In the 21st Century Knowledge Economy we find that it is not merely jobs and salaries. Yes, they are important along with camaraderie and social well being. But all of these will pale in comparison with the power of Self-awareness and oneness with the self as well as a limitless union with the universe at large. This spiritual outlook and practice may be at the core of a better life of a nation, enterprise, family, community and/or individuals. In this essay we address the need as well as opportunities to foster Spiritual coherence and harmony at the national level as well as through enterprises.
The following essay was published as a Guest Editorial (Page 8 in the pdf file; Magazine Page 6) in Efficient Manufacturing magazine, where many other articles and essays relevant to the reader can also be found.
A New York Times article dated Dec. 28, 2020 titled “Which Developing Economies Will Rise After the Pandemic?” can be summarized as follows: There will not be widespread growth in every nation as expected in the past. Instead it will be growth of the countries already in the path for development depending on their economic reform, commodity prices and accelerated use of Digital Revolution.
The pandemic is accelerating the adoption of Digital Technology (DT). It is reported that worker productivity has increased as much as 40% in some cases during the pandemic. That by itself is unlikely to generate double-digit growth as long as impact of DT is largely limited to increasing efficiency of whatever is already done and produced. The US economy is suffering one of its worst crises along with the long term economic plight of millions of people. Production and consumption of domestic economies, with added boost from exports is the true measure of economic success. According to the NYT article “many countries have a chance to thrive on the back of economic reform, a possible revival in commodity prices or the accelerating digital revolution. These growth engines won’t bring back the “rise of the rest,” which lifted virtually every developing economy in the 2000s. But they will be enough to power a few growth stars in the 2020s”.
But none of them will have lasting impact unless there is a change in social and cultural perspective that emphasizes materialism only as a stepping stone for liberation of the mind and the resulting peace and harmony in the society (compatible with the well-established Eastern Philosophy and thought): lōkāḥ samastāḥ sukhinō bhavantu: May everyone live well and indeed everything exist with happiness, peace and harmony! This is not purely economic policy. It requires a more holistic thinking and mindset.
Countries and their leaders need to develop strategies that blend economic policies with philosophy that addresses social harmony. Without such strategy we see countries returning to “Nationalism”. Global pandemic has only accelerated “growth and safety within their borders” mindset. Absent holistic strategies, “Trumpism” and the unrest evidenced through economic anxieties, religious and racial intolerance and gender inequities will likely rise in every nation – developing as well as developed.
Companies and organizations could also attempt to develop such strategies on their own as well.
As an example: The higher wages and job opportunities from Multi National Corporations (MNCs) will always lure away talented workforce. Economic opportunities abroad will always be a magnet for highly talented employees and graduates. No company can aspire to grow without retaining their top talent. But any Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) or group of companies could offer good and fair wages (may not be the highest to compete with the MNCs but in the top tier) but also promote philosophic thoughts and practices that create a culture and a way of life. This will be a workplace that is economically attractive but also comprised of a group of people who are socially and culturally wholesome. Together they will tend to stimulate a work place that retains talent. Such a company (or group) can be like a star in the galaxy of high performing companies across the globe, yet sustainable within the local economic conditions and way of life.