Many of us live on automatic pilot, that is, we take our social, religious and political cues from widely held beliefs. This normal part of human behavior allows us to make decisions based on the data we believe to be true. But there is another part of that structure a lot of people ignore. It is our ability to take in new data so that we can update our information base and, perhaps, make better decisions. Here are some updates, based on some recent trends that are re-writing our perceptions.
MYTH: If we just keep doing incremental changes through charity programs, legislation, grant initiatives from Foundations, etc, we will empower more people and build a better society. FACT: That's not how we're trending. There are a few exceptions in South East Asia, but overall in the world, the trend over the past 40 years is the rapid growth of income inequality. In fact, in the US, the latest numbers in a Fortune Magazine report say that Black and Brown communities will be, on the whole, penniless in the next 10 to 20 years. http://fortune.com/2017/09/19/racial-inequality-wealth-gap-america/?utm_campaign=fortunemagazine&utm... But it doesn't stop in those communities https://www.newstarget.com/2017-08-24-most-americans-are-one-paycheck-away-from-poverty-you-cant-pre...
Think about this the next time you're at a charity ball or event that's raising money for the less fortunate.
WHAT CAN WE DO: Let's put more money, resources, thought and leadership into economic alternatives. This movement is trending. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/15/rethinking-prosperity-credible-alternat...
MYTH: Overpopulation is destroying the planet. FACT: The top industrialized nations are destroying the planet. Oxfam came out with a study that says the top 10% of industrialized countries account for half of all CO2 emissions, thus leading to climate change, while the bottom 50% of the world's population only account for a 10% contribution to climate change. We've been trending that way for the past century. https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/mb-extreme-carbon-inequality-021215... Even more, it's not about the numbers of people as much as it is about the efficiency of systems in top industrialized nations http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/22/07/2013/food-crisis-real-problem-poverty. WHAT CAN WE DO: It will be hard, but there has to be a global campaign on sharing for the good of everybody.
MYTH: People are naturally selfish and self-serving. FACT: The trending body of science says we're hardwired to be generous and altruistic. Tons of emerging data keeps saying the same thing --- we actually want to give and get great pleasure out of the process. http://www.medicaldaily.com/human-brain-hardwired-altruistic-behavior-kind-and-generous-378606. One can only imagine what could happen in a socioeconomic system that leans toward that strength instead of one that emphasizes a belief that acquisition is the road to happiness. WHAT CAN WE DO: The rise of the philosophical construct called Ubuntu seeks to tap into that sharing, giving aspect of humanity so we can leverage that strength.
MYTH: We can stop climate change/global warming by lowering the world's CO2 emissions. FACT: That ship has sailed some time ago. We are now in the transition phase where we have to start thinking climate change adaptation. You'll be hearing that phrase more and more often over the next 3-5 years. https://kottke.org/15/08/climate-change-were-past-the-point-of-no-return WHAT CAN WE DO: There are Climate Change Adaptation groups springing up all around the world. Join one.
MYTH: Autonomous Robots won't take as many jobs as what's being predicted.. FACT: Autonomous Robots have already been taking jobs and have been doing so for the past 30 years. People are working harder but not earning more. They are working two or three jobs to take the place of one. They are discovering the one income household is almost a thing of the past. Why? Autonomous robots or automation. It's been going on since the 1990s. Most people just didn't connect the dots. http://fortune.com/2016/11/08/china-automation-jobs/ WHAT CAN BE DONE: All jobs won't go away, but large swaths of people will be underemployed or unemployed. It's time to rethink what can we do to leverage the collective strength of our populations to solve some of our most basic challenges.
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org