Do we really need each other?

Mayha Soltani, Will Crum and the author mapping our our interdependencies. Photo credit: Alexa Forney

We identified ten core factors:

· Shared sense of purpose
· Intentionality
· Conscience
· Adaptability
· Shared material resources
· Ritual
· A contract or covenant
· Acknowledgement of individual and collective vulnerability
· Information-sharing, including knowledge passed down through generations
· Built-in system for meaningful disagreement

Designing for a young adult population that has yet to form rigid conceptions of “self” in relation to society, our goal is to:

· Identify opportunities to visualize or reveal our existing interdependencies with the hope of building new bridges of cooperation among currently feuding or polarized communities.
· Create mechanisms for mitigating conflict, thereby building individual and collective resilience in communities that are feeling increasingly disconnected.
· Initiate new interdependences by drawing on the wisdom of communities that have demonstrated their own resilience in the face of disaster.
· Reveal future potentials in the face of either diminishing inter-group reliance or an embrace of our collective capacities.

Tomb Chapel of Raemkai, Egypt, ca 2400 BCE. Credit: Met Museum, Rogers Fund, 1908. Early agriculture, shared globally and passed down through the ages, feeds us all.
Designer Andrew Schlesinger developing concepts. Photo credit: Alexa Forney
Feast of Sada, Tabriz, ca 1525. What we have in common is greater than what differentiates us: codified language, social exchange, ceremony, the fruits of agriculture and sense of community.

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