Designing The 21st Century Enterprise


Geopolitical, Economy & Ecology: Strategy

Traditional economic and political systems are based on the concept of scarcity. Power is in the hands of those who control limited amounts of goods and land. Raw materials - natural resources - are so plentiful their only cost is the labor to exploit them. Labor enters the equation at best as an unlimited "throw-away," at worst as a liability. The ecology doesn't enter it at all.

Freed by unprecedented affluence, Americans have had time to step back, to take a second look - a look at "new" systems of sustainable economics and global cooperation. Our philosophy has gradually begun to move toward that of earlier times - of welcoming the stranger to our lodge and treading lightly on the land lest our actions harm future or break trust with past generations. It has become fashionable to risk our lives to defend natural resources and to devote vast sums to clean up th environment. But what of the labor force?

Have we yet begun to value our people enough to consider them not as a resource but as an asset, and assure their survival as we would that of a rare bird - to encourage growth, diversity, excitement, experimentation, dignity? Can we afford not to take this next step?

"Constructive changes in our relationship to the environment have thus far been thwarted primarily because business is not properly designed to adapt to the situation we face. . . In many ways business economics makes itself up as it progresses, and essentially lacks any guiding principles to relate it to such fundamental and critical concepts as evolution, biological diversity, carrying capacity, and the health of the commons. Business is designed to break through limits, not to respect them, especially when the limits posed by ecological constraints are not always as glaring as dead rivers or human birth defects, but are often expressed in small, refined relationships and details."
THE ECOLOGY OF COMMERCE: A Declaration of Sustainability; Paul Hawken, 1993

Your response

A Good business and sound environmental practices . . .

"The jobless desperately need money if they and their families are to survive, and it is both necessary and morally right to provide them with decent levels of public assistance. But any effective strategy for reducing joblessness in a super-symbolic economy must depend less on the allocation of wealth and more on the allocation of knowledge."
POWERSHIFT, Alvin Toffler, 1990

Your response

Over the next ten years who will most likely pay so that the jobless can acquire knowledge and new skills?

"If we are going to make the world a single-market world, the parts have to be smaller. It is not that all countries will break up. The key is that there will be tens of thousands of different crisscrossing communities co-located on the same territories. Territory as a defining concept will become increasingly meaningless. . . The shift will be from 200 or 600 countries to a million 'hosts' of networks that are all tied together. The people we network with will become more important as the country we happen to operate out of becomes less important."
GLOBAL PARADOX; John Naisbitt, 1994

Your response

By 2025, large central governments will . . .

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