Society's organizational structures have been static for at least four centuries, and things need to change, Dee Hock told a rapturous audience at the State of the World Forum in San Francisco today.
Dee Hock, founder and chairman emeritus of Visa, said societal structures were still based on Cartesian philosophies and Newtonian science, with linear structures that fit into one another, much like the pieces of a clock.
Mr. Hock said today (28 October) it was obvious these structures were not working now and had resulted in obscene mal-distribution of wealth and power, a collapsing society and a crumbling biosphere.
Mr. Hock said the inappropriateness of current structures had been exacerbated by huge advances in the information and technology industries.
He said indigenous races had lived for centuries with very little change and were in tune with their surroundings.
Western society had drowned out whatever wisdom it had with too much information. "We have transformed into a world almost devoid of understanding and wisdom and how to use that knowledge."
He expected further complications around the corner through nano and biotechnical science. "That means in two or three decades we are going to be creating organs, organisms, and products from the atomic level. The message is simple - fasten your seatbelts - because unless evolution has radically changed its ways, we are about to face an explosion of societal diversity and complexity, incomprehensibly swifter and greater than we have until now experienced, and can yet imagine."