Between 1950 and 1970 a few countries around the world, including the Netherlands, actually reached the satisfying state of sustainable welfare. But they got gready, mainly pushed by the American model of economic growth. They opened up the borders, made trade easier and more wide spread and got an increasing amount of troubles to cope with. To finance such troubles, which we call welfare deseases, more growth was required, creating a focus on money only and not at all on moral sensitivity. The last decade governments tried to compensate by introducing Social Responsible Entrepreneurship but this was a mere cosmetic recognition to the moral backlog. The same happened in the USA where even moral issues like the environment or social security funding were not prioratised. Money became the goal and only goal for the entire western world. Morality on how long traffic jams should grow to keep the automobile industry alive, or how many electric appliances we could fit in a house, using up more energy than ever before, never even reached the political agenda. Competition was severe and growth drove us in the arms of low wage countries increasing even more the amount of unnecessary stuff we had to purchase. We were getting too fat, too lasy, too gready, too individualistic, too agressive, and too everything.
We now know, looking at the picture, that material growth needs to be parallelled by equal moral development, else we enter into the vulnerable zone. For over 30 years we have neglected this and have all these years to recover in order to get back into the comfort of sustainability. We have shelved innovations our of self or mingled interests and now realize that most of our structures, systems and organizations are built on the wrong foundations. While we start realizing that it also becomes clear that we have a huge challenge ahead in redefining living communities, mobility, transportation, food dsitribution, clean water supplies, infrastructures in order to comply with the moral requirements of our current global situation. When we do that we will find the need to rebuild everything from scratch. And this provides the world with over 500 billion jobs for the next 20 years.
It may sound easy but it is not. World wide politics, multinationals and individuals will have to transform their way of thinking. Soon we will start here in Holland a prject called “City of Tomorrow” in which we will start experimenting with innovative alternatives to transform society into a sustainable place. We will film the monthly debates and make the available to the world through my new foundation, STIR (Sustainable, Transformation, Indexation & Research).