TED Conversations

Pabitra Mukhopadhyay


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Competition or Collaboration?

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities says, Collaboration is new Competition.
Genetic recombination theory says that given enough complexity of survival dynamics, genetic materials at molecular level recombine along a collaborative line, rather than competitive.
Do you think we are looking at a paradigm sift here?
From 'compete to win' to 'collaborate to survive'?


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  • Nov 20 2013: I expect we are looking at a big shift here.

    On the compete to win side we have winners increasing their wealth. Economic growth is driven forward and consumption growth is achieved by the above average earners. The dowside is that resources and the environment come under strain, the below average earners do not have equality of opportunity and this is causing conflict in which we all lose.

    On the collaborate to survive side we are witnessing the birth pangs of change as the social business sector starts to emerge. Social businesses are winning ethical customers. They encourage responsible consumption and direct gains into collaboratve mutually beneficial productive activity.

    In Martin Nowaks' (Harvard mathematics) book Supercooperators he demonstrates that it is mathematically true that cooperators prevail over non cooperators. The success of the cooperation greatly improves when reputations of the individuals are visible to one another. Can ethical behaviour go viral?

    Its my view that when social businesses introduce visible reputation systems for their supporters/customers they can tap into the powerful emotion of peer pressure. Something like ted cred for ethical consumers - reputations being displayable on social media and on outgoing email. Ethical consumers will be enabled to build their online ethical reputations. Other consumers not wanting to be left behind or be seen as irresponsible will join in the scheme.

    Maybe we can arrive at a tipping point whereby best practice ethical behaviour changes the world... see my essay on this subject www.goviralbaby.com (essay on the loftily titled page 'world peace anyone?)
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      Nov 23 2013: One important aspect of the question is consumption. Do we co-opetae or compete to consume?
      I checked your link. Good work. You may find this interesting.
      • Nov 23 2013: Over consumption does not make anyone any happier - its simply a symptom of western culture which has been driven on by excellent marketing. Meaningful reduction in consumption may come about as social businesses and not for profit suppliers dispel the marketing myth that more stuff makes you happy.
        To reply to your question - A cultural idea change may come about whereby we cooperate by consuming what we require.

        I enjoyed your weblink - nice site. Feel free to cut and paste from my work onto your site if you wish.

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