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2. No sustainable society without safety

The second key building block in the column of values is “safety”. Safety is a very broad subject that involves not just the physical but also spiritual aspects of security along the line of sustainable progress.

Very clear is the situation in Japan or Libya these days when the physical integrity of the population cannot be guaranteed due to the sum of natural disasters or the failure of human made systems. When one is in danger the very first thing that occurs is the attempt to save one self, the identity we spoke about before. Every one is on its own.

Only when the danger disappears one can think of working again along the line of creating a society and develop organizational complexities. Still, in times of physical danger we see people helping eachother. This is obvious in Lybia were people have suffered the man made dictatorship for many decades and manage to overcome their fear by joining forces along a vision of a new future. What is really happening is that the individuals break loose from the situation of total lack of individual identity with the regime of a dictator and stand up to show that they have universal rights. They first discover that they “are” and find relative safety in the brotherhood of those who think alike and are willing to fight for their identity.

In a modern society without the dictatorship or natural disasters the danger will not mainly be on a physical level, despite of course the problems of criminality and traffic accidents that occur in such countries. The problems reside much more in the spiritual safety. We refer her to the psychological, mental and behavioral integrity of the population. If one is safe to have an opinion, freedom of speech, to be self sufficient and creative, the society will be able to progress. On the other hand, if the population is deprived from individual identity due to accessive care and external securities it will become lazy, uninterested and eventually little productive.

For a physically safe society it is a challenge to see how far one needs to go with the creation of social welfare programs and what pressure remains on the population for self sufficiency. Creativity is highest when people feel safe and motivated or a need, either by dissatisfaction of sense of desired progress. It needs room for inspiration to florish. Progress is achieved by applying learning with purpose driven experimentation. Within this word “purpose” we find the secrete of a stable or unstable organization or society.

If the purpose is defined around money or what ever material system of having, the community will grow identity less and with the continuous fear of loosing out on chances. The individuals and government will experience the feeling of lack of security and safety as they develop a sense of greed out of fear of shortage. We see this in Western society all the time where fear is related to all the problems that society faces around child care, elderly care, infrastructure, housing, whatever. It is a fear driven society that cannot possibly live up to sustainable speculations as it is not capable to see the abundance it gathers but focusses on the chance of losing it all.

If purpose is defined on higher goals than a society develops a sense of security to be able to deal with everything that arises. The higher goals that are defined are seen as challenges that bind people around the common purpose. Purpose driven societies donot compare with others but look forward with the drive to improve continously. In such community money is never a goal, nor is external forms of security and glamour. They concentrate on sustainable happiness, togetherness, warmth, safety, health, vitality, love, etc. People in such societies only see opportunities, chances for progress and the desire to work for it.

So safety, in a physical and psychological/spiritual sense is the key, on top of authentic purpose driven identities, to progress in a sustainable way. Only then we can go to the next step in the column: equality.

Poverty policy is key to capitalist success

Most business policies focus on welfare and growth communities because that is where the money goes around. Hardly any of the business plans involve the markets of the poor. The companies that do actually included those markets structurally in their policies tend to score better on the Multidimensional Index of the 5K Group. Why is that?

There is nothing noble about combating poverty. It is good business practice. During the credit crisis we have seen the down fall of big, so called “solid”, institutions s.a. banks due to a moral crisis rather than financial. Typically this moral crisis was caused over the backs of the financially unstable and unwealthy. Does this indicate a contradiction in my argument? Not at all.

The risktaking of the banks by entering bad credit zones was caused by greed and self interests of high level executives who covered their backs by insuring bad credits with others misplacing the trust relationship in the chain. As the entire chain was based on the same material principles of greed the business was a pure speculation that unnoticed inflated the ballon of risk until it exploded into the face of the world. One can hardly argument that all this was a policy to help the poor.

When we design a policy to develop markets with poor people we do that from the moral multidimensional principle of the ideal market development through healthy and motivated people. To achieve this poverty needs to be eradicated from the entire world. We do not talk only about poverty in complex, unstable, tribe oriented third world countries. We talk also about the growing poverty in the rich welfare countries. When a company decided to address this market too, not just by making products available to it but by truely developing a strategy to address the issue effectively, it shows moral integrity. Nobody will ask the company to finance such development our of their own pocket because such strategies of sensitivity to the reality of the world finds many partners in government, institutions and foundation to join forces for a common goal.

The willingness to address such markets by connecting with other organizations and creating serious policy shows and develops an authentic and responsible company culture that is filled with sense and that subsequently will radiate also into the wealthier markets where competition is strong and one does not distinguish anymore through price or quality but with company integrity and authenticity. And this is the basis of any sustainable success and therefore the reason for a company to score high in our Index.