In yesterday’s Telegraph there was an article titled ‘Why the Military must invade our schools’ and whilst this might have a simplistic attraction in the situation we find ourselves in as a society, it fails to address the reality we are now in. Fragmented as society of’ individuals’ in a future where the Common Good must be placed centre stage as the energy and resource intensity of our society, SystemUK, inevitably falls.

Radio and Television programmes abound, Panorama last night for instance, but none recognise this fundamental reality. The Seventies were the beginning of the future we are now in, only with outcomes differed was a result of the exploitation of North Sea Oil. Which we squandered on Business as Usual, creating no reserve for the transition to the future we are in.

As a consequence, neither did we educate for this reality and the common purpose and action this future requires. The ‘Service for the Nation’ required of us all.

We are now in a world of fire-fighting failure demand and looking for End of Pipe solutions to Society’s Failure Demand. Such is the reasoning behind ResPublica’s genuine concern. Failing schools, send in the military to sort out the problems.

But we are all in this together for the Common Good, and whilst it is eminently sensible to encourage military personnel to take up the work mentioned in the article, dealing with the issues in separate boxes does not solve the problems at system level, SystemUK.

We thought resources were plentiful, to squander as we thought fit as individuals, rather than the reality; limited and needing to be marshalled for the Common Good.

In this future we must all be expected to act for the Common Good, bankers included!. This can only be achieved by educating for and implementing, universal and compulsory ‘Service for the Nation’ , not military discipline in a forlorn attempt to contain the Failure Demand created by not doing the right thing right as a Society.

There are difficult times ahead but we must start now if we are to ensure a coherent and competitive society rather than a failing one. There are scenarios out there we do not   need to let happen.

dd

The financial crisis and the current Banking furore illustrates our failure to educate for ‘Service for the Nation’. An understanding inbuilt in citizens of the benefits they receive from society and their responsibility for it, together with an appreciation of how this impacts global societies.

We seem to have lost this quality in ourselves and it is increasingly degrading our Quality of Life.

On it depends our survival as a coherent society with an acceptable Quality of Life for all.

Here are some of my thoughts

DD

A 21st Century National Service

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for 11 year olds, starting secondary education in September 2009 to stay in Education or training until they are 18.

There is currently much debate about how this translates into positive outcomes and Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity, which is the outcome least required as we shift paradigms into the OPW. A 2005 OFSTED report finding that only 12% of 19 to 30 year olds interviewed thought that school had enabled them to be creative or understand risk.

In addition the change to fee paying in Further and Higher Education has led to most learners deciding to stay local to complete their education.

Similarly, with no form of National Service, young people not in continuing education experience no other input than their local area and as a result, in most cases, have no expectations beyond their limited boundaries. There is clear evidence that this is causing a dependency culture and an underclass, as is being widely reported.

So where do we stand at the start of a new decade and halfway through the UN Decade for sustainable Development 2005-2014?

It can be stated

◦       There is a wide spread of achievement output from the UK’s Education System

◦       This is aimed at satisfying a paradigm that no longer exists.

◦       This results in high youth unemployment.

◦       Leading to disaffection and continuing underachievement.

◦       And withdrawal from involvement in the wider society

◦       Causing violence and crime, fuelled in many cases by drugs.

Clearly, increasing the age of compulsory education will have no effect on this vicious circle unless we recognise the paradigm we need to educate for is shifting rapidly as we move into the One Planet World.

We have to recognise, as stated throughout this article that education has to liberate the creativity that will enable citizens to help create the OPW within the UK. This can only be achieved through ‘service above self’.

This is not the politically correct thing to say at this time, but it is central to any future that can be envisaged in a UK of around 70 million citizens.

Conclusion

Our conception of National Service is coloured by its compulsory and in many cases arbitrary nature, where outcomes were not tailored to the needs of individuals, or even society.

This is not the aim of Service for the Nation; the aim is to provide rounded citizens with a range of knowledge and skills appropriate to their talents and the creativity to use them effectively and efficiently in helping create the One Planet World.

This does not mean that military service will not be part of the mix for those attracted to such service and we need to acknowledge the part played in current conflicts by our young people.

We do not need to reinvent the wheel as there are service organizations, Scouts etc. who know how to create future citizens and leaders that we can use as templates.

These things are critical

◦       There must be an element of compulsion for all to contribute in their own way.

◦       There must be a controlled but significant element of risk.

◦       Service should be away from home for realistic periods

◦       Learning and work undertaken must result in value added to society.

◦       All must have access to achieve to laid down standards

◦       Rank must be available for significant leadership ability.

Many will argue that this cannot be afforded but the real question is “can we afford, not to be able to afford it?” – if the alterative is societal collapse.


