In November 2021, we interviewed two incredible future human pioneers who feature as real-life characters in Return of the Avatars, book 2 of our Future Humans Trilogy:
Excerpts of our interviews with them feature in chapter 11 of book, 2 and are included further below in this article. Hazel and Mariana walk the path of our future human potential; pioneering the ways, systems, and relationships through which a possible world that works for all becomes manifest.
You can watch our interview with Hazel via the video below, as well as listen to this via The Future Humans Podcast in audio format. To watch our interview with Mariana, click here, and to listen to our podcast with her, click here.
In this conversation, Hazel decodes the role of global finance and the institutionalization of the seven deadly sins by revealing how greed and division have become encoded in the algorithms of our mainstream economic and financial systems. She also gives us the keys for how to change this by incentivizing the Golden Rule for the creation of the "love and caring economy."
Hazel reminds us that this is graduation time for our species; "we have to expand our consciousness now to the actual real circumstances of our survival." She warns that the game of incentivizing everything with money by algorithmically rewarding the seven deadly sins is over. She also explains why education should be the fundamental investment that every society makes in its future as the foundation for a healthy democracy. In her closing message, Hazel advises that we need to learn how to decode our own experiences and to evaluate everything we are taught.
During our conversation, Hazel mentions the following articles, which are linked here below:
Hazel Henderson D.Sc.Hon., FRSA, is the founder of Ethical Markets Media LLC, and the creator and co-executive Producer of its TV series. She is a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, consultant on sustainable development, and author of The Axiom and Nautilus award-winning book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy (2006) and eight other books. She co-edited, with Harlan Cleveland and Inge Kaul, The UN: Policy and Financing Alternatives, Elsevier Scientific, UK 1995 (US edition, 1996), and co-authored with Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda, Planetary Citizenship (2004). Her editorials appear in 27 languages and in 200 newspapers syndicated by InterPress Service, Rome, New York, and Washington DC, and her book reviews appear on SeekingAlpha, a London-based market e-letter. Her articles have appeared in over 250 journals, including (in USA) Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor; and Challenge, Mainichi (Japan), El Diario (Venezuela), World Economic Herald (China), LeMonde Diplomatique (France) and Australian Financial Review. She sits on several editorial boards, including The State of the Future Report, and E/The Environmental Magazine (USA), Resurgence and Foresight and Futures (UK).
To discover how our interview with Hazel and Mariana became part of chapter 11 of Return of the Avatars, enjoy this excerpt below:
Later that evening Rose and her grandmother return from a lovely stroll just in time to set up the computer for their call with Hazel Henderson and Mariana Bozesan. Rose still feels sad, but she’s also looking forward to this long-awaited conversation, so she decides to focus on that instead of Diego. She and Verdandi are having a quick preparation call with Li via FaceTime first. Verdandi reminds them of the incredible opportunity they have to learn from these two conscious and impactful businesswomen who are leading international change agents in the ways they use economics, finance, and technology to drive world transformation.
Li has been following the work of Hazel for a long time. He explains to Rose, “I can’t believe I finally get to talk with Hazel Henderson in person. I’m nervous, actually. I’ve read so many of her books and articles. She’s such an international icon.”
“Yep,” Rose pipes in. “She’s also the founder of Ethical Markets Media, which is a Certified Benefit Corporation. A new way of chartering globally responsible companies!”
“And she’s a world-renowned futurist with her evolutionary analyses of economics. I resonate with the way she operates systemically, beyond economics, in ways I’m eager to apply to our business.”
“Apparently, she’s also famous for finding the blind spots of conventional economists,” Rose laughs. “I wonder how your old university professors felt about that?”
Verdandi chuckles. “Sounds like you three will have a lot to talk about. I’m sure Hazel will appreciate your enthusiasm.”
“I hope so,” Rose says. “I’m excited to meet her friend Mariana, too. I’ve been digging into her work to prepare for our call, and I’m impressed with how she combines her knowledge of computer science, technology, artificial intelligence, business, psychology, impact investment, and integral theory. She sounds as diverse as I am. And she really knows what it means to transform your life from the most difficult life circumstances. I can’t wait to meet them both.”
Li adds, “I read that she’s also a world-renowned investor and serial entrepreneur who knows how to leverage exponentially growing technologies and ethical AI to accelerate how we can solve our sustainability crisis. That’s an important focus. Maybe we should even include that in the compass game. Let’s bring that up during our meeting with my dad in Hong Kong.”
“Great idea,” Rose nods. “Grandma, do you think I could ask them to mentor me?”
“And me too!” Li adds.
“Slow down, you two. Let’s have our call with them first,” Verdandi laughs. “If that goes well, you can ask them. Now let’s get online; we don’t want to keep them waiting.”
After some brief introductions, Rose addresses the first question to Hazel with a pounding heart. “Um, when I listened to one of your talks recently, you spoke of the importance of applying ‘the golden rule’ to economics and finance. You warned that corporations have become puppets of what you call ‘predatory economics.’ You’ve also mentioned that there’s a far greater economy than the market economy, which you call the ‘love and caring economy.’ Can you tell us more about this?”
