The move towards Enlightened economics
Posted on March 08 2017
Can we move into an age of enlightened economics. Changing how we measure our economic success, our measurements of what a successful business or a sustainable economy looks like.
Our traditional economic models have been focused solely on profit and growth, but this can only ever give a part of the picture. Ou reliance on GDP as our main indicator of economic status and success has to change if we are to flourish and maintain our standard of living and quality of life in future.
The present models are an outdated approach that is not sustainable and we must, I believe develop alternative enlightened ways to do business both on a local, a national and even an international scale
we are living in an unprecedented age, an age where over 7 billion people are alive on earth, people who are consuming resources like there is no tomorrow.
A time where there are many threats to maintaining the status quo, how we are living, manufacturing and consuming is not sustainable.
The developing threats or challenges like global warming, resource scarcity, wars, political instability, population explosion, and rapidly changing social attitudes, even our interconnectivity due to the new communication technologies, mean we need to take a new approach to the way we do business in the world. To take a more global centric perspective.
An approach that recognises our interdependence, our interdependence from person to another, one nation to another and to our environment.
We live in an age where technology is so wonderfully advanced that many of the problems we face now have actual solutions or at least solutions that will be available in the foreseeable future. The challenge then to humanity is to find ways to make these solutions, systems and alternatives financially viable, attractive to investors and profitable and to do this our economic modelling needs a new enlightened approach.
We need to start looking at alternative ranking indices such as the global sustainable competitiveness ranking system that evaluates our ability to sustain wealth creation, a ranking system that looks at more than just the GDP as a defining measure of the national or local economic success.
The Scandanavian countries lead the way in this alternative indices - taking into consideration not just profit but resource depletion, social cohesion and progress, environmental impact.
If each entrepreneur small or large strove to grow not only profits, which for obvious reasons still needs to remain a primary responsibility but to include in its’ reckoning its’ responsibility to be a transformative force for its staff, its’ supply chain as well as the environment, the local community and indeed the global community.
We can’t just leave the shift in mindset to others or indeed to new regulations by the government. We need to initiate change from the ground up from our own little corner of the world too. To take a look as a businessperson, at the man or woman in the mirror to, to start to make the changes in our mindset, our perspective, and to voluntarily evolve morally and ethically to consider our future.
How this looks for me personally to give an example as a small scale entrepreneur, means I don’t just focus on having a big bank balance and to hell with the rest of the world, consuming and collecting any amount of ridiculous and unnecessary luxuries.
For me being a successful entrepreneur is also about being morally and ethically responsible. It is about impacting as many lives as I can in a positive manner through my work, it’s about impacting the environment as little as possible without being an eccentric caveman, wearing cabbage leaves and it’s it’s about helping others reach their potential. This means I stiil seek financial success and therefore the freedom to live a happy and healthy life for myself and my family but not at the expense of humanity as a whole or at an unnecessary high price to the the environment.
There is an growing number of people are shunning the pursuit of extreme wealth for wealths sake, the gathering of ridiculous amounts of material goods just for the sake of it and are welcoming a more simpler approach to life and this trend I believe will continue . This will be a hard sell for many who will see my attitude as utopian and unrealistic, but some will get it.
Now of course on a small scale this is easier done than in big business or as a nation but even small changes in policy, strategy and ethical responsibility can have a large impact on society.
Rome wasn’t built in a day but if we don’t start changing our perspective to a more interdependent, global centric way of thinking, we don’t, I think, stand a chance of maintaining our current quality of life, our current freedoms.
My question is, can we evolve as humans ethically, morally and economically to change our current way of measuring success. Changing our economic models to no longer be solely profit driven but also about the cost to the environment, to society, to future generations.
If we are to be to be good custodians of the massive power that we now all have at our fingertips, to pass on a world worth living in to our children then we must stop and choose now.