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Colin Weir

Colin's Blog

Colin Weir - Moroku

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Crisis the catalyst for innovation

31 December 2013  |  3591 views  |  0

We are certainly faced with some of the greatest problems of our time; the disparity between wealth and poverty, the scarcity of resources, the economic system and the security of our food supply. These challenges exist at an individual, family as well at a global and society level.

What strikes me during a recent podcast from Gregg Braden is how we continue to approach these challenges with the same lens that created them, much to Einstein's dismay.

One of these lenses are the Darwinian principles of evolution that are 150 years old and are no longer entirely supported by our new understandings from science. Darwin's core principle was the survival of the strongest. The best science is now showing us that the opposite is true. Whilst violent competition does exist it is in response to very specific circumstances but it is not the general rule upon which nature is built. Rather, a lot of nature appears to be built on a model of cooperation and mutual aid, particularly when it comes to the most advanced organisms; ants among insects, mammals among vertebrates and which leads to the creation of the highest intelligence and bodily organization.

If we believe that we live in a highly competitive world and that we have to fight against scarcity for our survival, solving our problems through violent competition, this will drive our behaviour and how we think about solving some of the largest problems that face us. In banking these very real and large challenges include the unbanked at a global level, debt management and capital adequacy.

Our response to these challenges will lead either to continued destruction or some level of transformation where the cycles are broken. As we punch through the 7 billion population mark, the sense is that a model based on cooperation and mutual aid is much likely to deliver more sustainable outcomes than one of fierce competition, particularly when so many are weak.

We know from Maslow that people's need to connect and be a part of something is greater and more important than our need to compete and separate ourselves. We can see this need from the recent explosion in social media's popularity. If we are and view ourselves and our organisations as connected, linked and inter-dependent the solutions we come up with to our challenges will be very different from the ones we conclude if we believe that only the strongest and fittest will survive.

For our part, we will certainly be looking to take some of these more collaborative approaches not only to how we design our products and applications for banking but also what they enable. Rather than thinking about how we enable people to engage in competition we will certainly think about how our applications encourage and enable people to cooperate, encouraging our banking customers to think about using mutual aid and cooperation as an opportunity to solve some of the very real challenges now and ahead. 

Cooperation and Mutual Aid TagsRisk & regulationInnovation

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