The 21st year in the 21st century showed many interesting switches toward maturity! In consumer behaviour and consumer organizations and in business and politics as well! More and more people began thinking more seriously about healthy food and healthy lifestyles. About the quality of life in all aspects economically, socialy and cultural. The road of life(s)long learning was recognised and followed again on a higher level than ever before!
Also industry and business, poltics and international relations became more transparent and more constructive. Looking through all kinds of problems, crises and human tragedies there was more and more positive than negative change to see in the world as a whole!
This summer there was even the first world conference in Berlin about introducing sustainability and responsibility in school curricula, organised by UNESCO and Education International. The new generation is starting to co-create the future we want!
From the start of the 21st century there are 3x7 years to look back. (And "only" 20 years since the founding of the Free Concumers Association / Consumer360Academy 2001 July 14)
Like individual people also organizations and the world as a whole are developing in ritms of seven years. According to the seven planets in the universe presenting time (while space is represented by the twelve of the zodiac). Looking at children especially we can see the most relevant changes in behaviour at 7, 14 and 21 years towards maturity. Now also to be recognised in the 21st century where the human being as a consumer becomes relevant in the world economy! Most visible in all kinds of organizations for dialogue between consumers and producers, trade and finance for short- and long-term design, planning and co-financing (crowdfunding, guarantees, prepay, subscription, etc)
The first seven years were used for thinking worldwide about the future in the Millenium Development Goals. Thoughts were spread for everyone to think about it too. The next period of seven years was used for dialogue and design of the Sustainable Development Goals and the why how and what should be done by whom. From 2015 and beyond people, organizations and states started to design all kinds of products, services, laws, regulations and even new organizations to be used for the implementation of the relevant and practical ideas.
In 2021 we already see the beginning of the implementation of the many new ideas in all sectors! More and more organic food is going to be produced and promoted. The financial institutions are now promoting green investments being more profitable then investments for profit only. Transport and travelling growing more selective and more sustainable. Education and healthcare becoming more independent from state and commerce to become more free and real creative! Politics and the social contracts between all citizens become more relevant for instance according to human rights and reasonable income. And even more relevant assistance for people to re-entry in society after criminal behaviour. The future has started in a practical way!
Looking forward we may hope that real change is going fast forward now! But more conciousness is irreversible per definition! Always growing by definition! We think that the SDG' will be reached already before 2030. Because now also all school curricula are upgraded towards sustainability and responsibility! But learning is of course life(s)long learning for all of us!
2021 July 14
Another world is possible! This is the sound since the Battle of Seattle and the World Social Forums every year! After the sixties and the eighties of the twentieth century which were about thinking and talking about it now we see more and more the trial and error of another world in-the-making! Since the Arab Spring the Occupy movement and especially since Rio+20 we see people talking not only about all the problems but especially about all possible solutions. And we can see more and more and more best practices every day!
But as every manager knows by experience there is also the law of Murphy which says that everything which can go wrong will go wrong on certain moments! But we also know that all learning by trial and error is to experience the whole range of possibilities to be sure that we can find the best solutions. We have to know what is left and right of us to be sure of the best way forward!
People and organizations came into a current of actions more and more this year. Because of the Rio+20 conference there is a kind of basis now for mutual understanding about the roadmaps. Consumers learn to see better the importance of change in production, trade and financing. And as consumers themselves for more responsible lifestyles. To see where we can take responsibilty on our own and where it should be an issue for groups or organizations we can use our insights about the areas of our daily needs.
When we take the twelve necessities of life as basis for our annual report it can give us a much better overview of the history of the world and the worldeconomy untill today, the things that happened in 2014, the projects in which we were involved as examples, and last but not least the outlook for what has yet to be done to create a better world tomorrow towards Rio+30 and beyond.
When we think about who can do what then the first six areas are of course our own individual responsibility. Where do we believe in and what are our motives. How creative are we and what are we reading and studying and discussing to become a little bit smarter every day through science and education. And finally how do we manage our own life by choosing the best food and to avoid medicine where fitness-training could be a far better way.
