The Next Evolution
A Blueprint for Transforming the Planet
Titles in this category are over two years of age and held particular relevance to any subject matter or art form. Unlike many in the industry, we think good books last longer than a single season.
The Next Evolution: A Blueprint for Transforming the Planet
“The disorder in the world is not an unknown quantity. The imbalances that beseech us are measurable and very often visible in our everyday lives, ranging from health, environment, economic, political and social issues. They are intertwined and, for many, a braided rope of doom and gloom. In The Next Evolution, Jack Reed helps put aside the irrational behaviors and expectations that derail our future and suggests a whole world model where we interact in concert, in Community. This is not hippie commune thinking, but one of the few viable approaches to a sustainable planet. Of course, we are taught that some faction must lose for another to succeed, but is there any problem with living here in harmony and doing it well?”
Review by Rev. Joseph Allegro
We have indeed reached a point in our existence on the planet where we are in need of evolution. One that will change the way we live and relate to life, each other and to our planet. One that will not only heal the wounds we have inflicted on ourselves, each other and the planet, but also one that will replenish and empower as well. I could offer many reasons for such a need, but one look at current events and the overall health of our planet is more than sufficient to prove my point.
As author Jack Reed puts it in his book, The Next Evolution: a Blueprint for Transforming the Planet, “If we are going to continue to have a world, we’re going to have to start making it work for everyone”. This fine book goes on to detail how exactly we might do that. Jack offers a concrete blueprint that we could adopt to transform our world, operating on a “Highest good for all” paradigm, instead of the current atmosphere of “every man for himself”. All of this can be done without anyone sacrificing anything. Jack offers workable solutions that will enable everyone to actually lead more inspired, abundant and stress-free lives, having more time for self, family, friends and the pursuit of their passions and creativity. The Next Evolutionoffers a systems approach to solving humanity’s dilemmas, and, since we are all one and everyone and everything is connected, a systems approach is clearly the only solution—for one can not heal a wound requiring multiple stitches with a single Band-Aid.
I applaud Jack Reed for the obvious time, dedication and passion put into this book. I implore you to explore the possibilities Jack’s book presents. We are all stewards of this fine planet, with just a little effort, we can all leave it in better shape than we found it.
—Rev. Joseph Allegro
Review in New Spirit Magazine
Santa Barbara has been home to numerous visionaries over the years— something about the Nature of the place inspires imagination on all levels. Now Santa Barbara writer and thinker, Jack Reed, has written his vision of how life could be made to work for all humans on this planet. The Next Evolution: A Blueprint for Transforming the Planet is the new edition of Reed’s book, first published in 2002, which carries a very upbeat foreword by Neale Donald Walsch.
What’s most amazing is that Reed’s vision turns on a simple principle, one which all school children could understand instantly: What if all life on Earth was based on the principle of “The Highest Good for All”? Unfortunately, those same school children are taught life on Earth has been governed by individualism, competition, greed and an “every-man-for-himself” philosophy. This prevailing attitude has taken us to the potential brink of disaster. But, if you stop to think about it, operating from the “Highest Good for All” would alter human history. (Imagine if this thought began to seep into the culture, traveling from one heart/mind/soul to another, through the generations and eventually accepted as the rule, instead of the exception.)
While the Next Evolution is not light reading, it is Light reading—meaning Lightworkers would benefit by reading it. Reed’s description of the “problem”, which takes up the first quarter of the book, is probably the most detailed and annotated I’ve ever read. We all know, both intuitively as well as from the media, just how bad things have gotten on this planet; environmentally, socio-economically, culturally and politically. In the first part of the book, Reed shows the decline of the quality of human life over the last fifty years. As our technology was skyrocketing, developing those ‘things’ and systems that were supposed to improve human quality of life, the attendant speed-up and ‘treadmill’ factors actually brought it down.
Reed outlines the problems with humor as well as facts, with wit and wisdom from heavyweights such as E. Schumacher, Paul Hawkin, Jeremy Rifkin, Lester Brown, the US Academy of Sciences, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, as well as many others. The book is sprinkled with quotes from Gandhi, Thoreau, and other inspirational beings. Clippings from the public press, quotes from scholarly reports and independent researchers add weight to his description of how we got to where we are.
