What Could a Regenerative, Thriving Future Look Like? An Excerpt from Guerrilla Marketing by Shel Horowitz
Excerpted with permission from Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World by Jay Conrad Levinson and Shel Horowitz, Morgan James Publishing 2016.
What kind of world would we live in if the abundance paradigm were integrated into every aspect of society? There’d be enough to go around, yes—enough food, shelter, energy, drinkable water, medical care, and so forth. But what kinds of changes would that create?
Here is the short version of our vision (writing from our perspective as residents of the United States):
By eliminating scarcity, we eliminate poverty and famine. Everyone has adequate food and water for survival, and access to quality healthcare. As that frees up time that had been spent on basic survival, people who have never had the luxury of education begin to build new skills and knowledge. A massive but noncoercive educational campaign not only raises the literacy rate, but lowers overpopulation worldwide. We’re talking about future generations thriving, too. That drastic reduction in population growth will actually find support among the affected populations, because they will realize that nearly all of their children will live—and therefore, they do not have to have so many babies just to make sure there is someone to take care of them in their old age.
By switching the entire society from nonrenewable to renewable, clean, abundant energy—solar, hydrogen, wind, water, geothermal, wave, magnetic, etc.—we eliminate oil, coal, gas, and uranium as reasons to go to war. We also eliminate the stranglehold that certain foreign governments have on developed societies—and can deal with these countries on the merits of their actions, and not out of a need to appease or overpower them in order to maintain access to their oil. Pollution will be drastically decreased, lowering the cost of medical care for diseases like emphysema and asthma. Reforestation programs will make sure that future generations have not only adequate timber resources but adequate oxygen supplies.
The energy shift includes switching agriculture from chemiculture/GMO (genetically modified organisms)-based factory farming to methods that not only preserve—and often enhance—the soil, but produce significantly healthier and more nutritious food. Over time, this will raise yields, eliminate another source of pollution, and again reduce medical costs. These organic farms will produce in abundance, and the challenge will be distribution: getting food to the parts of the world where, so far, there hasn’t been enough to go around. City dwellers will grow food (and collect solar energy) on their rooftops and windowsills. Most families will have access to at least a small garden.
Transportation and housing planning will lead many communities toward a village cluster model, where the buildings are relatively close together and the open space surrounding homes and workplaces is available to all. There will be a movement away from commuting long distances; many more people will either work from home or within bicycling distance.
Throughout every aspect of society, systems will be designed along the lines of John Kremer’s biological model. Changes in building and transportation design will allow all of us to live more lightly on the earth, while enjoying greater physical comfort.
The communications revolution will continue; the Internet will reach into the remotest villages. This will open up vast powerhouses of learning, sustainable commerce, and global community building; every can home become its own university campus. That, in turn, could lead to locally-based, Arab Spring-style grassroots mass citizen action to bring down dictatorships around the world. Plus, this awesome, globally-distributed computer power will be able to automate a lot of the drudgery of managing corporations, schools, hospitals, and factories.
With no need to wage war for resources, and most dictators removed from power by their own citizens, the need for such a vast and powerful military apparatus will be sharply reduced. The enormous resources the military currently consumes can be channeled toward such pursuits as environmental regeneration, research to cure diseases, and perhaps even a nonmilitary exploration of space. Terrorist groups will have far fewer reasons to attack us, as these policy changes shift us away from behaviors they see as oppressive (e.g., consuming far more than our share of resources, propping up vicious dictatorships, and sanctioning exploitative labor practices abroad).
The economy will undergo some major shifts. As some of society’s largest entities shrink and retract, the abundance mentality will make sure these people are not unemployed. There will be a movement toward a shorter workweek; instead of 40 hours on the job (and up to 20 more hours commuting), most people might work 20 hours or so, and would be able to maintain or expand their standard of living at that level, because so much less of their paychecks would be spent on consumption of nonrenewable resources. However, excess compensation packages in the hundreds of millions would no longer be tolerated.
This reduced work week, in turn, could lead to a major flowering of arts, culture, science, recreation, volunteering at service agencies and schools, and lifelong learning.
This world is possible in our own lifetimes, if we can bring the leverage of a motivated and informed population. If you doubt that this kind of sweeping change is possible, look at just a few of the accomplishments of just the last 60 years:
- Apartheid was ended in South Africa, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, and the American South
- Peace came to some perpetual trouble spots, such as Northern Ireland
- Water and air in much of the world are far cleaner than they were, and pollution is now considered a crime instead of the right of whatever industrialist got there first; huge strides have been made to develop safe, clean, renewable technologies that will free us from dependence on carbon-fuels
- Most countries now have a medical system that treats health care as a fundamental right—and several deadly diseases have been largely wiped out
- Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and cultural or sexual minorities have been integrated into every level of many societies, and the world has benefited greatly from their contributions
Shel Horowitz is an transformpreneur and author; Guerrilla Marketing is his tenth book. He also hosts the no-cost Green Business and Social Transformation Business Profitability Assessments. To schedule a no-charge 15-minute strategy session, email him or call 413-586-2388 (EST). You can also follow him on Twitter.