The data is clear. Cooperation, not competition is our best life. It can save the future. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
A few years ago, I wrote about how anthropologists discovered something interesting in our millions year old ancestry. We learned to cooperate in order to survive. In other words, we are at our best when we work together across platforms, ethnic groups and geographies to solve major challenges. Consequently, it seems we are at our worst when we compete. A group of anthropologists and psychologists have formalized the data behind this insight....
So, I started to speculate....if we brought cooperation back to the fore of human advancement, how would the world handle things? Below is my speculation based on the current paradigm, and the revisited cooperative paradigm from early humans, also known as the Ubuntu Socieoeconomic Construct....
Current Paradigm: Status quo. Denial. Delay.
Revisited Paradigm: Distributing resources to support those most affected. Move to create a global plan.
Current Paradigm: Profit --Some get….most don’t.
Revisited Paradigm: Abundance---empowered and connected communities.
Current Paradigm: Deal with symptoms, not the problem.
Revisited Paradigm: Re-imagine how systems work.
Current Paradigm: Waste is part of the process of distributing food worldwide, profitably.
Revisited Paradigm: Rethinking food distribution processes to end waste, using new technology.
Current Paradigm: Processed and fattening foods are choices so the market should decide.
Revisited Paradigm: Provide people with better and affordable choices.
Current Paradigm: Keep cultural others out.
Revisited Paradigm: Reformed and modern immigration policies.
Current Paradigm: Incremental progress.
Revisited Paradigm: Elect more women officials for guidance through Feminine Principle Leadership.
Current Paradigm: The market should drive cost and access.
Revisited Paradigm: Providing clean water access to people to improve the quality of life in a community. Prioritizing new technology in this process.
Current Paradigm: Profit
Revisited Paradigm: Utilize the knowledge, technology and innovation into creating smart cities and an empowered world.
This is, of course, speculation, but if we retraced our steps and went back to the best of humanity's innovative roots on the plains of Africa, we would be talking about cooperation and the world would be on a different trajectory.
Reading the title of this article may lend you to believe that there are more incompetent people being born in the world and they are dominating jobs, places of power and various parts of our lives. That's not quite accurate. The major part of the equation is that we are tending the fertile ground of incompetence by creating the right circumstances for it to grow. There are three major factors contributing to what is being perceived as the unmasking and support for incompetence. Those factors are the worship of wealth, the growth of the cult of personality via social media and the war on facts and knowledge.
"Rich people are smarter than the rest of us". There's no doubt that there are rich people who are smart, just as there are those living in poverty who are genius. But a collective leap in logic has started to predominate cultures around the world when people come to the conclusion that people are rich because they are smart. In social caste systems where social mobility is being thwarted by systemic racism, sexism and classism, many really smart and insightful people simply can't get out of their station in life. On the other side, terribly incompetent people are often advanced in responsibility and duty in society simply because they have a lot of money. Over a period of time, this myth of rich people being smarter than the rest of us starts to develop it's own religion. People start to believe it as a truth. We'll say things like "he must be smart, he's rich", or "he knows more than I do because he's richer than I".
"She's popular so she much be smart". We have developed a belief system that says known people are smarter than the rest of us. Thus, there are people in our society who make an entire living simply for being known. Being known is not the same as competence. It's not that the two don't intersect regularly (known people who are smart and competent), but using popularity as a metric for competence and intelligence is false. Social media has made this false practice a regular part of our daily workings. Thus, we often put known people in positions (ie: commenting on world affairs or personal advice) that they are not capable of being able to address coherently.
"Smart people think they're better than us". Somewhere over the years, we decided to wage war on smart, competent people. We made education and intelligence the enemy and started calling learned people "elites". Once you start making the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom culturally unacceptable, incompetent people fill the leadership void and become heroes. We no longer make becoming smart, competent and insightful an aspirational goal. Incompetent people can rule the day simply by doing and saying incompetent things. "They speak their mind", or "he speaks like me" or "he tells the truth" are ways we rationalize disjointed and dishonest conversations from incompetent people. Some of this comes from our desire to find a relatable champion who seems to know and understand our experiences. The other part of it is intellectual laziness, where we simply don't want to do our homework.
The hope here is that there is not a mass uprising of incompetent people. It is not consistent with a "zombie apocalypse" where incompetent people rise from the grave to take over the world. On the contrary. They only advance if we allow that to happen, which means we hold the key to the kind of people we want running our society and our world. My suggestions are the following:
1. Take occasional social media breaks to take the power of incompetent people (popularity) away from them.
2. Leverage social media to do your homework on people who say they want to represent you.
3. Celebrate intelligence and competence in your social circles. Make it socially popular.
These may seem like simple remedies, but remember, we hold the key to the kind of leadership we deserve.
My seven big predictions for 2020. (spoiler alert) I won't have your winning lottery numbers. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
Despite the common misconception, Futurists are not people who read into crystal balls. On the contrary....we do the most unglamorous job in the world. We're trend analysts. Many of us are former print and tv journalists. We sit around and read trends that affect business and society. But, as you may know....numbers and data are incomplete. They provide the canvass to paint on, but talking to the people and using our intuition is what provides the painting. Because the world is a very dynamic place, we sometimes miss our predictions about the future. But that "misses" the point (pun intended). Being a Futurist is more about providing a snapshot of how things are looking and where they may or may not go. As I always say, trends are collective decisions we've made. Because they are decisions, we can change our minds. That being said, I'm going to go out on the limb and predict some decisions we have made so far and how they'll show up this year. People like when you predict stuff. It's sexy and it helps hold my feet to the fire. Here are my top 7 predictions for 2020.
1. There will be some major political policy breakthrough in climate crisis. One or a group of countries are going to take some evolutionary steps to lead the world in climate crisis management. Their effort will affect the rest of the planet's nation-states.
2. Deep fakes are going to challenge the voting system and the heart of Democracy in the United States. A number of bad actors around the world will be utilizing the newest technology to send "deep fakes" through social media in the US. Deep fakes are manipulated videos that show a person doing something or saying something they really did not. With a large low information voting population, this is particularly dangerous.
3. The Stem Crisis (along with the population bust) is going to create radical immigration reform this year This is entirely dependent upon who will be elected as president in the US. If it will be a Democrat, you'll see a bill being prepared before the year is out that will both fund native STEM training as well as reform immigration so that more STEM candidates from Nigeria, India and China come to the States. For those of you who don't know, the US is falling behind STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) training in our schools. We have fewer students because of the population bust and few qualified students to handle the subjects.
4. Eco-shaming will rise to the top of social activism. If your company is not doing it's share to help the world manage climate crisis, you will be outed soon, probably this year. Activist groups are putting together lists of companies to avoid because of their lack of climate crisis commitment.
5. Africa and the African Diaspora will start to form a meaningful and strategic bond. The success of Ghana's "Year of Return" campaign has tapped into the making of a global social and economic powerhouse. It will be bumpy at first, but the groundwork has been laid for a mutually beneficial agreement.
6. There will be several climate crisis related disasters throughout the world, which will galvanize more global action. Work is already taking place in cities across the US and around the world. The crises will only confirm that we've got to move faster.
7. A new and unique optimism will emerge. This may seem like a difficult one to digest, but should we make it through the tough part of the schedule for this year, a curious optimism will settle over societies around the world. Collective angst is often followed by relief and a rethinking of priorities along with a new vision. It doesn't mean everything suddenly gets better, but our approach to the challenges will change, dramatically. You can look for that toward the end of the year with the caveat that there is going to be a major test of resolve before we get there.
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 email@example.com