This is an important post for me. I've been carrying it around in my head for a while, struggling to articulate it. Thankfully someone else has done it for me. The video below is a talk by Umair Haque who has been doing some important writing on the subject of the current economic malaise. Like me, Umair believes that what we are seeing is somewhat more than a 'normal' recession, and more than a financial crisis. It's a crisis of rigidity, of conflict, of stagnation, of nihilism, and a crisis of depletion.
If you're at all in any doubt about that last one, read this feature from New Scientist ("It has taken all of human history for the economy to reach its
current size. On current form it will take just two decades to double."), and click on the visual below (if you can't read the annotations on the lines, they relate to things like population, CO2 emissions, water use, species extinctions, average surface temperature, loss of tropical rainforest and woodland. The time scale across the bottom is about 250 years. The unbelievably exponential increase is over the last 50).
Umair's point is that we are faced with a crisis of interaction. Interaction has exploded. Changed the way we form institutions. Whatever happens now things will never be the same again. Like how we define value. And how we define growth. Capitalism itself is changing, and there is a better way to compete, and a better way to interact, based on new principles:
- Strategy is a commodity
- Competition is obsolete
- There is nothing more assymetrical than an ideal
- Tommorrow is today
- Connections not transactions
- People, not product
- Creativity, not productivity
- Outcomes not incomes
- Advantage is in the DNA
- The next revolution is institutional
A new set of rules are forming, and it is all of our opportunity to help shape that. I believe community can make a difference. And the We20 initiative that Johnnie posted about is not a bad place to start. This video is long, at an hour, but I urge you to watch it. If you can't do it now, bookmark it, and come back to it when you can. But do watch it.
Umair Haque @ Daytona Sessions vol. 2 – Constructive Capitalism from Daytona Sessions on Vimeo.