22 Jan

A Response to WEF/ Davos and to Jeremy Rifkin

David Cameron at WEF for blog

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos began this week and runs until Saturday 23rd. It brings together some 2,500 top business and political leaders, as well as some selected intellectuals, journalists and the occasional celebrity.

Prior to this year’s forum, Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, argued that we are on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution.  In ‘Industry Week’, Jeremy Rifkin has argued that this is wrong; what is happening around us should be seen as a continuation of the third industrial revolution.

The following is a response to this by Professor Prabhu Guptara:

I agree with Jeremy that it doesn’t really matter whether we call it a 3rd or 4th (or indeed Xth) revolution.

I also agree that what matters is whether we can create “a global commitment to … create a more prosperous, equitable, humane, and ecologically sustainable society.”

What many people fail to do (or deliberately don’t do) is to analyse why our global systems have strayed further and further away from such goals over the last 30 years or so.

And the Relational Thinking movement is exactly for such analysis – as well as a programme of action consequent on that analysis.

Our conclusion is that the increased distance between such goals and the reality of global systems is created by the licencing or approval of greed, individualism and materialism in our culture, and the increased trend towards embedding these in our global, national, regional and local structures and systems.

The solution, says the Relational Thinking movement, is to systematically prioritise and embed the Relational approach into global (and specifically corporate) structures and systems, so as to have some chance of actually realising the promise of our new technologies and therefore in fact to create a more equitable, humane and ecologically sustainable society.

On this website, you will find the basics of applying Relational Thinking to companies, governments, inter-governmental organisations, technology, criminal justice, education, civil society, and so on.

Join the dialogue – and, equally important, join the action!

Image: David Cameron at World Economic Forum 2014 by Number 10 on Flickr.