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Listen to Jack talking about more of the philosophy in the links below:
- “Note from a Platypus” – The platypus serves as a reminder that there’s intelligence activated when we shift our lens and the tools we build with. Through challenges and horror, we can find health and growth.
This chapter serves as an allegorical introduction, using the platypus as a metaphor to convey the book’s central themes of embracing complexity, diversity, and indigenous systems thinking.
2. “Processes of Emergence” – The chapter touches upon the idea of value and exchange, challenging the conventional urge to attribute monetary worth to every exchange. The author suggests that we need to find different measurement systems, as limiting what we measure restricts our potential.
This chapter serves as a deep dive into the concept of emergent design and the importance of systems thinking, emphasising the need to value processes and patterns and to embrace Indigenous knowledge and perspectives.
3. “An Invitation” – The chapter begins with a powerful assertion: “Economics is for everyone.” It emphasises that economics is not just about money or transactions but is a lens through which we view and understand life.
This chapter serves as an invitation to readers to challenge their preconceived notions about economics and to embrace a more inclusive, relational, and Indigenous perspective on value and exchange.
4. “Small BIG Talk” – Reflecting on his past, Jack recalls a moment in December 2002 when he was at a university meeting. He felt a strong desire to bring about change and was determined not to waste any time on trivial conversations.
This chapter serves as a reflection on the importance of meaningful conversations, the power of imagination, and the need to challenge traditional views on economics and value.
5. “Inheritance” – Jack introduces the concept of a barcode as a representation of our inheritance. This barcode symbolises a transactional receipt, linear patterns, and a segmented, specialised world. The chapter challenges the reader to look beyond this barcode, to see the colours breaking through, and to understand that life is lived in the river, in the currents. The chapter delves into the assumptions of capitalism, which believes in limitless desires and growth. This perspective is contrasted with the natural laws of life and death, growth and decay. Jack touches upon the importance of imagination and the need to protect it. He reflects on the patterns we’ve inherited from financial markets and colonial law, emphasising that our inheritance is a network out of balance.
This chapter serves as a deep dive into the concept of inheritance, challenging readers to rethink the patterns and systems we’ve inherited and to embrace a more holistic, relational understanding of value and life.
6. “Potential” – The chapter delves into the concept of value, challenging the traditional notions of worth. Jack recounts interactions with Indigenous communities, noting their different perspectives on value. They seemed to place no value on external goods, suggesting a deep contentment and understanding of life’s true necessities. Jack touches upon the modern world’s obsession with the self, as evident in platforms like Facebook, FaceTime, and the culture of selfies. This heightened focus on appearance and individualism contrasts with the book’s emphasis on relational understanding and collective potential.
This chapter serves as a deep dive into the concept of potential, challenging readers to rethink their understanding of value, embrace their innate abilities, and harness the power of imagination and Indigenous knowledge.
7. “Relations” – The chapter starts with a profound statement: “We are naturally in relations, but our modern systems and networks are not.” Jack emphasises that the most significant deficit we face today is in our relations – with each other, with nature, and with those outside the margins of our lives.
This chapter serves as a deep dive into the concept of relations, urging readers to challenge their understanding of value and to embrace a more holistic, relational perspective on economics and life.
8. “Imagi-NATION” – The chapter introduces “IMAGI-NATION” as a relational network on the internet, aiming to build a fairer, happier, and healthier world. This network is designed to transcend borders, races, and cultures. Jack emphasises the importance of relations and connections. He believes that while we are naturally relational beings, our modern systems and networks often aren’t. The chapter delves into the concept of a relational economy, contrasting it with the transactional nature of today’s economics. Jack cites the example of New Zealand giving legal rights to the Whanganui River as an instance of a relational economy in action.
This chapter serves as a deep dive into the concept of relations and the potential of IMAGI-NATION to reshape our understanding of value, connections, and the world at large.
9. “Death” – Jack introduces the concept of “intentional death” as a design process for life. By anchoring organisations with an intentional death strategy, life can emerge, leading to regeneration. The chapter delves into the regenerative nature of this process. Jack believes that all organisations eventually die, but by designing with death in mind, they can ensure that they leave behind something valuable and in good health.
This chapter serves as a deep reflection on the concept of death, urging readers to embrace its inevitability and use it as a tool for growth, regeneration, and meaningful living.