In place of politicians

Doing what politicians cannot


There is a very important message to understand about Global Guilds: The point is that only a handful of powerful, overlapping and truly-global Guilds can effectively influence the whole of the world system. So, rather than wait forever for around 200 governments to try to align the world system, interested parties can instead set up a few Global Guilds that will immediately improve the odds for those that belong to them. And, far more importantly for the rest of us, together the Global Guilds will bring the unprecedented benefits of a fully-functioning World Embassy.

Given the urgency of getting some stimulus from the Global Guilds, there is probably insufficient time for the protracted international agreements needed to create a set of fully-formed Global Guilds in one go. However, there is another way. One of the reasons that multinationals and businesses as a group have the potential to move far faster and more effectively than governments is because they are familiar with an advanced form of Prototyping.

It has long been recognized within the corporate environment that in order to circumvent the ‘analysis paralysis’ that can forestall major change initiatives, the most effective tactic tends to be the toe-in-the-water approach of locally prototyping a change initiative in such a way that it increasingly encourages a progressive roll-out of the overall change. To achieve this dynamic, the detailed-design of the prototype is crucial. It must, of course, be a useful trial that represents a microcosm of what is planned to be the eventual full change. And it must also be designed in a way that lessons-learned can readily be fed back into the overall design both of what the eventual change will look like and also the way that the change is rolled out. Even governments occasionally adopt this form of prototype.

However, there is another less-obvious design criterion that often makes a fundamental difference: The prototype must be designed not only as a trial but also as an intervention in its own right that is explicitly aimed at making it increasingly attractive for the overall initiative to be rolled-out. In other words, its most important role is often to help create a ‘pull’ for the overall initiative. To do that, the prototype must typically be designed to bring immediate benefits that the wider community sees, and wants. That tactic will also work for the formation of Global Guilds. In place of attempting to push with a floppy string of commercial lobbying-meetings the governance-structure needed to help counter global  crises, one or more influential corporations can instead create the conditions under which other key players in the world economy begin to pull themselves toward the idea of Global Guilds.

As with any successful change-prototype, the design will include mechanisms by which the initial prototype brings sufficient benefits to its first users (however few) that others want to get involved, and in so doing help improve security against backlashes still further. A prototype Global Guild must therefore adhere to design-guidelines that help successively to refine its effectiveness and relevance to founder-members, and so the attractiveness for others to join. Those design-guidelines are what I will highlight next.