Leaders and Leadership in 2013 – Part 1

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 in Humanity, Our Future | 1 comment

Leaders and Leadership in 2013 – Part 1

This will be a 3-part blog as the theme of Leadership in and for our world today is such a critical one of course. And it is perhaps appropriate that this first part is being written and sent out on April 1st which is of course April Fool’s Day.  I’m afraid the biggest joke is on us where “us” means the world’s people.

The alternative title I’ve given this blog series is: “All the right words. All the wrong actions. What’s wrong with this picture?” The attached image is of the G20 Summit in Toronto in June 2010.  These men all look very happy. The obvious question is why?

Part 1 of this blog series is Analysis. Part 2 will be Diagnosis and Part 3 Prognosis.

Let’s begin with an analysis of where humanity stands today – April 1, 2013. Our species Homo sapiens first emerged about 200,000 years ago in Africa and exhibited full behavioural  modernity some 50,000 years ago. Urban societies first began to emerge in the West about 7,500 years ago in Mesopotamia. While what we call modern societies are only a few hundred years old at best.

Beginning with our first civilizations through to our present time our history has been marred by empire, wars and violent conflicts driven both by conquest of peoples and resources and conflict over religious beliefs. Much of human history has also featured tyranny, slavery, racism, and the widespread abuse of women and children.

Throughout our history, “might” has always dominated “right” and the exploitation and domination of nature and our fellow human beings has been humanity’s hallmark to date. At the levels of our respective societal elites and leadership there has been very little visible and real change over the last 100 years. I believe the image I’ve chosen for Part 1 of this blog series says it all.

The question now is: How serious is our global situation today and can it rapidly change as it must, and if so how?

In 2008, Ervin Laszlo and I co-drafted the “State of Global Emergency Declaration”. I would invite you to access this document on my blogsite with link below for an overview of humanity’s major man-made challenges  at the time, the greatest of which were and are are Climate Change and Nuclear War. Other major challenges such as exponential Population Growth, Peak Oil, Resource Depletion, Ecological Destruction, Pollution, Poverty, Disease, etc. are also summarized in Annex 2, along with the ongoing breakdown of our five major existing Global Systems: Economic, Ecological, Security, Energy and Food.

Since 2008 our challenges have grown in effect and shared concern of course. For example in 2008 the World’s Population was about 6.7 Billion people while today it’s about 7.1 Billion, with the potential to reach up to 10.5 Billion people by 2050. And in the case of population it’s important to note that in the year 1900 the World Population was about 1.65 Billion people. That’s an increase of 5.45 Billion people in only 113 years or over 4 times the number of people alive on Earth in 1900. And many more to come of course.

Here is a link to The Statement of Global Emergency Declaration. After reviewing these facts and considering our collective situation today you may feel rather fatalistic about even our short-term prospects as I have previously. However, there is indeed hope. Every challenge contains a corresponding opportunity. And as all  major challenges and threats are man-made or made worse by our activities we can also come up with solutions.

Many people are working on such solutions worldwide today. The main question now is: ‘Will solutions appear in sufficient time and on the scale required?’  That’s where Societal Leadership comes in.

As a general statement I believe this to be true: “Everything evolves in our Cosmos including collective consciousness, technology, and societal organization which  includes leadership.”

Our technologies have evolved to the point where we can destroy human life and all life on Earth today either through “weapons of mass destruction” such as nuclear warheads or the rapid warming of our global climate to a further 3 degrees Celsius over the current average temperature. These threats are clear and an ever present danger today more then any other time in history.

While the corresponding collective evolution of our consciousness, societal organizations and leadership has lagged far behind our technological powers of self-destruction.

The World today is a world of  206 nation-states, each one only concerned with it’s own people’s well-being vis-a-vis the other nation-states. Of these current nation-states 193 are full member-states of the United Nations.

As I set out in a previous blog entitled War and Peace 2012: “In 2012 the estimated Annual World Expenditure on Military and Armaments will reach another world’s record of over $1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS! And that’s just per year of course. Nearly 45% of that amount is being expended by the USA. While a fraction of this obscene amount of collective human wealth and resources, perhaps 10 to 15% annually, could possibly solve most of our most serious global concerns such as Poverty, Hunger, AIDS, Climate Change, etc.” While the distribution of nuclear weapons technology has continued and threats of nuclear war have correspondingly increased.

In terms of Climate Change, here is a quote from a previous blog  entitled World Leaders” fiddle while the Earth Burns: “The World Bank just released a major study predicting a “global cataclysm” by 2060 if world-wide temperatures increase by a predicted Four Degrees Celsius.”

While efforts to contain Nuclear Weapons and destroy them all via international treaties like the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to curb Global Warming with Conventions such as Kyoto and Copenhagen have failed dramatically under our current world of 206 fractious nation-states and an ineffective international system mostly under the United Nations which has yet to be significantly reformed.

Accordingly, in terms of positively addressing humanity’s major challenges to our continued survival and future success I submit that we’d have to give our present political and societal leaders a badly failing grade collectively. The standard is to improve our collective prospects not to diminish them, to act on behalf of all humanity and future generations (not solely for their own self-interest and people), to protect and restore nature and all life on Earth, and to build the foundations of a peaceful and sustainable world and future for all. That’s the leadership that is urgently needed by humanity today.

On that scale I’d give our present “leadership” collectively a ‘minus 9′ on a scale of – 10 to + 10 as we’re now going backwards not forwards under our current “leaders’. It’s not leadership at all today but the opposite unfortunately.  And I’m sure we all know the story of the Pied Piper!

Part 2 of this series will present a more detailed overview of our current scenario, highlighting what I believe to be the major negative and positive trends now at play. It will be a diagnosis of what some call the ‘global problematique’  which is a current global disease for humanity as a whole.  Part 3 will be a prognosis and suggested steps that if implemented would alleviate this global disease and ultimately cure it.

Thanks for reading Part 1!

One Comment

  1. Excellent assessment of the state of the old system. The key solution lies in what Bucky Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller See: http://www.ethepeople.net

    The reason the leaders of the old system score a minus nine is not because they are bad people. You could elect Jesus Christ or Gandhi into the old system and they could do little better.

    Representative democracy was great for the horse and buggy days but now it is totally obsolete and dysfunctional. It’s a losing proposition to try to fight, fix or reform the old system — it is inherently broken.

    If we, the people, have the right to institute new government, as it says in the Declaration of Independence, then solution is for we, the people to simply bypass the old system and institute a new governing system at the global level that incorporates all the amazing new interactive technologies so as to bring the highest and best wisdom of all humanity to the task of governing our world.

    That’s what we are working on in our movies and projects at http://www.futurewave.org and http://www.earthoperatingsystem.net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *