Maiella National Park, Abruzzo, Italy
Maiella National Park, Abruzzo, Italy
‘Markets that deal in human futures are inherently pernicious’ Shoshana Zuboff – very interesting and considered observations on a new type of capitalism emerging as our experience becomes a commodity.
I, for one feel threatened by this scrutiny of my experience but Shoshana’s message is that it isn’t personal and we don’t have to be powerless when we understand that we are in ‘a moment of discontinuity’. Rather than thinking ‘our house is on fire’ understand that the very essence of who we are has now been commoditised and turned into data, data used to predict behaviour and shepherd our experience. We can be afraid because we do not know how to deal with this or be present to the bigger landscape turning our attention to deeper questions of awareness, responsibility and our collective vision for the future.
Let’s not be tinkering with the deck chairs on the Titanic rather consider a new paradigm of the future together.
I was prompted to write this post after listening to Shoshana’s webinar on Surveillance Capitalism as part of the Presencing Institute’s webinar series on Dialogues on Transforming Society & Self, (DoTS). Her book is available on Amazon.
My peer group On A Mission will be hosting a Pura Vida, a Creative Summit in Costa Rica in September 2020 to consider exactly that; new possibilities and paradigms to foster collaborative synergy based on consciousness, evolution & celebration. Watch this space for more information or email [email protected] if you want to know more.
Photo by Cristina Cerda on Unsplash
I experience an increasing tension about the impact of my convenient lifestyle. Over 25 years I became accustomed to the fast pace of growth driven business at the heart of the disposable consumerism of big city London.
In the past 3 years I have come to question the primary drivers of business that gobble up our time, our joy, our spirit and our planet. I let go of living in London and of sacrificing my wellbeing and talents to a vision that didn’t belong to me.
I have found living directly connected to the elements of nature e.g. by the sea or in the mountains grounds me in a different rhythm, I think about light switches, own a bag for life and a reusable coffee cup, I choose zero air miles vegetables over world traveller imposters, cringe at plastic packaging, have nightmares about water bottles and the decimation of our oceans, walk more, spend less and sleep better.
I choose to live in the creative orientation, beyond the normal constraints of survival e.g. 9-5 job, regular income, a fixed abode. It is a wild ride at the extremes of existence that few people purposefully choose to do. I actually and metaphorically choose to voyage in unknown domains.
I choose to tread lightly on this earth; the call to be a hermit is seductive. I am passionate to leverage the genius of our collective creativity but I cant be bothered with kudos, conferences or the whitewash of feel-good collectives. I embrace the achievements of science, technology and innovation but don’t know where to begin to use them to transmute and transfigure life on earth.
I believe that we are better together, contributing the best of who we are to receive the fullness of who we can be. I believe that every human being has the potential to be part of the global synergy.
From the bottom of my heart I believe true collaboration is simple and it is the biggest challenge we are being invited to face at this time.
There is maverick community of early adopters out there, those with their toes in the water. I am called to join them and thanks to technology I can find and connect to them on line but is no avoiding the truth that the substance of collaboration is love and love calls for intimacy and vulnerability, for physical as well as ideological closeness, for kinship, sharing, eye to eye connection and the ability to be with and hang out in the messy entanglement of humanness.
I would happily stay at home – as I said earlier the call to be a hermit is seductive – especially when flying and many forms travel have such a polluting impact on our environment. Fortunately I have a friend who has a mate who has founded a company that helps those of us who caught in the carbon/climate predicament https://www.clevel.co.uk/flight-carbon-calculator/
I love taking photographs and using them on my posts and website but it isn’t my primary focus so unsplash is a treasure chest for me. There is always a photo to capture the essence of what I would love to share.
If you don’t know who unsplash (obscure name) are you found out here – Unsplash is a community where anyone can share high-resolution photos for anyone to use freely; open source for photographyI have been using this site for over 2 years and unlike most sites I subscribe too I receive very few emails and the ones I do receive are gentle reminders of this cornucopia of creativity that I might like to visit. Crediting isn’t required but is appreciated – and why not.
With a focus on connecting & sharing rather than competition & profit it is impacting the industry, Mikael Cho, founder, writes ‘We didn’t start Unsplash to reinvent an industry. We started Unsplash because we thought it might be useful.’
And it is useful – not just for me who wants to use photographs but also for photographers who want to get their work out there BUT there are cautionary notes. Unsplash has grown rapidly – there are mixed feelings from photographers, despite downloads work is often not credited (it can be easy to forget). Zero financial exchange may feel like a new way of doing business but it brings up mixed feelings on both sides; receiving something for free isn’t always reciprocal receiving. As an occasional user I dont mind being an anonymous ‘client’ receiving occasional email but as a contributor with 50K downloads anonymous or soliciting emails don’t cut the mustard (see online stories from disgruntled photographers).
The razors edge for unsplash has to be the line between the kindness, consideration & reciprocity of community and insatiable growth for growth’s sake which is part of the old paradigm of business. I don’t know how unsplash intends to evolve but evolve it will; the challenge is to direct that evolution always tweaking and adjusting.
I congratulate people & companies that are changing the way WE do business, not by changing the way THEY do business but by choosing to create from the source of a passion or a dream.
I work with entrepreneurs and change-makers to master and direct evolution. Feel free to contact me if you want to have a no obligation conversation about your business and how to stay on track and true to your original intention & vision.
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
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