The second six areas are to be organized together in our own family, or in groups, organizations, countries or perhaps worldwide. Those are the areas in daily life where we have to work together with others to achieve our objectives.
In all twelve directions we can have our dialogue with the other side of the economy. In casu the people who take care for all the products and services, for trade and advices, for communication, lawmaking and the bookkeeping of it all, named "money". In those dialogues with all stakeholders we’re always talking about the seven aspects of production and trade. About quality, quantity, price, guarantee, payment, delivery and userguidelines.
Since all sciences became more transparent through internet, more and more people discovered that matter and mind are two sides of the same coin called reality. And that all human action always starts from a spiritual idea or ideal (mission statement) via a highly creative process towards physical and non-physical products and services. Everybody is an artist! (Joseph Beuys).
During a very interesting lecture and presentation of the Humanist Association about humanism and spirituality somebody made the remark that everybody has to explore himself if and what’s more between heaven and earth to convince himself rather than being convinced by anyone else. Surprisingly we made the conclusion that that gave also the exact definition of the humanist: everyone who is standing between heaven and earth or in other words inbetween the polarity of spirituality and materialism. So not the materialist but the humanist is the one who can choose in freedom what reality can tell us. So humanism is in fact the basis for the freedom in science! To discover HOW natural sciences and spiritual sciences are the two sides of that same coin called reality (as we can see especially in the mathematics of projective geometry).
During a week we gave short presentations about consumer governance in one of the rooms of the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven (Netherlands). It was during the exposition ArteUtil about art and social innovation and sustainability, about the 500 best practices worldwide where art and artists where involved in all kinds of projects working for a bettter world. Read more about the exposition: www.museumarteutil.net. Read more about Social Sculpture on Wikipedia (Joseph Beuys).
It was Rudolf Steiner (1863-1925) who started to connect all sciences exoteric and esoteric as well. Because then only then both sides of reality could be researched. To be researched in the same concrete way as the natural sciences had proved to be scientific relevant and very useful since five centuries. The spiritual sciences proved to be even more clarifying reality than natural sciences alone! To underline these aspects the title of the great international exhibition about 150 years Rudolf Steiner was named The Alchemy of Daily Life (Allchemie des Alltags) which was in Rotterdam this year.
Looking forward to the years to come we already see a tendency of utmost transparency. Not only about what people say and do but even more about what’s essential in all problems and in the search for solutions. Since Rio+20 and especially since the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement people are asking why we should change ourselves and the world we create. And how we can find as much possible ways to achieve the world we really want. Protests and debates became dialogues and working groups. Another world is in the making!
The physical basis of every human being begins with good food and a proper worldclimate to live in. Then only then we can live on this planet. About food, climate, wildlife and biodiversity, about the oceans the honeybees and all animals, about landscapes and the search for commodities and the spoiling of the environment, there’s still a lot to clean up. Our food is also the basis for our health and wellbeing. And as experts now found out what parents already knew is that it is also the basis for education. To become responsible worldcitizens! (Lifelong learning).
Everyone of us is now in the 21st century the “age of maturity” which means that lifelong learning has gone to a higher level of individual conciousness and social responsibility. Because of the multitude of problems in the world caused by our almost "too little too late" reactions the need for more speed is becoming obvious. Consumers International has therefore started a new strategy 2015-2020 to give us some help in the process of empowering by "Unlocking Consumer Power on a Global Scale". Read more www.consumersinternational.org.
At the University here in Maastricht we enjoyed a very inspiring PhD lecture by Dr Machteld Huber who presented a new concept for a definition of health. The current definition used by the United Nations World Health Organization WHO is about 100% wellness and thus idealistic and thus unrealistic!. A far more better definition could be found when people should be motivated to be manager of their own health and healthcare. As with education also a kind of empowerment of the consumer.
