Archives For Politics

As our societies move from hierarchies to more network-based structures, power inevitably shifts from the few to the many. In the process, empires crumble as agency and decision-making power get redistributed.

Social movements in the 21st century are gaining much of their strength from their networked nature, which allows them to ramp up quickly and exert great pressure on top-down institutions. In this way, they represent a rising force confronting older seats of power. Though this has been building for years, we can expect to see some tangible breakthroughs in 2016, when networked social movements gain the upper hand at the expense of businesses, governments and institutions. Continue Reading…

First Thomas Picketty, then Naomi Klein and the Pope spoke out on the deep existential challenges facing capitalism in a time of resource crisis and global inequality. Now, Don Tapscott has joined the conversation with his: “Five New Crises of Democratic Capitalism”. Continue Reading…

In line with my recent ‘You Can’t Beat Them So Why Not Join Them’ series, I recently published an article in The Guardian’s Sustainable Business section on the tech sector’s uneasy relationship with human rights groups. While greatly criticized for censorship and privacy breaches these past few years, a number of companies both large and small have undertaken initiatives that are helping dissidents in closed societies around the world. Recognition of such initiatives proves that, however much you have been part of the problem, it’s worth taking steps to be part of the solution too. Continue Reading…

Would you stand in the way of a hurricane?

The main reason that companies and governments keep getting their butts kicked by grassroots social movements these days is that they consistently underestimate their strength and fail to understand the deep social forces driving them. If they properly appreciated and understood these factors, they would put aside any idea of fighting them and consider ways to work with them instead.

Thus begins Chapter 2 of my ‘You Can’t Beat Them So Why Not Join Them’ series.

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My conference roadshow kicks off in Paris this year. For these engagements, I am going forward with a direct and uncompromising message to businesses and governments: Stop trying to resist the power of new citizen movements. Better learn to work with them, or else face the music! I’ll start by laying out the topline of my arguments below and a deeper look will follow in subsequent posts.

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