45º Change: Transforming Society from Below and Above

Neal Lawson

45º Change: Transforming Society from Below and Above


The argument is simple: the old ways of doing and deciding things, in which we were either cogs in a corporate or state machine, or consumers in a free market free for all, are failing to meet our needs as human beings or solve our social, economic and environmental problems.


As ever in history, when old paradigms fail, people search for new ones. Beyond Westminster and corporate HQs, people are already busy building new organisations and transforming old ones, finding new ways of ‘deciding and doing’, that are more creative, innovative, productive, participatory, and more socially and environmentally aware.


But this shift to what Compass calls a Good Society, one that is much more equal, sustainable and democratic, is not a given. The same technology that can liberate us can also enslave us through populist abuse and new forms of corporate digital domination.


To ensure humanity and the planet benefit from today’s technological transformation, the state is going to have to help join up, scale up, accelerate, replicate and project emerging forms of collaborate action to ensure they become the predominant form of ‘deciding and doing’ in the 21st century.


But these emerging forces and organisations are going to have to adapt and develop too. However hard, these new formations will have to form broader alliances, both across civil society and with the state, nationally and locally.


The intersection between this emerging horizontal bottom-up change and the more vertical state is the diagonal fault line through which a new society can and must be born. This is 45° Change.

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