Welcome to the Planetary Era
webinar video online

I’m happy to be able to share this well-received event with you via this video. It provides a wonderful doorway into the surprisingly hopeful, grounded, practical and fun world that is emerging within Context Institute’s Bright Future program.

The video is also on Facebook.

We’d love to welcome you into the next Bright Future Now course. For more details on the program, please look at the Bright Future Now Overview.

For a more in-depth exploration of the Tribal-Empire-Planetary framework, please look at the What Time Is It? presentation videos.

And speaking of videos, you might enjoy two short ones (45 seconds) featuring two graduates talking about the benefits they experienced in the course:

This is our time

Are you struggling to find your bearings in these times of change – or do you know people who are?

If so, I’d like to offer a suggestion and some encouragement based on my understanding of the cultural dynamics going on around us – dynamics that have already been going on for hundreds of years during the Empire-to-Planetary transition.

The visible breakdown of old institutions and cultural norms is exactly what’s to be expected in such a profound cultural transformation. New forms are also emerging although they’re still less visible. (For some examples of the brighter side of the story, please take a look at 99 Reasons Why 2016 Was a Good Year.)

Nevertheless, like with a human birth, this time of breakdown and breakthrough can be scary and painful to go through – even more so if you don’t understand the bigger picture of what’s happening.

As I see it, recent phenomena like Brexit, Trump, Syria, etc. are mostly a reaction against the long-term cultural trends that are moving the world toward more humane and sustainable cultures. These trends are bringing more knowledge, more choice and more ability to impact the world to larger and larger percentages of humanity – at the same time that the challenges of sharing one small planet are becoming more urgent. This combination of increased human capability and increased need for change is driving an accelerating co-evolution that won’t stabilize until we achieve much deeper levels of harmony – within ourselves, with each other and with the natural world. Why? Because that’s the way complex adaptive systems evolve.

There are some legitimate concerns mixed in with the reaction to this cultural co-evolution, but that reaction is mostly driven by people who sense they are on the wrong side of history, who are still loyal to Empire Era ways and who are trying to stop the momentum of change. They will do damage but they won’t be able to turn the tide.

They will do damage in two ways: There will be the obvious damage done by regressive and repressive government policies. But there will also be the subtler, yet perhaps more profound, damage done to the extent that those who would otherwise be building a better future can be distracted and diverted.

So here’s my suggestion for an 80/20 rule to minimize the damage: Devote at least 80% of your energy and resources to building toward a more humane and sustainable future. We have the cultural wind at our backs, more than most people realize, but each of us must raise our sails if it is to carry us forward. If you can see ways to innovate, implement and/or educate that move us toward the Planetary Era, now is the time to do so.

Then devote some time and energy, but no more than 20%, to engaging with the Empire Era loyalists. This may mean resisting regressive and repressive policies – and helping those most impacted by these policies. It may mean reaching out in a human-to-human way to work with at least some of these loyalists to resolve legitimate issues and reduce everyone’s level of fear.

This 80/20 rule is, of course, a gross generalization. Some people will feel called to put all of their focus on confronting the reaction against a Planetary future. That’s great if it’s a real inner calling but not so good if you are just getting sucked into the drama. If you feel any inner calling to build the new, the future needs your efforts now. The fastest way through this time of turmoil is to keep moving forward. The ricochet of reactions to reactions rarely provides much long-term benefit.

So in these Northern Hemisphere dark days, take heart in the bigger picture. This is our time, and it will be for years to come. Let’s make the most of it.

PS. There are still some places left for the January 2017 Bright Future Now course – a superb way to expand your ability to build the new.


Context Institute is devoted to helping you – and others like you – birth a brighter future for yourself, for humanity and for the earth.

We do this by focusing on positive cultural change toward a humane and sustainable world, all based on our 35 years of experience doing this work.

If this positive, even joyous, approach to the future appeals to you, we welcome you.

Next steps:

Reserve your place and a $50 discount for Bright Future Now

Send us your answers to a few questions to get placed on a priority list for the full training program once it’s launched in the second half of this year and be eligible for a $50 early-bird discount off the program cost. Doing so involves no commitment on your part, just our commitment to you.

Go to Journey deeper into the Planetary Era for all the details.

(The Bright Future Now pilot training program, starting April 9, 2016, is fully booked.)

(Edited April 9 with an updated discount amount.)

Apply for the free Bright Future Now pilot or reserve a future discount

The Bright Future Now pilot training program will start April 9, 2016. Send us your answers to a few questions to either apply for the pilot or get placed on a priority list for the full training program once it’s launched and be eligible for a 25% early-bird discount off the program cost.

Go to Journey deeper into the Planetary Era for all the details.

Introducing Bright Future Now and the Bright Future Network

This is our big news from 2015: We’ve started to develop a new experiential learning program called Bright Future Now. This program will take conceptual material from the Foundation Stones presentations and deepen it into felt experience, practical skills and embodied behavior so that you can begin to live the Planetary Era now.

At the heart of Bright Future Now are three basic skills: inhabiting your Optimal Zone, going beyond linear and categorical thinking, and using a systems perspective.

These three are my distillation from decades of involvement in cultural change. You can find many programs that focus on one of these or another, but I know of no other program that uses these to weave together the emotional and the cognitive, the personal and the group, all in the context of the Empire to Planetary transition – and it’s the synergy among these threads that creates the real magic in Bright Future Now.

The graduates from this program will then go on to make up the Bright Future Network, an incubator for the next stages of Planetary Era culture.

We still have more to do before we can offer these as public programs but, now in 2016, I want to start sharing the development process through the this website and through CI News. You can find out more at Bright Future Now Initial Vision and its companion, Bright Future Network Initial Vision. Expect these new programs to be a major theme for the coming months.

The “Tools For The Journey” videos are online

After a long haul with a number of technical challenges, we now have the videos from the two Tools For The Journey presentations in January 2015 available:

The Human Operating-System Literacy presentation videos:

  • identify the key cognitive and emotional shifts that we need to move from an Empire Era “mind” into a Planetary Era “mind”
  • go into the underlying “operating system” that, once understood, can enable new patterns of behavior that may well seem like a new human nature
  • are especially useful to those who want to help make the shift into the Planetary Era be as graceful as possible – starting with their own shift
  • work together with the “Systems Literacy” presentation videos, which provide the other half of Foundation Stone 2: “Tools For The Journey”.

The Systems Literacy presentation videos:

  • introduce and explore the systems perspective as a major toolkit for the Planetary Era “mind”
  • show how a systems perspective can be applied in a wide variety of situations, many of which don’t require any math
  • convey the systems perspective as a practical, everyday tool for dealing with life’s many challenges and opportunities.
  • base systems thinking in an understanding of the human operating system

I invite you to take a look!