Matrix of Peace Whole Systems Model™

A robust, multi-sector, living systems and consciousness model for designing and actualizing societies to operate as ecosystems of sustainable peace.

The Model

  • Illuminates the core values and consciousness forces of a society
  • Identifies the best practices for co-creating justice, prosperity, and sustainability within and among the private, public and civil society sectors
  • Serves as a diagrammatic visual tool which becomes a visual map of a given society and graphically illustrates how sectors combine to co-create justice, prosperity, sustainability, and—when all 3 outcomes are in place—an ecosystem of sustainable peace.  It can visually “map out” or identify the equivalent of geographical markers where problems and breakdowns occur in the societal map
  • Serves as an assessment tool for mapping the dominant level of consciousness in each sector to lead to diagnosing and correcting imbalances among the sectors when peace is disrupted

The Story Behind the Model

The Matrix of Peace Whole Systems Model™ was developed by Peace Through Commerce, Inc. after it launched as a standalone nonprofit in 2009 from parent nonprofit Freedom Lights Our World, Inc. (“FLOW”)®, co-founded by John Mackey (CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market) and Michael Strong.  along with founding management team members Philomena Blees and the late Jeff Klein.  Susan Niederhoffer, Vidar Jorgensen, and James Von Ehr rounded out the initial board of directors and thought leaders.

The founding team was frustrated by widespread public unawareness of the power of entrepreneurial capitalism to transform poverty and violence into peace and prosperity. They strove to evolve the public’s understanding of capitalism’s role in problem solving and peace building by emphasizing its ability to operate at higher order levels of consciousness embracing values of love, compassion, and social and environmental consciousness. From these roots, the team at Peace Through Commerce developed the Matrix of Peace Whole Systems Model.

The Model is a highly researched theoretical model sourced from the work of generations of thought leaders from both the classical liberal tradition and the human potential movement.  It is a goal of Peace Through Commerce to bring these two forces-–classical liberalism and the human potential movement—together to inform the public and peacebuilders of the values, beliefs, practices, and lessons learned that most optimally generate sustainable peace. The Model identifies a body of best practices, tools and data to aid the practitioner in using it.

More specifically, the Model illuminates the core values, beliefs, and consciousness ecosystem forces of a community and identifies the best practices for peacebuilding within and among the key societal sectors–public, private, and civil society.  It leads people to view problems like poverty, war, inequality, and climate change from both human consciousness and best practices viewpoints.  Human consciousness work focuses on values, beliefs and worldviews. We point out areas of values-agreement and guide stakeholders to create new solutions to age-old problems from a different level of consciousness than that which created them. Best practices work focuses on existing practices in public, private, and civil society sectors and compares them to best practices for co-creating justice, prosperity, and sustainability to achieve a sustainable ecosystem of peace.

The bringing together of historically separate and sometimes hostile sectors while honoring the consciousness forces at work within them is the creative gift of Peace Through Commerce and its Matrix of Peace Whole Systems Model.

The Societal Ecosystem of Sustainable Peace

The design of the Matrix of Peace whole systems model follows the natural design of human communities by engaging the three key sectors of society–public, private and civil society–and exploring  the consciousness forces at work from the lens of living systems theory.

The thesis behind the Model is sustainable societal peace ensues from well-designed public, private, and civil society sectors co-operating (not merely operating) from a place of higher order consciousness and a field of shared, peace-optimizing values, beliefs and practices.  The three sectors are then capable of co-generating justice, prosperity, and sustainability—the three necessary but sufficient outcomes to co-generate sustainable peace.  Like a three-legged stool, justice, prosperity, and sustainability are all necessary to support sustainable peace. If any one outcome is missing, peace will fail to be sustainable.  When all three outcomes are accounted for and made part of the peacebuilding process, the society will be capable of operating as a self-balancing, self-correcting, flourishing societal ecosystem of sustainable peace.

Guiding a society to generate justice, prosperity and sustainability becomes the primary focus of a Matrix of Peace Whole Systems Model methodology.  As can be seen from the visual Model, these necessary outcomes to peace require the cooperation of the societal sectors.  Cooperating private and public sectors co-generate prosperity.  Cooperating public and civil society sectors co-generate justice.  Cooperating civil society sectors and private sectors co-generate sustainability.  The Model posits that no one or two outcomes alone can generate sustainable peace.  It takes all three:  justice, prosperity, and sustainability.  Peace at all costs is not the goal.  And peace without justice, prosperity, or sustainability will not be a lasting, sustainable peace.

As with any healthy, self-balancing, self-correcting ecosystem, no single mind or agency could or should control it. It is not dependent upon coercion, violence or force, but upon free will, voluntarism, and shared values. Citizens within the ecosystem don’t have to be intending to create peace at all. If they  are going about their daily activities in a well-designed ecosystem, the totality of their actions will co-generate sustainable peace naturally.

But the larger ecosystem is intentional. It requires Matrix trained leaders, well-versed in system-wide Matrix thinking and best practices to guide, monitor, and curate a Matrix of Peace ecosystem.  The Matrix whole systems model recognizes that it maps a living ecosystem which is conscious, dynamic,  chaordic, and intelligent, open to evolution, experimentation, and creative growth.

In this worldview, peace is not a static goal but rather a means to an end leading to human flourishing and a healthy universe.  Communities do not achieve a “state of peace”, they achieve an “ecosystem of peace,” where peace is the ongoing product of a healthy, well-functioning society. By becoming well versed in Matrix whole systems thinking, key stakeholders can tackle community development in a way that generates sustainable, long-term peace.

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