|You can access also access the video, including a transcript here (), and a read the introduction to his book, ‘Leading from the emerging future’, that describes this journey here.
The reassuring thing is that the wisdom as well as the solutions that are needed already exist; we just need to remember the wisdom, and find the solutions, then nurture them and accelerate their impact – which is of course why Katerva exists.
What is critical in this necessary shift from ego to eco is that all aspects of the system are being addressed, not just one, and most certainly not only technology. This is why Katerva’s awards categories range from Cities & Mobility, Energy & Environment, Food & water to Education & Human Resources and Heath & Wellbeing. It is a combination of hard and soft shifts, of transformation of technologies and mindsets.
While the buy-in into the need for transforming technologies is taken for granted, there is less awareness and understanding of the need for mindset changes – hence here a reminder of the required changes in mindset and behaviours we have written about; they are now even more urgent than before:
- Understanding connectedness and thinking in systems – We must address global problems by thinking in systems, moving beyond an outdated linear approach to problems. Newtonian Physics, and the resulting way of interacting with our environment, is no longer sufficient. Instead we need to embrace the world of quantum physics, which acknowledges connectedness, unpredictable interactions, non-linear relationships, and multiple possible outcomes. It is the insights and concepts from chaos and complexity theory that will help us address the challenges we face
- From control to emergence – While technological progress nurtures our belief that we are in control, the further we go back in time, the more we were aware that we but part of a system that has its own dynamic and rules that are beyond our reach, and which we would do well to respect; volcanic erruptions, wildfires, and increasingly frequent and severe storms and with flooding remind us of this.
- Thinking further into the future while acting now – In the world of business, short-termism is a reality that is widely bemoaned, as business guru Peter Drucker pointedly declared in a Wall Street Journal editorial in 1985: “Everyone who has worked with American management can testify that the need to satisfy the pension fund manager’s quest for higher earnings next quarter, together with the panicky fear of the raider, constantly pushes top managements toward decisions they know to be costly, if not suicidal, mistakes.” Not much has changed since then and, therefore, “We are living in an interminable succession of absurdities imposed by the myopic logic of short-term thinking,” as said Jacques Yves Cousteau.
- Give more importance to the feminine side – Before saying anything else: it will take all of us to save us. The call to give more importance to the feminine side it not about ‘better or worse’ nor ‘right or wrong’. It is also not about ‘women versus men’ but about female and male values, both of which are in all of us. It is about looking at what is ‘different’, and what might be most appropriate in each situation, given the complex world we live in today.
- Believing in contribution, not entitlement – The essence of this mindset shift is captured in the quote of John F Kennedy from his presidential inauguration in 1961 when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. Given our sphere of influence – our community, and the wider context on which we depend – the planet, this should really be expanded to “Ask not what your community, country or planet can do for you – ask what you can do to enhance each of them!”
- Embracing sufficiency while nurturing abundance – In essence, this shift is to ask ‘how much do I really need’, rather than feel the need to accumulate more and more. It is a shift from a growth economy to a steady-state economy, via de-growth, a term first introduced in 1972, the same year the book ‘The Limits of Growth’ was published by the Club of Rome.
Each and every one one of us needs to be the change we want and desperately need to see in the world.