Monday, November 18, 2019

THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN INNOVATION



Humans are changing the world.

But the cost of our ingenuity is high.

Check out Peter Gluckman and Mark Hanson’s new book Ingenious – stimulating, thoughtful, challenging and provocative.

Some insights worthy of reflection.
·       The pace of change is accelerating exponentially – can we keep up?
·       The battle between man and nature is raging – especially given the rapid developments in technology being experienced by Generation Z.
·       We are winning (living longer, most people aren’t starving, diseases are being conquered) and we are losing (mental health, obesity, cyber-bullying, climate change, societal conduct, disharmony, extremism).
·       Digitalisation is limiting the ability of a democracy to be the model of survival for a nation state.  Platform companies rule!
·       You cannot unplug the internet.  We have to make people more psychologically resistant.  (Bring on Active Listening and Mental Toughness.)
·       Today’s dynamics of social media and public discourse polarise people and create tension/conflict, rather than harmony.
·       In social media, you select groups you already believe in.  It pulls people apart because you become more extreme in your views.
·       We have lost the appetite for measured, balanced discourse.
·       People think they no longer need a mediator, or expect – they feed their own biases to find out things that support their views.
·       Humans are endlessly innovative – no other species does that.
·       We are endlessly searching out new interventions to deal with the downsides of previous interventions.

What to do?  (KR views):
·       Educationally – give our young people emotional resilience, self-control, EQ skills and mental toughness.
·       Politically – move to longer term policy making which is driven by leaders and Purpose, not by social media.

Onwards!

KR