“Yes, Rose. The golden rule is about doing as you would be done by. Although money and markets are useful tools that human beings have been using for thousands of years, they didn’t get weaponized and modernized until they became linked with the technological, fossil-fueled industrial era. And then it became really easy to use this one single metric, the price system, and money. The price system is a function of human ignorance, because it’s always historic. You’re always looking back through the rear-view mirror. And the accounting system in economic theory allows for a kind of ‘Freudian slip’ called ‘externalities.’ What’s an externality, for heaven’s sake? Well, it’s whatever I don’t want to pay attention to in my business. And if I’m creating impacts that are affecting innocent bystanders, or pollution in the environment, I’m just going to externalize them from my balance sheet and move right ahead and claim profits. When you actually do a correct full spectrum accounting by internalizing these external costs, you’ll find that all of the posted profits of every multinational corporation in the world are false. Meaning, none of them made any profit, so it’s like a gigantic fraud. And please remember that the role of advertising and marketing, which tries to hook in young people like yourself, evolved out of this market sector and the use of the price system. Many psychologists had been recruited to sharpen our powers of persuasion, as a way to manipulate human beings and their value systems.”
Li feels a knot in his stomach as Hazel’s words start to sink in. Rose asks him gently if he’d like to ask her a question. He nods and clears his throat. “Thank you profoundly for what you just shared, I just wish it wasn’t true. I don’t even know how to persuade my own father to change our business model. My dad runs a big financial wealth management fund, as our family comes from a long line of Asian bankers and financial investors. I’m supposed to follow in his footsteps, but I can’t. I don’t want that kind of predatory economics, as you call it. I don’t want to perpetuate the false monetary pricing that we all know is a ticking time bomb, and the primary reason our world is in a crisis. So many people and species are sentenced to death because of our insane pursuit of unlimited economic growth. How can I help change this?”
“Begin by understanding that money is simply information that we happen to believe in; a kind of social protocol, which, just like any other social protocol, is a set of rules that we decide to use as a proxy token of our intentions—and to express what we value. The problem is that we got locked into economic and financial algorithms that only incentivize the seven deadly sins, and are also enormously out of date because they don’t take in any externalities. These algorithms don’t look at the cost of big market failures, like climate change. You studied economics in college, right? Go back to the first principles in the old economic textbooks, like Adam Smith and his book ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments,’ which recognizes the golden rule. Smith says that there are conditions under which you can use markets to efficiently allocate your resources and your intentions. And those conditions are that the buyers and sellers must meet each other in marketplaces with equal power and equal information. And they must not inflict any harm on any innocent bystanders. This tells you why, for example, the US health system can never be a free market. Because the buyers—the patients—have almost no power and almost no information. And the sellers—the providers, practitioners, and insurance companies—have all the power and all the information. They inflict not only harm on the patients, but also on the general public in society. There are hardly any public health systems that are truly focused on wellness and ecological services, such as clean air and water that we actually need, and which our planet provides for free.”
Mariana interjects, “Thank you, Hazel, for reminding us of nature’s abundance, which is also free of charge. Humans are part of nature, of course, but through social conditioning, we start believing in scarcity and become fearful and greedy. The fear that there is not enough to go around is now dominating our emotions, our thinking, and our actions. This fear makes us continuously accumulate more and more things at the expense of people and the planet, believing that they give us the security that we seek. But the time has come to realize that fear is a good servant, but a terrible teacher. And so, if you’re asking me what each of us can do to get out of our current crisis, I would start with something we can influence, namely our own mind shift. We are the only person thinking in our head, and we must see that scarcity is a lie, and that the human spirit has the ingenuity needed to overcome most challenges. We have proven that many times since the dawn of civilization. This human quality has never been more obvious than now when the collective intelligence of billions of people is converging online through technological evolution showing us how we can provide the solutions to the global grand challenges.”
“I’m really curious to learn more about this transformative role of technology, Mariana,” Rose says. “Are you saying that technological developments can actually help us to resolve our sustainability crisis and help us to evolve? Does this also include the use of AI—artificial intelligence?”
“Yes,” Mariana smiles. “As a computer scientist, I’m a huge fan of technology and its extraordinary ability to create abundance to help the people and the planet. It always has because it reflects human innovation, creativity, and consciousness evolution. How we use technology is, however, a direct reflection of our mindset. You can use a knife to feed people or to kill them. Everything we create on the outside is a direct reflection of who we are on the inside. This truth becomes more obvious than ever before through AI algorithms by programmers who, without ethical education, are building their own biases into AIs. Or to stick to Hazel’s previous example, how biased views on gender or racial biases can be built in healthcare algorithms. For this kind of transformation to happen, we must continue to create a society that supports high moral and ethical norms, at later stages of consciousness. That’s a leadership issue, which means that we need awakened leaders in all parts of society, from education, to business, to politics. We have a long way to go, but it can be done.”
