Robert Althuis
4 min readApr 12, 2022
Complex Living Systems

The Courage to Change

Mother Earth is a chronically ill patient in critical condition. If it was cancer — and in countless ways it is — we’re talking Stage 4.

Hospice care is next and for a planet that’s been here 3.5+ billion years the 15–25 years that are left if we — humanity — don’t make any long overdue lifestyle changes are a mere seconds.

At the heart of it all is our deep-rooted false premise our world is a parts-based mechanical toolkit and if we just throw more regulations and science at the problem we’ll figure our way out.

We won’t, not as long as these regulations and science are foundationally based on the same false premise.

Our entire global economy, most of Western medicine, and all our geopolitical and societal structures are based on this false premise which is why we have so many unintelligent outcomes.

What else can you call wars, violence, hate, racism, extreme inequalities, rampant injustices, widespread famine and poverty, runaway obesity & chronic illnesses, epic pollution, and the list goes on.

At the very core of this false premise is reductionist thinking. We believe we can break down the whole into bite-size parts which we then try to optimize. This can helpful provided we don’t forget that studying and optimizing a part doesn’t tell you anything about its relationship to the whole.

This is how we come up with such patently incoherent theories like Neoclassical Economics which has the imbedded assumption that infinite compound economic growth is possible on a planet with finite resources which is already at its ecological breaking point.

So, what’s the solution?

We have to shift to systems thinking which is the shift from reductionist thinking to holism.

All life and creation on Earth — including humanity and our economy — is underpinned on the premise of complex living systems — self-organizing life forms that are maintained by flows of information, energy, and matter which operate in highly dynamic interdependent relationships which collectively make up the environment.

That’s a mouthful, I know. But, what it means is that everything is connected to everything. Changing one thing, changes everything. This is the essence of holism, understanding the complex relationships between all things so we can address living systems health and vitality.

A complex living system is very capable of enduring small and large temporary shocks. However, even relatively small chronic unbalances in one area can cause catastrophic degradation over time to the health and vitality of the whole system.

This is where we are today. Countless chronic unbalances — large and small — over decades and centuries have chipped away at the health and vitality of the system.

The only way out is redesigning our economy, healthcare, institutions, lifestyles — our complete way of life basically — to be in alignment with the way complex living systems function and operate.

In a nutshell, returning to function and operate in concert with the intelligence of life itself.

And, none of this has to be bad per se. We will still have thriving businesses, nutrient-dense organic foods will be our medicine, good health the norm, and we’ll still get to enjoy life in its various ways including having plenty of material abundance.

This isn’t the “you’ll own nothing and be happy” variety Klaus Schwab and his WEF cronies are trying to sell us on. Definitely not, because that version of the future is based on the false premise our world is a mechanical toolkit and we’re running out of spare parts.

By nature — literally and figuratively — complex living systems are abundant and regenerative, they never run out as that’s the inherent genius of its design.

But, we — humanity — do need to muster the courage to change.

Our minds and beliefs first as all change starts within, then our science and approach to our greatest challenges, and then our ways.

For those that are steadfast naysayers and believe I am describing an Utopian fantasy. Complex living systems design is based on 3.5 billion years of R&D. This is how nature and the entire universe operates and has evolved to become self-generating, self-sustaining, and both highly resilient and abundant.

This complex living systems design has already been adopted with great success by a variety of diverse businesses such as Patagonia in the US, Natura & Co in Brazil, Acciona in Spain, and even global food juggernaut Nestle has committed itself to become a regenerative company.

What separates these visionary companies from others is true leadership. Their leaders — in some cases the original founders — recognized that humanity and our home planet is at a critical junction in time. Aiming for sustainability — which these days gets watered down with lots of green washing — is simply not enough. We have to muster the courage to recognize the magnitude of the challenges we face so we can actually start doing something about it.

Change is never easy, that’s why we need leaders — awakened leaders — that can help guide all of us towards transforming our planet back into a thriving complex living system.

Love & Truth,




Robert Althuis

An Ivy league educated executive & successful entrepreneur, Robert is now a sought-after Spiritual Mentor, Speaker, and Author of Love+Truth & Never Enoughitis