Informed leadership. Systemic leadership. Courageous Leadership. And there lies the future of democracy. And humanity.
Because democracy’s challenge is humanity’s challenge. And that is to meet the human rights of all. Within the means of the planet. A task and a half moving forward.
So these are the two major issues. And democracy is about addressing them. Candidly. And fearlessly. With interdependent collaboration across the globe the order of the day.
And this means that democracy – at all levels of society – must ensure that no one misses out on life’s essentials. From food to water. From health to education. From housing to energy. To political voice.
While at the very same time, managing humanity’s pressure on the planet’s life-supporting systems. On the climate. On air. On water. On biodiversity. On its protective ozone layer.
And can democracy rise to the occasion? Well, it doesn’t really have a choice. It must.
Fortunately, for all concerned, democracy is not an institution. It’s not a system. It has a life of its own. And that’s an advantage in disguise.
Democracy is dynamic. More a process than an objective. An ongoing and never-ending endeavour of social construction. A hive of activity. For the well-being of all.
Democracy is a way of thinking. A set of beliefs in human rights. Inspiring individuals, communities, societies, governing and non-governing bodies and – at the end of the long haul – even states.
Democracy does not belong to anyone. To any society. To any state. To any region.
There is no one model of democracy. No one-size fits all.
In fact, democracy can be viewed as a living organism. It’s complex. It’s messy. And to add fuel to the fire, it involves people. Including you and me. People who care about the issues which need to be discussed. No matter how difficult. Where clashes are programmed. Inevitable. Unavoidable.
If not, democracy is going to unravel. Fall apart. Go nowhere. Leaving disengagement in its wake.
Engagement is the quintessential of democracy.
So, with the issues articulated. Clearly. And loudly. From summit to summit. With communication defined as the response it triggers. With information identified as the differences that makes those differences. And with information-flow described as the time it takes to implement those differences. We hear the clocks ticking, ticking, ticking.
And hopefully not falling on deaf ears.
But empowering democracy to innovate. Yes, innovate. To a sustainable future. To an inclusive future.
The time is overripe for big picture thinking. Where mindsets acknowledge the interconnectedness of our planet and its people. Where mindsets pay attention to our systemic interdependence.
So, is democracy listening? Seriously? And intently? With its ears. Its eyes. Its intuition. To thought leaders. Systems thinkers. Perspective shatterers. Reality checkers. Who thrive on analysis, debate and dialogue.
Only time will tell.
Democracy is a marathon. Not a sprint. Addressing local issues within the context of the bigger picture. Where the keys lie in
- thinking systemically;
- leading reflectively, and
- acting collaboratively
Ready to reframe. Adapt. En route. Within the planetary boundaries. For the well-being of all. With stakeholders bracing themselves for a climate of adversity.
Democracy begins at home. In our intentions. In our actions. In our discipline. Taking bolder and more transformative steps.
And the undermining elements? The villians? They are the unnoticed, independent warriors within. Our thinking. Our language. Our behaviour. Waiving. Shelving. Sidelining. Hindering our capacity to understand more deeply. To recognize more easily. And to act more democratically.
By creating and holding the space for:
- vibrant civil societies
- independent human rights institutions
- accountable parliaments
- strong and independent judiciaries
And the road ahead for democracy? Only engagement will tell.
photograph: © connel_design / Fotolia