Tag Archives: Umair Haque

Looking for the “Recovery” – Why not look for a better world?

One of my favourite commentators of our world today is Umair Haque.  Here is part of how he sees the work ahead. Not to get back the dystopia that was but the better world that can be.

It’s time to stop looking for “recovery” (as in ways to resurrect this drooling zombie of an industrial economy) and start seeding transformation (as in building a 21st century economy, that turns most or all of the toxic dynamics above upside down). It’s time to stop thinking about getting back to yesterday’s prosperity — and time to start thinking about how to get past it.

To get there, instead of starting at the beginning, start at the end. Why do we have an economy in the first place? If yesterday’s answer — for the pursuit of opulence — isn’t good enough, then as I’ve discussed with you here, I believe tomorrow’s might be: to ignite eudaimonia — a meaningfully well lived life. To ensure that people are living meaningfully better — that they’re getting fitter, smarter, wiser, tougher, fairer, more empathic, creative, deliberative — in terms that matter most to them. If that sounds simple, it’s anything but. It’s going to require years of building eudaimonic institutions–everything from updated conceptions of “GDP,” to reinvented “corporations,” to novel kinds of “jobs,” markets, schools, and perhaps even governments to build the rocketship that’s going to take the quantum leap into the 21st century.

I can’t build your own rocketship for you, nor can I take your quantum leap. You’ve got to do that for yourself. But to get started, we’re probably going to have to stop staring at our shoes, and waiting desperately for yesterday — and start impatiently looking up to the stars instead.