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Efiong Etuk

Founding Director, Global Creativity Network

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The threats to civilization are too daunting for humanity to continue to hold onto obsolete self-perceptions that no longer serve us well

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the dreadful situation the world is facing is not because the modern crises are impossible to solve; but because we have not yet developed, or found, appropriate conceptual framework for understanding and for tackling them. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, also, the modern crises are not “economic crisis,” “social crisis,” “political crisis,” or “environmental crisis,” per se. They are not separate crises, either. As such, they are not likely going to be resolved within the framework of the prevailing understandings.

A body of data no one thought and no one knew existed identifies the modern crises as, fundamentally, a “creativity crisis.” This is the inability of the vast majority of people to develop and to engage their natural abilities in significant and beneficial social and ecological actions and, resultantly, the global and spreading epidemic of meaninglessness of which most psychological, social, economic, political, and environmental crises are the symptoms or facets. Close examination of the data also challenge widely accepted beliefs that humans are inherently self-interested, competitive, adversarial, materialistic, and consumption-driven. Analysis of the data further suggests that many of the difficulties the world has been experiencing might be rooted in inadequate and misleading concepts we have created about ourselves and the institutional framework and operational relationships that have been erected on those concepts.

To the extent that this conclusion is valid, the best hope of resolving the modern crises is, first, to correct the misleading views we hold about ourselves and, second, to conform our economic, social, and political decisions and actions to our authentic nature as humans.

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    Oct 12 2013: One of the best approaches I've ever read. Your 'data driven' approach provides credibility, and your macro perspective gives vision to the fundamental issues that produce the social results you decry. Since this is listed under 'Ideas', I would like to offer one further clarification that from my opinion, its all about how we regard one another. When we look at all of the $trillions spent and man-hours wasted on 'humanitarian and environmental' relief (ie, welfare, social services, unions, environmental activism, food/medical/housing/energy initiatives, etc.), what we really see are 'repair efforts' to correct our inability to regard our fellow human citizens as valuable and significant. Our out-dated systems and incentives have served their purpose and have brought us to this point, but as you so eloquently described, are woefully inadequate for the challenges that face us. Bravo to your efforts and for the skills you have developed towards your vision. All the very best.
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      Oct 12 2013: When you say "data driven approach," what do you mean?
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        Oct 12 2013: He mentions analyzing data 3 times.
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          Oct 12 2013: I know, but the data to which he refers he describes this way elsewhere in the thread: "The data are a compendium of scattered insights on human nature, culled from the writings of deep thinkers, past and contemporary, and brought together for the new light they shed on what it means to be human."

          I don't know whether this is what you assumed as the "data" from the narrative above. Normally when I have heard the expression "data-driven," the reference is to a different sort of data.

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