The Ministry for the Future, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, proposes a global governance system. The story takes place in the relatively near future. The Ministry is created as a transnational organization whose goal is to support citizens of the world today and in the future.

The leader of the Ministry, Mary, and her team and advisors realize that their goal extends far beyond the roles of organizations. They ask who enacts the world’s economy and decide that the central bankers are key. They are non-democratic and answerable to no-one. Mary convinces them, by appealing to their ingrained financial mindsets, to implement a system where decarbonization initiatives are valued through distribution of carbon coins.

The book includes other initiatives such as preventing melting icebergs from flowing into the sea, releasing chemicals into the atmosphere to prevent another heatwave, massive re-wilding and even civil disobedience. Progress is made and the whole earth becomes more equal and the environment more sustainable. However, our capitalistic systems is still in place, weakened but still there. This book is worth your time to read!

Some organizations are on the journey

Here are three examples described briefly below. There are more of course. Please help me build a list by adding the ones you know in the comments below.

Broaden your view to the whole earth by bringing voices from the field to the center

  • My podcast interview with Robin Vincent-Smith of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) describes how the whole organization gained a broader view of the world, thanks to raw and real stories flowing directly from distant countries to the central office.

Talk to the people who criticize you to envisage changes

  • The Walmart case is interesting as described in the article where dialogue with their critics leads to changes that greatly improve their public image.

Do not fall into the weak excuse: “It’s not our problem because it is outside the boundaries of our company.”

  • A long-term (vs short-term) business case where we see how Nike’s efforts with suppliers evolved into new eco-friendly product line.

We need a new whole earth for our children and future generations

We need to build the understanding of a whole earth perspective in our corporations, companies and institutions. One way to start is to break down internal silos as well as the wall between the corporate world and the outside world.

Here are some suggestions for first steps:

  • People are given time for outside activities such as external networking, attending conferences, and taking external online learning programs.
  • There are systems for getting input from the edges, such as from operational and customer-facing colleagues. These are the people with a good view of the external world.
  • Competitive scanning goes beyond direct competitors. It covers companies in completely different industries as well as start-ups. It is not limited to technology, but includes human, societal and consumer behaviors.