The Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now. ~Joanna Macy
According to Macy, to accomplish this turning, work needs to be done in three distinct areas. They are as follows:
1) Holding Actions- this is essentially what we normally call activism or direct action. It's getting out there in the streets and saying a "Holy No" to the destructive and unjust practices that are taking place on the planet right now. It's putting bodies in the way of an out of control global system as it marches its sick juggernaut towards some form of deterioration or collapse.
2) Structural Change- this is where we actively work to build new societal forms, new economies, new ways of being together and organizing etc. This is the realm of the famous Buckminster Fuller quote, "To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete".
3) Shift in Consciousness- this is where we do the work of inner spiritual and psychological transformation, what Joseph Campbell called the inward journey. Here we intentionally try and develop beyond our "skin encapsulated egos" and open into wider spheres of identity with the earth, cosmos, and the whole of humanity. This can happen through new forms of thought, understanding the Great Story of which we're a-part, and in particular, through the many spiritual traditions that have developed the methods for such transformation over the centuries.
For Macy this is important because, "These structural alternatives cannot take root and survive without deeply ingrained values to sustain them. They must mirror what we want and how we relate to Earth and each other. They require, in other words, a profound shift in our perception of reality--and that shift is happening now, both as cognitive revolution and spiritual awakening"
Yes, these three are pillars of The Great Turning.
Pillar #3, 'Shift in Consciousness' is the first in importance, as effective individual inner work will guide the other two in harmony with the higher order 'from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.'
Otherwise, we have egos out on the street making angry protest against aggression and creating new structures which will soon corrupt and fail.