There are a growing number of thinkers, leaders and visionaries who are looking for ways to improve the quality of life for people around the world. As the first in a series of articles on work life balance one might wonder why I put global balance at the beginning. My reason is simple; creating balance at a global level lets us see the bigger picture. If we see the bigger picture then our ability to create balance in other areas becomes easier.
Global Balance looks at issues that affect us on a planetary level from the environment, population growth, prosperity, trade & financial systems, poverty, education, healthcare as well as peace and security.
There are three main factors that make global balance a real possibility in the 21st century:
1. Leadership, Vision and People with a Desire to make a Difference
Without leadership and vision creating global balance is impossible.
Let me give you an example.
America: The Global Leader
American leadership over the last 50+ years has created the foundation for the worlds prosperity through open markets, technology and healthcare innovations, education, global communications as well as democracy and freedom. America’s leaders going as far back as Eisenhower and Roosevelt (Video) have historically held in high regard their responsibility to provide global leadership.
America: The Lost Years 2001-2008
George W. Bush broke that rule because after 9-11 he built an America that closed its doors and turned its back on the rest of world. America began a policy of bluntly putting American interests first and politely (or impolitely) told other nations that global cooperation was not important.
Many Americans soon realized George W. did not have their best interests in mind either and was not a leader (video). He treated wounded soldiers poorly, let social systems suffer, taxed everybody but the rich and deregulated business to a point where the system eventually collapsed. His focus was to improve the lives of the wealthy and use his political and military power to beat the world into submission.
George Bush lost sight of America’s role as a global leader and made America the enemy of progress and change.
George W. Bush: The Catalist of Change
In hindsight George W. Bush was the best thing for the world because other countries had become too negligent and reliant and expected America to do all the heavy lifting. More countries today want to be part of that larger global discussion and are more willing to step up to the plate with action.
With a new American administration many are relieved that Barack Obama not only has an American vision but a global vision to build and create more cooperation within the world.
2. Technology, Communication & Communities
Technology in the 21st century enables us to educate, organize, build awareness and find the financial and non-financial resources necessary to make changes at fundamental levels. There are tens of thousands of websites committed to making changes on major global issues like the environment, social justice, alleviating poverty and disease, creating peace, promoting religious understanding, improving trade, education and creating opportunities for people around the world.
Technology provides the infrastructure that allows us to create global balance.
3. Organization, Resources & Action
Leadership and technology enable us to communicate, educate, create the political will and come up with solutions necessary to improve lives. The next step is action. This is where nations, states, local governments, communities, organizations, NGOs and individuals provide boots on the ground and make the changes necessary to improve lives. I'll talk about how this being done in future posts.
I'll leave you with a video from Ted.com from Bjorn Lomborg on setting global priorities.