Most discussions about sustainability are about nutrition. About food and water, climate and energy, oceans and fisheries. And about our ambassadors for change the honeybees! In 2015 the follow-up of the UN Millenium Goals will be the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) 2015-2025.
Especially nutrition health and education are our own individual responsibility! And so the climate and our own footprint. Although only producers and politicians can manage the process towards sustainability, we ourselves as 7.000.000.001 consumers have to learn to ask better questions and making better choices! Read more on our website!
During a lifetime we need a place for shelter, money to be part of worldeconomy, and an infrastructure for travelling to meet other people. Although almost everyone has some kind of home and some opportunities to travel, the transport and distribution of all products and services needed isn’t functioning quite well ... because of a staggering bookkeeping in the distribution of money (Read: citizensincome).
Houses in the last century were cubes only even untill complete areas of flats like container terminals. Without any form on their own only by composition of different blocks some sculpture was possible. Since the end of the century however architects became more and more creative in all directions out of the cube and we can see more and more buildings and sculptures nowadays of real beauty! Interesting to know is that we can see before our eyes the growing forces from the physical world of the crystals towards the “etherical” world where growing forces let plants grow. And therefore the new architecture is called organic architecture especially when the growing principles are followed best. Read more about tangent lines in the mathematical science of projective (perspective) geometry (See especially the magnificent book of Olive Whicher – Projective Geometry).
When looking to the world of money we can recognise that everybody is more and more looking for better ways of bookkeeping reality. Since the new accounting rules (IFRS, GRI, Trueprice) for producers also consumers are learning to think about what really matters in their daily expenses according to quality, fair and true pricing including sustainability and responsible lifestyles.
Traveling becomes more and more a way of exploring the world. Not only for pleasure and culture but also more focussed on getting to know the other people in their economic and political development in connection to the globalised world in which we are one big family. Technical innovations in the use of green energy will make travelling accessible for everyone.
Especially the developments in accounting (GRI reporting) will be most important to give us a real picture of the real world. To facilitate in asking the best possible questions in an economy of question and answer (products and services based on true price).
As individuals we need communication with the world around us. We need justice in laws and politics for living together. And we need all kinds of opportunities to meet each other in all kinds of settings: in sports, restaurants, all kinds of associations, friendships and families. Home economics therefore has to do with living on our own and living together with others, working together, and so sharing together everything one way or another. (Read more in Common Wealth written by Jeffrey Sachs)
Communication has become more and more professional where consumers and producers are meeting each other during open days, consumerpanels and annual meetings. Connected by internet for all background information, annual reports and productinformation. And even moderated by a modern press worldwide. Be it nutrition, travel, housing and energy, or medicare or education etc etc. consumers have become part of the chain “from farm tot fork” in all areas. And after all the years of questioning, protest and action it becomes more business as usual in a new economy of question and answer.
The new Nobelprize winner for economic sciences Thomas Piketty and his worldwide bestselling book Capital in the 21st century was the most interesting development in all kinds of discussions! Because he did the most comprehensive research about inequality he gave the discussions about basic income (www.citizensincome.org) an enormous boost. And with that all other discussions related to that such as fair trade, true pricing and the social systems. The Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations are from eradicating poverty to sustainability and an economic growth based on true pricing. Here in The Hague as a guest of Parliament we heard him say exactly the right words: it is too important to leave this question to economists only! It were these words that gave us the hope that “a reasonable income is a (human) right” will become the very basis for all further discussions!
Associations are there to meet other people. To talk, to travel, to play games and all kinds of sports, to organize all kinds of activities. But the very new form of association since the 20th century is the consumer organization. This was in fact the biggest innovation of all times! This was the change from an economy of demand and supply towards a free but responsible economy of question and answer!
Consumer organizations, consumer education and dialogue are the most important trends in the 21st century to become more and more professionalised. In a globalised world we need all stakeholders involved now to make better choises for the futures we want!
