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Could this be a Solution to Economic Crisis and the Future of Business?

The Importance of Philanthropy and The Rise of The Nonprofit Organisation

It takes an evolved individual to recognise that the only response that will solve this economic crisis is to give money away. The reasoning is simple; if you do not reinvest into the roots of society then its flower will surely whither.

There are any number of phrases and sayings that reinforce this, but a purely economic reasoning that underpins this is; if less money comes down from the top of the wealth pyramid than goes up, then there is going to be a ‘cash flow” problem.

The people at the bottom can’t create wealth or employment unless they are given something to work with, and if the governments print money it disappears in overhead, loan repayments and spiralling inflation, filtering upwards into the ‘safe’ commodity markets. Nature hates imbalance in all things and will always seek to achieve an equilibrium, the greater the imbalance, the bigger the impetus is to push back, which is why nonprofit organisations are the fastest growing sector in business today.

There is recognition here that there is significant pressure on decision makers in the private sector to provide substantial returns for their investors and this necessarily leads to questionable decisions being made. Banks who repackage high risk loans, energy companies who falsify oil reserves or cut corners with safety, food and drink manufacturers who bulk with addictive and harmful chemicals, you name it. The irony is that this does not necessarily represent greed as many of the share holders are pension funds trying to provide security for the old at the cost of a future for the young.

Nonprofits are free of these pressures, because of donations and accounting rules all transactions are transparent. Salaries are open to scrutiny and bonuses non excitant. Other businesses find that they prefer to deal with the nonprofit organisation as there are no hidden agendas a trust reputation relationship is easier to establish; equally there may even be the possibility of positive PR!

The lesson of the Chinese monkey trap is clear; the monkey is trapped by his desire to acquire the fruit and his inability to let go of it when it is in his grasp. It takes a lot of courage to trust and let go, by some it is called “a leap of faith”.

“Be the change you want to see

– Mohandas Mahatma Ghandi


“Society is judged by the way it treats its prisoners”

Prisoners straight into work programme
“Ex-offenders who claim jobseekers allowance will be immediately referred to the Government’s Work Programme, and employers will be paid for the number of criminals they employ, it has been announced.”

If you treat people less than fairly, do not expect them to play by the rules;

I predict that this scheme will not work, as prisoners will prefer to break their licences rather than to remain on a placement that by necessity will take on the shape of a “chain gang”

For how else will employers trust them?

Prison and Custody officers are taught “Behaviour breeds behaviour”, give respect and you get respect back. I once asked one of the most profliic young offenders in Gloucestershire what it would take to stop him committing crime, he replied “A house, a car, and a job”.

How does this scheme change the twin problems of crime and the poverty that causes it?

Is it only criminals that live in fenced in properties with automatic gates, security guards and bars on the windows?

Where else in society do we find examples of the “something for nothing” culture, so pervasive that our young adults see it as an expectation?

The Chinese monkey trap is an ingenous device, it is a cage far too small to contain a monkey, but it is big enough to hold fruit. Once a monkey reaches in to the cage and takes hold of his prize, his paw becomes too big to retract from the cage. It is his reluctance to let go off his prize that traps him, thus it is with our society today, we are all trapped by the reluctance to let go;
Joblessness and poverty cause depression, addiction, crime, and broken families. Who knew?

“Be the change you wish to see” – Mohatma Ghandi


Does Wealth come at the cost of Freedom?

This is entirely curious; Freedom is a word that is bandied around a lot, especially in the Western world, and I used to think I understood what it meant; now i am not so certain that I can define it adequately.

Any person that lives with in a society has obligations to that society, by definition, or risk being ‘cast out’ (incarcerated). These are the “ties that bind us”.

We now have so many regulations, checks and controls, where can that word be used correctly in its full original sense?

A poor man is confined in the sense that his choices are limited, he has no resources of his own with which to create or space into which he can expand, unless he can ‘persuade’ someone that he has worth or value. A rich man is confined by his wealth, living behind gates, walls and barriers; what is more, feeling the increasing pressure not to trust, friends, institutions and sometimes even family. What is a panic room if it is not a cell? Or a gated property if not a prison?

It is a little known fact that the infamous tower of London where Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I was originally a castle equipped like a palace when they were imprisoned. It is only through the realisation that we have created too many barriers to entry and systems that have too many ‘checks’ and not enough ‘balances’ that economic growth can be possibility.

