A process of learning for society

As a society we are now in a situation that we have never been in before. We need to learn how to solve a completely new set of problems, that will affect global economic growth and prosperity and national economies, in the future. The United States, for example, is facing a large budget deficit. At the same time, oil production is about to reach its peak and we do not have renewable fuels ready to replace oil.

Different analysts provide different pieces to the jig-saw puzzle of what we need to do. There is now a need for President Obama to create a policy that works from these bits and pieces. The leaders of other countries are facing similar challenges. Some of the pieces I have commented in earlier postings:

– Dr. Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency warns of an impending shortage of oil as we draw closer to the global peak in production.


– CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt, and Venture capitalist John Doerr argue that the US government needs to become involved in the development of sustainable technologies so that the United States can take a lead in these areas.


– The CEO of Volvo, Leif Johansson, argues that high level political agreements will become necessary to agree on the bio-fuels that are necessary to reduce emissions in the future.


– Venture capitalist Warren Buffet argued in The New York Times that the United States is running up a budget deficit of historically unprecedented proportions, and that this needs to be balanced.


– The economics Professor and Nobel laureate James Buchanan visited Sweden and argued that a stable currency will become necessary in order to create and sustain future economic stability. Professor Buchanan argues in favor of a raw materials or gold standard for currencies, that should replace the floating currencies of the existing system.


These are all very relevant and important arguments. The different aspects of oil, renewable energy, economic stability and currency systems need to become molded into working polical programs and policies for the future. As a society, we need to learn how to solve this type of problem, that we have never seen in this way before.

How about getting the above gentlemen, and some more who cover other relevant aspects of these issues, into the same room to discuss the best ways to tackle them? How about starting an Energy and Economics Task Group, similar to the Space Task Group of 45 people that was formed by President Eisenhower in 1958? In the process of organizational learning, on the level of society and companies, the creation of relevant organizational structures and institutions has to be a consequence of the learning process.

These arguments are put into context in my book Global Energy Transformation, which can be found by following this link:


Friday, August 21, 2009 by Mats Larsson