Home Is Where The Heart (of Society 3.0) Is #10 #cong20

Synopsis:

 In 2020, to be social is to potentially put yourself and others in your social circles in harm’s way, so how do we rethink and reconfigure our society for both the individual and the common good?

Total Words

832

Reading Time in Minutes

3

Key Takeaways:

  1. Society 3.0 is most likely to be inspired by our individual and collective senses of Society 1.0
  2. This period of social distancing heightens our realisation of the importance of home
  3. Many of us are cruelly distanced from one another, even before the social distancing that’s become our norm for 2020.
  4. A society that’s fit for purpose is always founded in each of us having a place that we can call our home.

About Gerard Tannam

 Gerard Tannam leads Islandbridge Brand Development (www.Islandbridge.com), a team of specialists working to build great relationships in the marketplace that bridge the gap between buyers and sellers.

Contacting Gerard Tannam:

 You can contact Gerard by email., follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn or check out his work in Islandbridge.  

By Gerard Tannam.

My first memory of being part of a social group sees me sitting at the dining-room table which has been cleared to make way for the family’s record-player, and we’re listening to Oldies (but Goldies), a collection of Beatles’ singles released earlier in the decade. It’s the late ‘60s, I think, which makes me four or five, and I can see from the faces of my parents and brothers and sister that we’re sharing something really special, and it feels great to be part of it. Society 1.0 for me, I guess.

Fast forward to 2020, when social distancing rather than social togetherness is the norm, and it seems that my world has shrunk again to my dinner table, and I dare not socialise beyond the four walls of my home for fear of putting myself and others in harm’s way. The early days of lockdown, when we were inspired with the heroism of sticking together by remaining apart, seem even more of a distant pipedream than those ‘oldie but goldie’ days which are instantly evoked by something as beguiling as the opening bars of Yesterday.

From discussions with family and friends, I don’t think I’m alone in my time-travelling back to an era of homemade dinners and freshly baked scones, and it seems to me that many of us trace an idealised view of what society might be to our early days around the table. So perhaps that might be a good place too for us to begin the task of making tomorrow’s Society 3.0 everything it should be, even if tomorrow’s soundtrack is no longer to be the Beatles.

When we make home the heart of our society, it gives us something of a blueprint for how we might design and build the other structures beyond our four walls. It’s only when we recognise that a sense of belonging and togetherness, even when apart, underpins both our individual and therefore our collective sense of wellbeing that we can begin to truly reimagine our society and deliver a world where all of us can feel very much at home.

So how does Society 2.0 stack up against our common and inbuilt need of a place to call our own? Even our current social distancing can’t disguise the fact that too many of us live in a society which hasn’t delivered us a real home of our own. Beyond those sleeping on our streets and in our doorways, there are many more housed in places and conditions where the four walls confine and close in on them, creating an even more damaging sense of social distance that will last long after the more public restrictions and constraints of our time are a faint memory.

As a result, many of us are cruelly distanced from one another, and those of us most in need of a good neighbour are unable to bridge the chasm that’s been created between us and them and must rely instead on the kindness of strangers. And nobody wishes to rely on that.

So, as we figure out the shape and the substance of the new worlds which we’re creating using the latest skills and tools at our disposal, we must make sure that home is where the heart of our Society 3.0 is. It’s only in providing for every one of us a place that we can call home that we can each begin to emerge confidently into the open spaces between us and forge the relationships that underpin our social life or society.

Whatever version of Society that we wish to build, whether it’s realised in a family discovering a shared taste in music or an outsider being made welcome to participate in all of the good things on offer, a society that’s fit for purpose is always founded in each of us having a place that we can call our home.

Why Community Mustn’t Mean Market #43 #cong19

Synopsis:

Too often, those of us in business tend to see people as potential customers first. Communities are far too important in our lives for us to mistake them for markets, as a collection of people to be sold to.

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. Too often, those of us in business tend to see people as potential customers first.
  2. Communities are far too important in our lives for us to mistake them for markets, as a collection of people to be sold to.
  3. When we consider a person purely in terms of their buying power, we devalue our sense of community and become instead a market where all we share are those common purchases.
  4. We must see community as meaning much more than market and build markets to serve our communities, rather than the other way around.

About Gerard Tannam:

Gerard Tannam leads Islandbridge Brand Development (www.Islandbridge.com), a team of specialists working to build great relationships in the marketplace that bridge the gap between buyers and sellers.

Contacting Gerard Tannam:

You can follow Gerard on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, send him an email or see his work in IslandBridge

By Gerard Tannam

I remember as a young boy hearing the adults talk about the prospects of Ireland joining something called the EEC, which I later learned stood for European Economic Community. I don’t recall much of the detail of what they discussed, but what I do remember seemed to centre only on the economic advantages of joining rather than on any of the other benefits of being a part of a much wider community.

In the meantime, of course, we discovered that we had much in common with our continental cousins-by-marriage, and found ourselves exchanging far more than the goods and services that were the focus of our discussions back then.

I was reminded of this recently as I listened to the various parties in the UK argue the priorities around agreeing a deal to exit the European Union, when it again appeared to me that the benefits of being a part of a greater community beyond national borders carried little weight.

Of course, as both citizen and business-owner, I have a vested interest in our being able to continue to trade easily and profitably with our nearest neighbours, but it dismays me that our discussions around their leaving seem to be much more around their exiting the common market than withdrawing from our community.

Now, this commercial take on community isn’t confined to discussions around Britain’s exit. More and more, we talk about communities as though they were simply markets. And the more we talk about and think about our neighbours in this way, the less likely we are to enjoy the real benefits of being part of this wider community.

When we put a price on participation, when we consider a person purely in terms of their buying power, we are in danger of devaluing our sense of community and becoming instead a common market where all we share are our purchasing behaviours and attitudes.

Whilst access to a common market may continue to be one very important benefit of being a part of a community, it’s vital that we don’t overlook the more essential benefits such as shared values, common interests and collective projects, all of which enable us to achieve far more together than alone.

When we see community only as market, we are in serious danger of growing cynical around our relationships with others in our communities and, in the words of Oscar Wilde, ‘knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing’.

Whilst it’s always useful to understand the cost of the contributions we make into our relationships with neighbours and colleagues, viewing those costs in isolation without appreciating the return on our investment in terms of the great value to our wellbeing and the greater richness of our experience means our sums will never seem to add up.

And so, we must see community as meaning much more than market and understand that our markets are built to serve our communities, and not the other way around.

This is not to suggest that markets built on such foundations cannot be commercially successful. We only have to visit some of the great food markets in continental Europe, or indeed in our own city of Cork, to see that a market can thrive when it is founded to meet the needs of the community.

As we survey the market-stall holders and their customers in full flow, and see the fruitful exchange of produce for cash, the evident sense of prosperity and well-being makes it easy to appreciate that there’s far more being traded than what’s changing hands before us.

In that moment, market does look very much like community, because in that moment, the market is serving the community, and buyer and seller is each a vital player adding to the greater value that’s being generated in every transaction.