Peter Daub / Consumer360Academy
A consumers' vision on the news to come, based on statements of parliaments and presidents, finance and trade, producers interviewed in the media, newspapers, consumer organizations and special research institutes. Plus some thoughts about the year(s) to come. Consumers and consumer organizations in action in all area's and all issues!
"From globalize to cosmosize" / understanding needs helicopter views / From clash of civilizations to meet & greet / individuality and spirituality
Especially religion is an area where we ourselves as consumers have to be active in finding the roots of all spirituality! Find our own "lifelines" instead of listening alone (to our producers/moderators - priests, rabbi's, imams, guru's, sjamaan, Darwin, or even our best friend). Also Pope Benedictus in Colonia Germany already told the youth of the 21st century: "....it's not any more about religion and faith in the old fashioned way, but from now on it's all about ..... how credible are YOU?" From the old religions - through materialism of the past four, five centuries and secularization nowadays - the human being is on its way to find his/her own free destiny! As individual, as citizen, as consumer. "Connecting the dots" with spirituality (again).
In the next years only looking from a cosmic point of view will be the way to understand each others contribution to the history of mankind to become "co-creators" in the 21st century. All esoteric knowledge in the world has now become exoteric and available for everybody in all levels of society, so that religion art and science can become transparent in all their relations.
Art from outside watching to inside activity / art as a tool in daily life / social relations / building organizations
Arts become more and more part of daily life itself. Jeder Mensch ein Kunstler - Every human being a (co-) creator (professor in modern art and especially social art Joseph Beuys always repeated). Worldwide all schools also recognized the arts as a training instrument for creativity more than making fine things alone! Even big organizations discovered that one day of painting, dancing or sculpting in clay can be a very profitable learning process for building better relations and better organizations. Transforming ideals into realities is an ever ongoing creative process of trial and error, thinking - arguing - willing, not only when working on new products but also working on new relations, work processes, new laws, and all other issues concerning another world "in the making".
The years to come we are still in the metamorphosis of the 20th into the 21st century to create together a new social contract in all its organizational aspects. As basis for the century to come with ever new challenges to tackle ...
Making the invisible visible / from microscope and dna to visualizing through projective geometry, flowforms or crystallization / and further
The science must go on! For science in general we need new ways of research! The natural sciences have led us into the physical world. But for a real understanding of plants, animals and human beings we need the scientific phenomenological methods that Goethe developed (Urpflanze or living principle for the world of all plants, Typus or character for the animals/groups, Biography for the individual human being). These research methods also form the bridge to the higher forms of science, looking into the spiritual worlds, by strengthening our thinking, feeling and willing (head/hart/hands) in imagination, inspiration and intuition. This was our comment on the website of the World Science Forum in Budapest 2005.
In all the discussions about food and medicare the step towards a more deepening of insights is necessary. Although in education and social sciences there are made already big steps even into business spirituality to research the inner motives of managers and their organizations!
Every child worldwide / from individual development to a better society / consumer education and lifelong learning
All kids to school according to the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations is in progress but will take longer than expected (81% - 87% from 1990 - 2004)
Since the turning point of the centuries also quality is more and more recognized in developing individual possibilities instead of training the old knowledge alone. See Rudolf Steiner, Montessori, Dalton and others. And last but not least life itself (the consumer as autodidact) is a playing field for all kinds of learning and discovery! Lifelong learning not only for new jobs, not only for consumer education, but also as a discovery journey through infinity and eternity!
Interesting developments nowadays are the many tourists staying some more days in developing countries to give education, or help in projects or even start new schools and other initiatives after their retirement with all the knowledge they have! But also internet is an instrument for a booming in distance learning worldwide! Together with microcredit and multinationals producing for the people at the "bottom of the piramid" the asian and african continent are coming in the picture and can make their kick start. Direct contacts via foundations, internet and interpay from our own desktop are now possible! Chatting is also education!
