Keep the game, change the goal

Last week, Annie Leonard launched a new video on het website This new video, called ‘The story of solutions’, shifts from the previous focus of defining the problem towards how to solve the problems we’re facing. As always, it’s a very well made, highly inspiring and easy to understand presentation, and I just had to share it with you:

After hosting this blog a little more than one year, I still think that changing the goal of the game (or the rules, we’re talking about basically the same thing) is by far the most important step in shifting towards a more sustainable society.

As an addition to this video, I’d like to share two methods that can help you in actually noticing that a system needs changing.

Start with why

I’ve discussed the first method already in this previous post (you can check the TED-talk there as well). Starting with why is a very good way of defining, on an intrinsic level, whether or not a system is working for you. Why am I buying this/working here/studying this/…, and will it make me a happier/healthier/better/more loving/more loved/… person in the end? Does this system work for me?

When you’re living in a system that, for you, is doing the trick, there’s no intrinsic need to change that system. If the train is going in the direction you want it to, your job is to keep it running, and make sure you can keep it running in the long term.

If, however, the system’s not (completely) doing the trick, if there is room for improvement, it’s time to change it.

This is broken

Whenever you’re feeling something isn’t working as it should be, the first reflex should be to try and understand at what point the system’s missing it’s target. You have to be able and point to a specific part of that system and say: “This is broken”. Coincidentally, that’s also the name of a TED-talk by Seth Godin. In this talk, which I embedded below, Seth Godin shows stuff that’s broken, and most of all why it hasn’t been fixed yet.

So keep on the lookout for stuff that’s broken, and if it bothers you, fix it.


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.

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