While this article starts a little pessimistically, you’ll find it ends on a more optimistic proposition. Hang on in there and keep reading because you’ll find the article introduces you to very innovative methodology you can use to solve complex and undefined problems, including those that are social and economic in nature. This is Theory U as conceived by Otto Scharmer, the co-founder of the Presencing Institute and a Senior Lecturer at MIT.
What I’ve written here affects my own work profoundly in that it increasingly conditions the way in which BigName applies the principles of Design Thinking to professional innovation.
First of all, here are the pessimistic considerations.
Collectively, we create results that nobody wants.
I learned this from Otto and the words affected me profoundly.
We live in an age characterized by a massive institutional failure: stratospheric levels of public debt, uncertainly over globalization, rising unemployment, falling standards of education, a seemingly endless financial crisis, global warming, a rising tide of refugees, war in Syria, ever increasing levels of poverty, and, last but not least, the constant threat of terrorism. The news has spread: A mere 8 people in the world are as rich as 50% of the world’s overall population.
We are destroying communities, nature, life, and the foundations of health, social, economic and spiritual welfare.
According to Otto, underlying these phenomena is a lack of awareness of the mechanisms generating them.
Moreover, major media and the most prominent experts clearly failed to predict the crises of 2001 and 2008. Then there’s the “strongman” trend. Predominantly male personalities who are taking ever more power globally.
— Will McPhail (@WillMcPhail) January 2, 2017