There is no point at shaking our fists at corporations whose drive is to maximize profits at the expense of communities.
The world is changing faster than ever before with levels of social inequality spiralling out of control, with most of the world’s problems resulting from this, in one way or another.
The story we have been telling ourselves about our origins is wrong and perpetuates the idea of inevitable social inequality.
There is a fundamental problem with this narrative.
It isn’t true.
Civilization meant many bad things (wars, taxes, bureaucracy, patriarchy, slavery…) but also made possible written literature, science, philosophy, and most other great human achievements.
Civilization’ does not come as a package.
Unfortunately most see civilization from their smartphones and TV sets hence inequality, as a tragic necessity.
Once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there one can imagine overthrowing capitalism or breaking the power of the state, but it’s very difficult to imagine eliminating ‘inequality’.
In fact, it’s not obvious that doing so would even mean since people are not all the same and nobody would particularly want them to be.
Against a background of limited resources GDP growth is still seen as the ultimate political ambition.
‘Inequality’ is a way of framing social problems appropriate to technocratic reformers, the kind of people who assume from the outset that any real vision of social transformation has long since been taken off the political table.
With billions of people hyper-connected to each other in an unprecedented global network, it allows for an almost instantaneous and frictionless spread of new ideas and innovations. Combine this connectedness with rapidly changing demographics, shifting values and attitudes, growing political uncertainty, and exponential advances in technology, and it’s clear the next decade is setting up to be one of historic transformation.
The tech invasion has already taken over retail and advertising – and now invading forces have their eyes set on healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and education, banking.
It is time we turn the page on an approach to “the economy” under which communities are passive recipients, relegated to react to its ups and downs.
If we really want to understand how it first became acceptable for some to turn wealth into power, and for others to end up being told their needs and lives don’t count, it is here that we should look.
For instance, almost everyone nowadays insists that participatory democracy, or social equality, can work in a small community or activist group, but cannot possibly ‘scale up’ to anything like a city, a region, or a nation-state.
But the evidence before our eyes, if we choose to look at it, suggests the opposite.
Popolourism or people power can take many forms depending on what kind of change you’re looking to achieve and who has the power to make that change happen — whether it’s a government, company, community or individual.
There are many ways to influence governments and politicians, all of which can shift laws, policies and regulations.
Governmental and political structures are complex and vary widely across the globe and local laws can restrict the ability of organisations to engage in politics but there is one universal power that we have not yet tapped into.
That is the power of Purchase Power.
The social sector has focused for years on government as its mechanism for change, but it’s business that has the biggest potential impacts on the social and environmental crises of our time.
Some of the deepest challenges facing our democracy have to do with the interaction between money and politics.
Yet civically minded citizens have limited options: call your MP, join a one-off protest action, donate to our advocacy organization. Too often, the options posed don’t translate into tangible benefits for one’s own community.
By making every purchase a civic opportunity, we can put communities back behind the wheel of their own economic destiny.
If we really want to see change when we open up our wallets to purchase the necessities and extra goodies in our lives, we should be more conscious of what or who we are supporting.
Purchasing power is social impact power.
With purchasing power, we can help business leaders to deliver social benefits while also meeting their bottom line, creating local markets that reward those who do.
People, given a path that does not set them back economically, will make choices as consumers that do good for their world. And, just as important, business leaders will as well.
By pooling our purchasing power, people and communities can do more than gain access to services they want at lower cost; they can unlock the ability of business–and I believe, whole market sectors–to be drivers of social good.
I believe people and communities have a more powerful tool in where what, and when they use their purchasing power. For creating social benefits they care about, one that requires no sacrifice but instead aligns with their own economic interest as consumers:
Collective purchasing power.
Just imagine if the money we routinely spend on food, clothes, gifts, and even indulgences were turned into an untapped superpower to force change.
We’re at a moment of crisis in Communities–especially low-income neighbourhoods–are no longer being meaningfully engaged by the global economy, income inequality has never been higher, and our expulsion of finite fossil fuels into the atmosphere has us all on a crash course for disaster.
Although no generation behaves the same as the last.
How can we jumpstart a new, clean economy that truly lifts up those who need it most?
As new technologies are created at a faster and faster pace – and as they are adopted at record speeds by markets – it’s fair to say that the future is coming at a breakneck speed.
The definition of wealth itself is taking on a new meaning, with millennials leading a charge towards sustainable investing rather than being entirely focused on monetary return.
Global warming is here.
Humanity has dallied so long that avoiding the worst impacts will now require extremely sharp emissions cuts and the hotter it gets, the harder it gets to adapt.
THE TECH TO PULL CARBON OUT OF THE ATMOSPHERE IS STILL UNPROVEN.
The world has now amassed $247 trillion in debt, including $63 trillion borrowed by central governments: How we view money – and how that perception evolves over time – is an underlying factor that influences our future.
The population tidal wave in the coming decades will completely reshape the global economy. Rapid urbanization will translate into the growth of megacities, holding upwards of 50 million people.
While Amazon and Apple are worth over $1 trillion, Jeff Bezos has a $100+ billion fortune, and the current bull market is the longest in modern history at 10 years.
WITH MORE AND MORE PROFIT SEEKING ALGORITHMS THE FORCES BEHIND CHANGE ARE NOT ALWAYS EVIDENT TO THE NAKED EYE.
We now seem to be trapped in a trade paradox in which politicians give lip service to free trade, but often take action in the opposite direction.
Underrepresented populations have enormous influence as consumers.
Here are a few suggestions for conscious consumerisms.
Why not follow Bogota the Capital of a poor country and ban cars from our city centre on Sundays.
With the speed at which technology now moves, expect our energy infrastructure and delivery systems to evolve at an even more blistering pace than we’ve experienced before.
Why not allow and assist communities to set up there own solar farms.
Why not lobby Apple with there RECENTLY ANNOUNCED new credit card to allocate the cash back to charities.
Why not designate one day of the year as a world day of no online purchases.
Why not promote public asset ownership.
Why not apply a 0.05% world aid commission on all High-Frequency trading, on all Sovergen wealth fund accusations, on all foreign exchange transactions over 50,000 $, on all Lotto wins to create a perpetual World Aid fund.
Why not ask people outside Super Markets not to buy products that are housed in non-recyclable plastic.
There are many facets of change that will impact our shared future.
For community-driven economic transformation, someone has to pay for all of this change, and it is still going to be us in the form of targeted advertising.
So let advertising in all its forms Pay.
The wealth landscape is not all just about billionaires and massive companies – it is changing in other interesting ways as well.
The full impact of Millennials purchasing power and brand preferences will come into full effect in 2020 when their purchasing power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion.
Eventually, our descendants will be unrecognizable.
In our consumer culture what will have an immediate beneficial effect is a bottom-up approach through purchasing power which hurts the bottom line.
Finally. I am not the first or will I be the last to recognise the above.
Portable Purchasing Power
Today’s mobile advertising industry is growing exponentially. More devices
mean more sales, more opportunities to force change with what, where, and
how you buy.
The world we want is in our hands. Buy the changes you want to see.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.