PROSPERITY FOR POSTERITY
Prosperity for future generations can only be achieved if there is a collective effort to strive for “dynamic equilibrium.” As we adopt a new definition of wealth, humanity is slowly awakening from a giant nap to a world of paradoxes. We’re starting to realize that we’ve been trying to solve today’s challenges with the very same models and thinking that have caused the imbalances that we now face. Traditional systems of education, politics, and the economy have not yet adapted to the world we have created, and we are now confronted with a Gordian knot of interwoven absurdities.
The portmanteau “prosterity” expresses the essence of this (new) conscious journey in which our social operating system—the economy—is upgraded, adapted, and shaped to benefit humanity as a whole. The Old Economy is dead, and so is the New Economy. What follows is the Quantum Economy. An infinite way of seeing the holistic and interdependent economical world build on capitalism where it isn’t about winning or losing but playing as long as we can. And while technology will save humanity, the only way to save the ‘Mensch’—and organized human life—is to shape this socio-ecological, humanistic capitalism that paves the way toward a dynamic equilibrium.
The “invisible hand of the market” turned out to be a false stabilizing factor based on rigid national borders (state capitalism) and Western belief systems that have fought for power (including through their connection to the Catholic church). But when we take our Western, Eurocentric glasses off, a new world emerges—one in which there is no hand to choke us, as it were. A world in which what we have always scall “systems” are now structures that are fluid and constantly adapting to meet new challenges.
This “new world” is one in which a younger generation combines Eastern philosophical views with Western beliefs in the common religion that we call capitalism. This has led to the wider shift toward an atheist-religious-pop-western Buddhist approach that, in turn, is reshaping our ideas of capitalism itself. But it’s not about Buddhism in an orthodox sense. In fact, it’s often superficial; yet, it tends to focus on the path and not finite goals. Is this new ‘Weltverständlichkeit’ good or bad? It’s impossible to judge in normative terms. It is, however, committed to the idea and understanding of a ‘Weltgemeinschaft’—a global society that understands interconnectivity.
A NEW WORLD
The first step on this journey is understanding the fragility of the world that we have built and accepting critical discussion about crises and global challenges. As a species, we are currently confronted with at least two existential challenges: a) how to avoid an ecological collapse and b) how to live and organize human life with exponential technologies.
In early 2020, the management thinker and professor Henry Mintzberg gathered with a group of people to outline a declaration of interdependence, which is a concept that has been adapted to various fields in the past. A year earlier, I had published The Quantum Economy—Saving the Mensch with Humanistic Capitalism, the final part of which starts with a potential preamble to such a declaration:
“We, humanity, take these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal, that they are created to create, and therefore entitled and obliged to live in freedom and to search for understanding.”
Since then, Henry and I, together with a team of global changemakers, have joined forces to reflect upon, share, and adapt the declaration created by Henry and his colleagues. We share the belief that we must take a holistic approach, that our economy must serve as a stabilizing factor and operating system for society, and that each and every one of us has the potential to contribute to a much larger extent than most can imagine today. Since then, our path has split, and my strong belief is that we need such a declaration, but at the same time, the foundation of our economical thinking must be shifted toward positive progress. I have since worked on a (European) refinement in which such a declaration is a part of a process of progress. Making a personal commitment to a declaration of interdependence can represent the first step on the journey toward dynamic equilibrium—a more balanced society.
In the coming decades, technology will help us extend organized human life and save humanity from disaster. But there is also an increasing demand for real connections between individuals—and for each and every one of us to achieve a more balanced life between our external and internal worlds. The goal is to define what it means to be a ‘Mensch’—a positive, active, thinking human being. We will only have the chance to cope with societal challenges if we rethink our economic structures. And if we want to achieve prosperity for posterity—prosterity—we will have to adapt our educational models by moving from rigid structures, where we send our children to hierarchical and finite systems more rooted in old military complexes than the world we live in. The only way forward is for us to learn how to learn and to teach how to teach. By reshaping educational models and teaching practical applied philosophy, we can begin to adapt our political systems toward more locality and regional identity while simultaneously fostering more globalization and unity.
The road to prosterity isn’t about a revolution or radical change; it’s about our own everyday contributions to dynamic equilibrium. We won’t improve the state of the world if we build more weapons and emphasize authoritarian power. Positive change will only result from a shift toward global strength and interdependency that exploits the collective potentiality that we have as human beings and as a society. Love and compassion are stronger forces than the weapons we have used up till now. The first step for all of us is getting along with our Mit-Menschen—those around us—starting with our neighbours: returning to a society where we can have civilized discussions, where it’s okay to have different opinions, and where we try to understand other side’s ‘Selbstverständlichkeiten,’ where they’re coming from, and why they see the world as they do. Yet, at the same time, we can’t take peace for granted, and it’s imperative that we strengthen alliances for the values to be fought for.
Prosterity means shaping an infinite worldview within the finite limitations of life itself. It means finding a balance between what we consciously enjoy now and what we seek to improve for future generations. This includes adapting the economy, our educational institutions, and our political systems to a new world order. A world in which a more Taoist ethics shape technology and the economy, and in which we recognize that everything is a part of an interdependent global society.
Prosterity: Portmanteau of POSTERITY and PROSPERITY
Posterity: All future generations of people
Prosperity: General success in terms of wealth, health, and happiness (but can also be used more broadly)
The word ‘prosterity’ describes the essence of twenty-first-century leadership in business, politics, and society as a whole. It is a way of life and guiding principle for shaping holistic, humanistic, and compassionate capitalism. Prosterity leaders are stakeholder-driven and strive towards a “dynamic equilibrium.” They build for future generations, grow as human beings, and shape the world around them—including people, communities, resources, and the planet. (Indset 10/20)
Educational Program: “The Prosterity Program” is an educational offering for twenty-first-century leadership, redefining self, wealth, and society. Check out: https://gilt.global
DESCRIPTION OF USED TERMINOLOGIES (‘ANDERSISMS’)
Selbstverständlichkeiten: Our individual beliefs/’truth”/dogma that we hold to be self-evident but should critically question
Weltverständlichkeit: A holistic understanding of the world, how it’s interconnected, and how the underlying forces operate and shape a global society; A global commonsense understanding of the world; A society of Understanding
Weltgemeinschaft: The global community; All people put together in social terms
Mensch: A “good” human being based on a belief in positive progress and activation; Someone with what we refer to as “humanistic values” that also integrates emotions and moral calculus into their actions and beliefs; Contrast with “pure rationality”