What is best about this book is Reed provides some viable solutions, as opposed to presenting a litany of the problems. The Next Evolution offers up a future path for humanity, a path based on Community. In fact, Reed’s web site,www.Communityplanet.org, says it all: What if all humans saw life on Earth as a Community Planet? The author and his team explored the concept of “consensus,” instead of ‘majority vote.’ In consensus, every person’s voice and ideas is heard and considered equally. According to the author, every time they came up with a concept about their ideal Community, hearing out each person’s opinions invariably made the concept clearer, stronger and better.
If you have any interest in the future Communities and of our Planet Earth—and who doesn’t?—I highly recommend you pick up The Next Evolution available at the web site, www.Communityplanet.org.
Who knows? Maybe humanity does have a future here on Planet Earth.
—Steve Diamond for New Spirit Magazine April 2005
Planetary Transformation via Sustainable Communities
The Next Evolution is a Wake-Up Call for people everywhere. We must understand that the Human Race can no longer afford to cling to its present “everyone-for-themselves” mindset. Author Jack Reed likens Humanity to a dysfunctional family, since it considers the relatively long-term problems of our Ecological and Social Dilemmas to be so scary and overwhelming, that most of us continue to live in a state of denial and disconnectedness regarding the Real World.
Reed explains that those who sit on the Boards of the Print and Broadcast Media all too often are key players in Multinational Corporations that exercise control more powerful than many governments. Through their me-first, profit-driven motivation, “free-enterprise” has come to be equated with “freedom.” It is Reed’s thesis that the responsibility for the success and well-being of the human race is now in our hands, and that it is through a new sense of “Community” that we can not only save Earth’s Biosphere, but create the opportunity for all inhabitants of the Planet to lead lives of inspiration and sustainable abundance.
Reed points out the value of establishing prototypical models for Sustainable Communities, which focus on Synergy and Cooperation. Following the visionary concepts of Bucky Fuller, he concludes that the only way we can possibly take care of everyone, is through a Design Revolution…a (r)evolution that incorporates the basic principles of Sustainability and Community for the Highest Common Good. In Reed’s eyes, we are presently facing inevitable environmental disasters and global-scale social upheavals…Grim Legacies, which we must not leave for the generations to come. He highlights the “Twin Towers” of Environmental Destruction and Poverty, presenting his readers with a simple, basic model for sustainability:
“The responsibility is in our hands, but we cannot depend on nations, politicians, or vested multinationals to make the changes. Instead, we must boldly demonstrate, through Cooperative Communities, how we can not only save our Planet’s Environment, but also create the opportunity for everyone to lead inspired and abundant lives.”
This is a thoughtful, socially responsible and provocative book, based on Social Cooperation and Sustainability, achieved via a Renaissance in Community Consciousness Design.
—Elliott Maynard, Ph.D., President, Arcos Cielos Research Center, Sedona, Arizona
Review by Green Party’s Green Scene
The Next Evolution: a Blueprint for Transforming the Planet, written by Jack Reed, is recommended reading for everyone concerned about our future. Published by the Community Planet Foundation, this book should be of specific interest to Greens who are concerned about making a personal commitment to living in harmony with nature.
In the first chapter, titled The Big Picture, Reed states up-front the problem that this book serves to address. He offers a solution that requires us to change our mind about the way we live. In his words:
“The everyone-for-themselves approach to living and survival is so ingrained through thousands of years of practice that most people have never even conceived of an alternative approach–especially one that would include our entire planet… Therefore we need to move away from this individualistic model to one that really works for all of us and all of life. The systems-approach tells us that all things are interconnected and that to change a part, i.e. poverty or our ecology, we therefore need to change the entire system in order to create effective changes. This new model has to be that we live on this planet in a way that is for THE HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL LIFE so that we all can experience more abundance, health, nurturing, loving and fun.”
