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Inspiring Solutions on the Wheel of Co-Creation

By Corinne McLaughlin

Did you know there’s a mushroom that can eat toxic waste like lead and oil?

Did you know that many countries have significantly reduced poverty because of their use of micro-credit loans and computerized labor exchanges?

Did you know that over $2.7 trillion per year is invested in companies with socially responsible values such as environmental sustainability?

What if we don’t have to live in fear of imminent crises, but can actually contribute to a new and better world by developing more solutions like those above?

Imagine a world where there are proven techniques for resolving violence and conflicts peacefully. Imagine a world where you can stay healthy and reduce your health costs by 80 percent. Imagine a world where criminals actually change their behavior and stay out of jail.

But you don’t have to only imagine these new solutions to our problems—they already exist! The media is just beginning to discover them. My work as a practical visionary is to inspire people about these exciting solutions and illuminate the new world that is growing all around us now.

I like helping people find new ways to solve their own problems, as well as discover how they might create a new solution. I enjoy giving people an inspirational vision of the emerging world, but I also like to ground the vision with best practices—real life examples of solutions to our problems that are already in place. This gives me great hope for our future!

Barbara Marx Hubbard invited me as well as CVL Board member Eleanor LeCain to be part of a team to identify innovative solutions in 12 fields or sectors of human activity on the Wheel of Co-creation for the Birth 2012 celebration slated for December 22, 2012.  Our Center for Visionary Leadership is co-sponsoring this event, along with many other groups, to celebrate the birth of a new era of human unity--one that is sustainable, peaceful, healthy and prosperous for all--an historic day of global unity.

In this article, I’m highlighting 12 exciting innovations in fields such as the environment, health, media, governance and economics. I’ve also created a Meditation on the Wheel for blessing each field of activity and energizing your own contribution in one of these fields.  You can access this 5 minute video here:

The Template of the Wheel

Some version of the twelve-sector solutions Wheel is now being used as a template by a number of groups around the world. The Wheel is not a two dimensional, flat pie, but rather a fourth dimensional sphere that keeps evolving through time. Each sector represents a vital social function, such as Education and Governance; together all the sectors offer us a portal into a whole new world. New solutions to our problems and new ways of thinking are constantly being created by pioneers around the world. Some become viral and change the whole field, such as micro-credit solutions to poverty pioneered by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

At the center of the Wheel, where the tip of each sector meets, is the heart, the Spirit of co-creation. Here are found the common values that all the best solutions share, such as dedication to the common good, compassion, fairness, a whole-systems perspective, long-term sustainability, and the spirit of community.

While working with the Wheel, I have noted that where the sectors overlap is the cutting edge of innovation and insights—such as where economics can be enlightened by the study of human relations and new psychological insights. You can also see the problems of one sector through the lens of another. For example, if we understand health through the lens of the environment, solutions like Permaculture emerge, where healthier food can be grown in smaller spaces while restoring the environment for future generations. 

We don’t each have to be engaged in every one of the twelve fields, but when you consider the big picture and connect the dots among these solutions in every field or sector, you begin to see the meta-pattern of evolution. You experience an authentic sense of hope, grounded in reality. When you find the field or sector of the Wheel where your own dream and your own unique contribution is most needed, you come alive with passion and excitement. You become a co-creator of the new world—an evolutionary pioneer—or what I call a practical visionary.

Examples of Solutions

While some of the solutions I’m tracking are internationally renowned  some are only known locally.  Some are created by non-profit organizations, some by for-profit businesses, and some by government agencies. Here are a few of the many exciting examples I’ve discovered:

Environment: Nature has solutions for healing itself, such as bio-remediation, permaculture and bio-mimicry. (e.g. Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfecti clean up toxic waste such as lead and oil using oyster mushrooms).

Media: Open-source social media encourages free, engaging, and empowering activism to address issues like poverty, violence, pollution, etc. For example,, with 15 million members worldwide, empowers everyone to start their own local community campaign for social change using on-line petition tools, and sites like and use crowd-sourcing to invite small donations and investments for social change projects.

Governance: Conflict transformation using multi-stakeholder dialogues among political adversaries reduces conflict and makes better policy decisions that benefit all parties. A good example of this is a nonprofit called Search for Common Ground, founded by John Marks, whose approach to conflict is to “understand the differences, but act on the commonalities.” Their approach has been used by government to defuse ethnic conflicts in the developing world.

Health: Holistic, integrated medicine restores health and reduces medical costs. One of many examples is the Center for Mind/Body Medicine, founded by Dr. James Gordon, which uses natural remedies, food as medicine, stress management and guided imagery to restore health.

Economics: Socially responsible investments in businesses that embody ethical values are supporting both people and the planet and creating new jobs. Part of this new “impact investing” movement is the emergence of the “B Corp”-- social benefit corporations—a growing new legal form of incorporation approved by several states which emphasizes a social mission rather than profit to shareholders.

