Are Growing Gaps in a Shrinking World Inevitable?
Author: David Bosshart
Illustrations and layout: Yang Liu Design
“We are at a crossroads in our increasingly complex global community that is becoming defined by polarization,” writes David Bosshart in his new publication “Polarization Shocks“ and provides us with explanations for current political events like the US elections. “The closer we become on the planet, the more we tend to rebuild walls. The winning game today is about the power to include and the power to exclude. This is true for industries, businesses, and nations.”
Growing lack of trust in institutions, leaders, corporations, governments and political candidates are putting society to the proof, as are niche and special-interest groups that are raising their voices.
The biggest tensions and potential conflicts we had to resolve were among the following five antagonistic groups:
- Elites vs. masses: the mental space between ruling elites and people is more divided than ever
- Nationalists vs. globalists: a growing discrepancy between the benefits of globalization on the one hand and the regional values shared by diverse communities and nations on the other
- Experts vs. laymen: a tense chasm between a narrow group of extremely successful experts and a growing number of displaced laymen
- Facts vs. feelings: in an abstract and complex world feelings become more important than facts
- The misunderstood vs. authorities: those who feel misunderstood want authentic, convincing answers from the ruling elites
Bosshart’s appeal: "We need to figure out the right operating system for a digital society." The solutions in overcoming polarization may be found by accepting a power shift towards a horizontal, networked distribution of power away from the current ruling elites.