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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 23 2013: The threats to civilization - is the result of a transition started over the last three decades to the current state of an extractive consumer based society. Those of us born during the baby boom years have created a generation of children whose wants and needs are fulfilled without accountability. We live vicariously through our kids, we do not hold them accountable, we over protect and provide to all their (market driven) needs and wants. This extractive culture we created, is burdened our health, social and justice systems. Government cannot meet the needs of the rapidly changing population segment growth (specifically Seniors and the lost generation under 30). We are the creators of our demise and we must take accountability for our environment. Stop blaming the government, large corporations and other industries for our environmental and health issues, we need to look at our actions and extractive behaviors, move to become an additive society. Transitioning from our extractive culture to one that is more additive is the beginning path to sustainable social development.
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      Oct 24 2013: Thanks, Dave, for your comments. I apologize that, for some reason, I had not seen your post till now.

      Your observations are so insightful and worthy of deep contemplation. Yes, indeed, some of us, particularly in the "Third World" got carried away by our new-found capacity to exploit the nature for consumption and short-lived "satisfaction." We probably never thought the day of ecological reckoning and accountability (your term) would ever come -- let alone so soon. Happily, as The World Commission on Environment and Development has observed, it's not too late to repair the damage. My humble opinion is that the "repair" will need to begin with serious rethinking of who we really are as humans, and why we are here on earth.

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