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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

The Beyond Branding blog

September 29, 2005

Peak Oil - the world's last brand? 

After last night's Edge debate at the Royal Institute of Architects, Londoners now know what we as entrepreneurial revolutionaries have predicted since 1984 as the consequence of our global humanity’s networking age. Some time in the next 7 years the world’s stockmarkets are going to go into the deepest ever slump, making the 1920s look like a walk through the park UNLESS we can change global systems connecting peoples around the world to be more collaborative and trustworthy than at any time my life has witnessed. This will spiral into even bigger problems for the poorest people around our world.

Human relationships system compound destruction when they are wrongly measured and when their communications qualities are poor. In other words wrongly brand valued, which they have been since wrong maths was introduced to put a number on brand valuation in the late 1980s.

Poor communication quality, surprisingly to some mass media agents comes about when the message from the top is too precise combined with the fact that the system is changing. At that time what is needed to innovate is everyone trusting each other enough to ask great questions not some AD/PR agent with spending a billion dollars of budget singularising the voice of the commander in chief. In a past era,truly great companies were founded around exploring deep contexts and top people did not want cultures to be so dominated that learning was blocked and conflicted at every separate business unit or professional’s door. What changed the top’s understanding of quality of communications was spreadsheeting of management by singular numbers. Now I like seeing an organisation’s proof of success as much as the next man or woman. But successful systems live by tensely connecting two opposite stories: the past and the future. The fact that the past can be measured by a single number does not mean that is more valuable than seeing what future is compounding. In 2000, economists (Unseen Wealth) proved that 80% of wealth in service & networked economies compound with future connectivity not what was reported as successful numbers in the last quarter. What hi-trust and high innovation human relations systems demand is a maths of forward conflict resolution that uses multiplication to model connectivity of flows everywhere contextually the opposite of that which the monopoly of past accounting uses plus to separate analysis.

Moreover, due to erroneous economic models of intangibles which have not progressed from machine capital to include interactions of human & social capitals, transparency of network boundaries through every global locality, and compound consequences, most of the world’s largest organisational systems are unknowingly multiplying each other’s decline from pharmaceutical sectors, to governance of communal safety, to the future of people’s pensions, to the obesity and poisoned food chains, which image-ridden brands seek to addict us to from childhood up. But is becoming evident that the pied piper of stockmarket destruction will be branded with an unusual identity: Peak Oil.

Now Peak Oil movement’s noise is correct in only one message: we have 7 years to breakthrough in weaning off our world’s future from being solely addicted to carbon and other dirty energies that pollute in use. If we fail to encourage innovative questions such as: for how many decades have inventors been studying how to scale up photosynthesis energies that clean as they are used? then Peak Oil will ensure that the world’s markets will destruct in financial mayhem. Will we collaborate in time? How great a part can public broadcasting play in championing an iterative inquiry? and How fast are sustainability investments scaling up the new inventions? These are sorts of questions all human beings need to collaborate in debating now. Worthwhile opening an urgent dialogue around a network near you? If so join our worldwide register of peoples. Sustainability Billionaires or Peak Oil – the choice is yours.
I hope we act sufficiently quickly, Chris. You are right about the intertwining of these systems: one goes, a lot gets taken down. The ones that won’t survive are those that haven’t used brand in an inclusive way—and that’s by looking after welfare of humans on a planetary scale. Whether or not the oil companies contribute to environmental ills, they can do better. We do have a deadline: I hope we act before it’s too late.  
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