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06. Journey to a better future


Navigating the Journey to a Better Future: Lessons from Patagonia and Beyond

Patagonia's advertising campaign: Don't buy this jacket
Patagonia's advertising campaign: Don't buy this jacket

Patagonia's advertising campaign aptly illustrates the paradoxes we encounter in our lives. This outdoor clothing company has navigated the disruptive market by giving preference to environmental responsibility and promoting a collaborative economy, which includes allowing customers to resell their products. The ultimate move was made when the brand's founder, Yvon Chouinard, transferred his company to a charitable trust. Chouinard declared that any profit not reinvested in operating the business would contribute to combating climate change. He asserted that the earth is now the company's sole shareholder.


The journey towards a better future is molded by a complex mix of disruption, progress, and well-being. The blurring of boundaries in trade, finance, and communication demands adaptability and constant learning in a context of societal and cultural advancement, bolstered by quality education and ethical values. It is crucial for organizations to not only demonstrate but also authentically embody social and environmental commitments, reinforced by a strong sense of community.


Living without borders. The convergence

Trade, finance, and communications are gradually diluting borders and leading to a growing global interdependence between countries and companies that inevitably converge in a common space. This convergence extends into all aspects of life, from global responses to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic to challenges posed by climate change.

The global digital village facilitates digital nomadism and cultural exchange, fostering a richer and more diverse global society. However, it also poses challenges, such as the need for global governance structures.


Enjoying innovation. The disruption

Disruption is the new normal, so organizations must adopt a mindset of continuous learning and rapid adaptation to survive. Business models must be like chameleons that adapt to market conditions, technologies, and the sophistication of consumer demand.

The collaborative economy is on the rise, and companies and institutions must be able to embrace this new way of creating and sharing value. This implies giving prominence to users and being willing to innovate in their form of participation.


Social and cultural development. The progress

Social and cultural progress is more important than political-economic and depends on quality education and the promotion of ethical values and principles. Although it may not seem like it, society is gradually moving towards greater inclusion, justice, and respect for multiple cultural identities.

Organizations aspiring to leadership must demonstrate authenticity in social and environmental matters. Walking this stony path has become an essential competitive advantage for long-term survival. A more developed sense of community or belonging will cause a higher level of demand in public policies, forcing efficiency and transparency standards in the management and regulation of public affairs.


Sustainable happiness. The well-being

Awareness of the true meaning of individual, collective, and global well-being will gradually prevail. People will adopt healthy lifestyles through physical exercise and a balanced diet, and organizations will take into account environmental and social aspects in all their decisions and actions.

More conscious consumption choices, engaging in meaningful work, and involvement in the community foster business practices that prioritize employee well-being, community engagement, and environmental stewardship.


Journey to a better future: Sources and further readings

Chouinard, Y. (2016). Let my people go surfing: The education of a reluctant businessman--including 10 more years of business unusual. Penguin.


Harari, Y. N. (2017). Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Reprint ed.


Porter, M., & Kramer, M. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review 89 (1/2): 62-77.


Josep Monguet Fierro

Professor at the UPC. Founder of SmartDelphi, Onsanity, and Innex Experience in digital healthcare innovation. Research coordinator of “Master Barcelona Design” UPC-UB.


 

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