Less patents for more medicines worldwide / clear water first
More than one Millennium Development Goal of the United Nations is focused on health and healthcare. Developing consciousness that biological and local food-production is the first step for surviving and get on our feet here on earth, all kinds of medicare are necessary first to survive the sicknesses of the past such as hunger, war and bad water supplies. More and more organizations, governments and producers are now working on new ways of a better distribution of healthcare and medicines worldwide.
So: using the wealth of nations for the health of nations - globalization of healthcare first, pay later... The way of thinking about less copyrights and selling more medicines seems to be the right direction. Parallel to the "bottom of the pyramid" strategy where cheap products with small profit margins are produced in the millions for those people who need to upgrade their lifestyle now.
Biological food in the lift / gentech to be contained / new energy / restoring sustainability
Getting the whole world family sitting at the table and have a decent meal is the most important Millenium Development Goal of the UN. When we re-arrange incomes or only spend 3 percent of all our army budgets for this we can start eating and even not need to go to war anymore at all! The other 97 % we can use then for all kinds of other activities! The old economic principle of choosing between producing butter or bullets! And of course gentech is interesting for scientists and some medicare but not for food! Biological food is now in the lift, the EU has even started a promotion campaign! Now we can go "culinary" following the Eurotocques top-cooks!
Other issues underway are the discussions about gentech, about nanotechnology, about the honeybees, about the biofuel, climate and clear water. Agriculture, environment, energy and commodities are parts of nature as a whole. Solar energy and hydrogen are on the move, so we can hope to restore sustainability and climate in time. The new wave is Cradle2Cradle! New commodities as carbon can follow-up iron and aluminum. Nature itself in all aspects is in the centre of all discussions today!
Experiments experiments / organic architecture in the making / tangent lines and projective geometry as a tool
After so many styles of architecture through the ages we ended in the most materialistic form ... the cube. The most non-spiritual mathematical structure of the salt crystal. represented in the Dead Sea! But it gave us the utmost freedom to think about sculpture, architecture, furniture and gardening. And today we're really in the middle of experimenting and discovering how lines, structures, surfaces, colors and materials give us the finest views, feelings and inner forces to work and live! The turning point towards living (organic) architecture was made by Frank Loyd Wright and Herzberger. In the magnificent House on the Waterfalls the connection between living inside and nature outside is made visible and became a real experience! In the multi-cubic office building of Centraal Beheer Assurance Company in Apeldoorn Netherlands the architect Herzberger opened up all cubes to make relations possible between all people in the building.
From container building to social networks! The beginning of using mathematical tangents not yet visible as in organic architecture, but already full-scale experience! The organic style today became worldwide fame with the ING Bank headquarters in Amsterdam (Bijlmer), built in a network of ten tower-structures which was also the most energy-efficient building in the world. This year it was chosen by the public as one of the most beautiful buildings.
Sustainable investing / worldwide bookkeeping / one stocks-exchange and perhaps world money in due time / wto and fair trade
Money is a mirror of all activities in society based on division of labour. To achieve more benefits for all we divide our labour in specializations and exchange the products and services again. The administration system is called money. When products or services are not available or not in time the value (price) changes to make exchange possible in the end. All other issues as international relations between countries, ethical labour, fair trade etc are manipulations or corrections on this process. The worldwide standard for financial reporting IFRS, a world currency in the making, the globalization of trade in the WTO discussions now, IMF and Central Banks together in Basel, and of course the Global Reporting Initiative GRI for good corporate governance will have the result that the world economy will become highly transparent and show us the real prices.
New York and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges also merged last year int NYSE-Euronext, Asia will follow in some years to make one world market for stocks. About fair trade and the whole discussion about dividing the wealth between two dollar a day and ten million a year can then become fully transparent how to look at the colors of the spectrum in between and how to talk about the right for a REASONable income for everybody. Then only then the world economy can grow fast forward, in quality and in quantity, in trade and in money, including sustainability. Because the need for survival and/or the greed to get more don't work anymore as brakes on development and innovation. We think!
