TED Conversations

Efiong Etuk

Founding Director, Global Creativity Network

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 11 2013: Greetings to:

    Conor Desmond.
    Craig Patterson.
    Dave Gajadher.
    Henry Woeltjen.
    Joseph Scudder.
    Krisztián Pintér.
    Mahmoud Abdelnoun.
    Mary M.
    Mike Colera.
    Mitch Smith.
    Pat Gilbert.
    R. H.
    W. Ying.
    Robert Galway.

    Thank you so very much, Lady and Gentlemen, for your insightful contributions to the conversation that is about-to-close. It’s been deeply rewarding to me, personally. Reading over your amazing comments makes me wish all human issues were tackled this way – be they political, social, economic, ecological, or metaphysical. It all reminds me of (I believe) Winston Churchill’s famous “To jaw jaw is better than to war war.” I hope at least some of you have enjoyed the conversation as much as I have. It never fails, as the old adage goes: “Two heads are better than one.”

    And now, as my parting thought, I’d like to share these lines by the celebrated Greek Philosopher:

    By mutual confidence
    And mutual aid
    Great things are done
    And great discoveries made

    Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 in advance.

    Efiong Etuk

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.