Evidence-based policies

Being Human, Collaboration, Geopolitics, Science & Technology, Society, Systems thinking

Let’s face it, we know a lot of stuff now.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few.  (IBM)

Moreover we’ve got long standing specialists in all the human areas, too. Psychologists, neurologists, anthropologists.. to cut a long story short we know how ‘people’ quite well now – what makes us happy / sad / motivated / empowered / healthy / friendly / and so on.

And yet we find ourselves still working within organisational structures which haven’t caught up with this knowledge.

We are held back by the conceptual restraints of ideology: In spite of evidence from reality, if the facts don’t fit the ideology, they are discarded as unpalatable. Rather than surfing the complexity of life and nature and humanity, we stand Canute-like on the shore, denying that our castle is being eroded by the waves.

I say “we”, what I mean is “some of us.”

I had dinner with Joschka Fischer recently and we were talking about what Europe could be like if we approached it in the right way. I asked why Germany was so progressive with its green technology. I’m slightly paraphrasing because it was weeks ago and I’m not a diarist, but it’s certainly close enough:

“We do not follow ideologies. We have experience of that and we know what happens. We look at what works, and then we do that.”

Here’s hoping.

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons

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