This possibility can only be made a reality if everybody digs deep, in effort, courage and trust. This applies to *you*, poor or wealthy, find your courage and your strength:

Look about you and “see” that we all need each other and that it is in your best interest to look after your neighbour, your friend, your employer/ee.

For if the worst comes to the worst; Whose loyalty can you actually count on?

Perhaps this is meant by “and the meek shall inherit the Earth”?

The more barriers you build the less free you are…


Why do People Fight Regulation?

In my work as a complex systems analyst I often wondered how it was that the systems I was analysing had become so complicated that they no longer functioned properly, or at all.

To me it seemed simple; you drew a big circle around the system, looked at what was going in, then examined what was supposed to be coming out. “The Big Picture”.

By doing this simple exercise I could surmise what ought to be in the circle and then compared this to what was actually in the circle. They almost never matched, as I had designed a system from scratch whereas the system that I was examining had evolved over time.

The problem with this evolution was that there were always unconnected systems, or two systems doing the same job and systems that used to fulfil a purpose but no one had thought to remove.

In the very worst cases a loop could be found, just like the one I have discovered in society today. In order to get the funds to set up a non profit organisation or company, most fund providers and investors require you to have a non profit organisation or company.

Volkswagon used to have a 1.9 diesel engine, wonderfully simple and easy to maintain. Client demand for power steering meant bolting on a pump, hydraulic clutch and brakes another, air conditioning yet another and when it came to put a turbo system to it, suddenly a whole redesign was going to be needed, because the engine was becoming less able to drive all these bolt ons and remain economical or cool at low revs.

The same thing occurs within bureaucracies and government designed system. The more laws and regulations that are generated, the harder the engine has to work in order to power the system overhead.

As these laws and regulations are created piecemeal, without considering the big picture, the tendency only to create more overhead and push the problem somewhere else rather than solving it.

When I first learned what function a politician or government representative performed, I assumed that it was to render their positions unnecessary. To create a just and equitable system that would require no further tinkering. The judiciary would be there to catch the occasional injustice or inequity that may occur within the system.

The major problem with this premise is that any politician within government needs to justify his or her own existence within the existing framework.

Mathematical logic shows that NP complete systems (where anything that it is possible to be computed, can be computed) with very few rules at all. Isaac Asimov showed us that only four laws would be needed for an effective social legal structure.

So why is it that we have so many laws and regulations when only a few are needed? These extraneous laws, this extra overhead is, quite literally, strangling society and the possibility for business growth.

I would say that now is the time that we need to have a serious look at our approach to regulation and our desire for control. For each control and every regulation are as a ratchet to a cog in clock, slowing it down until it can neither move backward or forwards.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” – Albert Einstein


BBC News – Drought summit as rivers in England dry up

Nature has already has (nearly) completely linked water network through the means of the water table. Why are we obsessed with laying pipes sideways underground to do something nature already does for us? Solar powered boreholes straight to the clean mineralised water below obviates all the infrastructure and water treatment processes !!

BBC News – Drought summit as rivers in England dry up.


IS THE TIME RIGHT FOR MORE PHILANTHROPY AND CHARITY?

“See a need? Then fill it!”

Growing up in Cornwall, we were taught be our elders “Be more aware, I should not have to ask”.

This  is a fundamental principle that my organisation is promoting. We believe people are more likely to engage in the process when they are actively engaged in helping in something that ‘speaks’ to them on a personal level.

If we are to escape to fate of global economic collapse then people of every social strata need to accept that they have to help in the task of nurturing the roots of society: “If the roots remain untreated then the flower will surely whither”.

Either the problems that beset our world are everybody’s responsibility or it is nobody’s responsibility. It is now no longer sufficient to say that something is “Somebody else’s problem”, because very quickly it becomes nobody’s problem at all..

Perhaps it is now time for every individual to ask, “How can I make a difference?”, instead of taking the opposite view that “One person can’t make a difference”.

After all, how many people would it actually take to improve this world or even a small part of it?

There is an old challenge that springs to mind “Is there such a thing as a selfless act?”, perhaps the best way to find out is by trying to perform one.

A worthy challenge for anyone, anywhere and at any time.


What is the Truth behind Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Why oared our leaders subscribing to the the rumour mill and warmongering?

