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Spirit of Agents of Change: a Fuller's approach

by Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra on 13th April, 2011 at 5:37 AM CEST

We are living in a world that is in urgent crisis. Humanity needs people that believe they have the power: willing and action, to risk themselves to save their lives but also, whole system around, these are The Agents of Change.

In my path to discover what this expression really means, I have found with Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), an engineering, author, inventor, designer futurists, and American scientist, well recognized by his geodesic geometry design* which principles matched with a carbon 60 molecule, later called “buckminsterfullerene” or “Buckyball”. Fuller was a transformational and visionary leader. He defined a list of “10 principles for comprehensive anticipatory design leadership”. These are a list of principles that guides to the development of a “problem-solving” leadership in a world of constant changes and challenges, which is required for making this whole ship (world) works for all, for 100% of humanity as he always coined.

Fuller´s anticipatory leadership principles:

*Adapted from: Medard, G. 2006. Publication at “The Futurist”: The Anticipatory Leader-Buckminster fuller´s Principles for Making the World Work.

1. Think comprehensively: “zoom out” problems in their widest direction until you find the core issues that need to be changed.

2. Anticipate the future: foresee potential problems and useful strategies to tackle them.

3. Respect gestation rates: discover and orchestrate with the process to get your solution at the right moment.

4. Envision the best possible future: think on how they should be like and keep enthusiasm to face challenges while inspiring others. 

5. Be a “Trim-Tab”- mover of big ships: firstly understand current direction of ship (problem) and then, reflect on what you should put strength to bring the ship where it ought to be.

6. Take individual initiative-“Each one of us is a leader, at least of our own lives”: so, make your own contribution to transform the world. 

7. Ask the obvious and naïve questions: these inner questions may sound obvious, however have arisen from your own vision and may bring surprising great solutions.

8. Do more with less: try to reach highest productivity with less investment; recognize people talents and potentiate them with inspiration 

9. Seek to reform the environment, Not Man: changing physical space may cause significant impacts on people´s behaviors.

10. Solve problems to Action: Fuller´s life is a great source of inspiration for leaders ready to take action.

I also wanted to have some insights from people that know and have studied Fullers theories, and this is why I am bringing you here an interview with Mr. Joshua Arnow, who was member of the Buckminster Fuller Institute for 22 years and executed as its president for a period of 6 years. He is also advisor of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge; a prize of $100,000.00 annually, whose aim is to support initiatives that could help to solve significant challenges of humanity. He is also Director of The Sustainability Laboratories. 

Here is the interview, enjoy it!!! 

1. What would be the definition or characteristics of the people that will lead humanity towards “Making a New World”?

People who are going not to be interested to fit in the current system, because this one is very destructive (both globally and socially: in the community and at personal level). People that will change from being simple observers, to start to think of themselves and hearing the “inner self”, while hearing others as well. Youth as leaders, will have to generate who they are and think on what´s going on and respond to it, to have a sense of purpose, of intention, that each individual is here for a reason. Individuals can make differences, each action matters, start to create something new. 

You have to be your own leader. Some people develop skills to lead others while being leaders of themselves. This is reached only with commitment, passion, having very high standards and being able to stick others to attach to your standards.

It is important to work from personal dimension. If an individual becomes a master of their own ship, they can cause ripple effects in the world, with serious impacts. You have to be creator instead of mimicking, you have to take risks, interlinked with leadership, if not, you will not be “breaking any new ground”. You have to challenge the “statu-quo”, not accepting how things are set, and start thinking how things should be instead, and then taking actions to reach the intentions. This is a process like this:

Purpose—intention—creativity—courage—initiative towards a preferred future

2. Do you think that the reason of the most emergent problems of humanity nowadays, is due to a lack “true leaders”?

Yes, what is happening is that there is a system (in western society) of dominant sort of forces; there is a mentality that what brings happiness to your life is through material things. Currently, we have great leaders in this system that is moving even closer to this crisis. The concept of positive and transformative leadership is missing. In society, there are truly “leaders” that are guiding us “off to the cliff”. We need leaders that are going to be part of those that are going to transcend current forces to become something new to not be sucked in, but those that will transform these problems, will come from outside, not from indoors of these current powers, because they exist to perpetuate their own survival. 