Verdandi nods her head in agreement, and turns to speak to Rose and Li. “That’s why our previous conversation about entering into higher states of consciousness is so important. As Mariana explained, the world you create around you mirrors your inner states of consciousness. Rose, this may also give you another perspective about the role and purpose of the seven Cosmic Architect Tools I’ve shared with you this past month. Each of these are Tools of consciousness for developing, attuning, aligning, refining, and manifesting your Cosmic powers and awareness. Mariana, you seem hopeful about the future despite our worsening global crisis and the lack of moral leadership and ethical businesses. What is the source of your hope?”
“I am hopeful because I know that the next ‘miracle’ is coming,” Mariana answers with tears in her eyes. “When Carl Jung was asked whether he believes in God or not, he said, ‘I don’t have to believe, I know.’ Like Jung, who did not believe in a personal God either, I have scientific evidence to prove how the miracle of human consciousness produced the most astounding progress in all areas of life, from modern medicine to the space shuttle. This gives me the certainty that consciousness will survive, but we must act now to ensure the safety of planetary boundaries, without which, our species cannot exist. So, the fact that we still exist shows me that the next evolutionary step in consciousness is emerging. We can do it. I know this in my heart.”
“That’s so profound,” Rose blurts out. “‘If we’re not meant to go the next step, we wouldn’t exist.’ That’s what I realized when I was dying in the hospital last year—that my future life is born from that next step, and that I can access this next step now already. Thank you so much.”
“Thank you,” Mariana smiles warmly. “I’m just mirroring you, my dear friends. Thank you, and many blessings to you.”
“Hazel, is there anything else you’d like to add?” Verdandi asks lovingly.
“Yes,” Hazel says. “The planet is teaching us directly and says, ‘Okay, kids, no more time; this is graduation time. And you’re going to have to expand your consciousness now to understand the actual, real circumstances of your survival on this planet from our mother star, the sun, who provides us with all those free photons every day. We have to go back and learn from the plant kingdom, which discovered our first technology on this planet, called photosynthesis. Plants take the photons in their leaves and turn them into carbohydrates, which is the basis of our food supply, and all of our worlds, and everything we need for happy lives. At the moment it’s all about incentivizing behavior with money, and that game is over. How do you go back to incentivizing the golden rule? We can do it. But you have to change the algorithms.”
“You sound a great deal like Rose, my friend,” Verdandi tells Hazel with a laugh.
“Yes, yes!” Rose exclaims. “And that’s what Li and I are going to do, right, Li? Change the algorithms of the game.” She’s so happy to discover more future humans.
Li nods his head in full agreement. Rose continues, “Li is flying to Hong Kong to meet his parents next week, and I’ll be joining him the following week. We’re going to propose a plan to financial investors for a very different way of playing the game of life on planet Earth. We’ve called it the Future Humans Quest, played through the Cosmic Compass game, where we play to thrive, and not just to survive. We play to consciously evolve ourselves and our collective consciousness by using the Cosmic powers of consciousness that are already within us. Through the game, people will discover seven Cosmic Architect Tools for accessing, activating, and developing those powers. The Tools form part of our innate Cosmic architecture and…”
“We need to let them go, love,” Verdandi interrupts. “They’ve been very kind to give us over an hour of their time already.”
“Ohh…uhm, sure…Of course. Thank you so much, Hazel and Mariana, I can’t wait to talk to you again. I’m so grateful for this conversation.”
“You’re most welcome, my dear.” Hazel smiles while looking at the shining faces of her new, young friends. “Rose, your grandmother shared with me a piece of your writing about five new archetypes you came up with. I just want you to know that I love them all, and can see myself in each one of those five future archetypes. They’re wonderful.”
“Really? That makes me so happy to know that! Yes, they’re the Wholeness Coder, Future Creative, Evolutionary Catalyst, Pattern Weaver, and New Paradigm Storyteller. It is from those archetype patterns that I’ve been developing all these wild, new ideas. I believe they also represent the archetypal structure of the next step that Mariana spoke of earlier. That’s what I know in my heart.”
“Thank you very much, dear Hazel and Mariana. It’s been delightful and most enlightening to speak with you both,” Verdandi says in closing.
They complete their call with more happy smiles and the promise to connect again soon. Li feels strengthened and assured from this conversation that the time is ripe for what he feels most passionate about: new, regenerative economics and ethical finance. He’s glad that Rose initiated many of the questions since he felt shy expressing his thoughts with those impressive women, and was more interested in listening to what Hazel and Mariana had to say. He feels that a whole new chapter of his life is about to begin with his upcoming trip to Hong Kong, and he’s grateful that Rose is at the center of it all. He can’t imagine a life and future without her; they complement and motivate each other so well. Their long friendship has strong roots.
Source: Chapter 11, Return of the Avatars, book 2 of the Future Humans Trilogy by Dr. Anneloes Smitsman and Dr. Jean Houston.