Five Reasons Why We Are Moving From the Economy of ME To The Economy of WE
- The Sharing Economy is taking off and disrupting entire industries. I believe it will in time diminish the value the world now puts on multiple home ownership, cars, jets and even expensive purses. We increasingly share such luxuries and it is already cool to bicycle to work, eat responsibly, dress sustainably and use the power of your purse (whether big or small, cheap or expensive) to support the change you want to see.
- Values are changing, largely driven by women and younger generations who are embracing a more balanced (responsible) set of values and changing their consumption patterns. They are choosing who they work for, who they do business with and how they invest their money to be in line with their need for purpose and desire to see more responsible business behaviour.
- Salary and Wealth gaps are not sustainable. The salary spread between the highest and the lowest paid employee was around 20 to 1 in the early 1990s in the US. It was about 350 to 1 in 2008 and has not changed much since then. It is hard to see where any real value-creation took place to support this development. Since 2008, more wealth has accumulated in the hands of few (the 1%) and the middle class, the very vital 70% that keep societies going have become servants to unsustainable debt levels. Governments and municipalities increasingly struggle to serve serious and unsustainable debt levels as well. The increasing burden put upon them to deal with an aging population and increasingly higher healthcare costs is unlikely to make it any easier anytime soon. At some point, everyone will have to face the music and realize that salary spreads and debt levels are unsustainable and so is the incredible wealth accumulation in the hands of few.
- Trust remains low and the “trust-crisis” gives rise to social unrest. We have been unable to restore trust in business, banks, government and media since the financial collapse. We have discovered how little we know about what goes on in a world managed by a few high-powered individuals with unusually high testosterone levels. We feel powerless and unable to change anything as our Governments mostly restored power structures around money, and continue to allow Wall Street to run Washington (and the same is true elsewhere). The “trust-crisis” gives rise to even more social unrest, possibly more violence. It is indeed possible that “the pitchforks are coming” (see this TED talk)
- Women Empowerment may be the single biggest economic and business opportunity around, and it is no longer (if it ever was) a women’s issue as the benefits of greater economic growth, business success and social prosperity surely benefit everyone. It is beyond “uncool” not to support initiatives aimed at releasing the value of women and it is simply smart business to tap into all of our human resources. The growing awareness of the value of women gives rise to optimism because research shows that when women are empowered, everything improves. When women have a seat at the table the dialogue improves, better decisions are made and outcomes are more considerate of all stakeholders, i.e. women are key to transforming our Economy from an Economy of ME to the Economy of WE, where men and women work together on solutions that allow our children to enjoy the life quality we have.