7 billion people, global crises and us.
The UN declared that the 7th billionth person was born today in the Philippines. 7 billion people and very polarized life between those struggling for drinking water, a cup of rice a day and basic shelter, hygiene and medicines to ensure their very survivability while the ipad/smart phone western digital generation cherishes the pursuit after the latest, bigger, faster as defining traits.
These two modes of existence are not as detached as it may seem. Changes in a westerner’s lifestyle may not directly affect the quality of life of struggling people in the third world, still we live in an interconnected global economy where the butterfly effect slowly and gradually carves its impact.
Things are rotten in our affluent global kingdom of Denmark. In many countries, a growing demand for dethroning corrupted systems is heard. In oppressed regimes, rioters demand freedom and a better life. In more democratic countries, frustrated from the failure of the prevailing economic systems, the calls are for an affordable and a more solidarity based future. The outrageous numbers of discrepancies in the distribution of wealth, the economic inequality, greed and even financial corruption marked an era that is shaking the world’s well being all across.
What can we, the 99% , do in our daily life to make a difference?
Build new engines; develop disruptive life paradigms that will influence our social networks, environment and the axioms on which current crumbling paradigms are built.
Corporate responsibility according to the new zeitgeist should be measured by awareness not only to boardroom results but to the real value its products/services carry and its authentic engagement as trust building mechanisms that influence the corporate identity. These days solidarity accountability and social and environmental awareness gradually become a new measuring scale for a more aware, just and politically correct existence for many organizations that up till now were led by profit goal seeking as the ultimate purpose.
At the same time we, users, have a responsibility as well.
We can, and should, harness our life style and usability patterns to stop the vicious circle that feeds and increasingly empowers the ruling 1%.
Do we really need to consume all that we are consuming? Is more, newer, bigger the answer? Isn’t that the pipeline that feeds the suppliers of the closed club of the few monster companies that control everything.
The answer to the capitalist networks that financially own the world top down is a user centered state of mind that defeats it bottom up through non tangible weapons – deriving meaning from values and actions that do not require actual purchases, but give satisfaction by their very value – an internal sense of purpose and fulfillment that is not determined by others’ defined status symbols or social ladders.
User centered economy of the soul and social connectedness will replace hedonistic stimuli with soul fulfilling activities that carry with them a lasting meaning. It will be based on real social values of engagement, involvement, caring, solidarity has a much stronger communal and networked value than any financial or brand related bonds.
The social net will get a qualitative meaning as well, as we harness our social circles for challenging the practices that created the affluent society that translated happiness to external assets and very individualistic life style. It will shift control back to us, users, and will force marketers to share a humbler less greedy spirit. Continuing in the same paths is bound to prove self destructive. On its simplest level, our palates will not suffer a loss if on supermarket shelves there will a choice of 4 yogurt flavors instead of 15 and our personalities will not be deprived if not wrapped in the latest brands. Modesty of settling for less can be as fulfilling as constantly looking for the next stimulus, which very quickly proves to be nothing more than quicksand demanding to be fed again and again to keep the thrill.
Only then a different solidarity based world culture may develop, that will hopefully find more compassion between all its 7 billion inhabitants.