3. Nurture human nature

Summary of Way

The character at the heart of 20th century economics—‘rational economic man’—presents a pitiful portrait of humanity: he stands alone, with money in his hand, a calculator in his head, ego in his heart, and nature at his feet.

Worse, when we are told that he is like us, we actually start to become more like him, to the detriment of our communities and the planet.

But human nature is far richer than this, as emerging sketches of our new self-portrait reveal: we are reciprocating, interdependent, approximating people deeply embedded within the living world.

It’s time to put this new portrait of humanity at the heart of economic theory so that economics can start to nurture the best of human nature. Doing so will give us—all ten billion of us to come—a far greater chance of thriving together.

Introductory video

Relevance to digital tech

This category was overwhelmingly the most populated from our pilot workshops. We saw this category as encompassing all comments on exclusion, gender rights, ethnic bias, toxic culture, supporting quality of life and access to education.

The clear message we took from this was that our workshop attendees considered these human/social issues as absolutely central to any meaningful discussion about sustainability in the tech sector.

Comments included:

  • New and less toxic aspirations for tech
  • Removal of “default” Male
  • Everyone assumes and checks for bias in their work / hiring
  • We need to find a way to redefine work in a way that is more in harmony with how humans function – not simply live to work
  • Connected 15 minute cities – health, space, food, farm, learning, energy , transport (smart cities)
  • Kind, confident, connected communities