William Hague (Britain’s Foreign Secretary), would have been better advised to do some fact and logic checking before speaking out.

If history shows us anything it is that governments exert control over people by limiting the communication of information.

The principle of ‘divide’ and conquer definitely applies to any government that feels the need to ‘control’ their people.

Traditionally this is achieved by the careful control of the flow and visibility of information, and also by limiting access to means and methods of communication.

This has been especially true in times of hardship or mass discontent, after all if a populace are unable to communicate they are unable to organize.

Social Media is changing that, and rather than being a revolution what we are seeing is a social “evolution”. Governments are finding it harder to sow the seeds of distrust by spreading fear and exploiting it,. because “The Truth is out There”, on the internet; in words, pictures and HD video.

Where were those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? President Bush senior is on the record as having said that America would never be held to ransom over the price of oil again whilst he was head of the CIA in the 70’s, did he really believe that none would make the connection?

It is said that there is no profit in war, however is that the truly the case? In the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq vast sums of money have been generated for US arms manufacturers, private security firms, communication specialists and construction contractors all paid for by the oil revenues of those countries and the goodwill of US citizens. Has anyone stopped to count the human cost?

Now that people are self organizing and information concerning activities in these countries are becoming more transparent, the appetite for heavy handed policing of the world is diminishing, or is it? The US has declined to become involved in the problems in Syria and Libya, quite rightly, as these are problems that the Muslim world can resolve themselves. We can act as referees and cry ‘foul’ when human rights are abused; refuse to sell arms and ammunition and perhaps that should be the full extent of our involvement.

But the rumour mills are starting again, this time concerning Iran; are we truly expected to believe that Iran are more of a threat than Syria, Cuba or North Korea? Is this not the same Iran that has not threatened any of their neighbours since the Shah was overthrown? The only war that they have been engaged in was defending a border from an expansive Saddam Hussein who after eight years of war decided Kuwait was an easier target.

What if Iran are just concerned about how it will generate electricity after the oil they are being force to sell runs out? Given that there is also a limited amount of Nuclear fuel in the world, and that it is ‘burnt’ in a reactor, stockpiling makes no sense. Would you stockpile deisel when the tractors in the fields have empty tanks?

Have we yet reached the point where we are a shining example to follow? Learning is a two way street, the financial market in Iran has been completely immune to the recent global economic crisis, I wonder why?


THE TOWER OF BABEL PROBLEM

And so God scattered them upon the face of the Earth, and confused their languages

Fact or fiction the story of the tower of babel is very pertinent in today’s world.

The internet and the information sharing it permits is connecting mankind in such a way that information can be shared almost instantaneously around  the world.

There is a problem though and that problem is language.When people do not speak the same language, the transfer of thoughts, concepts and ideas can be fraught with pitfalls; misinterpretation being only one of them.

There is also a tendency for individuals speaking the same language to isolate themselves to their own groups, avoiding communication with people outside that group.

Unfortunately neither Google translate or any translation service can help us here, for the languages I am talking of are those of EXPERTISE.

This is a crying shame, for man now has all the knowledge and all the tools that he needs to solve any given problem that may exist.

If a geneticist, a computer scientist and an ecologist got together might they not conclude that the symbiotic relationship formed by mitochrondria is different than has been previously assumed? That the mitochondria is an interpreter that processes and executes the code contained in the DNA?

If scientists studying Colony Collapse Disorder in bees were collaborating with physicists studying changes in the magnetic field of the earth, would they conclude that bees are unable to collect pollen because it will not stick to them when the magnetic field changes around them?

The fundamental problem that underpins these issues is that we have a very simplistic ‘divide and conquer’ appraoch to problem solving and it is easy to understand why:

Where there is total connectivity, no problem can be truly considered out of context, so the ‘big picture’ keeps on getting bigger and bigger until Man decides there has to be a ‘cut off’ point, and there is the flaw.

Something important always gets left out.

How does the gravitational pull of the moon affect the climate, weather patterns even natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes? As it stands right now no one knows because the experts speak different languages and never meet.

Does climate warming affect the liquidity of the Earth’s crust,  influencing plate tectonics and volcano activity? No one knows because the experts speak different languages and do not communicate with each other.

Perhaps it is time for us to try to speak the same languages?