Every day people experience the pain of not having their value recognised.
We watch in aghast as our crazy system rewards CEO’s in x 200-1500 multiples of base salaries, even if the company missed their ‘target’ or had to sack a few hundred/thousand people. (I want to bring back the word sack. We now have a sugar coated version….redundancies…In almost all cases the situation occurred because of ill thought strategy, over hiring, not having any idea about the future, and most importantly, not having a culture built around care for people and inviting the people to the table to find other solutions.)
Or when we pay men stupid money to play a ball game, and watch them act like thugs during the off season. (While a teacher of your child gets paid peanuts. Or the nurse in intensive care….you know…the person that saves your life…??..also gets paid peanuts.)
Or our politicians find it totally acceptable to become pimps and prostitutes of power and large corporations….being brought by the highest bidder…totally legally. And worse…they think they are adding value? (There are exceptions.)
Or the totally acceptable (because it is occurring in such huge numbers) trade in human slavery, sex slaves…child sex workers…where the value of human life, of children…is reduced to the meat market of sex, child brides and exploitation…
- At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor.
- About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade. (the majority..98% are girls..)
And every day we watch how the value of natural systems are discounted, exploited, destroyed…that we could even be having a conversation about dredging on the Great Barrier Reef, or drilling for oil in the Antarctic, or burning down the Amazon is stunning in its disrespect and hubris.
How do we change this? What can one person or enterprise do? And will that act matter? I say YES.
Change usually comes from the fringe, from the positive deviants and non conformists, the misfits and freaks….the wild ones. It comes from people who say…hell no…not on my watch. It comes from you and me refusing to live the rules of the game that says my value is determined by some overweight rich (generally) white man in an ivory tower somewhere.
It starts with us changing the rules on how we account for value….and Integral Accounting provides a map.
It is not a theory…a nice to have. It is a way of engaging in the world, at all levels. It is a practice.
It takes time to unlearn the old model, the model that we have been taught since our first breath…one we generally do not question. Ever.
It takes time to learn this way of engaging in the world that invites all values to the table, holding each as an offering of worth with application in context. (In other words, in certain contexts the value of a particular element of knowledge will be higher, in other contexts it will not be so high)
And yes, you can actually do a ‘spread sheet’ that accounts for all the 6 domains of Integral Accounting. But what you do not do is then reduce all 6 domains to a dollar value… if you do we are simply finding a new way to put lipstick on a toad...re-arrange the deck chairs…thinking we are making a big change but actually doing not much at all. And this is the issue with almost all sustainability efforts…all with the best intentions yet really only re-arranging deck chairs.
Integral Accounting is important. It restores ‘human’ to humanity.
If you have ever felt discounted for who you are…or rage over the disrespect towards others…or whole communities…or ecosystems…then we invite you to explore the practice of Integral Accounting.
It’s time. You, your company and the world will be richer for it.
(I now end my sermon :)…this is a subject I feel deeply passionate about…obviously.)
… if you wish to learn more about the application, then please get in touch…
Photo credit: Christine McDougall (me)