Creativity, Society and Values

Tuesday, 16 October 2012   |   Creative Thinking

HelloI recently learned about a country called Bhutan.  It is a landlocked state in South Asia.  They are only small but they have a remarkable way of looking at things.  Despite not being a particularly wealthy country, they are the happiest country in Asia and the 8th happiest in the world.  This is not by chance either.  While other countries focus heavily on their GDP (Gross National Product), Bhutan instead focuses on their GNH (Gross National Happiness).  I think this is a wonderful perspective and one in which creativity can flourish.

Our culture tends to have a focus on money and power.  To a large extent this has served us well in terms of progress and the subsequent improvement in quality of life as a result.  It is reaching the end of it's usefulness however.  We are working longer, and increasing, hours per week.  We have stressful lives.  Corporations are bickering over patents at levels of silliness that ultimately reduce the products they offer for petty reasons and inflate their prices.  We are squandering the environment for many unnecessary reasons, etc, etc.

We are now at at point where we can change.  Money and power is ok but ultimately it is quality of life and happiness that we are seeking and we are now at a point where that is better achieved through other means.  Products are getting cheaper and cheaper, and their designs are getting ever more ingenius.  With devices such as 3D printers not too far off either we will soon be at a point where virtually anyone can easily and cheaply produce almost anything they want. 

Our current values have served us well but now they are holding us back.  The future is going to belong to a society that values ideas and sharing over power and money.  We can see this shift beginning already.  One of the biggest sites on the internet is an open encyclopedia that everyone is welcome to contribute to and which is completely free for anyone to access.  Universities and other institutions are increasingly offering free courses that anyone may enrol in.  And these are usefull, full courses too.  Not just teasers to try and suck you in.  Free and open software is increasingly being used and is rapidly approaching (if not exceeding in some areas) commercial products.  We have cars and bikes being manufactured at increasingly low prices and becoming available to more and more people.

The future is going to be about openly sharing and collaboratively benefitting from ideas.  Our quality of life, and what we can achieve, will increase dramatically, faster than we have ever before experienced.  And creative thinking is going to be the fuel.  More than ever, creativity will be valued in this new world.  So invest in your creativity now and not just you but everyone will reap huge benefits as we go.  These are exciting times.

Have fun!


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