Designing The 21st Century Enterprise


Geopolitical, Economy & Ecology: Philosophy

". . . until the Age of Enlightenment in the 1700's, and the 'scientific revolution' that accompanied it, the prevailing viewpoint among the peoples of the earth was that the planet itself was a living creature. Most cultures shared this belief, whether they were 'Western' in orientation (such as the Sumerians, the Greeks, and the Romans), or whether they still lived within nature. They believed that the Earth was a being, with skin, soul, and organs. The skin was the soil, the soul was contained within the rocks and bones of the dead, the organs included rivers (the bloodstream) and wind (the lungs). Such categories were not meant as metaphors. Earth was alive; we lived upon it as millions of tiny microorganisms live on human skin . . . Most cultures up to the Enlightenment also believed that the Earth was a female being, the actual mother of life.

The 'scientific revolution' changed all this. For the first time, the idea was postulated that the earth is actually a kind of dead thing, a machine. With that perspective came a new set of scientific paradigms that gave impetus to the idea of human superiority over other animals and over nature."
Jerry Mander, In the Absence of the Sacred, 1991

What are the fundamental assumptions underlying the 21st Century economy? What is the relationship to the earth in the enterprise of the 21st Century? How does the enterprise of the 21st Century mirror the relationship between man and the environment?

"With the ending of the frigid Fifty Years' War between Soviet-style communism and the West's liberal democracy, some observers - Francis Fukuyama, in particular - announced that we had reached the 'end of history.' Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, now that the bitter ideological confrontation sparked by this century's collision of 'isms' has ended, larger numbers of people from more points on the globe than ever before have aggressively come forward to participate in history. . . A generation ago, even a decade ago, most of them were as voiceless and invisible as they had always been. This is true no longer: they have entered history with a vengeance, and they have demands - economic demands - to make."
THE END OF THE NATION STATE; Kenichi Ohmae, 1995

Your response

To what degree should we be venture capitalists for these emerging communities?

"Ironically, the very values, methods, and practices that permitted the modern organization to dominate the Industrial Age are undermiming its adaptation to the structural changes ushering in the Information Age. Refusing to confront the global forces that buffet them, our mightiest organizations continue to fall back on what they do best, regardless of its relevance - or lack of relevance - to the problems at hand."
THE GOLD COLLAR WORKER; Robert E. Kelley, 1985

Your response

Over the next 10 years large, most global businesses will . . .

"Further, we should expect that more of the changes we see are irreversible, while taking note that most of our conceptual tools for mapping them - such as economics and conventional scientific approaches - are still based on Newton's ideas of mechanics and reversible models of locomotion in a clockwork universe. Therefore, we can also expect accelerating future shock (to use Alvin Toffler's term), even in formerly stable areas of our personal and political lives and institutions."
PARADIGMS IN PROGRESS: Life Beyond Economics; Hazel Henderson, 1991

Your response

To what degree have we gone beyond repair when it comes to restoring once cherished institutions and environments?

To submit your choices and continue press this button: .

To reset the your choices and reenter them press this button: .

Move forward to Geopolitical, Economy & Ecology: Policy
Return to Delphi Matrix