One of the things he suggests is to ‘reimagine our mission as a profession’. By that he seems to mean that we should look at socially improving issues rather than the more corporate stuff we generally take on (he also says millennials are very keen to do jobs that make a difference, and that if we want to attract them then we should add in that aspect to what we offer).
It’s an interesting point. I think we, as an industry, generally do a lot of work that’s for the greater good, but I also think that, if we’re honest, it’s usually a thinly-veiled way of showing off, a chance to offset the extent to which we grease the wheels of capitalism, and a straight shot to winning awards (and getting paid more as a consequence). If it was baked in to the job and process, perhaps it wouldn’t be so mixed up in terms of its motives and rewards. Then again, maybe that doesn’t matter. If good is done, does it matter why?
But I wonder about the extent to which our socially conscious efforts actually ‘move the needle’. If the incentives included the alteration of the planet, perhaps we’d try harder, but perhaps it seems these problems are too difficult to solve. We all know that the planet is hurtling towards some kind of environmental oblivion; we all know that the gun culture in America is resulting in thousands of needless deaths every year; we all know that the reverse Robin Hood culture of making the poor pay for the rich to get richer is immensely fucked up. But what are we to do about it?
In all modesty I’d suggest that bigger brains than the ones that inhabit our industry are having a great deal of difficulty improving the above, so what chance do we have?
Well, I’d venture we all have a massive chance. There’s absolutely no reason why another Gandhi can’t appear gently to change life for millions. There’s absolutely no reason why one of us can’t reframe the argument for climate change so that doing anything to make the situation worse becomes anathema to all of us, including politicians. And there’s absolutely no reason why we should think any of that is impossible.
I’m as guilty of the paralysing apathy/intimidation by the seemingly impossible as everyone else, but I also believe that these are issues that can be solved by communication, and that’s supposed to be what we’re great at.
Go on, you have nothing to lose but a terrible world that’s a horrendous nightmare in which to exist!