I, like many people, feel that politicians and very senior business people are too slow to act. They juggle a complexity of stakeholders with much invested in retaining the status quo. I understand the fear of change on this scale; whole industries are likely to cease to exist. Following the global financial crisis, we have watched a world shaky in recovery and, while the geopolitical landscape is changing, world markets continue to have the jitters. Some even hold that rolling recessions will accompany global warming, until our global economy finally collapses, showing itself to be the house of cards it has always been.
I know the change (if it happens on the scale predicted by some) will be acutely painful for many, particularly when we are talking about people’s homes and livelihoods. But the change will come anyway, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take control and act, then we will be forced to change – not because we prefer desert blooms over the English rose, but rather because it has stopped raining where we live, or because oil really did run out, or because the sea levels really did rise, or because the rate of carbon omissions did really change global weather.
While capitalism has come under the spotlight, despite seeming abundance, we know we have never been more fragile. If ordinary people have been sold the idea that all will be OK by and by and behaved accordingly, then ordinary people can be unsold the idea. If you and I have traded our courage and will to defend important things for games and entertainment, we can re-engage. The choice is ours. Our world and all its baubles is seductive, no doubt about it, but it is not all of the picture, by any measure.
We are evolving. The Industrial Age was known for a focus on production, on the value of skilled labour, on improving productivity by improving efficiency. We focussed on economies of scale. The Information Age placed a value on intellectual capital, on knowledge and learning, and re-engineering replaced a singular focus on efficiency.
Right now we are watching, actually living through in the West, the evolution of the Consciousness Age, where the value of our organisations is invested in people, their creativity and emotional capability, married with their passion for shared purpose and values. We are transforming ourselves. And beyond this is the Spiritual Age, one marked by a fundamental understanding of the sheer wonder of being human, living on this small planet and accepting our global responsibility. The Spiritual Age will bring with it an increasing sensitivity to our relationship to one another. It will be the end of evangelism and born-again self-righteousness. It will be the beginning of a focus on contributions made because they can be, with no expected return – genuine and heartfelt.
You can and do make a difference in the world. Do not give up on this right. Our future does hang in the balance; you know it and I know it.
So what can tip the scales? You and I deciding to act, simple as that.