Friday, 24 May 2013

Founders Thoughts: Where are we heading and why?

The primary reason I am passionate about the arts is that they are the safest of all havens for all our thoughts, feelings and opinions. It is there and nowhere else that we have an absolute freedom to express ourselves regardless of the judgement, prejudice and criticism of others. Whether we share such personal expressions is entirely in our own hands, but I would argue in many ways we are foolish not to because it is the safe outlet for our fears, doubts, outrages, anger and deep concerns. It is also though, the home of our laughter, our joys and most of all our dreams of a Utopian world.

If we take a look at how science fiction has become science fact at an alarming rate this becomes more obvious, yet it is just one example of how the arts can help us. (Stick with me and I'll explain how and why I believe it can help even in business terms). From science facts come new initiatives to help with solving health care, new inventions for manufacturing and every kind of product which in turn inspire the arts to generate a whole new batch of dreams.

Any word in the English language ending in 'ology' is a science (a study of), so the relatively new kids on the block of sociology and psychology also are beginning to play a huge part in influencing where we are heading and why but, their influence is not powerful enough yet to help us to avoid the pitfalls that we as a species keep repeating because we are fallible. All of us are fallible, without any exception.

Sadly the truth is, we will never become less prone to cock-ups unless and until we learn to be honest about our own faults, face the hard lessons that they teach head on to overcome them before we can ever hope to avoid the repeated mistakes of mankind since we learnt to think. 

That in essence is the nub of all our problems in my opinion. No, I am not the Messiah or Einstein but frankly for the mess we've collectively made of things, if I were God I would be throwing rocks at the planet by now too simply out of frustration for not learning from our mistakes.

What I feel needs to happen is for us all to stop, pause and reflect and use our capacity to be logical and ethical to collectively work things out through negotiation and yes, through tough decisions and measures to stand a chance of cracking this eternal knot of boom and bust, rich and poor, famine and feast etc etc. On our side we have information, but what use is it if we are only going to waste it by continually deploying it as a weapon instead of using it as an asset that can help.

Information is power

Scary to think how much information every government has on it's people. In safe hands it should never be a problem, but sadly we can not ever guarantee we have safe hands as power has this nasty habit of corrupting and confusing even the best of us. Perhaps though if the world leaders were to agree to use personal information to help identify people at risk or those likely to commit crimes we might start to get somewhere rather nice. Interesting fact: 75% of criminals are illiterate! Er... hel-lo! So what does that tell us then? It tells us that to reduce crime all we have to do is find other ways to teach people to read, write and count. Viola! One problem could be solved as easily as that.

A question of money

Here we go... This is the most problematic issue of all to agree to get right to be fair to all. As I've stated many times before I have no problem with people earning huge salaries so long as they pay their taxes and sadly some of the worst offenders of all are big businesses including many multi-nationals. This I hope explains why I am so passionate about social enterprises as that model, in it's myriad of forms, I believe is the way forward because... at it's core it means that we can only ALL benefit, simply by giving back to the communities which precisely are what the foundation stones that supports everything we do and supply everything we need to be able to function. It really is (or could be) that simple.

Finally, and this is something I have learnt from psychology, we all have the capacity to imagine ourselves to be as wise as Solomon or as villainous as Hitler. Which do you and your loved ones wish to be? It comes down to a matter of choice and in that choice we can all do a bit to help each other just from our own doorstep, be it at work, in the community or at home with our personal relationships. There really never need be a situation whereby a few are responsible for so much if we all help. It is perhaps the most sad indictment of all that we have awards for what we consider to be remarkable people for their dedication to caring for others. Surely we all should share in such accolades for do we not all have that capacity?

"Never in the field of human conflict does so
much depend upon so few to rectify so much." 

Mel Dixon 2013

Are we a team or not? Do we want to be? More pointedly, do we need to be?