Throughout history, humankind has, somehow over time, overcome enormous challenges. Even so, human progress does not continue along a straight or unbroken line. In more recent times, all nations have suffered the disastrous impact of two world wars and the ever-present threat of nuclear war, which is a threat that has not receded but considered a risk that we must live with. The threat of environmental disasters has now become widely recognised but the solutions advocated so far seem unlikely to halt our march towards Armageddon.
Meanwhile, the people in many nations appear to be expressing doubts about the value of the democratic system of government. Within those nations that claim to be democracies citizens seem to be losing faith in their democratic system and are instead looking towards populist leaders who offer simplistic solutions to their problems. The reality is, that by far the major part of the world's population exist under a dictatorship of one kind or another and have no immediate prospect of changing their situation. In nations typically regarded as democracies, their leaders appear unwilling to fix the fundamental flaws in their democratic system that prevent it delivering the immense benefits that a complete democratic system can bring to its citizens.
In our search for solutions to the problems of unfairness and unsustainability in our world people have very often pursued simplistic solutions that failed, and in most cases only exacerbated the situation. Solutions that have included the belief that the best approach is to leave our economy to a chaotic situation where companies get bigger and bigger and wealth becomes ever more concentrated in the hands of those controlling major corporate businesses. Relying on the presumption that the trickle-down effect will eventually benefit the poorest in the community. The alternative has been to rely upon the state to act on behalf of the mass of the people ignoring the reality of the market. In the extreme, demonstrated in the countries that embraced a pseudo-Marxist approach but. in practice, political elites became the main beneficiaries. Other approaches have included relying upon a theocracy or blaming the ills of society on minorities, especially immigrants.
The truth is that there are no simple answers to the problems we face. Only a multifaceted approach is likely to bring about the fundamental changes in society required. We need to apply the five levers of change together to achieve our objectives. Critically, we must understand how our organizations need to work if they are to benefit the people. Also, appreciate that all forms of organization will default to serving the people that run them day-to-day, unless effective systems are in place to prevent this happening. It’s equally applies to governmental organizations, which end up only serving a political elite unless the proper checks and balances are in place. Likewise, we need to understand how markets work and how to ensure that they work for the benefit of the people. Our education system needs to empower the people and not simply produce compliant citizens within a corporatocracy. Nothing will change if we solely rely on political parties, most significant change only occurs when dynamic movements for social change intervene.