What do we extract? And at what cost?

To extract = to draw out, withdraw, take or get out, pull out or remove from a fixed position, literally or figuratively

Extract a tooth. Leave a hole in you mouth. Extract money from the bank, leave less money.

The balance sheet is one sided. If we are looking at whole systems, to extract a tooth might produce better health. We might invest the money extracted in an endeavour that regenerates.

Our current culture is built on extraction without a whole systems approach to the consequence. 

Extract maximum value? At what cost? And where is the benefit going? Do we extract from nature, or humans, and leave nature and humans extracted from in a desiccated state so that the gains from the extraction go to others far removed from those extracted from?

Or do we extract and hold those we extract from as part of an ecology that says they might also benefit from the extraction? And if so, how? 

Comic accounting is calling due a very broken balance sheet. It asks us to consider the whole at all times we have the urge to extract. To recognise that the Commons – the air, the water, the land, the art, science, education, our communities, our culture – if supported always to be vital – supports all Earth and human thriving.

If we do not consider the whole we get the locust plague equivalent. People so extracted from they cannot afford to, cannot find the energy to, cannot find the interior motivation to..communities so extracted from that the very essence of what made them attractive, strong communities has been sucked out….land and oceans and air so extracted from they do not sustain most life.

We might consider we are the locust plague. Consuming everything, extracting from all, until there is nothing left. Including us.

To be Syntropic – to be generous, generative, regenerative – in how we design all human systems, enterprises, communities, events, endeavours…means we must start first as givers, not takers…and if we extract to do so in a way that enables Syntropy, leaving everything better.

It is nothing short of a complete change in mindset, thinking, doing, and being.

Photo taken June 28th, 2020

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About Christine McDougall


As the Founder and Chief Steward of Syntropic.world – Christine works with leaders and enterprises globally who have a commitment to being the pioneers of enterprise change. Christine has the ability to completely re-imagine business, its role in our world, and its potential for a future for all humans. She experiences a deeper level of truth through applying synergetics (Buckminster Fuller’s anticipatory design science) and the working laws of Universe to enterprise design and human co-ordination. She has a way of articulating this so others can see it as well. Christine questions the most basic assumptions that drive our complex systems and can map that back to what is needed today. To learn more visit www.syntropic.world

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