100 Year Plan
The most powerful leverage point in a system is “changing the dream.” This is not just a metaphor. Visions have power!
~ Donella Meadows
We offer our 100 Year Plan as a blueprint for a desired future. It is modeled on the “500-Year Plan for Peace” developed by the Sarvodaya Movement of Sri Lanka, and meant to be used the same way: to set out an inspiring vision of the goal and then stepped back incrementally to identify what has to be accomplished at 90 years from now, then 80 years from now, etc., coming down to the immediate present, seen in the context of the long change. This vision incorporates the three values Martin Luther King Jr. identified as primary: humanity, freedom, community. For convenience, the six sectors of change follow those of the Metta Center’s Roadmap.
VISION—By 2120 CE:
The paradigm shift to a “New Story” has long been accomplished in virtually all societies. In fact, a global culture has arisen whose key elements ⎯ reverence for the earth, human dignity, etc. ⎯ are acceptable to and practiced by peoples across the globe, alongside flourishing aspects of their own diverse cultures. The principle of unity-in-diversity that was once articulated so well by Martin Luther King Jr.⎯ “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be” ⎯ operates everywhere.
Common to all these cultures is a true image of the human being, of the presence of consciousness in the universe and throughout evolution, and of a living planet. Furthermore, the norm of nonviolence is expressing itself across all relationships and institutions. Education, which is free, universal, and meaning-oriented, incorporates this “New Story,” which is now recognized as a perennial vision universal to all traditions of human wisdom. In the context of this vision, people everywhere are aware of their own high purpose within the meaning of life, and able to pursue it. It is common knowledge that human beings are mind, body, and spirit; that they have rich inner resources, including the capacity to offer nonviolence and respond to it; and that all of us are deeply interconnected.
The condition of the world community is one of stable peace. Peace is universally understood as not merely the absence of war but a state where all parties desire one another’s welfare. Violent conflicts do not often arise, thanks to the awareness of human interconnectedness and the greatly reduced need people perceive for material possessions and egoistic gratification brought about by their higher image and sense of purpose. When conflicts do arise, they are resolved creatively, in a network of robust institutions. The family of nations has become a true community, not organized hierarchically but with global institutions in which all are equally represented, mostly by bio-region.
While trade and travel are common, using technologies that do not deplete or damage earth’s resources, most communities enjoy a high degree of self-sufficiency. At this level, as elsewhere, competition has given way to cooperation.
After having briefly resurfaced in the general demoralization that characterized the early 21st Century, cross-border outrages to the human spirit—slavery, human trafficking, drugs, international criminal networks—have disappeared. Each person participates in the world community via a series of concentric relationships akin to Gandhi’s “Oceanic Circle.”
Democracy and Social Justice
True democracies based on the judgment of informed participants are the norm. Social justice is solidly guaranteed within these societies by the strong fellow-feeling among all people, based on the vivid perception of the unity of life, and secondarily on the greatly reduced dependence on externals (relative to the present time). Consensus decision-making is practiced in smaller social groups, perfectly fair and accurate voting where that is impracticable. Trust and service characterize most human relationships. Justice, based on what Gandhi called “heart unity,” begins in the home and community but is widely adopted internationally.
Vibrant and Needs-Based Economies
Advertising is no more—at least not in the highly manipulative forms by which it dominated the cultural landscape of the 21st Century. In accordance with the image of the human being that has prevailed for some time, people are aware that once the need for food, clothing, and shelter is met, their fulfillment does not require exploitation of the earth or one another. Decentralized economic systems now easily fulfill the basic material needs of all persons and provide dignified, uplifting work for all according to their interests and capacities.
As the vibrant sense of unity with a “living earth” is now universal, there has long since been no further need for special efforts to protect or restore the environment. “Global warming” (a euphemism no longer current) has long since been reversed. All external energy is now supplied from renewable sources like sunlight, tide, and wind, or others not yet imagined, as are resources like food and medicine. Human communities work with the earth to preserve and sustain its life-supporting systems.
The human population has stabilized. Virtually all people can live in contact with, and deeply appreciate, the beauty of unspoiled nature.
2025: Restorative Justice has become the norm in all schools throughout the United States, and other societies are following suit, if they were not in fact ahead in this development. Activists and reformers are well-versed in the “new story” and have used it to encourage this change.
2040: Restorative Justice has spread to the prison system, which is accordingly greatly reduced in size from its peak in the early decades of the century.
2050: The same principles of human dignity, forgiveness, and reconciliation spread to the international system: war is over.