Relations: Integral psychology helps people transform personal issues by integrating all aspects of the psyche. One example is the Psychosynthesis Institute, whose work is to integrate the conscious self and the subconscious with the superconscious or soul and one’s higher purpose.

Justice: Victim-offender reconciliation rehabilitates criminals rather than punishing them. For example, The Restorative Justice Institute brings together victims and offenders of a crime for dialogue and reconciliation and greatly reduces the number of repeat offenses.

Infrastructure: Renewable energy such as solar, wind, and thermal energy provide unlimited sources of energy to meet growing needs. For example, a company called Oyster by Aquamarine Power that is based off the north coast of Scotland harnesses the oceans tides for electrical energy.

Education: Character education has proven to prevent dropouts, low grades, drug abuse, and bullying. A highly successful example is the 8 Keys of Excellence program which develops integrity, commitment, and success in elementary, middle and high school students.

Science: Research on meditation and the brain proves we can increase learning and creativity and develop inner peace. One example of many such initiatives is the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison directed by Dr. Richard Davidson, which studies the effects of Mindfulness, Tibetan Buddhist, and other meditation techniques.

Spirituality: Interfaith dialogue and activism builds understanding and tolerance and reduces religious violence worldwide, and reveals the deeper spiritual unity behind the diversity of religious expressions. United Religions has reached over two and half million people in 78 countries through small group activities such as dialogue circles, as well as building schools and clinics, advocating for the rights of women, reforesting land, etc.

Arts:  Using artistic expression, such as dance and theatre, to teach non-violent skills to inner city youth can effectively end isolation, prejudice and violence.  For example, the highly acclaimed Destiny Arts Center is a local center in Oakland, CA that develops self-expression and empowerment in young people through public performances which build a more peaceful, loving community.

I wrote up many other examples of real life solutions for crises we face in my book, The Practical Visionary, which illuminates the new world growing all around us and gives people a realistic sense of hope for our future. I’ve helped many groups, including Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Mentors group, with practical tools and strategies to make their contribution effective and so aid the evolutionary shift now underway.

Archetypes on the Wheel

Those of you who are interested in archetypes might be interested in the astrological correlations I’ve found for each sector, with the sun in the center of the twelve signs of the zodiac: Governance (Aries); Economics (Taurus); Media (Gemini); Health (Cancer); Arts (Leo); Environment (Virgo): Relations (Libra); Justice (Scorpio); Education (Sagittarius); Infrastructure (Capricorn); Science (Aquarius); Spirituality (Pisces). The numeral “12” is a sacred number found in many spiritual traditions, such as the 12 disciples plus Christ, 12 knights of the round table plus King Arthur, etc. In sacred geometry, the dodecahedron platonic solid has 12 pentagonal faces.

A Community Ritual and Meditation Using the Wheel

If you want to create a community ritual using the Wheel, here’s an idea I was inspired with: Invite people to stand in a circle with twelve or more people standing in front of a sign representing one of the twelve sectors or fields of the Wheel. Place a large candle in the center representing Spirit and the universal principles such as love found in all the sectors. Then invite each of the twelve people from each sector to walk forward one by one, light a candle from the central candle, and walk back to the periphery of the circle where their field is represented, and place their lighted candle there. Symbolically, you’re illuminating each sector with the central light of love.

You could also place twelve colored streamers rolled up in the center with the candle, and have each person unroll a colored paper streamer from the center, taking it to the periphery of the circle where the sign representing their sector is being held. This would give a very colorful expression to the Wheel. You could then have a period of silence to energize and bless each sector and see them harmonizing together, and then follow this with a dialogue among the participants.

Finding Your Own Solution

The many solutions on the Wheel can help you find solutions to your own problems and inspire you to make your contribution to a specific field of activity.  Through spending quiet time listening to your heart, asking for clarity about your life purpose, and then taking an inventory of your skills that match what’s needed in the world, you can discover your vision. You can then shape your vision into a clear mission and step-by-step strategy to express it, and then practice communicating it with passion and excitement to attract both people and resources. If you work with a support group, you can invite others to brainstorm with you about your vision and give you feedback and ideas.

So, ask yourself, in which field or sector on the Wheel does your brilliance and passion want to be expressed? Is it health, governance, environment, education, economics, arts, spirituality, science, relations, media, justice, and/or infrastructure? We each don’t have to do everything, but when you connect the dots among all the fields and collaborate with others, you see how your contribution is part of the bigger picture. Each one of us is needed today. If we all work together and combine our many talents, we can truly uplift humanity and ignite a new world!


Corinne McLaughlin is co-author of The Practical Visionary, Spiritual Politics (Foreword by the Dalai Lama), and Builders of the Dawn and is co-founder of The Center for Visionary Leadership in California.  She directed a national task force for President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development and is a Fellow of The World Business Academy and the Findhorn Foundation.  She is a co-founder of Sirius Community, a spiritual/environmental center in Massachusetts and a member of The Transformational Leadership Council.;


lives and help citizens build communities that are environmentally sound, economically prosperous and socially just.


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