3. How do you think leadership should be taught to youth?

It should be taught from very early ages. Current system makes you invisible. It takes your identity. Youth should begin being an observer of the system, questioning things not submitting to conformity to everything around us. Youth should be taught to see it, and parents should be examples and guide their children to learn and understand, i.e. What they watch on T.V. Values should be consistent with aims. Leaders do not conform they create, and have artistic approaches to the best way to focus leadership. 

4. What suggestion, message or advice do you send to young people of the 21st century that have in the hands the power to reshape the upcoming future?

To be creative, and do not keep following the “status quo”. Current system is materialistic; Youth should look for where is the true meaning and fulfillment for the personal level. 

Master your own ship! and do not let to the cultural thing that is trying to shape us through the “system” out, because there is nothing creative on that!, there are people that get genus on this system, they are creative. Do not sacrifice your soul with the hope that one day you will be successful in the eyes of others. Keep in mind: 1) live is very short…and 2) situation of the planet is urgent. “You should not waste your time”.

We do not have time to waste. Crisis gives chances to create things new, this highly unstable world gives chances as in stock market, and good investors always wait to the crisis times to make their best investments, in order to explode the volatility. You, do the same, be a great investor!

“We live in a very volatile world” –Discipline is required as well as leadership, creativity and good intention. - Mr. Joshua Arnow

Do you feel it? Your inner spirit? –recognize it and maximize it to its greatest size!!

Best of luck in the journey ;-)

~ Johanny, Dominican Republic (Action Team #2, C:F Writer)

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Elbert Cowo

Elbert Cowo

Great Johanny.... I really admire you ...... these are the people we need to follow and take as examples

13th April, 2011 @ 6:26 AM CEST

emma mastad

emma mastad

“Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”                             -W. H. Murray

13th April, 2011 @ 7:24 AM CEST

Mayank Rajput

Mayank Rajput | Action team

^ great comment :)

and great article johanny :)
thought provoking article

13th April, 2011 @ 1:38 PM CEST



I love this, I personally do feel the energy to strive for a better tomorrow. With little I have and the resources available I must make a change in my community, state and my nation.
''Never to give up, no matter the matter.'' C.E. Kwakpovwe

13th April, 2011 @ 9:22 PM CEST

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra | Action team

Great, Guys!! I feel pleased knowing that these words help you in your process of identifying paths through which we can restablish our surrounding. All the best!! ;-)

13th April, 2011 @ 11:12 PM CEST

Jatin Kataria

Jatin Kataria | Action team | CF Chapters

amazing.. What an article.. classic interview.. U did fantastic job by taking interview of mr arnow.. after reading, it feels like he is talking about people like us.. :)

Super duper like.. fantabulastic.. . ;)

18th April, 2011 @ 5:36 AM CEST

Damla Aktan

Damla Aktan | Action team | CF Chapters

Congratulations Johanny! I loved your article and its flow!

19th April, 2011 @ 1:00 PM CEST

Darko Mojsoski

Darko Mojsoski | Action team

Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.
Benjamin Disraeli

22nd April, 2011 @ 1:38 AM CEST

Divya Nawale

Divya Nawale | Action team

Indeed the system needs to change in a way where we want our kids to love the environment rather than her 10 things everyday about how badly we are affecting it as the news these days is always carrying so much negative information on the climate change issues and about predictions for the future.

What we need is positive inspiration and guidance to nurture love the environment from a young age in the kids so that they could grow up to work towards a better world for themselves and for the planet.

“ For in the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
— B. Dioum

9th June, 2011 @ 11:50 AM CEST

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra | Action team

Definately agree Divya. Thank you for sharing the quote!

26th June, 2011 @ 10:07 PM CEST

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