TED Conversations

Michael Perman

Gap, Inc - Dean of Mindspark


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What are the most important cultural trends influencing our future behavior

Cultural trends such as sustainability, social networking or value-adjusting impact our behavior and attitudes. If we catch them early we can adjust the messages, offerings and services provided that are useful to society. What are the emerging trends that will lead to sea-changes?


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    Jul 9 2011: Most cultural trends are for the benefit of institutions. Be careful because at the same time that you define yourself in one of these groups you also subvert yourself.
    First we must create (or bring back) conditions of actual liberty. That is what I would like to see.
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      Jul 9 2011: I love this perspective because I am indeed part of an institution and can empathize with what you say. However, I do like to understand where humanity is moving - and think creatively about how to address the conditions that exist
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        Jul 9 2011: I am glad our internal dictionaries matched. :-)
        That is a rare thing. In fact, to make ourselves clear and to then understand others, not the way we wish to understand them, but the way that they wish to be understood is certainly a great way to first address any problem, I would think.

        Karl Popper once said, "It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood."

        I agree.
        Understanding what people mean by what words they use is a feat in and of itself and should be celebrated if achieved.
        Getting around all of the intellectual distortion is key.

        I think we have two generalized paths.
        We either become the care takers of the planet; where the first world comes to terms with the third world, where straights comes to terms with gays, and so on and so forth.
        Or, we shed the earth like skin The earth ends up being something like a placenta and we become technological primates on the verge for the grand discovery of space, leaving the mother womb a weedy lot.
        I think each one of us can explain all of us to some extent. I have a non-linear way of examining humanity. I take more of a fractal point of view. That each atom is a subset of the whole and thus contains the story — as all is seamlessly interwoven.
        I do not know if this helps at all, probably not. For that, I am sorry... ;-(

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