It’s time to learn from our successes as well as our mistakes.  If there is any chance of avoiding a dystopian debacle, it will lie in our capacity to assemble the components of civilization in new ways. Remarkably, much of what we need for a sustainable future based on cooperation, equity and ecology has already been tested, with the capacity to scale up or be successfully adapted and replicated.

We invite you to join in a journey of exploration. Through narratives, stories and image,  visit the places, organizations and communities around this planet that represent and nurture productive creativity.

Although none of the Exemplars cited is perfect, each has realized a piece of the puzzle. While we will present a set of trends and principles that might explain their connection, it will be up to all of us to put them together in a way that matters.

A Guide to Using Exemplars

The primary content of this website is a growing library of Exemplars. Here you will find a rich collection of institutional biographies organized into four categories, or Domains: “Cities and Towns”; “Support Organizations”; “Systemic Interventions”; and “Sustainability Cultures”.

Each Exemplar describes its starting proposition; its organizing strategy; the main tools to accomplish its mission; the outcome of its activity; a link to its primary website, and excerpts in its own words or from other sources.

The Exemplars in the Library are initially drawn from experience, and suggestions from colleagues and friends. Knowing there are thousands more likely candidates, the invitation is for visitors to follow the format, and submit examples which will be evaluated and curated – thus growing the Library as a resource for social entrepreneurs, activists and students (see the “submissions” tab).

Complementing the Library is a narrative that speaks of systems which allow society to regenerate from the likely dead-end of a consumption-based, inward-directed spiral. The emerging paradigm allows for the potential of an expanding consciousness and a civilization worthy of the name.

If you are curious about the motivation for Exemplars, start with the “Curator’s Note.”

If you need a conceptual framework, try “The Emerging Paradigm,” and the “Ten Trends and Organizing Principles”.

The “Exemplary Media” section of the Library contains both video and print referrals. Relevant video documentaries are also placed at the end of text for each of the Domains.

If you are moved to add new Exemplars to the Library, respond to Blogs, or wish to support our work, jump to “Participation”.

However it best suits your approach, we hope your visit is both challenging and useful. Whether for a brief moment or an extended stay, visit once or return over and over, we extend a hand of friendship.

Welcome aboard. Welcome to a cautiously emerging paradigm of a world worth living in, and a Library of Exemplars which give it credence.