The Netflix series, “Designated Survivor”, offers a refreshing story about a president who is able to manage incredibly difficult circumstances.
In the TV series, low-level cabinet member Tom Kirkman unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington, D.C. He gets in by emergency protocol because he was named “designated survivor”. In the conspiracy, his forced selection is intended to lead to social failure, making way for dictatorial takeover. Yet against all odds, he and his administration lead with aplomb.
Why? Because his thinking is different – he values civility and all life. He envisions novel solutions that work. He engenders flexible and creative thinking in others. He is unafraid of disturbing the status quo. Yes, it is fiction, but the fact that a TV scriptwriter could conjure this story tells us a new way of thinking is emergent and ready for prime time.
What’s really going on in this TV series?
It’s about the emergence of our species. Humans are continuously co-evolving with their life conditions. As the world complexifies, new capacities emerge, or not. This is what we define as human emergence.
Today’s life conditions are testing the limits of the adaptive capacities of all life forms, not just human. Earth is fragile. Society is fragile. Threats of nuclear war, the ever-widening income gap, and the sixth mass extinction challenge every basic assumption.
Surviving such complexity is challenging, and we offer a simple principle:
Be and act at least a half-step ahead of the life conditions.