our dreams, and following these same principles. With a planet at stake, big, bold, audacious action seems like the sensible choice, not to mention great fun. 19 Degrees is all of that, and for those who believe that changing the world is timely, doable and aligned: join us in giving it a mighty go. Let’s make a significant difference during our time on earth. The Imaginative Mind and the Nothing Book As noted, we enthusiastically embrace the Mayan Calendar, accepting that it is viewed authoritatively and implausibly at once, depending on who is speaking. What inspires the extraordinary possibility of 19 Degrees is the idea of a new era beginning on December 22, 2012, a remarkable opening in the universe that comes around every 500 years. Imagine that! This ancient timepiece is telling us that everything is perfectly timed to act. Many years ago I handwrote a book that was a personal tribute to my father. It was written inside a product still available online, The Nothing Book: Wanna Make Something of It? It is hard covered and the pages are blank inside. By design, you can do anything with it: fill it with stories, or poetry, write a short novel, draw cartoons, chronicle events, devote a personal narrative to a loved one, compose songs, etc. It’s fun. We hold that same idea for the Mayan Calendar: let’s make something of it. The date December 22, 2012 enjoys enormous power, both real and imagined. Let’s write a new story for the planet beginning that day. We’ll add texture and narrative and illustrations, and we’ll orchestrate magnificent events that serve humankind and mother earth in extraordinary fashion. And have a lot of fun doing it.

Confidential

17

12/13/11


Aligning these markers Each input above is fascinating in its own right. The Cultural Creatives and the enormous social and political clout available “if only it had any consciousness of itself as a cohesive unit.” The millions of social and environmental action groups identified in Blessed Unrest – the largest movement in history. The principles McDermott presents about how the actions of so few people became so amplified. And the Mayan Calendar and the uncommon reflection it poses: What if the “new age” lifestyle choices, escalating global chaos, massive cultural shifts and so forth taking place in our time have everything to do with the universe transitioning to a much larger movement of time than we are accustomed to tracking? Together these inputs present just enough facts, interpretations and fodder for an idea as large as 19 Degrees to make sense. It’s a leap of faith from there anyway. The ingredient that matters most is not the metaphor of 19 terrorists, nor the identification of millions of progressive causes, nor the arrival of a cosmic era. Together they integrate our linear with our intuitive brain, assimilating facts, myths and theory to feed our whole mind. Most captivating is that they inform us we are well positioned to go “BHAG” at any time. In the final analysis though, what matters most is not these inputs, but the innate reason to engage 19 Degrees in the first place: It is time, and we know it.

Confidential

18

12/13/11


19 Degrees We Have Some Planes On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, I flew to Philadelphia for a one-day meeting, scheduled to return home that same evening. At 7:50 AM I boarded Delta’s Flight #986 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. The skies were clear, we departed on time at 8:10 AM, and since it was early morning we would surely beat the air traffic backups that would invariably cause delays as the day unfolded. En route, I briefed my files with a colleague and another day in the fast life of a modern businessperson was underway. You can feel it when a plane changes its tempo. As we diverted away from the crowded Northeast corridor, soon hovering over rolling farmlands, I wondered what could possibly delay us under such ideal circumstances. The pilot came on the PA and informed us there was heavy traffic in Philadelphia and we’d be in a holding pattern awhile, and as odd as it was on such a simple day, it seemed ordinary enough as air travel goes. I was in the window seat and my colleague was to my right. At one point when she looked over to discuss our presentation, her eyes were diverted to something outside the window. She pointed without commenting. I looked to my left and there it was, an F-16 flying parallel to our 737. Back home, our offices in Marietta were just a few miles from Dobbins Air Force base so we were accustomed to seeing C-130s, F-16s and other military aircraft conducting routine maneuvers around us. Another day, another F-16 was how I saw it in that last innocent moment. When we finally landed in Philadelphia, the first thing I noticed was that the crew wasn’t cheerily saying have-a-wonderful-day-thanks-for-flying-Delta as we deplaned. When I walked past the cockpit and onto the Jetway I overheard the flight attendant saying to the captain, “…all that happened while we were in the air?” Delta was not a victim that day, but United and American quickly learned that their aircraft were the targets of multiple hijackings for use as destructive weapons in an orchestrated series of terrorist acts. The account below is condensed from The 9/11 Commission Report: “At 8:46 AM, American Airlines Flight #11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At 9:03 AM, United Airlines Flight #175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Thirty-three minutes later, American’s Flight

