Hidden consequences of an interconnected world
Our inability to see how complex world issues interlink or what underlying drivers they share or why even anticipated threats are so hard to avoid –makes escalation of current global crises inevitable
WE CANNOT SEE the Forest for the Trees. When it comes to threats to the world economy, any single major issue on its own is usually sufficient to crowd out all the others from our thinking. Even when the threats are well-recognized, we tend to consider each in isolation. We address each in turn. Categorize each to a separate part of our minds. Escalating global-economic threats from various forms of over-borrowing seem in every way different from escalating planetary threats such as global warming from too much CO2. Threats to ancient institutions (such as schisms in religion over women’s and gay rights) seem poles apart from threats to modern industries (such as the clamor for tighter press-regulation following abuses by tabloid journalists).
That is the problem. In reality, there are important but hidden links. As for the obscured ultimate causes of global crises – many are remarkably similar. Below the surface of everyday-life, these apparently distinct threats are often deeply interconnected. Many have common origins. Several have similar solutions. Just as importantly, buried deep within the complex inner-workings of the international community, it turns out that the worst threats to our collective progress in fact derive from the very same positive elements on which the world economy completely depends.
Our inability to see, let alone understand, this big picture is placing corporations, institutions, governments, whole industries, entire countries and the overall world economy – all at risk. Revealing the most important hidden connections within our global system, decoding their implications, and defining how to avoid the worst of the nasty surprises buried within them has now become vital. And that is what this book is all about.