Living Future

founders statement

By working to guarantee a perpetually life-enhancing future in its many dimensions, we also celebrate the ongoing evolution, refinement, and creative expression of human conscience and consciousness.

The overarching term we use to describe one aspect of our work is ‘living systems design.’ It is an approach that strives to mimic natural processes and evolutionary dynamics in the re-design of physical and cultural infrastructures so that they become perpetually life-enhancing and foster creative, adaptive communities at local and global scales. Teal Farm, an integrated, ecologically-designed farmstead, is our first major project and is the place where the LivingFuture office is located.

We acknowledge that to create a future that fosters life and that can best serve humanity's cultural evolution, we need to bring a new and deliberate consciousness to the design of most everything in our midst—from buildings, to manufacturing processes, to food and energy systems, to organizations, and to human relationships. This consciousness unflinchingly embraces the complexities of the critical state of our world alongside the enormous potential for well-motivated innovation, propelled by a compelling vision of the future.

Because of the scale and nature of the challenges we are currently facing, new forms of collaboration will be required, naturally calling for ever-higher, expansive expressions of human creativity in the arts, sciences, and enterprise. To live in a physical environment that is conducive to life requires a culture dedicated to consistently evolving its capacity to express and care for its beauty, elegance, and vitality in manifold ways.

We understand that collaboration across a wide swath of interests and perspectives will require new skills and tools of communication and perception, many of which have not yet been fully developed. We are thus in the position of simultaneously pioneering the very capacities that will allow us to respond to the life conditions at hand. In this sense, profound cultural and technological change go hand in hand, calling for skills in all disciplines.

On the cultural level, a large part of creating a “sustainability” that infuses our very social and industrial fabric involves the hard work of being a transition culture. It's about our willingness to be the ones who recognize that the old ways are no longer effective, our willingness to be the ones that think and act beyond our current approach even though the re-design has not come into being, us weathering the indeterminacy of not-knowing exactly what to do. Many have described this historic challenge, and find that it takes courage and a willingness to bear the insecurity of letting go of the old while we give ourselves to inventing the new. This is where consciousness and its capacity to develop, expand, and operate from a higher, more encompassing, and life-centered set of values enters the picture. Not only are we challenged, together, to be able to understand and navigate the urgency and complexities of living in the 21st century, we are also challenged to enlarge the framework in which we come up with solutions and express ourselves to one another, thus expanding how we understand our own humanity. By constantly and deliberately expanding that framework together as a gesture of cultural renaissance, our efforts stand a better chance of realization in these very precarious times, and beyond.

To paraphrase Albert Einstein's renowned statement: problems cannot be solved from the same thinking that created them. So we hold that given the civilization-wide challenges facing us via global warming, our innovation must come from a larger embrace of who we are and where we—as humanity waking up to its larger purpose—really want to go. We are just learning these nuances of cultural consciousness, what it means to be a wholly life-centered culture, and how this ideal can inform the practical, on-the-ground solutions we innovate together, daily.

Because our actual survival is at risk, it falls on us to begin the project now, to invent the structures, both physical and cultural, internal and external, which will allow our species, and the system of life as a whole, to thrive beyond the enormous challenges we are only beginning to encounter. Truly, it is an act of profound love, respect, and undoubting courage to face our current state, and begin the thrilling project of creating something new, together, for the sake of the future.

Melissa Hoffman

teal farm