Let us practice discerning patterns or sensing the emergent. In simple words, let us practice “connecting the dots.”
What seems to be the common or underlying thread across the following trends?
Corporate wealth: intangible assets, and no longer tangible assets, constitute most of market value of corporations. Intangible assets include human and relationship capital. Most of organizational knowledge is in the form of tacit knowledge instead of explicit knowledge.
Global economy: In most national economies, more GDP is being created from services (human knowledge) than from industry (processing of resources).
Community development: successful anti-poverty projects are those that leverage on a community’s intangible assets (and not on its tangible assets).
Educational psychology: Intelligence was believed by psychologists to be basically only twofold: mathematical and linguistic. Now, multiple intelligence is recognized, which also includes emotional, spatial, inter-personal and intra-personal intelligence. Many researchers found that EQ is the more important determinant of success at work and in life than IQ. A “spiritual quotient” was also proposed.
National development: Before, development was viewed in largely economic terms (measured in GNP or GDP); now the prevailing goal is sustainable development which also includes the socio-cultural and ecological dimensions. UNDP developed the Human Development Index to complement GDP and other material measures. Gender equality is becoming a global norm.
Security: Before, security was viewed from statist and military terms. Now there are terms used in the United Nations discourses such as “food security”, “ecological security” and “human security”.
Attitude to environment: A shift is taking place from control perspective to harmony perspective and from man-nature dichotomy to man-as-part-of-nature or organic thinking.
Psychology: Empirical-clinical psychology is now complemented by paranormal psychology, transpersonal psychology and phenomenological research.
International conflicts: Root-causes of conflicts before were largely ideological and territorial; now conflicts are also non-military and due to trade, technological, religious and ethnic-cultural causes.
Religion: Beliefs in a male or transcendent God are now complemented by beliefs in a female or immanent God; in Christianity, creation spirituality is an alternative to fall-redemption spirituality. In Catholicism, Vatican II shifted towards priesthood of the laity.
Organizational dynamics: A shift is going on from hierarchical or vertical dynamics to more flat or network dynamics; from a Taylorist and mechanic view of organizations to a Senge and learning-growing or gardener view of organizations.
What is happening? Can you connect the dots? The connection seems to be cutting across various disciplines and sectors: it is trans-societal. It is a trend across many trends: it is a mega-trend
What qualities seem to be emerging?
How do we name this trans-societal mega-trend? After I presented the above ideas in a conference in Taipeh in 1999, a Singaporean professor suggested that the above changes can be described, using the Yin-Yang Chinese cosmology, as a movement towards Yin. [Thank you to Catherine Auman who suggested that we are not replacing Yang with Yin but we are moving towards a world where both are equally valued.]
Do you agree? What do you think?
Tags: community development, ecological security, EQ, food security, hierarchy, human development index, human security, intangibles, knowledge management, learning organization, megatrend, multiple intelligence, networks, paranormal psychology, phenomenological research, Senge, sustainable development, tacit knowledge, Taylorist, transpersonal psychology, trend, yang, yin