It seems to me we are in a time that is crying out for cooperation.
A virus like the one that just shut the entire world down
— and let’s pause for a moment and think about how monumentally significant that truly is
well, we don’t know exactly how this pandemic started, but it appears to be due to an animal virus being passed to a human
That’s probably old news to you at this point
I don’t pretend to know all the techniques required for safe handling of animals, that’s not my expertise
but it seems to me this is a problem that keeps happening
we’ve seen this kind of thing before, multiple times in fact, which is an indication that we need to take a serious look at the system behind the process
And I think this brings us back to the topic of cooperation
Because it’s clearly in the interest of our entire planet to share whatever we all know about how to interact with animals more safely
The World Economic Forum reports that animals are the source of over 70% of new infectious diseases in humans
And apparently, there are 1.7 million animal viruses that could potentially infect people
We KNOW how to take better care of the other species that we share this planet with
And now, we also know we NEED to
Almost a decade ago in my book Igniting the Invisible Tribe I called out connectedness as an essential ingredient for the organization of the future
This word can maybe sound rather pedestrian, but I think our current situation is showing us in real time that this idea is more important than ever
When I say connectedness, I mean that what I do truly impacts you, no matter where the two of us are positioned on the globe
and the fact that this is true should now be crystal clear
But connectedness also means we understand that NOW is connected to NEXT
Today is connected to tomorrow
What we do in this moment creates the future of our next moment
There are investments we can and must make as a species to prevent this kind of virus transfer from happening again
Why wouldn’t we work together to ensure healthy and humane treatment of animals everywhere in the world?
In light of what just happened wouldn’t the crazy thing be to NOT do this??
Well, yes and no.
Of course ideologically it WOULD be crazy to not work together to fix these systems
But practically, I’m afraid it’s a whole different game
To actually do this, we would need an entirely different organizing story than the one we currently have
You see, many of the organizing principles we use to coordinate the way we live and work throughout the world have strong isolationist tendencies
We see this in the nationalist and populist political movements that have emerged around the world in the last few years
And our separateness — not connectedness — is further reinforced by the undercurrent of competition that runs underneath nearly every business on earth
We’re incentivizing ourselves to “win” in a world of finite resources, which means there’s almost always a loser
It doesn’t have to be this way, but we’d have to redefine the rules of our game
Thus, a new organizing story for humanity
What if, instead of celebrating corporate champions, “self-made men,” and the ultra-wealthy, we celebrated things like discovery and exploration?
What if we measured ourselves on how much human thriving we could create for each other?
All of this is already happening
I just want to see it happen FASTER
Humans naturally move toward our picture of the future
So the more of us that can adopt this mindset, the more rapidly we can create it
See you next time
UPDATE JULY 8, 2020 — There’s a new video on this topic from WEF right here.