World is getting smaller every day / from tourism to ecotourism to private projects / Meet & Greet
When oil will be replaced by solar energy in H2O tanks (prognosed within ten years by Dutch students of the University of Delft this summer who designed a hydrogen racing car) or by plug-in electricity the travelling possibilities will be almost unlimited for everybody. Combined with the possibilities of internet people will be able to communicate and meet&greet by wire&tyre! And the oil can be used for other products, tires, asphalt and plastics, anti-noise walls can disappear in the landscape to give a clear view on the horizons again, and with carbon cars the world can use steel for railways only. But who wants to go by train then?
Internet and mobile / citizen journalists / alternative news media / multi media
Although talking one-to-one is the basis of communication and telepathy the long distance variant of it, internet is the main route for all our communication today. And beyond that it is a medium also for all written information and can be used as archive as well, plus all kinds of applications in technique, design and our daily work in all different aspects. But even further it became a "tool" for everybody to become a citizen journalist, private researcher, a lifelong learning student, and a worldwide activist if necessary. Research, surgery, space shuttles, warfare and the rise of democracy worldwide, fair trade, world currency and financial reporting worldwide in the end. Communication has everything to do with exchange of information (systems) parallel to trade and travel and between people.
But direct communication as writing and reading, travelling and talking will always be there as the basic communication route for ALL twelve sense-organs!
International diplomacy and crises mediation / participative democracy / Europe as a test / proposals of citizens
Politics and diplomacy at work in the 21st century! No longer citizens are waiting for actions of action groups but rather start an action themselves via internet. Since 9/11 and the first three years after that where a kind of black&white thinking came up, people began to cooperate in all organizations more and more. The World Watch Institute spent the whole issue of their State of the World 2004 to the consumer/citizen! In 2005 the UN started with the Decade for Education in Sustainable Development DESD 2005-2014. The World Social Forum in Porto Alegre Brazil and the Economic World Forum in Davos Switzerland started up talking. And the systems of money, stocks, trade and financial reporting went globalizing too. Parallel to the cultural and economic globalization also political democratization went global. The EU referendum as an example, but also initiatives as PressNow to help papers, radio- and tv stations emerge in all countries, and last but not least the International Crisis Group that went into action to solve problems, moderate and start projects to prevent war. The same procedure in official governmental strategies is even called 3D - defense- diplomacy - development!
The whole world of parliaments will more and more grow forward into different kinds of direct democracies, where all parties have a say. The last missing link - civil society - is now integrating in United Nations, EU commissions and in more countries and local governments than ever.
Especially the Declaration of the Human Rights in 1948 was the first time in the history of mankind to write down ourselves the basic rules for living together, for a "social contract" Rules which the philosopher Rousseau, kings, priests and god himself did before us! Rules that now are also the basis for all kinds of discussions in parliaments, corporate governance and ...consumer laws.
After the consumer advocate Ralph Nader declared US cars "Unsafe at any Speed" consumer laws came into a current worldwide. Although the US and especially the state of California have a comprehensive system of consumer laws, the European commission for Consumer Affairs has developed a structure connecting laws of 27 countries. Plus an online educational program called Dolceta and a Europe Diary for all schoolchildren. So there's only one more step to go for a worldwide handbook and education ...
Read more www.ec.europa.eu/consumers
All kinds of human relations / consumer-trade-producer relations / consumer organizations
Multimedia, forums, and finally choosing our own networking are the three steps in modern time to create all kinds of associations to reach our cultural, social or economical goals. In cultural and social life we know it since centuries that people come together. But consumer-trade-producer relations including the finance of projects is very new! The rise of all kinds of consumer associations is also the proof that mankind has entered maturity in the 21st century!
Since more and more consumers in the US and the EU are now active to create new organizations in food and agriculture, with shopping cards, financing parts of the stocks, direct finance of farms (Pergola Associations), finally the civil society is participant in all twelve areas of the world economy!