In many mythologies, order is born out of chaos. Well… there is hope, at least !
What we see around us is quite a chaotic world: magmatic and unstable, full of emergencies, slipping out of the control of inadequate social and political structures.
Some of us have the impression that time is ripe for a big leap, a cultural revolution as the only possible alternative to sinking into the anarchic collapse of our societies or, even worse, a new fall into the hell of nationalism and war.
Some philosophers or mathematicians could object that we are used to live on the edge of chaos, being the world a complex system whose balance is intrinsecally unstable. Hence, the chaos theory seems to ignore – at least in the social science – the important variable that I would call human evolution.
The choice is not simply between chaos and complexity, on one side, and stability and order, on the other (an illusion sold by many populist politicians). The third way is the most realistic one, even if difficult to walk: ethically navigating the complexity to promote the emergence of new models and solutions.
How could that be possible?
I think many of us have have had insights about it, different but all convergent. I’ll offer a number of inspiring examples.
First of all, I see a rise in awareness. Many people started to feel global citizens and experience this awareness. For instance, the huge community of global citizens has an impact on addressing extreme poverty; everybody, supporting Movements, can help an activist for human rights in need; people signing petitions on Avaaz take a stance on causes which are perceived as global. Interestingly enough, active global citizenship is being born bottom-up.
There is also a way to express this awareness as economic players. Many years have passed since Klaus Schwab had the brilliant intuition that modern enterprises must serve all stakeholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity. Since then, his creature, the World Economic Forum, grew exponentially, still committed to improving the state of the world.
Even if the concept of social responsibility of enterprises is not new, it is getting more and more popular: together with the narrative of disruptive change, the narrative of positively impacting the world has gained traction in the entrepreneurial environment. Beautiful initiatives as XPrize or Hive are thriving. A powerful example of this new way of being economic players is offered by Business Fights Poverty, a network of over 15,000 professionals harnessing business for social impact.
Private foundations are now big players in financing development, education, health care, social justice: One, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Open Society Foundations and many more… Philantropists appear animated by the desire of giving back to humanity, by the deep consciousness of their impact on millions of lives and by the side effect of living more fulfilling lives.
The civil society -after a long season of demonstrations in the Nineties (against G7, WTO, globalization) – started building bridges to make their voice heard by international actors. NGOs are more and more global actors, starting original initiatives to make international organizations more legitimate, accountable and inclusive.
The newborn Citizens Climate Engagement Network deserves a special mention as a powerful example of what individuals can do even in the apparently out of reach challenge of stopping climate change.
In this changing climate, States are somehow hanging back, as bulwarks of the status quo, a problem that Simon Anholt is addressing with the Good Country project. He deserves all our support.
Finally which institutional shape would better fit this changing world? Which model would sort us out of this “competitive mode” and organise humanity as a single species sharing a single planet? This is my issue and this blog is my thinking aloud about it. You can read here and there insights and bits of a solution. Something to work on for decades!
I apologize if I forgot to mention many worthy individuals and beautiful initiatives, I know many of you are on this path of progress and evolution and, if you want to add some information posting a comment, I really appreciate.
It seems to me important – in a world focused on bad news – turn on a light beam on the emerging tiles of a different reality.
How long it will take for the puzzle pieces to get together?