Markus Stocker bio photo

Markus Stocker

Between information technology and environmental science with a flair for economics, the clarinet, and the world of soups and salads.

Email Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Github

Uh? Aren’t we in recession?

Tirelessly we monitor, discuss, worry and speculate about man made meta systems, from stock markets, businesses and government bailouts, to credit systems. Right now, many seem to be failing, or at least heading towards directions most consider worrisome. Should we care? The opinions vary.

Our man made meta systems are able to cyclically grow, prosper and fail because there exists an underlying supporting system: Earth and its natural resources. In their core, our man made meta systems are sets of value added processes that (directly or indirectly) extract from - transform, consume - and discharge into the supporting system. Interestingly, the supporting system is failing too: from air to land to water to flora to fauna. Should we care? The opinions vary.

I wonder if we ought to let our failed meta systems die; then reboot. While rebooting, we may want to think about our real issue: the health of the supporting system. Why not redesign all our meta systems with sustainability in the back of our minds? Why not redesign our value added processes such that they factor out waste in all their phases? Why not redesign processes from linear to circular such that they keep resources in a closed loop?

I think, if we redesign our man made meta systems such that they factor in and are aligned with our supporting system, then we have exciting times ahead. This is a necessary condition for long term growth. If not satisfied, the current downturn most hope to halt with stimulus packages might one day translate into a spirale for which no one has the dollars, not even hope.

To come back to the initial question: Aren’t we in recession? Yes, we are but it will not last. What will last are the exciting times or, I’m afraid, nothing.