The 'Club of Socrates'. A challenge to the smartest Business Schools Worldwide

Greece and the magical port of Piraeus.  Our evolutionary roots of democracy, philosophy and science.  And above all, the skill of thinking intelligently.  It's time to build on the genius of the past.

by Author

It's time to launch the Club of Socrates 

We really do live in a world of magic and wonder.  And incredibly homo sapiens has the gift of intelligence to observe it.  The question remains.  How long will we be here to enjoy it?

The past twelve thousand years has been a remarkably warm and stable period in the earth's history.  The Holocene.

In recent times however - basically since James Watt invented the steam engine - we have entered the Anthropocene - where we interact with and influence the environment.

Socrates was smart indeed when he said "I know one thing, that I know nothing."

His words remain prophetic today.  When it comes to managing a planetary system we know one thing.  We know nothing.

Of course over two thousand years we have learned something.  We know how to manage isolated systems like households, religions, cities and even imaginary concepts like nations and organisations.

However when it comes to managing a planet?  We know absolutely nothing.  And the evidence is there to prove it.

If we are smart enough we will do something about it.

Don't take my word for it.  The information is there.  We are damaging our environment in so many ways that we may be fortunate to still be here in a few hundred years.  Every economic, social, religious and scientific model needs to be challenged in the harshest of lights.

We need to be smart enough to imagine a new solution that we cannot yet see.

The question remains - are we smart enough?  Or have we reached peak people and peak thinking on this planet?  (From a manageable population of a few hundred million in the time of Socrates to a fast approaching explosive ten billion by 2050 - I am going with peak people and peak thinking.)

Our Club of 200 - the real existential threat 

 This is the elephant in the room that we need to talk about.

We have close on 200 nations that have evolved through war and luck over several millennia.  The strategic goal was always survival of the nation (imaginary of course), but never the survival and management of the planet.  In fact ignorance of the planet was never a real problem until quite recently.  (For example we only realised that there is more than one galaxy - billions actually - and that continental drift is a fact of planetary life, during the past century.)   

The members of this club share the following skills and attributes.

  1. 93% are scientifically and environmentally illiterate.  The perfect qualifications for planetary management.
  2. Many are corrupt.
  3. Many will be either dead from old age or out of a job within a few years.
  4. Many still embody the conflict mentality from the dark ages of bows and arrows.

Let's address this elephant in the room.

The Club of 200 is dangerous.  Really dangerous.  It poses a genuine existential threat to the planet, life on this planet and to the very existence of homo sapiens.

If we wish to survive we have to do something about the Club of 200.  It is past its sell-by date.

The Club of Socrates - A solution and a challenge to the world's top Business Schools

The challenge is clear.  We need to find a new and intelligent strategy and structure, customised to successfully manage a planetary system.

It is also clear now that we have no current workable solution.  Our global thinking and capability remains embedded in a bygone era.  This represents the greatest existential threat we have ever faced.

Here is my proposal.  The top 200 Business Schools form the 'Club of Socrates'.

The goal being to customise a new strategy and structure to manage our planet as a total system.

My reasons are as follows.

  1. The challenge we face needs the smartest minds.  We need to access those with the highest intelligence, experience and freedom to think intelligently.
  2. We need people who genuinely understand the challenge of customising a new strategy and structure to successfully manage a planetary system.
  3. We need really smart people who understood Shopenhauer when he said that true genius is the ability to hit a target that other people cannot see.

Montreal Protocol - Framework for the Club of Socrates 

The Montreal Protocol remains one of the most successful international examples of what is possible when you put really smart people into a room to solve a global problem.  In this case a practical solution for removing CFC's from the environment to prevent global warming.

The experience gained here shows that we have the potential intelligence and resolve to customise and execute a new smart strategy and structure that will successfully manage and maintain a flourishing planetary system.

Let's see if we can garner the global intelligence, creativity and potential impact of the world's smartest and finest Business Schools.

Let's see if they can evolve past the old paradigm of organisations and nationhood.

It is worth a shot!

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