Where unlimited growth may still be good for us

“If you still believe that growth is the only way to improve our world … start with health, freedom, love or peace.”


While economy is based on the assumption that only growth in production and consumption will lead to more prosperity, it appears there is a movement that started to acknowledge more universal desires, which instead are not seeking out quantitative growth. There is a new quest for less consumption, but better experiences, or fundamental qualities in life: health, freedom, love and peace. We see an uprising of being versus having, quality versus quantity, experience versus possession.
Change is no more the sole vehicle for economic growth alone; change has become an option, and keeping the status quo has become an alternative again. While the change hype has turned ‘being conservative’ a bad term, most of us will indisputabley agree on many values – like nature, freedom, love and peace – which deserve to be protected and preserved.

This is not about stagnation. It is about a progressive change of our values system.
If we wish to pursue a sustainable growth and development, we need to move away from the illusion of endless materialistic growth. We need to move towards ethically inspired concepts of qualitative growth, that – even when wasted or pervasively brought forward to all the people in this world – may bring qualitative prosperity to every human being, and pave the way to a sustainable future.

One of the major steps to take will be the change of our measurement systems. We will not be able to measure the qualitative growth and progress in simple spreadsheets or existing currencies of the financial world. We will need to agree on a new currency, that denominates not financial wealth, but sustainability, quality of living, universal values.

This shall not become a fight against economy, nor shall it neglect existing realities. It is a sigh of hope that we can all hear if we listen with care and awareness.

Today, I have a more sound belief, that across any given culture in our diverse world, we ultimately share the same values, if we only take it to a high enough level. I have a hope that, fueled by our ability to overcome biological determinism, we take the chance to work on a joint future, create a higher set of values that unite, and abdicate those that have taught us the opposite.

– map

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About Marcus Pietrzak

Marcus Pietrzak is Management Development Leader CEE and Senior Organization Leadership Consultant at IBM. - He works with all management levels in his organisation, and helps them to find new approaches towards their personal leadership philosophy and change. His personal and professional interests include organisational psychology, adult education, management & organisational development and management innovation. "When connecting the dots of my career, I realized that developing people in each stage of their leadership career has always been at the core of what I've been doing. From studies to research, from workshops to coaching, from assessment to training: identifying and shaping the very best of the leadership capabilities within my clients, has always received my undivided attention and formed my mantra: the success of the people who look for our support and guidance - this will always be the ultimate measure of our success in leadership development." - (mp)