Tuesday, January 6, 2009

9 Plus Things I Want to See in 2009

Happy 2009 everyone! A new year always brings the promise of a brand new year, especially if you weren't happy with the way the last year went. It gives us a chance to make changes and even encourages it. I'm not going to make any predictions for the new year, but here are some things that I'd like to see in 2009.

  • More out of the box thinking and solutions. Doing the same old thing will often get you the same old results. Many of our big problems today require looking at things differently and maybe even thinking of some bizarre solutions. Brain storming means that you don't judge ideas while you're coming up with them, only later when it comes time to evaluate them. Remember that most of the world at one time believed that the world was flat.
  • Back to basics. Somethings have become so complicated that few people understand them and if no one truly understands something, how is it supposed to work? Many regulatory agencies have become delinquent in doing their jobs. Many of the financial institutions that became troubled in the last few years weren't doing proper Risk Management. Many athletes and sports teams find success when they return back to the basics and find their way again.
  • A Manhattan Project for Alternative Energy. Dan Carlin suggested in his Common Sense podcast that if we could do a Manhattan Project for alternative energy similar to that done for the atomic bomb with a government and industry focus on the subject that we could solve many of the problems we face. Can you imagine the kind of research and development that could be done if even 10% of the money spent annually on the military by the U.S. was spent on this! If big industry and several large governments were working on this jointly this could be tackled.
  • A replacement for plastic. Plastic is everywhere (I notice tea bags were indivitually packaged in plastic at work the other day) and many people don't realize that it is a petroleum product, meaning that oil is needed in order to produce it. Even if gasoline engines in cars and trucks were replaced with hybrid and so on, there is an amazing amount of plastic used in everything.
  • An end to "the war on" mentality. There has been a war on drugs, more recently the war on terrorism, and a whole host of wars on this and that, the idea of declaring war on various problems doesn't work. In the past wars usually had some way to determine if they were successful or not, they had clear objectives, and they usually had some kind of timeline. Even the Hundred Year War had a beginning and end. You just wonder how long all these "wars on..." will last. The Cold War last more than half a century, how long will the current war on terrorism last?
  • More Bi-partisan efforts by the American government as well as effort by polictical parties in other countries to realize that they need to look after the needs of their people. "Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." George Orwell in 1984.
  • An end to Management bounuses for getting rid of people or for "off-shoring" work. There is something obscene about management getting huge bonuses when they lay-off or fire thousands of workers or move thousands of jobs off-shore just to save some money.
  • More focus on the long run. Wall Street is so focused on companies quarterly profits that few companies are really looking the long run and aren't therefore willing to take some steps that would be good for their company but might take longer to yield results than a quarter or two.
  • Treat other people the way that you'd like to be treated. Can you imagine if people stopped to think about what they were doing before they did it, what effect it would have on the people that they're doing it too, and if they'd like it if this was done to them.
  • Treat the world with a feeling of stewardship and responsibility. We were all given the chance to live on this world, think about how we're leaving it to our kids and grandkids. We also need to show more respect for the animals living here as well, I'm not saying that we all need to become vegitarians but there is an awful lot of mistreatment of animals (i.e. dog fights)
  • Lastly, more concern for other people. I often think that the daily news has made us calous to the trials and tribulations of others. So often it seems that people want to blame the victims for their misfortune.
Many people have started or will be starting New Year's resolutions. Here are some articles that you might want to check out as you plan or go about your New Year's resolutions.

I hope that the things that I want to see aren't too pie in the sky and that we can move forward on many of them. I also hope that 2009 will be a great year!

Photo credit: Happy New Year courtesy of gabriel77
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