- One of the best ways to see our society for what it is, is to step outside it
- The cultural stories we are told have a profound and often unrecognised effect on our behaviour; yet they are not necessarily based on reality. Some examples of unhelpful stories: humans naturally form hierarchical, dominator-based social structures; we are under threat from those out to destroy our way of life; we don’t need any creation ‘myths’ because we have science; we are intrinsically evil (from Christianity); economic growth is essential; and we can (and should) justify and explain our behaviour in terms of its economic effects, regardless of its effects on people and other living things. These stories can be corrected.
- Other cultures can have better stories; it is insightful to explore them and seek inspiration for fresh stories, appropriate to creating a modern culture based on harmony and sustainability
- There are well-researched, positive alternatives to every negative structure in our industrial growth society, whether economic, technical, social or educational; many are well documented and are already being implemented at ground level as a countermeasure to the dominant culture. If global investments can be redirected their way, these represent a huge opportunity for positive change.
- Our culture has many good things that we should hold on to and celebrate: our music, literature and art, the many thousands of positive movements for change, our traditions of decency and family values, our scientific and engineering skills and the associated achievements that have benefited the public good, and our individual drive and ambition, without which much of the sophistication within our artistic, scientific and engineering endeavours would not have transpired. Such things should be acknowledged and recognised.
- Compassion, community, innovation and adaptation are natural human traits and can be harnessed for positive change. Many investment activities can be repurposed easily so that they genuinely provide for a long-term return and leave a rich legacy for future generations. The conditions for the switch can be as simple as the insight to see what’s possible and the courage to break the mould.