We are living in an era of great transformations that add up and influence each other.
Technological transition, in which a new non-physical space of relationships emerges, where everyone is an active member of a process of creating new ideas.
Transition in the development model, based on the reality of emergencies such as climate change, social inequalities, and economic crises.
Transition in power structures, where individuals gain more voices and traditional institutions are questioned.
The New Age allows us many breakthroughs, but it also carries a lot of challenges such as the crisis of confidence, loss of privacy, polarization, fake news…
Faced with so many transformations, how to promote sustainable development of society?
We are in the process of evolving from an increasingly less centralized society to a distributed society, so our role as an active citizen needs to be questioned.
Leave individualism and make room for the collective. Reflect on the impacts of our actions. Evolve into a connected society and aware of its entirety.
We need to build new citizenship — more supportive, integrated, and sustainable.
What face does this new citizenship have?
- The new power
Formerly but not so far, the rules that defined power were very clear: large and powerful institutions, which had influence over a majority and were beyond the reach of that majority, something distant, almost unreachable.
However, in the face of a hyperconnected world, this definition is increasingly outdated.
We are evolving into a self-organized, autonomous, and informal society. In this sense, power takes place in a collaborative and open manner, guided by ordinary people. The new power is sustained by communities that are committed to a common goal. Communities that are able to mobilize millions of people through virtual networks.
"Old power works like a currency. It is held by a few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures. New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.”― Jeremy Heimans, author of the book New Power.
An evident example of this new form of power is MeToo. Founded in 2006, MeToo is a movement against sexual assault and abuse that started on social media in the United States. In less than six months, because of the viral #metoo hashtag, a vital conversation about sexual violence has been thrust into the national dialogue and quickly has expanded to reach a global community.
- The New Consciousness
We are moving towards the next stage of human consciousness. In addition to organizing themselves by creating a new form of power, people today tend to have a clear and lively purpose and to be more collaborative. In this sense, there is a high expectation from consumers in relation to organizations. They value-conscious consumption and responsible market practices. Actually there is no more consumer. Instead of just consuming, he also wants to be part of the production process and thus acts in different roles: customer, consumer, supplier, user, producer, employee…
- The New Organization
Based on the next stage of human consciousness, a new form of organization emerges: seen as a living entity driven by its own evolutionary purpose.
They have the sustainability in their core business, that centers on three interlinked pillars:
• Environmental: Living within the means of the planet’s natural resources
• Social: Maintaining long-term wellbeing for people and communities
• Economic: Delivering a profit, but not at the expense of the other two pillars
Sustainability is a balancing act between these three pillars.The 1987 United Nations defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” and that is the focus of the organizations nowadays.
- The New Economy
With so many transformations, we also need to change our outlook on the economy. Therefore, the Economist Kate Raworth developed a model that describes the new mindset of the 21st-century economist: The Doughnut Economics.
The new economy considers a social foundation of well-being that nobody should fall below and an ecological ceiling of planetary pressure that we must not overcome. Between the two is a safe and fair space for everyone, and that's where the economy must focus.
A new era … new people, new organizations, new markets.
A network of flows. We need to structure society as a distributed network capable of sharing the value it generates more equitably — which demands from organizations disruptive and reliable solutions to respond in scale the challenges of this context.
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