4 Society30: what was and can be; the authors intermezzo.


    In his book, The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman claims we have entered the third phase in
    globalization, which he calls “Globalization 3.0.”

    Friedman describes Globalization 3.0 as “the newfound power of individuals to collaborate and compete globally. With cross-border skills and contacts, immigrants with small businesses are leveraging the Internet and connective technologies to exploit global trade opportunities. This is creating a new wave of small business globalization, and creating broader and deeper economic links across the globe.”

    If this book were a business plan for Europe, Inc. (which it is), but one of those operation plans consisted of at least forty pages of indecipherable text, then somewhere halfway through this plan – after the elaborate SWOT analyses – we would arrive at the crux of the matter.
    The old-establishment business plan author would have called this crux “The Corporate Strategy,” but the observant reader would immediately notice that this chapter would merely contain a large amount of one-dimensional operating results. They are broken down in more detail into sectional results per organizational division, and are complemented with key performance indicators, which are meant to measure if these results can actually be met. More and more copies of these kinds of plans are found with a note in the margin saying, “had a good read and a good laugh.”

    Up to now, I have described the enablers who can help me and you, the reader, to build the interdependent Society30. I have dedicated the entire first part of this book to painting the picture of the current organization of Europe, Inc., which is not a pretty picture, and hopefully this a good reason to change. Then, I described the favorable armamentarium – the Internet and social networks – which will hopefully provide the reader with sufficient starting points to start experimenting with themselves. I believe I have actually contributed to bringing Society30 a step closer. This book could end here, or perhaps a couple of pages back. It is evident that there are results; what kind of results remains the question (as is the case in the old business plans).

    At the same time, one would expect to arrive at the crux of this book after having read the extensive preliminary work. The title of this book supports this expectation: “Here it comes, now Ronald is going to tell us what to do, now we can expect the big change strategy.” It may have worked this way in the old school business plans, but it does not work that way in the new style business plans.

    This connecting chapter is not the crux of the book; at the most, it is a turning point in the treatment of the reader. After all, up to now I have written about things that already exist, issues that give our society a reason to do things differently, and the upcoming issues that will make it possible for us to actually do things differently. Because this chapter is the turning point, this book – the business plan – will continue. It will continue on into the future, as it will unfold. And well, the future is something we simply do not exactly know. What we can do is look at our society with renewed vision, while keeping the new forms of value creation in the back of our minds. We can cherish the 3.0 elements that are slowly unraveling and let them blossom. This outlines the core of my intentions with this book. I would like you look with me through my “Glasses 3.0” at the important issues of our society, and to the ideas the addition of “3.0” perspectives can deliver.

    Once again: do not expect an assignment, task, and certainly not any KPI’s, but behold the perspective – my perspective – the rest of this book gives from your own autonomy, and add your own perspective to it. This chapter, Society30, is merely a crossroads between what was and what can be. So, basically, you could skip it…