by Braden Kelley
The world needs you. The United States needs you. Your family needs you.
Both your heart and your mind are needed to work on potentially the greatest innovation challenge ever put forward.
What is it?
We must find a solution to the division and lack of meaning that has become the American experience.
I’m not sure about the country you live in, but here at home in the United States we are more divided than we have been in a long time – if ever. People are feeling such an absence of meaning and purpose in their lives that they are finding it in opposing ‘the other’.
In the most extreme cases, we are so divided that brothers and sisters, and parents and children are no longer speaking with each other or getting together for holiday meals.
We speak often about the importance of diversity of thought, diversity of group composition for innovation, but when a society reaches a point where people cannot productively disagree and debate their way forward together, innovation will inevitably begin to suffer.
When there is no dialogue, no give and take and a culture begins to emerge where opposition is mandatory, progress slows.
As long as the current situation intensifies, there will be no progress on other areas in desperate need of innovation:
- Climate change
- Gender equity
- (Insert your favorite here)
We all need your help creating the idea fragments that we can connect as a global innovation community into meaningful ideas that hopefully lead to the inventions that will develop into the innovations we desperately need.
The innovations that will move social media from its current parallel play universe to one which actually encourages productive dialogue.
The innovations that will help people find the renewed sense of meaning and purpose that can’t be found making Sik Sok videos, watching other people play video games on Kwitch or investing in cryptocurrency pyramid schemes.
Our entrepreneurs have made a lot of cotton candy the past couple of decades and people are starving, people are hangry.
There are certain constants in the human condition, and when we as a species stray too far away, it creates huge opportunities for innovators to create new things that will bring us back into balance.
But we can’t ignore where we are now.
We must acknowledge our current situation and fight our way past it. The only way forward is through.
As a thought starter, here is an ad campaign from Heineken from 2017:
We need everyone’s help to address the meaning crisis.
We need everyone’s help to bring America (and the rest of the world) back into productive conversation and connection – to end the division.
Are you up to the task?
Are you ready to help?
Let’s start the dialogue below and get that pebble rolling downhill in the winter, gathering snow as it goes.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments on:
- other great thought starters
- good idea fragments to build on
- the way through
Image credit: Pixabay
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