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COMMITTING TO CHANGE THE WORLD 


Société | Les individus

Written for session 41 – Committing to change the world

All of us can collectively bring the world to a better future and bring a better world to the future, if, as opposed to our current life-view, we can start to think of ourselves as custodians of our planet for 30,000 days.

Can we make “Frugal Living fashionable”…do more with less? As examples, let us look at Clothes: every year 100Bln. new garments are made and 92 Mln. Tons of garments are wasted…. or Food: every year about 1Bln. Tons of food are wasted or dumped, whose value is around 1Trln.$. This wastage has the third largest Carbon footprint in the world just after US and China.

Can we deploy the best brains and technologies in the world to focus on and solve global problems? Can Big Tech nominate their finest experts to work on say Climate, Hunger, Water etc. alongside Governments supporting with collaborative laws, tax breaks etc.

Can we build “Good for the Earth, Good for us all” thinking…rebuilding our relationship with nature…in fact, for every company to give Nature a seat on their Corporate Board.

Can we “Ungreed ” ourselves and our world, and as Gandhi said: The world has enough to satisfy every human’s need but not enough to satisfy every human’s greed.

At this gathering of economists, and relying on one of the disciplines wisely chosen for the Nobel Prize, can we urge and count on our economists to come up with a new economic model which takes into account:
Low-cost Robotics and Low-cost Artificial Intelligence are knocking at the doors of replacing human labour and overtaking the human mind. Can this encompass “Flexicurity” for the coexistence of Humans with Technology.
The Octopus of Inequality is spreading its tentacles from just financial to technological, gender, education, work, health, social etc. Can balance be clawed back by raising the bar at the lowest levels.
Raising the costs of conflict to untenable levels while ensuring that cooperation with collective will and wisdom becomes highly fruitful. As an example, the cost of the Ukraine War has already exceeded US$ 4Trln., not to mention the 13 Mln. Refugees. True costs to “Climate” from all our actions also need to be factored in, while restructuring society and business.
Viably sharing technology globally, with the lens of Social Good. e.g. sharing Intellectual Property for Climate, Health etc. While Black Swan events have increased five times over the course of the last five decades, we could perhaps convert them to Grey Rhinos through sharing of anticipatory frameworks against Disasters.

Where there is a will, there is a way….when all of us were faced with the Covid pandemic, we found the answers, not only with new technologies for vaccines, but also with the funds. In totality, Governments, Multilaterals and others found the 19Trln.$ needed to overcome it.

Another small, successful example is the 2.5% of annual profits that every Indian Company must spend on any Corporate Social Responsibility activities of their choosing. This model is well run and easily replicable.

What also gives us great tangible hope is that Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Startups have taken root and every day, people are building newer and better models, products and businesses both in commercial and social domains.

More change is expected in the next 20 years than was experienced in the last 20,000 years. While we have great hopes that our illustrious economists will come up with a disruptive, new, inclusive economic model, we the people need to take the onus, play our part as Frugal-Living, Custodians and remain hopeful for a bright future.


Written for the Rencontres & their publication (Further rights belong to Ashwini Kakkar)