[Opinion] The Path to True Equality is Trust

Campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo are an expression of frustration about how society functions, but we’re not getting to the root of the problem.

The output of these campaigns has been a changing of the guard of power figures, the tearing down of statues and the creation of complex reporting and control systems. Conversations are being had, but the divisive nature of these campaigns has left people feeling they can’t be open in the way they discuss their attitudes or beliefs.

The rise of the far-right is happening as many feel their character, shaped by their upbringing and role models, isn’t acceptable anymore, and they don’t know how to act. They’re being swept up in their masses by populist campaigns.

Russia rubs its hands together as they confirm their belief that liberal systems are flawed. They watch us deteriorate political stability with glee, and help fuel the process.

What I think we all want is to have a voice in the worlds we live in. To not just be a cog in the wheel, but a respected human being that has an opinion and a conscious. It is deeply affecting our human spirit to see the world and its people being treated badly. That is why we are getting so angry because inside we know something is really wrong.

We are now secure in the provision of food and globalisation has meant world peace. We are rising up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and are fighting for everyone to have esteem and to reach to self-actualisation, whereby we become ‘the most someone can be’.

To enable a better future we know we need things to change but are not recognising that human consciousness evolves. We blame the past for everything. We are acting like gods of history.

The answer could be to go against the grain of our upbringing and remove the idea of control. We would simply embrace trust. We would be enabled by allowing everyone to have equal power in organisations they’re involved in. It would facilitate a true expression of who we are collectively. And together we would become the best form of ourselves.

This is radical but it does get to the root of the problem. It results in us healing divisions as we hear opinions and converse to help each other evolve, in the spirit of open collective decision making. We will naturally repair problems of equality and environmental degradation, as we acknowledge their fundamental importance. On top of this we and the organisations we are part of becoming more productive, as everyone feels a sense of responsibility and belonging.

We point to leaders to provide solutions to these issues, but they are ill-equipped, as they still believe that strong leaders come up with the answers. And how do they provide answers and cultural change necessary if opinions can’t be heard openly?

By everyone being empowered to make the decision we will all play an active role in providing the solution through open conversation with colleagues. At the moment we wait frustratedly at the sidelines shouting, fueling anger and division. I wonder if it would simply be better to start campaigns for self-management of all organisations where power is equally distributed?

This piece has been heavily inspired by Frederic Laloux’s, Reinventing Organisations, which has demonstrated that self-managing organisations are more productive, and may represent the next evolution in human consciousness, beyond postmodernism.