Tag Archives: society

THE BUSINESS ENTERPRISE AND TODAY’S SOCIETY “Article 2”

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com,  publisher of www.GavdosPress.com and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation.
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We have been in the midst of a fundamental and historic shift of how the economies around the world develop.  With the collapse of communism, the centralized and state control model of the economy has also collapsed. Other socialist State models, i.e., Sweden, UK before Margaret Thatcher, have also collapsed.  What we have now, however, imperfect it maybe, is the model of the “Free Market.”

This shift is occurring in parallel with two other sociopolitical expressions:

  1. Smaller government, though the last couple years this seems to have moderated quite a bit, and
  2. the need, indeed the demand by our society to provide assistance, protection, and distribution of economic benefits a “fair” way

What we are witnessing is a major shift on “how we can fulfill our expectations of a humanistic society” while we keep the state’s interventions and control power at minimum.

Before I deal with this question (shift) let me digress in to a bit of history .  .  .  .  After all, how can a Greek get up to talk about such matters without referring to HISTORY .

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THE SOCIETY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Re-posted)

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor www.BusinessThinker.com;  Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2011-2013).
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This posting is a summary of my presentation to the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Unfortunately, we have entered a century in which many of the old cultures and societies that have been successful under the old technologies and cultural norms have fallen by the wayside.   We witness already  dramatic shifts in economic wealth, both within and across nation states.

There is still some debate about how the new changes in technology will affect some of the more prevalent twentieth century ideologies.   For example, will the new technologies and associated cultural changes support or retard the growth of the liberal democracies? Or, will the vision of George Orwell be realized, with a technology-induced return to a world-wide authoritarian state? Obviously, all the data are not in, and will not be in for another seventy-five years or so. The early returns, however, suggest that many of the new technologies seem to enforce democratic values and practices.   For example, one of the critical features of using information technologies and computerized systems is the rapid and transparent exchange of information across settings, cities, and nations.   This is highly compatible with democratic systems and values. However, we have also witnessed that China has been able to have an effective state control over these advanced technologies so that has been little if any democratization and is some cases it could be argued that we have seen a decrease in democratization! The Economist in a recent article has concluded that the democratization effects on China by technology could have been overestimated.

On the other hand, some of the new technologies will reinforce distinctions between individuals and classes of people, thus perhaps leading to a more hierarchical and elitist structure of society.   Moreover, the ability of the new technologies to successfully manage and facilitate diversity of tastes and markets, may lead to a fragmentation of societies such that it will be difficult to sustain larger goals and visions.   For example, it is unclear whether a television society can really sustain a long-term mission, or goal, or struggle.

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Looking to the Future

JP Bio PhotoDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor, www.BusinessThinker.com

Presented at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

We in the USA are blessed to have a large number of Universities that have intellectual environments of remarkable creativity – generated by the synergy among world-class programs in science, engineering, and management together with extraordinary programs in the arts, humanities, architecture, and the social sciences. This provides an ideal educational setting in the first decade of the 21st century. Our faculties, students, staff, and graduates will most likely make breakthrough discoveries and redraw the intellectual map in areas that will define the quality of our future. We will bring our talents to bear on the toughest challenges and most exciting opportunities before us. We will reinvent ourselves and our institutions, along the way.

The future – of science, society, and universities themselves will depend on how these Universities respond to the following:

  • First, the end of science is nowhere in sight. Indeed, we stand at the brink of many new scientific adventures. Understanding the brain and the mind, for instance, will be one of the most profound and productive scientific ventures in the years to come – one that will have great implications for maximizing human potential and for living long and living well.
  • The strength of economies, regions, and nations will be determined in large measure by technological and organizational innovation. This innovation must be built upon a foundation of new research in science, engineering, and management.
  • Humankind’s advances will depend increasingly on new integrative approaches to complex systems, problems, and structures. Design, synthesis, and synergy across traditional disciplinary boundaries will be essential elements of both education and research. Engineering, for example, will provide instruments and techniques to facilitate the rapid advancement of the biological and physical sciences. Biology and physics, in turn, will create revolutionary new approaches to engineering and production, as well as to health care.
  • Research universities will grow in importance as the primary source of fundamental research and scholarship in the United States.
  • The need for leaders to solve the complex problems of the modern world requires a new paradigm for the research university itself – one in which industry, academia, and governments work together in effective partnership. For example, the quality of our environment, the sustainability of economies, and the efficient use of our material and energy resources, will depend upon sound scientific and engineering knowledge leading to action by all three partners.
  • The flow of information will be instantaneous and ubiquitous, as the technology, applications, and benefits of computer, information, and intelligence sciences evolve, expand, and become more central still to human activities.
  • Information technology will dramatically alter learning and working. Many faculty will change their teaching role from one of lecturing to one of shaping and guiding the use of electronically-available information. They will lead team efforts in both campus-based and electronic communities.
  • Still, the residential campus experience will remain the best and most important form of education of our most talented youth.
  • Our security and quality of life will require that all people work together to form a coherent, productive society, built on common values as well as rich diversity. This will not occur unless it is fostered within our schools and universities

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