TED Conversations

Efiong Etuk

Founding Director, Global Creativity Network

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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.

0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 12 2013: Thank you, Mitch, for your support and, even more, for your vision and commitment to building the kind of future everyone wants to see.

    I admire your self-evident dedication to a more inclusive and democratic world society. Thanks for the link to Richard Wolf’s video clip. Quite a remarkable gentleman! I admire his vision and, in particular, the democratization-of-the-workplace initiative that he has helped to start. Efforts like his’ reinforce my hope for humanity.

    I’m sorry, I missed your topic on the normalization of relations between sedentary and nomadic communities. Yes, it is a big and thorny issue – a classic case of contrasting and seemingly irreconcilable worldviews. My view is that the age-old animosities between nomads and their transient communities are perfectly resolvable; but it will require a new way of (win-win) thinking where each side sees the other ‘s activities as beneficial and, indeed, vital to its economic and other interests.

    With respect to the tribal structure of non-western societies and the problems which that structure has been creating, I believe we should take advantage of the crumbling geographical, territorial, intellectual, cultural, and social barriers to convince ourselves and others that separateness is an unfortunate illusion; and that the ultimate destiny of man is unity (however hard we may try to preserve “ethnic” thinking, or to delay, frustrate, or postpone the inevitable). As far as I can see, humanity is on the march to “unity in diversity”; and not even the worst calamity is likely to stop that march.

    From your comments, Mitch, I am convinced you would be an excellent director of a global initiative (school) to re-educate tribal and political leaders – helping them to rethink diversity.

    Best regards,

    Efiong Etuk

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.