2021: Creating a Lexicon of Future

Ruth Glendinning
2 min readApr 29, 2021

K is for Keystone

Holding the space between heaven and earth, the keystone holds the delicate balance of the arc. Connecting past to future and providing a frame for the unfolding story.

Socializing the Big Ideas

As we move out of conceptualizing and planning, we must socialize our vision with others, it’s important to use your outrage to light the way to root the solution in WHY the vision is important, which unlocks the “keystone capitals”:

  • Attention capitalyou pay attention
  • Relationship capitalyou invest in relationships
  • Time capitalyou spend time
  • Trust capitalyou accrue trust
  • Wisdom capitalyou grow an experiential wisdom portfolio

These five keystone capitals are discussed in this podcast episode:

Activating these forms of soft capital allows them to act as multipliers for hard capital resources, thereby bringing forward unexpected complexity that investment in neighborhood economics unlocks.

What are “keystone capitals?”

Well, think about keystone species within an ecosystem: “a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically.”

For example, squirrels spend the entire summer and fall burying nuts and seeds in preparation for the winter months, but they don’t actually keep track or remember precisely where they’ve buried the food; their survival strategy is contingent upon how much food is buried.

There are obviously a broad variety of inadvertent beneficiaries: the squirrels not only feed a large number of other species, they also plant seeds necessary to ensure new tree growth and a sustainable ecosystem.

In the ecosystem, all stakeholders are committed to the shared wellbeing of the community. All forms of capital are valued, all costs are considered and transactions are transparent.

“What’s really needed is a deeper shift in consciousness so that we begin to care and act, not just for ourselves and other stakeholders but in the interests of the entire ecosystem in which economic activities take place.” ~ Otto Scharmer, From Ego-system to EcoSystem Economies



Ruth Glendinning

Community Architect // Poet // Future Story Lab // Lexicon of Future // Anti-Fragile Playbook // Peace Economics // Originator of S.L.O.W. Tech // #womenswork