What we call “technology” is actually a narrow description of a practice including mechanics, electronics and computer science. This confusion is hampering human development, especially when the expectation is on not developing financial and social technology but demanding mechanical solutions when simple agreements could suffice. Modern technology is failing, we are not addressing the challenges in front of us. Our very use of language in this case is holding us back and preventing us from thinking clearly.
Money and markets are powerful tools in developing our world, most would agree. However, the negative effects, some might say unintended results of their application are painfully apparent. These include environmental degradation, unequal distribution and crowded, unhealthy cities. To achieve a sustainable future, and the Sustainable Development Goals in particular, all options for changing the economic system should be on the table. Should we abandon industrial capitalism and our present monetary system altogether? Should we introduce a form of sustainable five-year planning regime? Continue reading “OPINION: upgrade the monetary system and pay people to do the right thing”
Most of the energy used in the world economy comes from non-renewable sources. Analysts fear that the expanding extraction of energy will not keep up with the expanding economy and …well… the the economy will deflate like a balloon and everyone will be worse off. Worst for the poor who have very little already. Or they fear that the climate will collapse because we are pouring too much carbon dioxide into it just to stay alive. Either way, the economy is so dependent on energy, they say, that we will go into a period of recessions and undermine peace is many ways. Not strictly true in my opinion that there is too little energy: there is enough energy to keep everyone fed and housed within planetary boundaries. It’s just that there is not enough to keep capitalism going. And it is the failings of capitalism that we need to address if we are to make this peace project real, not energy supplies. Continue reading “We are not running out of energy; capitalism is.”
We often hear about how hard it is to change the course of large ships, and as an analogy our current economic system seems to be hard to turn away from its course of counter-sustainability. However, large tankers DO make it into port. I would like to offer the idea that our economy can change course too. As with large ships, we need to understand and master the controls. Very few talk about accounting and sustainability. That is a shame, as several built-in features (and some easy to build in) could offer a way to turn the economy around. It’s not rocket science and it would be a big leap forward! Continue reading “OPINION: Accounting needs to adapt to the circular economy”
Promising to “make America great again”, a composed and rather humble Donald Trump held his US presidential victory speech this morning. His stated strategy is to rebuild infrastructure, and to harness the skills and talents of everyone. That includes the many people who voted for him who feel they have been left out up to now. He particularly talked of veterans and made it clear that Americans includes the wide range of ethnic and cultural diversity of all its citizens.
Doubling growth was also something he talked about.
Technology died today. Not the machines, but the paradigm. The belief that delivering high-tech creates jobs, prosperity and shareholder value got killed. The news hit this morning in Sweden’s newspaper SVD among others, that Sweden’s flagship, Ericsson, is shedding thousands of jobs and shutting down manufacturing in Sweden. The decision is sending shock-waves through the municipalities where Ericsson units are one of the largest employers. The likely effect is that whole communities will suffer in a domino effect decimating local suppliers then local services then house prices. And it’s probably the best thing to happen to Sweden for a long while. More on that later. First to the situation. Continue reading “Opinion: Ericsson divorces Sweden and kills technology”
Sweden’s largest exporter, Ericsson, is about to shed all manufacturing in Sweden, sack half its employees and be broken up and sold. This is bad news for sustainable Sweden; with its internet of things and wide R&D capabilities Ericsson has the competence and potential to be a major contributor to the Swedish Government’s ambition to be fossil-emission free by 2045. It seems very few really care to do what is necessary. They would rather let small local initiatives pick up the pieces. That is possibly the best option.
According to recent newspaper reports, Sweden’s largest exporter, Ericsson, is about to – in the worst case – shed all manufacturing in Sweden, sack half its employees and be broken up and sold. This is bad news for sustainable Sweden; with its internet of things and wide R&D capabilities Ericsson has the competence and potential to be a major contributor to the Swedish Government’s ambition to be fossil-emission free by 2045. With this latest news it is looking more and more like Sweden will fail to “cross the chasm” keeping its high material standard. It seems, though, that very few really care to do what is necessary. They would rather let small local initiatives pick up the pieces.
My partner and I were driving home and needed a coffee break. It was late Sunday night. Only motorway stops were on offer. We opted for a McDonald’s. As I walked over to the store I checked my mail: an update from Marxist economist Michael Roberts to read whilst I waited for our order. I was about to learn something.
Ericsson just lost its CEO and with no-one at the helm of this giant spaceship of a technology company I’d like to offer the board some insights and advice. I’m biased as I worked there for a while; it was a period of personal growth for me and a lot of fun. My basic message is that the company needs to get back to its Swedish cultural roots and back to doing what it does best: providing needed advanced services and technology to people in societies that aim for social and environmental good. Continue reading “OPINION: Earth to Ericsson – Come back!”
I come from the Islands of Britain where we find ourselves in a major pickle.
We have a few short years to solve defossilisation, food security, reformation of the economic system and to redress a lot of badwill being stirred up by our Brexit and all the austerity our Island peoples suffer from.
We can fix this if we remember what we have and why we are here. We ave a great place to live. We are Peace-loving and pragmatic. Let’s focus on what we want and from that take responsibility for our communities and our Islands. Starting with where we live. Continue reading “Opinion: sort out the pickle with Peace”