This post is based on a talk given at Dark Futures San Francisco - a futurist conference where speakers talk about the hidden systems that affect our daily lives.
Every organization wants to be innovative because of the value add it provides to the bottom line. Rightly so, that is the purpose of business after all. However, a shift is happening. A shift toward caring and it’s being used to create businesses that are a force for good, and have an impact, because they care.
When I was a kid, anytime anything bad happened mum would say, “Kalyug aiya.” [“It’s Kalyug.”]
Kalyug represents dark times; the age of downfall; difficult times and our current dark present. It is believed to be a difficult era for humans. One where we tend to see greater atrocities and unfairness. The dark side of innovation is ever-present in Kalyug. Humans creating machines and apps with little consideration of negative implications. Vaping to algorithms that promote hate and dissatisfaction with life. In some cases, these dark futures are accidentally created in ignorance. Others due to our own neglect of the dark side of innovation. The reality – little or no moral consideration is given to our creations.
An ever-darker future could be created if we continue to misapply our technologies. We, humans, are capable of designing and synthesizing the ultimate weapons. Viruses transmissible as the common cold, and deathly lethal. Covid has already been an eyeopener to the levels of devastation that can be caused.
That’s the heavy bit done… So what’s the solution?
Perhaps we need to make use of our most human of skills. Maybe we just need to start caring. I used to be a children’s nurse. Caring is something I know about.
When we care – we’re not complacent.
When we care – we get off our arses and do something about the things that aren’t right.
When we care – we make a difference.
When we care together – we change the world.
As Martin Rees says, in On the Future, if we care we can: “Be wise in how we create and use science and technology. Accelerating technologies and responsibly restraining others. Create technologies that we as humans can emotionally resonate with”.
It’s starting to happen. Humans are innovating in ways that enrich the lives of their fellow humans. Humans like Dr. Arunachalam Muruganantham used frugal innovation to build a sanitary napkin-making machine. He’s on a mission to make India a 100 % sanitary napkin using country. Whilst providing jobs for those marginalized by society. It’s good to see corporations are starting to care too. Care about our planet. Care about their people. Care about the real impact they can have.
Pier Luigi Sigismondi, President Dole Food Company, shared how Dole is pivoting from a nutrition company to a planet company. Removing added sugar. Removing use of plastics. Be a carbon neutral company by 2030.
We know we can’t go back and change the past. Yet we can all make decisions today that can change our future. And did you know, all episodes of Kalyug are addressed by Satyug; the Golden Age, the Age of Truth. In Satyug, humans hold the light. Humans act as stewards, ambassadors, and creators of the future.
So what actions are you and your company taking to ensure a brighter future for the world and humanity?
To explore more schedule a ‘F**k thinking, start caring‘ Play Shop.