Monday, February 7, 2011

21st Century Enlightenment and the RSA

I've only recently discovered the RSA. 
(quote from wikipedia)

"The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is a British multi-disciplinary institution, based in London. The name Royal Society of Arts is frequently used for brevity (and on the building's frieze The Royal Society of Arts - see photo). It was founded in 1754 and was granted a Royal Charter in 1847. Notable members have included Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, William Hogarth, John Diefenbaker, Stephen Hawking and Charles Dickens.
Its founding charter expressed the purpose of the society as being to "embolden enterprise, enlarge science, refine art, improve our manufactures and extend our commerce", but also of the need to alleviate poverty and secure full employment."

Matthew Taylor, former advisor to PM Blair, long time Labour Politician, published the RSA's new tagline, (read: manifesto,) which despite having interests disparate to mine, is quite similar in its make-up. What I mean to say by this is, we agree on much of what causes the world's problems and some of how it manifests, but have very little in common in the arena of possible solutions. 

The 21st Century Enlightenment, simply put, is the realization that our status quo can be misaligned with our best interests. However, it seems that groups such that seek to examine possible future solutions to the undeniable problems humanity faces, such as the RSA or the Rockefeller Foundation, only come up with a continuance of the system that brought us to where we are. The RSA also limits itself within humanist boundaries, which of course, assignee's prerogative does not.

Despite our differences, this short, 11 minute film is brilliant and everyone should see it. 

There remains a consistant hope for our best thinking, still to come...

To read Matthew Taylor's 21st Century Enlightenment click here 

To read the Rockefeller and Global Business Report:
Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development click here

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