We’re living in an era of explosively accelerating change. Our society, our politics, our economy, our organisations, our markets, our business, our work, our relationships and ourselves are all changing dramatically and ever more quickly. Even the climate is changing – one of many unsustainable environmental trends. Dissatisfaction and anxiety are increasing, predictability and security are becoming harder and harder to find, and the risk of financial, economic, political or environmental catastrophe is growing.
Technology has vastly expanded the universe of human possibilities, for good and ill, while the internet has interconnected human minds into a single open network now encompassing half of humanity. The modern world in which our talent, customers, audience or constituents live today is brand new, highly complex, and constantly evolving.
Many organisations and institutions find it hard to adapt to the complexity of this constant and quickening change, while insurers and investors of all kinds find it increasingly difficult to quantify risk. Faced with an exploding infinity of data, analysis, choice and options it’s hard to know what to do in the present, never mind plan for the medium or far future. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options available for your attention and for your horizons to shorten as accelerating change focuses you on the urgent at the expense of the important and on the immediate instead of the long term.
My focus is on the deep political, economic, business and cultural narratives that frame the way we think about our changing world. Essentially I believe that many of the ideas we use to filter and organise our perceptions and thinking about the macro world were developed in a very different time and are less and less relevant today. Some of our most important political, economic, social, management and business concepts stem from 19th and 20th Century ideas and perspectives far removed from the experienced reality of our modern, global, hyper-connected, heavily mediated, environmentally threatened and technologically accelerating world.
Stagnant and institutionalised attitudes, thinking and mindsets at all levels have become the biggest barrier to adapting to accelerating change and thus directing it. Simply put, I believe that we’re trying to navigate a very new world with old maps, using old tools in our attempts to solve new kinds of problems, and telling old stories to explain things that have never happened before.
My exploration of these matters involves reading, researching, writing, tweeting and otherwise publicly discussing and communicating. My project work includes writing a book and developing a business plan as part of a political-economic narrative project to bring emerging policy solutions together into a single coherent and communicable framework. I also offer consulting, freelance and other services and am actively looking for work related to my broad areas of interest.