The five major challenges facing the world can only be solved through collaboration, not by returning to being an isolated nation states.
On June 23rd UK voters will have the responsibility to decide whether the UK stays part of the European Union, or retreats into being an individual nation state. It is clear that the majority of young people recognise the need to be part of something bigger than ourselves, but there is a grave danger that older voters will vote to leave the E.U. as a reaction to things they do not like. However much we are fearful of the changes that are happening in the world, we cannot turn back the clock and I believe the main challenges that face us in our hyper-connected world can only be addressed by international cooperation, not by retreat into competing nation states.
The five major challenges are:
- Climate Change.This is by far the largest challenge facing not only our human species but all of the biosphere which supports us and which we share with many thousands of other living beings. It is now accepted by 99% of scientists that Climate change is direct result of human pollution and that the threat is still getting worst. We have a very limited window before the affects will trigger larger runaway cycles of consequences which will be irreversible. Only radical international action can prevent the worst of global warming and increased climate disasters.
- Economic and social inequality. It is clear that we cannot solve the issues of climate change without also addressing the growing inequality between the world’s richest and poorest. In the last 50 years many humans have been lifted out of poverty, but the gap between the world’s richest 5% and the world’s poorest 50% gets bigger and bigger. WE now live in hyper-connected world where the poorest know what the richest are getting and want it for themselves. This will continue to fuel international migration, war and conflict.
- Terrorism, War and Security. Small groups of Human beings who feel unrecognised, badly treated or humiliated can now quickly develop the power to terrorise those with whom they are angry Only international cooperation on security surveillance can contain the impact of global terrorism. This needs to be increased and leaving the EU will negatively impact progress.
- Climate change, economic inequality and wars will continue to drive international migration. Leaving Europe will not limit those seeking to come to the UK, it will only decrease international cooperation to address the issues and make us more prone to either ever increasing numbers or inhumane border control.
- A Global Economic System that needs regulation. There has been increasing exposure of how global companies and super-rich individuals can avoid paying their fair contribution in taxation by moving their assets internationally. Now that we have a globalised economy we need international regulation to ensure that banks, businesses and the powerfully rich are all properly regulated and contributing to the benefit of the whole human family and the ‘more than human world’. We do not need less bureaucracy, just more intelligent bureaucracy that is internationally created and adhered to.
Now is not the time for nations to retreat to isolated self-interest. Indeed, self-interest requires us to collaborate internationally as this is the only way we can address these issues that will continue to affect each and every one of us. Yes, the European Union needs reforming, so does the United Nations and the British Parliament. The only sensible and responsible course of action is to stay an active and reforming part of all of them. For the sake of my, and all our grandchildren, I therefore would ask all fellow voters in the UK to go out on June 23rd and vote to remain an active member of the European Union. If you do not live in the UK, please contact someone who does and convince them that their vote to stay part of the E.U. matters.
In the world of Hyper-change and Hyper-connectivity we cannot afford to evolve human consciousness one person at a time?
“The most important task today is, perhaps to learn to think in a new way.”
(Gregory Bateson (1972:462)
We live in a time when our collective human actions are putting the very existence of our species at threat, but also a time when we have the potential to destroy most of the living world of this planet along with our own species. Tim Smit the founder of the Eden Project for sustaining biosphere diversity opened a speech to the UK Institute of Directors with the line: “The next thirty years are possibly the most exciting time to be alive in the whole of human history. For in that time we will either discover if we deserve the title Homo Sapiens, or we will all fry.” (Smit 2019).
Reg Revans the founder of “Action Learning” (Revans 1982) often used the powerful formula L= E.C. (Learning must equal or be greater than the rate of the environmental change) as a way of awakening those who would listen to the Darwinian law of organisational survival. It is only through learning in relation to the contexts we find ourselves in that individual, teams, organisations or species co-evolve, flourish and survive. Bateson (1972), a contemporary of Revans, would also point out to those that would listen the problems we have created by choosing the wrong unit of survival.
In accordance with the general climate of thinking in mid nineteenth century England, Darwin proposed a theory of natural selection and evolution, in which the unit of survival was either the family line or species or sub-species or something of that sort. But today it is quite obvious that this is not the unit of survival in the real biological world. The unit of survival is organism plus environment. We are learning by bitter experience that the organism that destroys its environment destroys itself.
Five years ago, we sold Bath Consultancy Group and I launched Renewal Associates as an independent business specialising in developing Systemic Team Coaching, in a way that brings the best of Organisational Development and Coaching together in a rich blended offering. I decided that the new business would have no web-site, brochures or business cards, indeed no marketing at all, except what books and articles I published. The only work we would do would come from word of mouth and personal recommendation. This has been very successful with more work arriving that we could cope with. So why launch a web-site now? The world does not need more stuff, but it does need more connection that links thinking from different communities and different professional disciplines. Continue reading “Why Have a Web-Site at a time of digital overload?”