Understanding how each successive transformation has altered the way we make decisions demonstrates how our current society might evolve to meet the challenges of the next transformation. By delineating the human motivations that drive our interactions in the digital revolution, we catch a glimpse of our potential to change culture and impact the quality of our lives in the fourth industrial revolution. As the interactions between man and machine become more personal, our motivations have moved from extrinsic to intrinsic. Extrinsic motivators such as income, prestige, and praise are being supplanted by intrinsic desires of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Never has this been more evident than in the surprising way we are motivated to participate in the open development of technology in the digital age.
Whole-systems thinking has to be a transdisciplinary activity that maps and integrates relationships, flows and perspectives into a dynamic understanding of the structures and processes that drive how the system behaves. Experts and specialists are important contributors to most sustainability projects, but we also need integrators and generalists who can help to put the contribution of each discipline into systemic relationships and help to contextualize the contributions made by the specialists. Too often we employ limited progress indicators or inadequate measures of success based on the dominance of a particular discipline or perspective.
Sometimes the best thing you can do with anxiety is sit with it, go through it and come out the other side knowing and seeing that you’ve survived. I’ve always found that bending to anxiety and trying to bargain with it always results in it slowly taking over my life. If in the short term, thinking of the ways that you can be awesome helps you snap out of an anxiety spiral, that’s fine. But try and not rest those on products of yourself, things you can offer and focus more on the fact that you have an inherent value that can’t be measured and that your relationships shouldn’t be about the perks you can offer someone.