To Catarina Tully at From over Here

Hi Cat

Sir David King has just made the following statement: Sir David King lambasts Treasury for preventing green economic recovery http://bit.ly/M1AxgG

How do we get the message across that it is not about ‘resource efficiency’ but about the ‘effective’ use of resources creating ‘essential value’. This is not an easy discussion to have, but if we don’t face up to this as a society we will end up in the situation in the book just released. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/08/why-uk-no-longer-superpower

If we continue to muddle along on the basis that completely free enterprise can find a way forward when the marginal cost of producing a barrel of oil is over $90 and the useful energy remaining is on a downward trajectory, we are deluded. http://vimeo.com/43261566

We see in Greece the effects of the reducing Energy and Resource Intensity of a Society and Economic Block that does not recognise what is really happening.

Chandran Nair does recognise this and is doing his best to make Asia aware of the situation: as Asia tries to grow using the multi-planet paradigm this contagion can only spread. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_CL2imxmeE

These are Global issues but we must act as SystemUK if we are to be competitive and provide inspiration to others on the art of the possible. Are we the innately ingenious people we think we are, or was our prosperity purely a result of the Energy and Resource Intensity we were able to exploit?

The answer is probably a lot of both and we need to recognise this if we are not to squander this innate creatively and ingenuity as the Energy and Resource Intensity of SystemUK inevitably falls.

Regards

Derek

https://trailblazerbusinessfutures.wordpress.com/governance/seminar-resources/lc/


My letter in the Professional Engineering Journal 2007

Engineers are supposed to be mathematically literate but a simple understanding of compound interest is all that is needed to see that the current predictions of growth are the pipe dreams of economists.

Take a chess board and put one unit on the first square, 2 on the second and 4 on the third and continue doubling up. The time to each doubling is 70 divided by the rate of growth i.e. 7%/annum is equal to 10 years.

Add the squares together 1+2+4 = 7 i.e. the sum of all previous doublings is less than the value on the next square – 8

Oil was first commercially exploited in 1859 and we are now at around 30 billion barrels/year and on the 32nd square. At the present rate of growth we will need more oil in the next 20+ years than in the previous 150!

Even if this amount of oil exists, finding, extracting and applying unknown technologies to turn the poor quality, heavy, and polluted crude we obtain into useable product is clearly not possible on this time scale.

And that’s without the climate crisis and the fact that we need a fair amount of the remaining oil to create a low carbon future.

Derek

Derek Deighton MIQA AIEMA AMIMechE

Coordinator, Northwest Engineering Institutions, Sustainability Joint Venture

Northwest Energy Forum

Trailblazer Business Futures, Business and Built Environment Systems Integration

Helping create the One Planet World through creative partnerships

W Edwards Deming did his celebrated work in an era when environmental and social constraints where not at the forefront of managerial minds and his body of work can be interpreted as a method of maximising solely economic profit.

Although Deming was a child of his times; it is clear from the Preface to ‘Out of Crisis’ that he was reaching out to the Concept of Sustainable Development. Which I define as the process of continual improvement on the journey to perfect Quality and Deming would recognise as his, holistically defined.

Deming said in the Preface  “Performance of management should be measured by the potential to stay in Business, to protect investment.. to protect jobs through improvement of product and service for the future, not by quarterly dividend”.

We have now passed through a period of perhaps 30+ years where environmental and social process failures were seen as an add on burden to organisational management but now, in the resource constrained future we find ourselves in, we have to see them for what they are, core survival issues, and we must be treat them as such by revisiting Deming’s teaching.

As Deming said “Survival is not Compulsory”

Deming Laid down his teaching in 14 points, interpreted at http://www.hci.com.au/hcisite2/articles/deming.htm as

1.”Create constancy of purpose towards improvement”. Replace short-term reaction with long-term planning.

2.”Adopt the new philosophy”. The implication is that management should actually adopt his philosophy, rather than merely expect the workforce to do so.

3.”Cease dependence on inspection”. If variation is reduced, there is no need to inspect manufactured items for defects, because there won’t be any.

4.”Move towards a single supplier for any one item.” Multiple suppliers mean variation between feedstocks.

5.”Improve constantly and forever”. Constantly strive to reduce variation.

6.”Institute training on the job”. If people are inadequately trained, they will not all work the same way, and this will introduce variation.

7.”Institute leadership”. Deming makes a distinction between leadership and mere supervision. The latter is quota- and target-based.

8.”Drive out fear”. Deming sees management by fear as counter- productive in the long term, because it prevents workers from acting in the organisation’s best interests.

9.”Break down barriers between departments”. Another idea central to TQM is the concept of the ‘internal customer’, that each department serves not the management, but the other departments that use its outputs.

