Poor power structures

Inadequate power structures


Territorially-focused governments can never address globally-defined crises effectively. And the United Nations is incapable of changing itself into a body that could. Yet just as formal religions once claimed overriding authority over state sovereigns, so today national governments and supranational bodies such as the UN claim exclusive authority over running the planet. To maintain that right they must continue to fulfill the highest obligation of all governments – to protect their people. However, when it comes to the global crises covered by this book, neither national governments nor bodies like the UN can deliver on that responsibility. They are increasingly floundering. Through little fault of their own, when it comes to global crises such as climate-change or depleting natural resources or financial crashes they are inherently and unavoidably unfit for purpose. And that means that they can no longer automatically claim an exclusive right to govern.

Naturally, in democratic countries most citizens rightly expect that issues that are controllable by their politicians should remain exclusively governed by duly-elected leaders. But it is those issues that are not controllable by them that are in question. At the moment, in addition to the historical impact of governments and formal-religions, the growth of global crises is in fact primarily influenced by the uncoordinated actions of a select number of powerful and global industries. The most impactful are High-Tech (including IT, telecoms and pharmaceuticals), Banking, Media, Energy (covering oil corporations as well as power utilities), Marine industries (especially fishing), and a range of Land industries (primarily relating to agriculture and mining). Between them, these six sectors dominate how global crises are forming. Collectively, the leaders within these industries already have, in principle, the power to steer what those in national and supranational governments cannot. It is these business leaders alone who currently have the potential to offer effective global governance.

At the moment, in contrast, these leaders often do not even recognize that with unelected power comes Unelected Responsibility – let alone do they view such implied responsibility in the context of a Holistic Perspective. As a result, their combined impact on global crises is at best misaligned and ineffectual and at worst anarchic and dangerous. That needs to change. As this final chapter of the book now lays out, individual businesses and whole industries have an unparalleled opportunity to take the initiative. What is more, it is in their enlightened self-interest to do so.

But they need to act fast. Being subjected to a progressive series of uncontrolled global crises is like being forced to keep playing Russian-roulette – it is only a matter of time before a fatal version of Game Over. However, the pace of the Spin-Click of our global game of jeopardy is accelerating. Based on the exponential nature of the High-Tech trends driving the worst global crises, if today the international trigger was getting pulled only once a year, by 2040 we would have to face the risk of a bullet in our collective brain once every sixteen seconds.