Confidential

19

12/13/11


#77 crashed into the Pentagon. When United Flight #93 departed Newark at 8:42 AM, nobody on board was yet aware of the other hijackings. With each event transpiring separately and in rapid order that morning, the plot didn’t jell for authorities in the very early minutes, but then it began to register quickly. Around 9:00 AM, the FAA, American and United were facing the staggering realization that multiple hijackings were taking place. Their worst fears were confirmed three minutes later when the second aircraft struck the World Trade Center. Somewhere around that time, the FAA’s Boston Center realized that a message transmitted earlier, just before 8:25 by the hijacker pilot of American #11, had included the phrase, “We have some planes.” United’s storied Flight 93 had only 37 passengers aboard, 4 of whom were terrorists. At 9:32, a hijacker made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen: Here the captain, so please sit down and keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board. So, sit.” The 9/11 Commission Report details what took place on board in the final minutes: “During at least five of the passengers’ phone calls, information was shared about the attacks that had occurred earlier that morning at the World Trade Center. Five calls described the intent of the passengers and surviving crewmembers to revolt against the hijackers. According to one call they voted on whether to rush the terrorists in an attempt to retake the plane. They decided and acted. At 9:57, the passenger assault began. Several passengers had terminated phone calls with loved ones in order to join the revolt. One of the callers ended her message as follows: ‘Everyone’s running up to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.’ …The passengers continued their assault and at 10:02:23, a hijacker said: ‘Pull it down! Pull it down!’ The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them. The airplane headed down; the control wheel was turned hard to the right. The airplane rolled onto its back, and… With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes flying time from Washington, D.C. Jarrah’s objective was to crash his airliner into symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House. He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United 93.” This was their fourth and final triumph on September 11th. The events of United 93 did not go exactly as designed, but they caused unspeakable devastation especially when combined with the terror and destruction carried out by their 15 colleagues.

Confidential

20

12/13/11


Dare We Ask? Here’s where we go to the provocative exploration of the 19 Degrees movement: What valuable lessons can we learn from these 19 terrorists that will guide us in making the world a better place? Let’s pause before thinking of that as an irresponsible question, or as one of straightforward good versus evil whose answer is simple: mete out justice. Or worse, denouncing the question itself, harrumphing that asking how we might model ourselves after this egregious group of 19 men is a reckless tribute to an atrocious terrorist act. Not to worry; we all agree in spades that it was heinous and deplorable, and cannot be dignified in anyone’s heart, mind or soul. The more essential reflection is: What were these human beings able to tap into that made them so inspired that nothing would stop them from seeing their dream through? And a larger question: How is it that so much more energy seems to be available for grand human acts that emanate from our darkness than from our light? And our core exploration throughout: Will we (you and me) consciously reverse that spiraling imbalance and generate the same focus and resolve that those 19 terrorists did, but tip the intention and energy towards powerful acts of good and compassion instead? The key here is act, and act grandly; and from our light, not our darkness. Otherwise, if we continue to sit idly, guess which actions will continue to dominate the human story? And guess how much the world will actually change in the direction we long for it to change? The provocative invitation here is to fill that void ourselves, with life-changing acts that make a difference far beyond our assumed worldview. Acts which are so inspired, so well thought out, so thoroughly prepared just like 9/11, that our measures of success far surpass the dark victories of Al Qaeda’s 19 operatives. And posed by the very definition of this movement: How many such acts by how many small groups of us, i.e. 19 times 19 times 19 and so on, will it take to simply awaken one Tuesday morning to a glorious new world? Edmund Burke, the 17th Century English statesman and philosopher, said: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” A Tuesday Takes Time Let’s make a clear distinction about the premise of this movement, which is to ponder what is possible if we follow a conscious dream, commit to a higher purpose and act with intentionality. Passion, commitment and action can change the world. Jihad, as we readily observe, does tap into the innate human ability to be passionate, committed and actionable. The 9/11 terrorists engaged all of those

Confidential

21

12/13/11


behaviors, but there is no parallel regarding the potential story lines. One is driven by fanaticism, hatred and destruction, which as we have seen can be quite effective in their own dark way. But those are very different qualities than wisdom, creation and compassion, which hold even greater promise when coupled with the power of love and light, and the same levels of committed action. That’s not new thinking. What’s new is doing it. So here’s our new mantra: 19 Degrees. Think of it the same as Pay it Forward, in that quickly after Catherine Ryan Hyde wrote her provocative book-turnedmovie, and even moreso 15 years later, we all know what the term means. Hopefully, 19 Degrees will take an equal or greater hold on our imagination and expand the sphere of possibility, adding to Hyde’s eminent sense that creating a powerful movement can greatly impact the world. We launch on September 11, 2011 and in the ensuing 15 months we develop and coordinate our actions. World Day itself is a crowning moment, but to put this in its proper perspective, that’s the day the world is powerfully pointed in a new direction. The next 500 years will be well served by that sendoff.

