Beyond the context of the current synchronic financial crisis, we find ourselves today, in a crossroad where several factors converge, heralding a “Perfect Storm”. As Sir David Attenborough quotes in his recent conference at RSA, “People and Planet” , population growth, climate change and peak oil production will determine a severe turmoil in global society, with devastating consequences in such a short time, that many of us will witness it.
Society has “natural” roots based on immanent physical and emotional characteristics of human beings: biological needs, joy, love, fear, need of getting together, optimizing results of production, trying to get as much leisure time as possible, having control on each one’s own life.
On the other hand, there are drivers from the cultural-artificial environment, that lead the evolution of any social group. Interaction, communication, serendipity, trigger new ways of conceiving reality and generate quantum leaps interrupting the continuum of historic facts as known.
Both aspects need to be addressed: individual / collective, one towards the biological brain, the other towards the social brain.
The aims could be described as societies thriving in the achievement of the maximum AUTONOMY. The individual would gain it’s own autonomy in the same movement than society as a whole.
To reach this status, there must be an AWARENESS and ENVISIONING of the new conditions, which, the same as every milestone in human evolution, both represent a new certainty on the full potential of mankind at a certain time.
In addition, ETHICS / EMPATHY are a perfect pair which concepts I love both. The first one relates to one’s own behavior, when alone, doing things just because of one’s conviction and not measured on the benefit or loss they might bring. It’s a mean to get through the short term, with a teleological perspective, towards the long term. The other is what keeps a social network cohesive. Bonds between individuals translate into the cohesion of a social body. If a simple mechanism replaces the network, it will probably be more efficient and run even faster, but surely will not do it better.
What are the key drivers in today’s society that enable this change more in these days, than in any other time of human history? Continue reading