This post concludes the examination of the Abundance Pyramid by introducing the top two layers. There are tools that go with each block or element. Much more about tools later.
The Middle – Energy, Education and ICT
The middle of the pyramid consists of the things that raise people above the mere subsistence/survival level. They create more free time that in turn facilitates the creative activities forming the basics of personal expression, commercial activity and more. These elements are the key to the second half of Abundance which is allowing everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Energy in the form of electricity and transportation frees humans from mere subsistence. The current configuration of society is wholly dependent on inexpensive energy with on-demand availability. The vast majority of the energy produced today comes from non-renewable resources. The cheap sources of fossil fuel have been consumed and it is dirty in terms of by-products like carbon emissions. Those without fossil fuel rely on burning wood, which creates other health-threatening gasses.
Abundance means we need to adopt the goal of converting to clean, renewable energy sources. The complete conversion is decades away and we therefore need interim solutions that provide conservation, more efficient use and cleaner alternatives.
Education is another key ingredient in allowing people to reach their potential. We have come a long way in the last two centuries – before that only the rich, powerful and clergy were educated. Today’s system is based on the factory model – which has been obsolete for over a decade. Political interests added a layer of testing that creates even more inefficiencies. Content, purpose and methodology need a complete overhaul to help meet the demands of today, much less the future. We will take an in depth look at tools for the next generation of education later this year.
The educational needs of the “Bottom Billion” are even more severe. Many countries deny education to girls. Teaching girls is actually critical to family health and coherence. This cannot be stressed enough.
Information and communications technology (ICT) is another very empowering force for Abundance. ICT provides tools that allow individuals to have a global perspective. Collaboration on scales that were the stuff of science fiction 3 decades ago is now a reality. It is hard to overstate the current and future impact of ICT to the delivery of Abundance.
The Top – Health and Freedom
There are 2 blocks in the top layer of the Abundance Pyramid. Sadly, these areas demonstrate how Abundance for the Bottom Billion is different from those in better economic situations.
Health is impacted by the exponential growth of technology. New, portable devices provide health care availability to the Bottom Billion that previously required large facilities (clinics, labs, hospitals) to deliver. Inexpensive monitoring devices put primary responsibility in the hands of the individual, taking back (at least some) control from “corporate medicine”.
Freedom is the last block in the pyramid. Freedom is largely about the ability to make choices in the absence of force. Making choices and then taking action is the basis of realizing an individual’s potential.
The final installment of this look at Abundance will be published in the Change Agent Newsletter. Don’t miss it! Sign up is free.