10.”Eliminate slogans”. Another central TQM idea is that it’s not people who make most mistakes – it’s the process they are working within. Harassing the workforce without improving the processes they use is counter-productive.

11.”Eliminate management by objectives”. Deming saw production targets as encouraging the delivery of poor-quality goods.

12.”Remove barriers to pride of workmanship”. Many of the other problems outlined reduce worker satisfaction.

13.”Institute education and self-improvement”.

14.”The transformation is everyone’s job”.

To be continued…

See also https://trailblazerbusinessfutures.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/re-defining-quality/

It has to be asked if the Riots this week have not been a Godsend to the governing elite in allowing them to prepare for the outcomes resulting from the ongoing. but unspoken, reduction in the Energy and Resource Intensity of SystemUK. This comment from Twitter today

Comment: Britain is preparing for Peak Oil the only way she knows how: Calling on the armed forces, and arming the police.

Read more http://bit.ly/mUv4uK

Peter Oborne speaks elequently today of the failings of the ruling elite in government and business http://tgr.ph/pqdVWP and it reminded me of my letter to him at the Daily Mail in July 2008 relating to an article, again about the state of the UK and the military.

DD

Dear Peter

          I am impressed with your article in the Mail today and I copy below part of the email to my MP I copied to you a short while ago.

“I don’t blame a particular person or party but we have a systemic failure of proactive action.

          The society we have created has replaced personal duty with personal freedom to the point that senior service personnel are now pointing out the incongruity of the reward those who are attempting to protect our way of life are receiving, referenced to others

          I want to be wrong, but soon, senior officers will be questioning the ability of our political system to deliver the actions needed to transition society to the low carbon future we will inherit, as I have said, by design or negligence.”

          The concept of political neutrality has been core of our armed services for centuries and British service personnel have been treated abominably on many occasions down these centuries

          It has been clear to me for years that our failure to be proactive and think holistically would lead to the point in history we find ourselves. I copy below my comment from 2002, which predicts the situation in which an outcome such as knife crime could develop. http://bit.ly/pVG3Md

          We are powering into energy oblivion and someone will need to take action, and Senior Officers must be aware that their ability to maintain a strategic and tactical capability will be seriously compromised by the time the new carriers and JSF are due to come into service

          This from the current edition of Business Week

“However, it appears that for at least the next five years, and possibly longer, the Saudis are likely to produce less crude than promised, according to fresh data on the kingdom’s oil fields obtained July 9 by BusinessWeek. Saudi officials have said they would increase production capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day next year, from the current 10 million barrels a day, and could even ramp up to as much as 15 million barrels a day if the market demanded it. As proof to a skeptical audience, the normally highly secretive Saudis were a bit more open, escorting journalists on a visit to their new Al Khurais field (BusinessWeek.com, 6/23/08), east of Riyadh, and disclosing some field data.”

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2008/db2008079_865368.htm?link_position=link1

Regard

Derek

We see in the UK civil unrest that was predictable as a result of our failure to think at system level and then having to deal with the resultant failure demand in society by constantly changing end of pipe solutions.

Our continuing to think that we can return to a multi-planet  economic path flies in the face of observable reality and can only lead to the further weakening in the cohesion of society. My comment in 2002 pointed this out.

DD

Comment on the North West Region’s Framework for Employment Skills and Action (FRESA) 29 August 2002

“Looking at the FRESA, I feel I must make a comment arising from paragraph 24, page 9 copied here

            “Job losses are expected to be dominated by males, while a large proportion of job gains will go to females. Some 60% of all job gains are expected to be part-time and the bulk of such jobs are expected to be in hotels and catering, business and other services. In terms of job losses the bulk are expected to come in elementary trades, process operatives, skilled metal and construction trades. Major gains are projected in caring and health, teaching and administrative and clerical occupations”

            This seems to me to be a forecast of potential disaster in the UK. It will at best lead to a position where a large proportion of males feel excluded with probable social unrest. Any gains are predicated on the assumption that service industries will grow and this is already under pressure with the possible transfer of call centre jobs to India (denied).

            I recognise that these are problems the Learning and Skills Council cannot solve but they must be acknowledged. Attached is an email to Channel 4 News in response to discussions on juvenile crime. I strongly feel that the issue of National Service – or service for the nation, not primarily the traditional military service, must be addressed to provide constructive work for primarily males across the age range that will otherwise be idle.

            This can be tied in to the work required to create sustainable development at home and abroad, which fits in with the thoughts expressed in my original submission to the Regional Strategy; that the Region and the UK cannot rely on classical economic solutions to prosper in this century.”

 The cry will go out that we cannot afford to  do this, but in a world of falling energy and resource intensity, can we afford not to?

