Viewpoint #38 — The Context

Every issue of Viewpoint unpacks the significance of an influential Big Idea. But while big ideas, big aspirations and big hopes for change will always resonate, we are starting to realise that big-scale enterprises are perhaps not the places where these can flourish.

Globalisation is not a term that evokes a positive response today. One-size-fits-all strategies, imposed from the top down, do not fit all: far from it.

Migrant Species by Studio Forage

In response, people are seeking smaller-scale solutions. Grass-roots, citizen-generated initiatives are stepping in locally when governments and businesses fail to act. Supported by the immense amount of information freely available online, including open-source tech and practical know-how, individuals and small groups are increasingly empowered and influential.

This is manifest in every sphere: political, social and commercial.

Today’s conscious consumers are well aware that their purchasing decisions have wider implications for the environment and for a fairer world, and they are turning to small-scale manufacturers who draw less heavily on the planet’s resources.

Designers and creatives fit very naturally into this scenario. A project starts with a specific problem to solve, a niche to fill, a story to tell or a point to make. And the advantages of an open-source approach in the creative fields are almost too obvious to state: when no one needs to reinvent the wheel, we are likely to gain far more than we give by sharing, swapping and exchanging ideas and expertise.

Open-hardware modular concepts by Seymourpowell

People globally are questioning whether big agriculture can feed the world, whether big pharma can heal it, whether big business can run it. And wondering whether, in fact, the answer lies with smaller, more local, more focused, more people-centred solutions.

There is a new agenda in place … we offer some exciting and inspiring examples in this issue.

Excerpt from ‘Viewpoint #38 — The Context’, read more here.

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