Friday, September 14, 2012

Transforming Global Conflict #2: Opportunities to Create Change

Innovation is the buzzword of the times. In the information era, good ideas put into action create enormous wealth although they might not create real value. A commentator on a recent article about Steve Jobs was wondering if Apple’s innovative devices had really created new value for the planet, making people happier, societies safer, or ecosystems more vibrant. In fact, quite the opposite could be argued, whereas stress, envy and environmental degradation seem to be additional components to the marvelous built-in, proprietary software inside an iPhone.

Real innovation is the one that brings along systemic change that can be measured as a net positive impact; that the planet, as a whole, is better off with this new idea or device or institution or policy. In order to achieve such stage of virtuous novelty, we must first comprehend the natural constraints of our planet. We will get into detail later. For now, suffice it to say that as long as life on Earth inextricably depends on the conditions for its existence –sunlight, water, and vegetation- these conditions must be respected when thinking about the consequences of our every behavior at a systemic level.

Identifying opportunities for real innovation is an intellectual activity that has become indispensable in this day and age when several ecosystemic measures indicate the breach of some natural limits of the planet. The carrying capacity of the global ecosystem has been overloaded for more than two decades, and today we consume 50% more natural resources than the planet can regenerate on a yearly basis.

These constraints and diagnosis about the state of affairs of the web that supports life are an infinite source for real innovation. Putting our minds together in synergy will render ideas to lead civilization to more prosperous scenarios. 

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