TED Conversations

Adam Burk

Founder/ Director, Treehouse Institute


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Can it be commonly understood that character development or the lack of it is the root of our collective ails and their solutions?

All human behavior can be traced back to two primordial archetypes, the creative and the destructive, light and dark, chaos and cosmos. Thus, individually we are responsible for aligning ourselves with either the creative or the destructive principle. Our effectiveness in doing so is reflected in timely action or lack thereof.

Our current climate crisis can be viewed as a collective failure of individuals to adequately development maturity and sanity. Our financial crisis is the result of collective greed of individuals.

Is it not true that someone develops a cure to a disease because at their core they have compassion and care enough to help alleviate the suffering of others? Is it not also true that those who design financial systems to ensure their own wealth with no regard for the social or environmental devastation that they cause are significantly lacking in superior traits of human beauty?

Can it not be commonly understood then that character development or lack there of is the root of our collective ails and their solutions? That by expanding compassion and consciousness rather than with holding their growth is the core solution to our collective struggles? Are we not faced primarily with moral and human challenges and secondarily technical ones?


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  • Apr 2 2011: Yeah i think most of our collective problems are related to the pathology of those who seek/value power to such an extent that they actually get it. I think these people are a cultural universal ,with war and genocide simply the byproduct.

    Solution: 'You're more than capable, want the job?' 'Hell no'. 'Hello candidate 1'.

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