Confidential

22

12/13/11


19 Degrees Linear and Cosmic Outliers In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell systematically illustrates that extraordinary achievement is as much about opportunity as it is vision and talent. In one example he shows that almost 20% of the wealthiest people in all of history came from a single generation in a single country. In a list that includes Cleopatra and Marcus Crassus, who both lived BC (Before Christ), 14 of the 75 wealthiest people of all time were not only alive but of age during 1860s and 1870s. This was when railroads were being built and when Wall Street emerged, and John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and other icons were transforming American industrial manufacturing. What the list says, according to Gladwell, is that it really matters how old you were when that transformation happened. “If you were born in the 1840s you missed it. You were too young to take advantage. If you were born in the 1820s you were too old... there was a particular, narrow nine-year window that was just perfect for seeing the potential that the future held.” Gladwell shares many examples. The personal computer revolution, he reports, began in January 1975 when Popular Mechanics ran a cover story about the Altair 8800, ushering in the dawn of the personal computer age. And the same principles applied in 1975 as they did for Rockefeller and Carnegie in the their era. If you were born before 1952 you belonged to the old paradigm and you missed it. If you were born in the mid to late 1950s you were too young. To have gotten in on the ground floor in 1975, ideally you wanted to be twenty to twentyone, which is to say born in 1954 or 1955. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both born in 1955 among many others who transformed the world of technology. Gladwell makes it clear that not all software tycoons were born then, just as not every business titan in the United States was born in the mid-1830s. “But there are very clear patterns… about people who were given a special opportunity to work really hard and seized it, and who happened to come of age at a time when that extraordinary effort was rewarded by the rest of society. Their success was not just of their own making; it was a product of the world in which they grew up.” Recall the critical early influencers of the last Mayan era, Machiavelli, Descartes and others. Making the leap here from linear time to cosmic time (now there’s a conversation we never hear), we posit that those men are no different than Rockefeller and Carnegie, Gates and Jobs. Niccolo Machiavelli was brilliant and inspired, as were Rene Descartes and the many others who reshaped the world’s thinking. They did so right at the time of a major shift, and the opportunity was there to make an extraordinary impact.

Confidential

23

12/13/11


We unapologetically fuse these ideas to pattern the opportunity that is being presented to us today. The Cultural Creatives and Blessed Unrest are not parables; they are carefully researched accounts of the massive shifts and movements already underway by hundreds of millions of people. The Mayan Calendar is historically accurate; the idea of ‘cosmic ages’ might raise a cynical eyebrow, although not to us. Our interpretation from all this is that a sense of destiny surrounds much of history, and such a moment exists right now. We are alive during a cosmic outlier. We Are the People It is us that Ray, Anderson and Hawken are talking about. Just look at the selfdiscovery aisles in the bookstore, at the number of people going on spiritual retreats and vision quests, at the growing popularity of meditation and yoga and holistic modalities. More of us are going green, taking volunteer vacations and finding ways to simplify our lives. All of this reflects a larger shift and is guiding an inner journey people are enjoying again, for the first time in years. It is coincidental that all of this is aligned with the impending major shift the Maya predicted. And Jean Houston’s insight that we are living in the parenthesis is hugely inspirational. The permission space is there for us to take action on behalf of the larger human narrative. Quoting the Hopi elders, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Batman and Perfect Soldiers Batman personified our human struggle with duality in 2008’s The Dark Knight, a guiding parallel for us if we want to change the world. Good and evil share equal space on the planet and within ourselves. Which direction we go is always a choice, and in effect that’s our singular focus here: making a different, proactive choice as keepers of the planet. In the book Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It, Terry McDermott captures some critical insights about Al Qaeda that speak directly to our duality. As odd as it might seem to align with anything those men did, when contemplating our truth and recognizing that good and evil are always an available choice, we can allow that these principles (below) are actually right on for us, with the important distinction that we want to apply the opposite choice in engaging them for 19 Degrees: • • • • • • •

Their message is utopian Most share one overarching goal They are drawn to the magnetic attraction of holy war The individual has the power; the individual has the responsibility Persistence. Patience Shared values A sprawling web of like-minded organizations

Confidential

24

12/13/11


• •

A network of networks Independent groups running independent, often local, operations

He reports that, “Shared values enabled the organization to amplify its power by aligning with similarly politicized fundamentalist groups, many of them completely autonomous, around the globe.” We keep getting at this different ways but the invitation of 19 Degrees is the same: shared values, aligned, autonomous groups, persistently and patiently creating positive change all around the globe. Parallels for Our Movement For those of us who are attracted to the idea of multiple groups of 19 people changing the world and looking for ways to bring it all together, right there is a founding set of principles, albeit from a darkly inspired group of people. The thought of waking up on a Tuesday morning to a bright new world sparks a magnetic attraction. Our message is idealistic but doable. Independent groups running independent local operations is the whole point of 19 times 19 times 19, etc. Not following the leaders, but being the leaders in an autonomous, ubiquitous pursuit of the dream. This is the creative force that will change the world. HQ Welcome, then, to the worldwide headquarters of the movement 19 Degrees. It is wherever you are sitting at this moment. From that location, you are at mission control center of this amazing life-giving, world-changing initiative.

