Am I on to anything here? - RSA

Am I on to anything here?


  • Social brain

A quick and random thought.

In my office every day I hear two very different views of the world.

On the one side is the world of technology, creativity, social enterprise, and philanthropy.

So much that is exciting is happening at the intersection of business, particularly new business, and social action.

Technology companies, internet billionaires, hedge fund tycoons, ex-presidents and vice-presidents seem to be striding the world setting up new foundations, creating networks, exploring new ways of engaging people in issues like climate change, conflict resolution and African poverty.

The pace of change in our society and the creativity of young people as the drivers of this change are breathtaking.

To hear all this it can surely only be a matter of time before a new and better world emerges...

And yet look at the other axis - between state and citizen, or between different states.

Here the big problems seem stuck or getting worse; disengagement, poverty, climate change, conflict.

In ten minutes before I dash of to the annual dinner of the RSA in Yorkshire I have no idea how to even think about this disconnect.

Is it that all the technology and big business billions are just drops in the ocean?

Is technological innovation really more about making money and pandering to shallow individualism than making the world a better place?

Is it that the state (like many large corporations) and international institutions are simply incapable of operating effectively in today's complex fast moving world?

The biggest challenges we face can only be met with the right interventions from the state - locally, nationally and internationally - but much of the dynamism in the world (the ideas, the technology, the people) is taking place well away from the formal sites of political authority.

Am I on to anything here?

And should the RSA be trying to find ways of thinking about and overcoming this disconnect?

Be the first to write a comment


Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.

Related articles