The human in the system

March 2, 2018

Two minutes that really gets to the heart of why the Eth Word exists. It makes me want to stand up and cheer - high fives all round.


We live in a market based system that pervades so much of our life - our values, our beliefs, the conversations we have and the organisations and businesses around us. 


But it's beginning to fragment. Victoria says:

"I think that we are now moving into a space where we can have the kinds of conversations that we need to have, to ask the right questions"

And this is the space for conversations about purpose, and about how we can find meaning in our work and connection with the people we work with. 


Victoria Hurth is  Associate Professor of Marketing at Plymouth University


This coherent logic, this form of market-based capitalism has a very coherent logic and that logic is not just in the marketplace it is over what you might call this ... it's been a cultural revolution you might say over the last 50 odd years.


So it's not something that we just experience in the workplace or experience in the marketplace, we experience it in our values, in our beliefs in what we think is right and wrong, in what it's okay to say.


It is a logic that has penetrated all aspects of life.


What the logic of this form of capitalism that we have can't do however is make us not humans. So although a lot of its logic and the assumptions are that we can be inhuman in order to fit the model actually you can't take the human out of the human.


So essentially we end up dysfunctional. Organisations end up dysfunctional, families you know we end up a dysfunctional society and I think that we are now moving into a space where we can have the kinds of conversations that we need to have, to ask the right questions and just being able to ask the right questions about that model, about why.


And that's where purpose comes in.  But why? Remind me again - why is it that we have organisations in the first place, you know please do remind me. And why is it that we only count money - sorry can you just remind me what, what is money?


You know, those sort of innocent childish questions that we were taught had all been solved and someone with a spreadsheet somewhere in an econometric approach - you know -  those clever people are sorting it all out. 


And we now realise once again that economics is a philosophy and we have ownership for that and we need to take ownership and ask those questions.



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We film unbusiness-like conversations with leaders about values, purpose and leadership  We aim to generate a new conversation about the role of business in society.