The Four Movements as a Methodology

Over ten years of empirical research led us to a process that illustrates how people, organizations, and social systems can evolve to serve the root causes of today’s social, environmental, and spiritual challenges.

It’s about rewiring the way we live, the way we work, the way we play, and the way we are when no one else is watching. It’s about becoming human again.

The Problem

Our collective behavior leading to this moment has produced institutional failure. We face challenges like poverty, violence, hunger, and the destruction of our home, planet Earth.

“In recent years, business has been criticized as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems.” -Michael Porter, Harvard

The short-sighted, transactional focus of the old paradigm erodes the ability to criticize authority, inhibits empathetic understanding of the marginalized, and makes it difficult to comprehend solutions to complex global problems that likely require collaborative solutions.

“Somewhere along the way, people got the idea that maximizing investor return was the point. It shouldn’t be. That’s not what democracies ought to seek in chartering corporations to participate in our society.” -Seth Godin

The old paradigm (short-sighted focus on profits, control the flow of information, blinded by ego, create culture of competition, transactions) disconnects us from our humanity, and inherently neglects the long-term impact on human evolution.

“A declining emphasis on the study of the humanities could lead to a world of useful profit makers with no imaginations.” -Martha Nussbaum, Stanford

We start this process early. We develop generations of young people to move through our institutions – starting with school and higher education to prepare them to participate in the very same systems that perpetuate the existence of the challenges (poverty, inequity, waste, climate, etc) that currently prevent our evolution and present themselves as threats to humanity.

The fundamental principles governing the way we participate in society are ill-equipped to serve our evolving needs.

When we arrive to 5, 50, or 100 years down the round, what will that world look like? What do we want it to look like? What needs to change in order to realize a different future? How might we influence our own behavior and that of the people within our communities to change the trajectory of humanity?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

Today calls for a new way of being, new thoughts, new tools, and a new organizational DNA that emerges from empathetic, compassionate people who intrinsically care about one another. They naturally prioritize serving human needs, and they use business as the driving force to sustain and maximize their impact.

We propose an entirely new context to play in.

Creating Space

Within all of us, there is a heart-centered loving space mostly free of the ego. As we explore the depths within ourselves and learn to authentically relate with others, we begin to access ways of being that transcend the old paradigm and create space for a new way of life. A space where we have the capacity to act without ego, to collaborate, to restructure our lives, to serve more people, to prevent the problems we currently face, and to shape a world that serves more of us.

How might we bring ourselves from where we are, to where we are going?

The Four Movements

We move through the process by learning to be with ourself in the present moment. To gain a deeper understanding of the self and evolve into our highest self is to expand our potential beyond the limits we knew were capable.

We question our ways of being and the social structures in place to begin the process of releasing our past self and the old paradigm as we enter an ambiguous place of unknown. This is the grey area of life. The place where we learn to navigate uncertainty and embrace complexity. The place where we make meaning. From here, momentum builds naturally as we align with others who believe what we believe and intentionally shape the future as it unfolds.

I. Humanity

Becoming human again.

The journey to be and know explores the following:

  • essence
  • checking-in
  • intention
  • being
  • presencing
  • sensing
  • intuition
  • boundaries
  • ethics / values
  • purpose

Capabilities: empathy, compassion, kindness, sense of self, authentic self expression, identify personal values, communicate purpose

II. Community

Finding the others.

Align on a purpose for change explores the following:

  • convening
  • showing up
  • holding space
  • observation
  • listening
  • relating
  • sharing
  • imagination
  • crystallizing

Capabilities: vulnerability, intimacy, psychological safety, alignment, clarity of vision, ethnographic research

III. Innovation

Creating tomorrow.

Find the need and serve it.

As you learn from one another and move towards a new tomorrow, co-create what you need to manifest the future you desire.

  • feedback
  • discovery
  • uncertainty
  • complexity
  • ambiguity
  • prototyping
  • iteration
  • validation

Capabilities: resilience, adaptability, creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, experience design, UX/UI, journey mapping, jobs-to-be-done framework, value proposition canvas, building a minimum viable product

IV. Impact

Reimagining business.

Carve out a place in the new economy.

Collectively move from finding what works to defining the operating models that represent the architecture of new institutions.

  • interdependence
  • cooperation
  • transparency
  • standardization
  • partners
  • subscriptions
  • integrations
  • open-source

Capabilities: compassionate venture design, creating business models, building strategic partnerships, cooperative work models

Commitment to Lifelong Learning

Learning the movements, practicing them, and integrating them into your life and work is an ongoing process. As you learn other methods, acquire new knowledge, and experience new projects we invite you to bring together pieces of The Four Movements together with pieces of other parts of your life. Perhaps you will be the next person to discover a more effective approach for discovering systemic innovations and implementing change. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Cooperative Impact is committed to developing social technologies to equip and inspire lifelong learners to create their own economic opportunity by creating innovations that change the way the we live and work.


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The Four Movements as a Methodology

Evidence-based methodology to evolve people, organizations, and social systems to serve the root causes of today’s social, environmental, and spiritual challenges.

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