Confidential

25

12/13/11


19 Degrees Frequently Asked Questions Q. What does 19 Degrees hope to achieve? Its primary intention is to generate positive, impactful events that captivate the world’s attention by their extraordinary goodwill. Its highest intention is to shift our beliefs about what’s possible for humankind and change our thinking about how to make the world a better place. Q. Is the movement comprised entirely of 19 people? Or are 19 different groups being invited to participate? Where does the analogy 19 times 19 times 19 fit in? The number 19 is as allegorical as it is literal. Our vision is for 19 inspired people to come together and launch a positive, visible movement. That group will create a single event, or perhaps 19 separate events that come together at once, or maybe some combination of the two. The initial group will set the flywheel in motion for everyone else. In time we visualize 19 Degrees expanding through social networking, local buzz, mainstream media, etc., and growing exponentially as a result. By the time World Day arrives on December 22, 2012 our intention is that millions of people will be engaged in actions, events and initiatives that positively change the world. Hence the phrase: “19 Core. Millions More.” Q. Many people have worked smartly, boldly and diligently to create great things and to successfully arrive at their place in life. What sacrifices does 19 Degrees ask of people in order to make the rest of the world a better place? The focus is on abundance, not sacrifice. Entrepreneurs, executives, performers, developers, charities, nations, et al should continue to create great ideas and great wealth, which is beneficial to the whole system. 19 Degrees is not a call to change that. It does, however, ask us to raise our spiritual antenna in the creation of wealth and healthy societies, and do so in a manner that better resolves the real challenges facing the planet today. Q. Are you saying this is a spiritual movement? Not at all, at least not in the immediate reaction to the word. The answer, however, is yes in the innate sense of the word: our larger relationship to life. The human spirit’s natural connection to one another, to the full human community, and to the environment around us. In that sense, 19 Degrees absolutely aspires to

Confidential

26

12/13/11


reorient us to a more serving and inclusive worldview. Everything in us says we can strengthen the global economic engine in the process of improving the larger story of life. Q. Why would I join 19 Degrees? There are many reasons you might join this movement, among them: • • • • •

To take action on your dream of making the world a better place. To engage in a bold, audacious initiative with inspired, like-minded people. To make the difference you have always wanted to make. To leave a powerful legacy during your lifetime. To produce the shift the planet is waiting for.

Q. What specific initiative will people be signing up for? The movement is “open source,” meaning it belongs to the world and not to any one idea or initiative. The invitation is for people to follow their passion and create initiatives that hold deep meaning for them. There are countless places to infuse new thinking and create positive impact - from the economy and the environment, to politics, education and tax policy; from famine and school bullying to self-esteem and literacy… you name it, virtually everything is ripe for change. Q. Is there a working template for groups? We will provide a central framework and some gateway tools, principles and models to help people brainstorm, design and execute bold new ideas together. However, 19 Degrees is about generating creative new thinking, and we specifically do not want to produce a clever “how-to” box that by its very nature would constrict possibility thinking. We like Rumi’s quote here: Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” Q. Can you boil this movement down to a few principles? There are many. Here’s good top five. We expect they’ll grow over time: 1. 19 people can change the world. Millions can do even better. 2. The BHAG2 is to create impactful events that come together on a single day, and whose effect is that we immediately see the world with new eyes. 3. That effect will influence our leaders and the human community to change our thinking about what’s possible when we apply our gifts, skills and talents in a whole new context. 2

Big Hairy Audacious Goal, from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great.

Confidential

27

12/13/11


4. The critical shift is in superseding old-story models, and creating new models for amazing breakthroughs together. 5. The goal of 19 Degrees is to point us in a new direction. The advancement of a positive new world will unfold throughout the next era, and its stories will be marked and celebrated each year on World Day, December 22. Q. How do I learn more about this, or how can I sign up if I am ready? Go to our website: www.19degrees.org. Follow us on Twitter: 19Degrees.org Follow us on Facebook: Follow our Blog: Contact Ken Jacobsen: Email: ken@19degrees.org Cell: 770-851-3425

Confidential

28

12/13/11

19-degrees-12-12-11  

19 Degrees By Kenneth R. Jacobsen September 4, 2011 Confidential

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you