In the Past
Wayfinders believe that in the past the industrial economy served humanity well. It taught us how to produce goods and services on an unprecedented level and make them available to large numbers of people at reasonable costs. For a long time meeting the challenges of building the industrial economy gave humanity purpose and meaning. Now that task has been largely completed. The industrial economy is up and running and we are rapidly handing control of it over to artificial intelligence. As a result many people feel unease and dissatisfaction with their roles.
Wayfinders understand that the world is always moving forward. You can’t go back and you can’t stand still. This is nothing new. Humanity has been through major social change before. About 70,000 years ago humans organized into hunter gatherer societies, this was the birth of what we think of as modern humans. Then about 12,000 years ago humanity discovered agriculture. Shifting from hunter gatherer to agriculture was traumatic. Those who didn’t make the shift were absorbed or driven to the fringes. Most recently, about 250 years ago, humanity discovered industry. Over the past two centuries the resulting industrial economy has dramatically changed the life of every human being on the planet.
A time of change
Now we are in the middle of the change from industrial society to a new creative society. We can see the change coming. We have the advantage of tremendous knowledge, powerful machines and amazing communication to help us deal with it. The hard part is figuring out which way we want to go. Where do we find the wisdom to guide the change in the best direction for humanity as a whole?
While there are no short and easy answers we can look to the past for guidance. The core principles that guided the industrial revolution where standardize, control, and extract. You standardized your processes, controlled the necessary variables, and extracted resources from the natural world and from humans to optimize your product or service.
What principles might guide the new creative society? We believe that create, relate, and explore should certainly be on the list. The industrial society has given us enormous knowledge and power. We need shift our focus from simply wanting more and more of everything to creating wise and ethical applications of knowledge and power that serve humanity as a whole.
In order to do this we need to relearn how to relate to each other on an individual level. Not just superficial relationships. Meaningful friendships and communities where we can discuss the issues of the day and develop the necessary wisdom to manage our great power.
Last, but not least, humanity has worked hard to get where we are. We should spend some time appreciating the world and exploring the wonders within it. This exploration can rejuvenate us and enrich our lives. We often return with new insights that we can use to creatively improve society.
Wayfinders believe we have an unprecedented opportunity to create a new golden age for humanity. Or, if we don’t get it right, we believe we’ve created an unprecedented opportunity for a small number of people to take advantage of tremendous power and create incredible destruction. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to future generations to learn how to ethically manage our power and develop the necessary wisdom to keep humanity moving forward.
There is an old teaching that says by acquiring knowledge you can solve simple problems, but that solving significant problems requires transforming yourself, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, and turning yourself into a wiser person who can solve the significant problem.
Transitioning from the industrial economy to the creative society is a significant problem for humanity. Wayfinders find this challenge engaging. The opportunities and dangers are both unprecedented. We find meaning, purpose and excitement in dealing with this challenge and in doing our part to keep humanity moving forward.
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