#1 The terror of indecision

Note: This is the first post of the book after the introduction. If you’re new to the book, start with the introduction. Or visit the full table of contents.

Should you take the red pill or the blue pill?

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

Trite. Cheap even to steal Dickens as an opener. A tired phrase, particularly now when people especially are numb to platitudes, hyperbole and rhetoric. But it’s simple, it says what it is — people get it and that’s important. I couldn’t find a more succinct summary of inequality, inequality that’s dogged society since we moved from small sustainable communities to today’s global economy.

Inequality; the elephant in the room, the unsolvable challenge, the existential crisis to which there is no fix. But the idea that there is no fix is a lie. The fantasy that our predominant economic models are the only way is false. The models are heavily, unquestionably flawed. We can build something better and there is no doubt that we should. This is the inalienable truth.

In 2020 so many amazing people; friends, colleagues, mentors — people I don’t know but see from the sidelines, are doing brilliant things. Building initiatives, using the raw emotion felt by the majority to flip a cataclysmic time into purpose driven, positive outcomes. Every inspirational doer, entrepreneur, scrapper and pirate is framing in their own words how we can change the status quo. And I believe them — more than that I know it’s true. I’m resolute. But belief can be fleeting, that’s the problem. And without belief in an idea nothing happens. Even once you have it, how do you sustain it, how do you move forward.

Right now, I think like millions of other people I feel manic. I have dark days and days where I can do anything. An existential urgency forcing fight or flight has become the norm. Everyday heroism, life and death scenarios, radical change — these things fill our conversations, our online existence and they perforate our personal narratives. It’s hard not to be affected. Many switch off, self preservation from the doom scrolling.

It feels like teetering on the edge. Like scales that are way too often weighted on the side of calamity. It’s a hysterical feeling. A feeling that we’re in a Star Wars scenario, a ‘light vs dark’ pivot point. We’re so divorced from the events happening to us it feels like a dystopian cartoon. To me it feels like there needs to be a righting of the scales, things need to get better.

Childish to frame it like that? I don’t think so. Soundbites, simplicity, boiling down complex thoughts and feelings into short summaries helps us understand. Simple messages allow us to galvanise behind certainty, they give us clarity of thought, we can get behind an emotion that isn’t confusion. Simple messages inspire impulse into action. That’s why they’re so often employed. It’s at the root of our values here at Po3.

Populists and spin machines the world over know that the; good vs bad, wrong vs right, dark vs light simplification works to control a narrative. But this isn’t about the media, political or any other coercive narrative. The point is that seismic events are happening around the world. They’re real, they’re undeniable, they are the truth. This volatility and uncertainty means the environment is right for change. Change is happening whether we like it or not — it is now or never, it’s imperative. So the talk has to stop and action has to begin.

“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision”

But begin where with a problem so big? Change can’t happen unless there’s consensus as to why it’s happening, so that’s where to begin. By building a common understanding of not just why we have to change, but how we’re going to do it — and a clear path of actionable steps towards a sustainable economy for all. By designing for purpose.

This is #TheFalseEconomy

If you want to talk about and explore anything we’ve said, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you because it makes us better.

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Introduction: The False Economy... and the inalienable truth
#2 Facts fight fiction

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