An Integrated Sustainable Socio-Economic Model: Step by Step Implementation

Episode 5 — Intermezzo III— “Impact” for Whom?


“Impact” for whom?

Who do words serve? Do they serve the people at large? Or do they serve the framers of the discussion?

For example, the term “impact” is for who? The people? Or the Impacters? Or perhaps the Impacters’ patron(s)?

Or how about “systemic change?” Or perhaps, “change the world.” These are all terms and phrases we hear all the time. But do we ever take a hard look at the values and agendas behind those that utilize these terms? Including ourselves?

There appears to be a whole industry rapidly growing around these words. But who is in charge? Inherently behind these terms is a representative condition of “doing good,” “being sustainable,” etc. But in reality what is being sustained?

Sadly, the status quo. Captains of “sustainable industry” and their patrons, the “not so shadow do-gooders,” steer the agenda towards exactly the opposite of what the general valuation of the “sustainable/good movement” is, on the surface, defined as or collectively assumed by the people.

This “people’s assumption” has been, sadly, co-opted. And the subversion institutionalized at a growing grand scale. Alas, those that find themselves on the wrong end of the stick are the very people the “people’s assumption” was initially to serve: the people.

If service to people and planet was the goal, we are terribly off-track. The “not so shadow do-gooders” remain in full control. They are exceedingly excellent at shaming the people with polemics when one of them steps out of line. That is, they use hot button words and phrases to silence the very people that have the audacity to check their sources, apply scholarly diligence and empirical investigation.

However, there is hope. The people need only to take their words back. The people need only to frame the discussion. The people need to clearly define “systemic change,” “impact,” “change the world,” etc. and then work step by step toward implementation with other people — in specific regions, not get lost in terms like “from the top down,” a term employed for “the top.” The words are meant for the people not “the top.”

Don’t “fight the power.” Fight the words. Together. One butchered term at a time.

Power to the people.