Up until now there can be no blame. No government, past or present, deliberately created the global crises that increasingly threaten the national security of our countries. None of the corporate business-decisions taken in previous years were recognized as likely to cause the severity of unintended consequences to the world economy that they did. The only blame will be if, knowing what we now know, we do too little or act too late. Unlike all our predecessors, it is we alone who carry that newly-forged responsibility.
The opportunity to set things in motion will never get better than it is now. By about 2020 the global economy will have reached a point of no return. But by then the international community can already be in a far better position. There is enough time to stimulate the beginnings of a worldwide gradual transition that will encourage alignment to emerge out of the growing chaos. Yet, without the equivalent of either corporate leaders forging Global Guilds or political leaders founding a World Embassy, it will prove exceptionally difficult to avoid the perfect-storm of multiple backlashes that risks destroying what otherwise is set to be a mind-stretching leap forward for humanity around 2040. Today’s global warming and world economic crises are merely distant rumbles from something far more destructive that is heading our way. But having recognized what is coming, leaders of all types now have time to take charge. And corporate leaders across Big (and Little) Business may be the best-placed of all to lead the way.
In addition to their ability to trigger the formation of cross-territory Global Guilds that protect their industries against backlashes (and as a result defend the wider world-economy), business leaders can also take full advantage of their collective expertise in interacting with the wider public so as to stimulate Boundaryless People-Power that tackles particular global crises directly. Only by mastering those two new non-geographic dimensions of power can we break free of the straightjacket of territorial governance that currently renders the best-intentioned politicians incapable of effectively addressing the increasingly complex interactions that generate global crises.
Only by understanding in detail where those crises come from and how they grow and reinforce themselves can we at last begin to construct defenses that match, rather than deny, the crises’ true form. And as a global community we are now ready to do that, because, twinned with the world economy that we created, we too are growing up.