The first portion of the book will be an eye-opener for those who are not well-informed about the state of the world, as Reed cites a litany of serious conditions, enforced with referenced statistics and his own personal opinions. Interspersed throughout are noteworthy quotes from recognized personalities to underscore the argument that we have reasons to be concerned.
For those up to speed on what the problems are, the first chapters of the book will serve as a quick review. Once the problem is clearly well defined, Reed then proceeds to present the solution, which is, to create model Communities based upon sustainable practices that support the principle of the-highest-good-of-all-life. If you have doubts that this could ever be achieved, then you should be prepared for lots of positive spin about how the idea can be realized.
Reed cites some little-known examples of successful intentional communities, from around the world, and then reviews, in substantial detail, how a well organized small Community can be replicated into a larger organized whole. He takes the reader into the complexities of how to initiate a Community, how they might govern themselves, deal with finances, conflicts and just about everything one might imagine you might have to deal with. He does state clearly, however, that the book is not the detailed solution for all sustainable communities, but rather an outline to build upon.
What can be appreciated about this book is that it is not just one man’s Utopian dream, but a well-thought-out scenario that can work, given individuals that choose to participate in a commitment to make our world evolve. Reed is the author of the book, however he acknowledges the role of other individuals who worked with him to develop, through consensus building, the ideas used in the guidelines that the model Communities would operate by.
This is a thought-provoking book. It presents a challenge to those, like myself, and perhaps like you, who desire to be a part of an ‘evolution’ that would support the principle of the-highest-good-for-all-life.
—Green Party’s Green Scene book review by L.W. Grantham
Santa Barbara Native on Mission to Save the Planet— Local Author Wins Book Award (Hoffer Award Press Release)
With more and more news circulating about climate change and impending doom, we are all starting to realize that we need to make changes to save the Earth. Santa Barbara native Jack Reed, director of the Community Planet Foundation and author ofThe Next Evolution: A Blueprint for Transforming the Planet has been working on a viable solution to these problems for over forty years.
Reed first began exploring the concepts of creating “a world that would work for everyone” while he was a student at Santa Barbara High School in the early sixties. He has continued to work towards that goal ever since.
In 2001 he published The Next Evolution. For the first few chapters he breaks down what is currently wrong in the world and then he details exactly how to fix it.
Reed believes that the solution lies in forming cooperative, interconnected Communities based on consensus decision-making and sustainable living. In the book he outlines the steps needed to implement a plan of action to create an abundant and harmonious planet for all. While this may seem like a lofty idea, it is apparent from reading this book that these principles are indeed the basic building blocks for changing the world.
After reading The Next Evolution, Marshall Rosenberg, internationally acclaimed author and creator of Non-Violent Communication, asked, “Why isn’t this the most widely read book on the planet?”
The Next Evolution has become a manual for those interested in sustainability and intentional communities. Recently it is attracting attention from those in literary circles as well. Reed has just been honored with a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award. As our environmental, economic and social problems become more apparent every day, this book may indeed become the most widely read on the planet.
Reed also gives presentations on the Community Planet model and workshops on Consensus-Decision Making. For more information visit www.Communityplanet.org
—Written By Taymar Pixley
Review by Bob Higgins
I have spent my entire adult life researching and writing about spirituality and environmental activism. I have read hundreds of books, talked with and interviewed activists and spiritual leaders and been involved with groups, organizations and movements (I was at the first Eart Day in NY in the 1960’s). Most all published thinking involves “fixing” yourself, the community or the planet. The Next Evolution is the first reference I have seen on creating a “solution” by systemically changing the way we think and approach the idea of “Oneness” through Community.
I am a systems therapist and work with family systems and business systems. I have a knowing that your “Blueprint” is not only workable but may be the only way that I have found, to date, that has potential to reorder things so that we can truly address issues like poverty, isolation, and financial equity. I have read the book twice and am currently on a third reading. I have recommended it to many friends including subscribers to my mailing list. I would welcome the opportunity to be involved in your journey in any way that might be helpful. I believe in what you are trying to accomplish.
I wish you Godspeed on your task because humanity is awaiting your success.
— Bob Higgins