Ned relaxing in the garden

  The N.E.D. Foundation is a non-profit organisation established for the purpose of fostering social and personal evolutionary processes within Australia and the world.



Guiding Principles

Engaged Activities and Concerns

Action Strategy

Upcoming Events

How Did the NED-Net and the N.E.D. Foundation Begin?

Links Page: Associated or Like-minded Organisations and Individuals

The Underlying Framework of Purpose


The Initiating Mission Statement

Action Statement

Guiding Principles

      The inspiration and direction of the N.E.D. Foundation is based on the following perceptions:

1. That the earth and the human species, are facing a crisis, in which their survival as healthy living entities is now threatened as never before in recorded history.

2. That, in order to face this crisis, we all individually need to make use of our potential for inner growth. Only through the maturity gained by continual engagement in this, can we become effective - for the genuine, long-term benefit of ourselves and the world we live in.

      Implied in this is the need for cross-awareness between all religions and personal growth disciplines, whilst retaining the essence and unique power of each. We particularly need a new global spirituality, especially for those for whom the traditional approaches no longer have appeal. One that is relevant to the modern secular world, and offers effective solutions to the growing malaise of meaninglessness, which disempowers all our personal and social endeavours.

3. That, above all other social theories and experiments, the principle of citizen involvement as expressed in the historic development of "Democracy" and "Co-operation", must be the primary impulse for our next evolutionary step. This principle needs to permeate and guide all areas of group and social activity - political, commercial and cultural. This principle expresses at human level, the larger principle which governs all life - that of ecology.

      As a key factor in our species' survival and growth-evolution, and for the purposes of meaningful life as distinct from short-term emergencies, we need to move beyond traditional style 'leadership': i.e., beyond past allegiance and willingness for the imposition of a single individual's vision - enacted through highly energetic single mindedness; to engaging in the slower, more frustrating yet more enduring, organic methods of a broad based participatory learning process. Here decision making, responsibility and 'consequence-awareness', become an intended mutual reality. This implies a shift from 'top-down' militaristic, short-term efficiency, to 'ground up' involvement of all of us, both in facing reality together and as well in maintaining group-cohesion. This we see as the primary task, with learning, meaning and long-term effectiveness as the ultimate aim - our particular current engaged 'activity' is seen merely as the means. Thus personal development, within social and cultural development, becomes elevated as an equal and integrated component of human purpose. In this way society can become both personally meaningful and collectively effective.

4. As an essential underpinning of these responses, we all need to attend retreats and workshops, as pragmatic personal experiences which allow us to regularly view our material goals and objectives from 'outside'. Such review needs to become a routine part of our personal, social and work life.


Action Strategy

      The Foundation's main action strategy is to use the 'NED-Net(work)' of volunteers to assist and encourage individuals and groups to adopt the principles of 'involvement', and in each person's case to do this through a broad, species-nurturing, interpersonally developmental approach to how they tackle their particular specialised work role or field of interest.

      Individual activists are thus encouraged to adopt the Taoist maxim: "Follow me, the wise man said, but he walked behind". Personal contact and word-of-mouth are centrally important in our process, and are basic to the way we have been coming together as a Board to develop our mutuality and derive productivity out of our differences.

How Did the NED-Net and the N.E.D. Foundation Begin?

      The N.E.D.Foundation is the Will-project of Ned Iceton. Ned has spent the last 23 years making connections with, and and fostering connections between, people who, like him, believe that we humans will have to speedily undergo our next cultural-evolutionary steps if we are to survive as a species. He has built a network of mutual support, to link individuals who seek to make personal and socially developmental change for either specific or general purposes. Ned works in a process-oriented way, i.e. he does not himself have a particular personal content-field of interest, but is keenly aware that the necessary evolution of humanity will have to embrace interconnected change in all areas and subjects. His interest is in that general process.
      Ned wants his Will to enable at least one person to continue working full time along similar change-fostering lines after his death. For this purpose he is now designing his estate in such a way that it will permanently support the employment of a professional 'social developer', who will be helped in the task by a network of volunteers.

      The NED-Net is a group of interested people who are currently supporting Ned in devising the practical and philosophical basis for such a foundation. Seven people, including Ned, formed an Interim Board (IB) in 1997, with this specific purpose in mind. Others are playing the role of consultants and are invited to lend their practical, inspirational or financial support.

      The IB's first activity was to create a draft job description for the future professional social developer, because ensuring the employment of such a person is seen as the initiating task of the foundation. The IB meets at least once a year to discuss the current state of development and to consider the next necessary steps.

The Underlying Framework of Purpose

      The core principle is the insight that in order for any whole to prosper, all of its parts have to be healthy. The basic idea is that healthy life consists of ecologically (i.e., non-hierarchically) organized communities of participants. Healthy plant, animal or human communities are like this. They co-operate firstly through horizontal networks of two way mutual agreements on the same level, (eg., cell-to-cell, person-to-person) and also vertically across ascending levels of complexity (i.e., individual - family - local community). This ecological integration allows individuals and the community to evolve healthily; and it best ensures, in Ned's words, 'the life everlasting' (i.e., that life evolves permanently).

      The focus of individuals thus needs to become wider than their own immediate advantage, and has to be 'response-able', i.e. must include some vision of mutuality (love') within the greater whole. In turn, there is a responsibility for large groupings to consider both the well-being of their own constituent members, as well as the legitimate mutual needs of other large groupings (e.g religious groups, nations, multinational companies, ethnic groups, races, etc.). 

The Initiating Mission Statement

      NED-Net affirms the life-enhancing importance of fostering co-operative and mutually supportive relationships among Australian citizens. We seek the emergence of an invigorated, unifying Australian ethos, and then beyond this we advocate an Australian role in helping humanity steer itself to secure a future on the Earth. In point form we want to see:
  • a life-enhancing, inclusive ethos;
  • improved linkages, mutual acceptance and co-operation;
  • a maximising of our human potential at the levels of :
    • the individual person,  
    • communities everywhere; and
    • global society; and thus
  • steering ourselves effectively and collectively towards a future for our planet, by
  • building whatever level of world cultural convergence is necessary to energise effective, comprehensive global action on global issues.

 This vision is spelled out specifically as:

Action Statement:

  1. Promote and develop socially developmental values, through supportively stimulating individual people to define and redefine to each other what their life is about, and then to take specific individual and collective action as citizens, to achieve mutually agreed, evolving goals;
  2. Intercultural:
    • Facilitate dialogue towards convergence across cultures, and across the differences that are the legacy of history;
    • Launch this kind of mutual engagement internationally so as to seek solutions to global problems identified in common; and harness integrated, collective global intelligence and energy;
  3. Maintain, enhance, expand and improve linkages in relation to;
    • NED-Net members & contacts;
    • The existing Social Developers' Network in Australia;
    • Individuals or groups pursuing similar goals by similar means; and
    • Individuals or groups believed to have a similar potential;
  4. Identify and foster linkages between those particular men and women who can help us lift our social functioning 'up a rung' - i.e. people with skill who are taking the personal risk to convene new social development groups and thus enable their members' entry, via group process, into that higher level of mutually tolerant and life-enhancing community 'spirit' that our vision for humanity calls for.


     NED-Net and N.E.D. Foundation: contact Ned Iceton at:

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