OK, nearly time to down tools (weapons?) – the season of peace and goodwill is upon us. A sense of community descends as we gather in family groups, religious buildings, or just the pub, and look inward rather than outward. And greetings come from US.
At the Hay Winter Festival, Tim Smit (founder of the Eden project and now involved in similar schemes in China) observed that while we have been used to being told what to do by THEM, the inter-connectedness of people (and soon of things) could witness the end of THEY. There has been a quiet revolution in companies for over 10 years, whereby information has been de-centralised so that WE can make decisions without checking with THEM. And this is starting to happen in Government. I won’t say that it’s an underlying cause of Brexit – it’s Christmas so we need at least 12 days off that subject – but if we have good data at our fingertips then we have at least a fighting chance of “taking back control” at every level of society.
Data of course is only an enabler. Nothing happens unless we make it so. In that context there is a village in the Yorkshire Dales, Hawes, which recently added the petrol station to its community assets, which include the Wensleydale Creamery, the Post Office and the police station. It was their desire to maintain their community that drove them (pardon the pun. Think of it as an early Christmas cracker), and they are a guiding light in this respect (sorry, make that two).
Two thousand years after spotting the first guiding light, Inns are still full and people are still being taxed based on where they live, even if it’s sort of in an offshore haven. So change may take a while yet. But if we get better at organising our lives, and governments realise that they won’t be elected by telling, nor even asking , but by enabling, then we will indeed be led by Wise Men. And shepherds will be able to carry on washing their socks, even during the day time (so long as the rest of the community allow it).
Season’s greetings to you all. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you in 2018.