I recently wrote a piece on the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). In it, I wrote how it did show conclusively that businesses and business leaders are recognising the desperate need for simultaneous policies. That is, they see clearly the problem of ‘first mover competitive disadvantage’ and are seeking to overcome it by agreeing universal frameworks of rules etc.
I also pointed out that, devoid of democratic accountability, this presented some pretty serious problems and risks (to put it mildly!).
Finally, I pointed out, that businesses should not be expected o be somehow saintly and driving forward the sustainability agenda. Their job is to make money. It is our job as citizens and voters to drive forward the sustainability agenda (and other issues like it).
So today, a friend of mine pointed me to an article written in late 2010, about a Professor Tim Jackson of the University of Surrey. In the article, he makes some pretty powerful arguments about businesses and how they need to move towards more sustainable business models. But here’s the passage that really interests me:
“Jackson says that even visionary business leaders who can see well into the future are being stymied in their actions by their fiduciary obligations, short-term timeframes under which investors work, as well as cultures of indifference and sheer inertia within the companies themselves … Jackson says it is important for government to step back and build the intellectual argument for change. and to articulate what a new economic model would really look like. This is because only a tiny minority of people have any understanding of the concept of systemic change and there is currently very little idea of the route map from the current system to a new economic, social and political structure. Jackson recognises that there is a huge abyss that separates the two and that the distance that needs travelling can actually engender so much fear that it actually acts as a brake on change. So he acknowledges there is an important task ahead of showing that it is possible to build a safe bridge that can traverse the abyss.”
Simpol is absolutely the safe bridge that can traverse that abyss. Simultaneous policy may in fact be the only thing that can do so. Simpol can provide a win-win-win solution for the people, governments and businesses.
Yet again, I find my self asking – if they can see it, why can’t we?!