What are “our next systems”?

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Kindling’s tagline is “ideas and community for our next systems.” Let’s break that down.

We offer ideas – concepts, possibilities, dreams – of how our society can function differently and work better for us all. And we build community – pulling together and connecting a network of passionate change agents committed to building a new world.

Those parts are pretty straight forward. But I’ve been getting a few questions on what exactly our next systems means.

What is a system?

A system is a set of interacting or interdependent component parts forming a complex whole. A family is a system. An organization is a system. Our whole economy is a system (with many systems within it). Earth is a system!

The defining characteristic of a system is that various individual parts interact together and add up to something new and unique. The individual parts working together serve some function or produce an outcome that they wouldn’t be able to if they weren’t connected.

So why “next systems”?

Our society’s current systems are failing us. They no longer serve the common good to the extent they can and should.

We have an economy built to create money, no matter what the ecological or social costs. We have political systems that claim to be democratic, but where wealthy corporations and individuals can buy influence. We have institutions and belief systems that privilege whiteness and marginalize blackness and browness. We have organizations whose purpose it is to provide value to their investors, even if at the expense of their customers or employees. We have prisons designed to make profit off of – not rehabilitate – those who have committed offenses. We have religions that too often teach hate, rather than love.

Our “next systems” are the new systems that we are now creating and building. They span our economy, our politics, our organizations, and our spiritual practices. They are grounded in the values of sustainability, equity, compassion, democracy, purpose, and peace. They are designed for the 21 Century. They offer opportunity and possibility for everyone.


Kindling is designed to inspire understanding, action, and community for our next systems. “Our” is intentional.

First, where current systems only work for a select few, our next systems will work for all of us: the poor, people of color, women, the disabled, even people who commit crimes.

Second, these systems will only come into being if we work together. We need a community of supportive, dedicated individuals.

Kindling is committed to helping build that community.

Want to join us?


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