The purpose of this site is offer insight into:
• What we want: Prosperity
• How we get it: Enablement
• Why Great Prosperity is Coming
In 2006, I began researching these three topics. The premise is that our prosperity growth is the cumulative of our collective dream and big idea pursuits (D & I = P+). To learn what we want, we need insight into how we define prosperity and how we are measuring up. For insight on how we get it, we must peer inside our hearts and minds to understand our dreams and ideas. They provide us direction to our desired destinations and the guardrails to keep us on the path.
How do we define prosperity? Can we define prosperity while we are consumed racing through our daily demands? We often recast our definition with a traumatic event, near death experience or the loss of someone close. Then we often revert back to the daily routine and our old definition. Prosperity definitions often fall far short when they primarily measure things easy to measure like extrinsic prosperity (monthly paycheck, possessions, wealth) yet they leaving out things hard to measure like intrinsic prosperity (purpose, social network, control, sense of accomplishment).
We each have our own definition so we must measure what we want and compare it to what we have. One hundred years ago and for many of the world living in poverty today, “Basic Physical Needs” (food, shelter, heat) could be a good enough measure. In the developed world, prosperity growth in last 150 years has made “Basic Physical Needs” just one of the 24 prosperity elements that are required to measure prosperity today.
If you ask a young child where cell phones, books and medicine come from, they may say the mall, bookstores and drug stores. You may hear a smart kid answer Steve Jobs (or Martin Cooper who invented the original cell phone), authors or Alex Fleming (invented penicillin). And yes, you are also technically right by answering China, Amazon and India. Yet if you ask adults where prosperity comes from, we hesitate and offer a myriad of answers. The Great Prosperity wants to take us to the true source of prosperity. It is the enablement of our dreams, big ideas and breakthrough innovation.
We romanticize the 1% (the idea) and overlook the 99% (the enablement) required to make the idea famous. The goal is to demystify the great innovator. We hope to relate to them on a human level, by understand the struggles, their risks and dedicated effort. We hope this will inspire people to unshackle their inhibitions and encourage them to successfully pursue their dreams or big ideas.
Why Great Prosperity is Coming
It is hard to imagine outhouses, traveling via horse drawn coaches across country and for some, phones with wires. Some young children cannot remember the days before the iPad (see video). Can you remember driving home and having to find a pay phone to dial 35 numbers (800 number, phone number, calling card) to politely say “I will be home soon”? Yet it is hard to appreciate progress when it takes your job away as it did with many people when the last typewriter factory closed in the United States. The human toil from losing a job, a home and sense of purpose reminds us that innovation drives prosperity growth with a price.
We must be concerned with contaminated water and traffic from new hydrofracking techniques used for the breakthrough new sources of shale oil and natural gas. We must also find a balance from this new innovation to enable prosperity growth from energy independence and coal carbon emission reductions. While social media technology helped drive the Arab spring and the overthrow of stable dictators, it left us with instability and uncertainty. Prosperity comes to those who adopt innovation by quickly resolving the complicated positives and negatives, and tailoring it to their values and culture.
Transformational forces, like the internet, personal computers, end of the cold war and wireless mobile technology, became a massive change agent for our entire culture and way of life. During my research, I discovered several of these transformational forces that are emerging in an almost perfect storm like way. While realizing dreams and ideas will always be the source of prosperity, we have a compelling opportunity to leverage these transformational forces into a period of Great Prosperity.
Transformational Force – Exponential Growth of Innovation
An example of a transformational force is the exponential growth of innovation. We have always experienced innovation growth, yet not at the pace that is coming. Exponential growth of innovation is both hard to explain and comprehend. To try to explain it, I will begin with the doubling effect of innovation. An example is Moore’s Law, which is the proven ability of computer manufacturers to double computer power every two years. They do this by doubling the number of transistors on the same size computer chip every two years. Another doubling example is medical knowledge, which also doubles every two years.
Now for the exponential component, we’ll use Malcolm Gladwell’s illustration of this dilemma from his book, “Tipping Point”. He asks us to imagine folding a regular sheet of paper in half. He asked his readers to fold it in half again and continue folding till it has been folded in half fifty times. We know it will get real hard to fold very quickly. It is hard to imagine it that the width of the folded paper would become the same distance from the earth to the moon.
So if computing power and medical knowledge doubles fifty times in the next one hundred years, can we image the effects of exponential growth of innovation in one hundred years? We may even discover how to stop aging, although it may not be so wonderful if it means living eternally in a ninety year-old body!
Other reasons include the growth of individual creators selling products and services online, the talent multiplier effect of a great doctor or teacher teaching the masses, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding of creative ideas, the intrinsic economy like Wikipedia and free open source software or apps, and the peer-to-peer economy that eliminated the many of the layer of administrative costs. It is easy to be consumed by the many of the new challenges of change our modern day presents, yet if we embrace and leverage it, it becomes hard hard not to imagine the Great Prosperity coming.