Reference Service for the Nation in the One Planet World

 

While it is true that Economic ‘growth as we have known it is over and done with’ as Richard Heinberg states below, it is important to recognise that in the resource constrained future we face, growth is possible within the limitations of the ‘First Law of Sustainability’ – that – goods and services can only grow at the rate at which their ‘Resource Intensity’ can be reduced beyond that needed to balance the ‘One Planet Equation’; see tab above.

Viewing our position this way gives us a clear focus on the actions we must take

  • Reduce the resource intensity of non-essential processes to zero – eliminate them
  • Work to continually reduce the resource intensity of those essential processes remaining by improving the ‘Quality’ of their creation, use and disposal.

dd

The End of Growth

Posted Nov 12, 2010 by Richard Heinberg

This article is an excerpt from Richard’s new book which has the working title ‘The End of Growth’ and is set for publication in July 2011. Given the urgency and fragility of the global economic crisis, we will be serializing the rough content as Richard writes it. Additionally, Richard will be offering ‘live peeks’ at the events and information that inform his writing process through Facebook and Twitter accounts created expressly for this publication.

The article was originally published as the MuseLetter #222

Introduction: The New Normal

The central assertion of this book is both simple and startling: .

The “growth” we are talking about consists of the expansion of the overall size of the economy (with more people being served and more money changing hands) and of the quantities of energy and material goods flowing through it.

The economic crisis that began in 2007-2008 was both foreseeable and inevitable, and it marks a permanent, fundamental break from past decades—a period during which most economists adopted the unrealistic view that perpetual economic growth is necessary and also possible to achieve. There are now fundamental barriers to ongoing economic expansion, and the world is colliding with those barriers…………

Full article http://www.postcarbon.org/article/178709-the-end-of-growth

……………The Jevons Paradox

 

But there is one aspect of Jevons’s argument—the Jevons Paradox itself—that continues to be considered one of the pioneering insights in ecological economics.8 In chapter 7 of The Coal Question, entitled “Of the Economy of Fuel,” Jevons responded to the common notion that, since “the falling supply of coal will be met by new modes of using it efficiently and economically,” there was no problem of supply, and that, indeed, “the amount of useful work got out of coal may be made to increase manifold, while the amount of coal consumed is stationary or diminishing.” In sharp opposition to this, Jevons contended that increased efficiency in the use of coal as an energy source only generated increased demand for that resource, not decreased demand, as one might expect. This was because improvement in efficiency led to further economic expansion. “It is wholly a confusion of ideas,” he wrote, “to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to a diminished consumption. The very contrary is the truth. As a rule, new modes of economy will lead to an increase of consumption according to a principle recognised in many parallel instances….The same principles apply, with even greater force and distinctness, to the use of such a general agent as coal. It is the very economy of its use which leads to its extensive consumption.”……………….

The extensive article, worth reading is at  http://www.monthlyreview.org/101101foster-clark-york.php

Are You A Pirate?

 

http://techcrunch.com/author/tcmarrington/

……………….When I talk to non entrepreneurs about the startup world I often use a pirate analogy. Not because I know that much about pirates, but the the general stereotypes work well as an analogy.

Why did some people way back in the 17th century, or whenever, become pirates? The likely payoff was abysmal, I imagine. There’s a very small chance you’d make a fortune from some prize, and a very large chance you’d drown, or be hung, or shot, or whatever. And living on a small ship with a hundred other guys must have sucked, even for the captain.

But in my fantasy pirate world these guys just had really screwed up risk aversion algorithms. Unlike most of the other people they actually lusted after that risk. The potential for riches was just an argument for the venture. But the real payoff was the pirate life itself.

Also, it was nearly impossible to be an entrepreneur back then………………

full article at http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/31/are-you-a-pirate/

Corporate Sustainability Should Start At Business School

 

Zachary Shahan October 30, 2010

 
 As far as one can see, corporations aren’t going away and will continue to play an extremely important role in society. That makes their relationship to the environment a critical issue.

Too often, environmentalists are reacting to what corporations do. Rather, we need to advance a more holistic school of social change in the business world.

That means we need to go to the roots of the corporate world and understand where businessmen and women are coming from. You heard me: Business schools.

The inspiration for this post comes first from a tremendous book that nails this topic— The Sustainable Business (available as a free download from the European Foundation for Management Development). The author, renowned scholar and businessman Jonathan T. Scott writes, “to understand sustainability it’s essential to begin by first comprehending the big picture…Rather than building up from particulars to generals (the empiricist method), one must begin with generals—an in-place, intuitive wisdom of the logic behind thinking in the long-term, what it entails, and why it’s important.”…………….

Full story at http://ht.ly/326LM

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