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Saving Ourselves From Ourselves

Updated: 3 days ago

Recently I announced the theme of the Enlightened Enterprise Academy’s first Salon series will be “INFLECTION.”

The title was inspired by a quote from an article published late last year by John Alderdice, a member of the UK House of Lords. 

Lord Alderdice, said…

“At this inflection point in human history, it remains an open question whether global leaders and their followers can put shallow, selfish, short-term political and economic interests aside in favour of global peace, stability, and reconciliation or even the survival of our species, but the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.”

Whilst announcing the first series of the Salon, I said that John will also be the first contributor to the Salon series, to explore further the themes in his article and in the discussions I have been having with him. In particular, we will be exploring how we might go about “saving ourselves from ourselves.” 

The actions of human kind have brought about the very real danger of our own demise. We face an existential crisis. Many already feel their lived experience has been degraded leading to a loss of trust and confidence in our institutions and the leadership of them; a breakdown in social cohesion; an increase in conflict, and other social ills.

The Turkish author and commentator Elif Shafak suggested this is the “Age of Angst.”

During the interview with John, we will explore his view that, people see their understanding of the world and the way it is ordered dissolve and, eventually, give way to new ways of seeing and organising. And such a paradigm shift resulted in the Renaissance giving way to the first Enlightenment. So, this is not the first time humanity has experienced such an age. And we can learn from the parallels with the previous occasions.

This time the new ideas are still emerging in the form of a New Enlightenment. In several ways it must be fundamentally different, addressing what the first Enlightenment, now centuries past, overlooked or got wrong, resulting in many of the existential crises we now face.

In many ways the first Enlightenment was dehumanising. We must revisit our understanding of humanity and what it means to be a civilised society. To be fully human, and to flourish individually and collectively in a sustainable way. These should be our primary objectives. But to achieve them we must not mistake the means for the ends, as history suggests we are apt to do.

To save ourselves from ourselves, we must realise our human potential and become more civilised. This starts with individuals becoming more conscious of their own humanity. We must also realise that what we hope for is dependent on the humanity of others. Only then can we start to resolve conflicts and foster better relationships with ourselves and with others.

Resolving such conflicts must be the starting point. It is the only way to achieve and maintain trust which should be the basis of all relationships. Rules based ‘solutions’  and transactional relationships are always far from satisfactory. Resolving conflict must be the starting point because to address the challenges of the 21st century we must learn to develop cooperative and collaborative relationships. And this might well be the most important realisation of the New Enlightenment we must strive for.

John is very familiar with the problems caused by conflict, and passionately believes that resolving conflict has to be a priority if we are to address the other issues, issues that are that are the cause of our existential crisis. Without greater unity and collective action we stand little chance of saving ourselves from ourselves.

You can find out more about John by visiting his website

It is my belief that John, in this first contribution to the Salon, will introduce and provide context for so many of the future issues that will be explored further by others throughout the series.


The Salon, and each series we offer, depends on the support of members of the Enlightened Enterprise Academy and subscribers to the Salon, so please join us to support the initiative and to participate.

Once you join you will have access to exclusive pre-recorded interviews featuring the contributors. They will be published for you to watch, and consider questions you might wish to ask, in advance of later live online session. These later sessions will include the same contributor plus other guests. You will also be invited to participate in a moderated questions and answers session.

Everything is recorded for you to watch anything you might miss, or to re-watch again at your leisure. And a book will be published soon after the end of each series.






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