A world that works for everyone

Thinking Box mission (7.47)

This video is a simple powerpoint voiceover but once the script is confirmed it will be made into a fully animated video. This will make it much easier to digest too. At the moment the slides do not offer anything to the listener, and my advice would be to simply listen rather than read the slides!
More up to date Transcript is below. A previous version is voiced in the video here.

Thinking Box Manifesto – A world that works for everyone

Have you ever thought of your life being a bit like a game? Is that so far-fetched? We often compete to get ahead, we have many different ways of keeping score and sometimes it feels like we are winning and others not, right?

But if we take a closer look at the rules of this game would you say they were fair for all, a true meritocracy? And who made up the rules and why does life have to have losers at all?

Instead of this old Business as Usual game many are beginning to wonder why we cannot have a world that works for everyone.

So what is not working with this old model and mindset?

Well the old game has some big problems for all of us even those who are ahead. Our debt based economic model requires constant growth and runaway consumerism to sustain it. Inequality is as great as it has ever been and growing. Automated new technology is making many jobs obsolete. And we have unprecedented ecological breakdown, species loss and most urgent of all, climate change. We are facing a tragedy of the commons – a world that works for no one – including the rich!

If logic wasn’t enough, many are experiencing a moral discomfort. Would you swap places with someone born into a slum? If not then you know that extreme poverty exists and you know you don’t want it for yourself. So why are we so willing to accept it or allow it to happen for others? This type of structural violence is not trivial, it is estimated to kill 18M people a year and 800M people are starving.

Even the winners in the old game will have a better life in the new one. Greater equality will reduce social problems, conflict and crime, you have no need to steal if you already have what you need. And the new game is already working, look around at all the open source sharing, free music, video, online education, and newspapers all transcending the market economy and making many monetised products obsolete. The old mindset has a tight hold on us. It is familiar, habitual, backed up by mainstream media and can make us risk averse when in fear which leads to inertia. It’s not surprising so many of us feel helpless.

But what if we all had a more collaborative mindset? Imagine we are in a boat, rowing in the direction of a world that works for everyone. We might disagree about the best route to get there, causing different factions to grab control of the tiller and alter our course. But if we are all aimed at a world that works for everyone, if we are all watching for signs about how to get there and following the clues, we will make it.

Now imagine a faction has the old mindset, does not believe a world that works for all is possible and instead wants to go to a world that works for some.

Or maybe instead of defining their tribe as “humanity” they define it as some narrow subset, and only really want the world to work for that subset. Publicly, they say they are heading towards a world that works for all so that we, the rowers won’t revolt and take back control of the tiller. We can see signs that the boat may be off course, but we trust that this is an honest difference of opinion about navigation, not intentional misdirection. The longer this faction controls the tiller, the more we get used to being stuck in a world that works for some and too bad for everyone else. The longer we row without a world that works for everyone coming into sight, the more rowers start to lose hope and believe a world that works for everyone is a fantasy. People start to figure that since the world can only work for some, their best bet is to jockey for position and push someone else down so at least they, or their children, can be one of the lucky few.

Is it a conspiracy? No, not at all. Many of those on the tiller have worked hard to get there, outcompeting the rest to reach that position of responsibility. They have simply learnt to win at the game they were given to play, and they didn’t choose that game either. Moreover, if they don’t steer their boat to a world that works for some, another competing boat will get their first and both the captain of that boat and the crew will lose out.

So what are we to do?

Well ultimately we do the only thing we can do. We overcome any inertia and influence, inspire and enrol enough people that a world that works for everyone is the only way that will work and steer all boats in that direction.

We believe becoming aware and awake to what is possible is the first step. A growing group of engaged and aware people can make the difference.  In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.

But here lies the challenge. Just raising our own awareness is not enough if all the other rowers in your boat remain in the old model and mindset. We need everyone (or at least a critical mass) to be on board for a world that works for everyone.

We need a sustained and progressive coalition of people with a new mindset working together towards a compelling vision, managing any risks and countering any fragmentation.  (A true collaboration and democratic revival).

At Thinking Box our goal is massive awareness raising and we believe this requires

  • A safe space in which ideas can be shared, discussed and explored without shame, ridicule or prejudice.
  • Making connections with people of like mind, to create a collaborative community of explorers and thinkers.
  • Critical thinking: the art of challenging one’s own thoughts and assumptions to get closer to the objective truth
  • Emotional growth because accepting that our own presumptions are wrong, our way of life may not be sustainable, that the foundations of our society are shaky is not an easy thing to bear.

At Thinking Box we cultivate all of the above, creating safe and open spaces for friendly discussion and exploration of ideas.  Our tried and tested process uses the most immediate and powerfully engaging medium there is – film and video, followed by facilitated small group and plenary discussions where we practice the 9 Thinking Box habits.

No movement can be made by people sitting alone in front of their screens.  So we bring people together, and provide them the tools to form groups, as easily as possible.  Our website allows enthusiastic organisers to:

  • Start immediately
  • Learn as you go
  • Develop your group with minimal cost barriers.

Our organisational structure is simple and not-for-profit.  Groups are self-managing and self-financing.  Thinking Box is designed to allow new groups to spring up everywhere (at home, work or any other existing community) and engage anyone.

So begin today and discover an easy and fun way to engage with topics of importance, to think and explore together with others in a safe space. Meet people and make new friends, exchange laughter and ideas. Or just exercise your mind and learn new life skills. And be part of a movement of global citizens interested in a world that works for everyone.



Tragedy of the commons (6.44)