The virtue of self: A real value in the 21st Century!

The virtue of selfishness, trumpeted by Ayn Rand, belonged to the post-industrial revolution era which not only created the great middle class of the 20th Century, but also created a handful of industrial houses which then created the world’s largest economy. The era of technology that brought us mainframes, personal computers, and the evolution of the internet contributed to the upward mobility of people as productivity gains translated into profits and careers that carried many baby boomers upward and forward. The following generations ¬†(X, Y, and Millennials) have a different perspective on what they want from their lives.

With no apologies to Ayn Rand (Virtue of selfishness), my take is that the new generation is driven by the “virtue of self” in an altruistic model rather than a self-centered model. These generations are more inclined to search for purpose and meaning with less emphasis on the materialistic side. Everyone starts with their individual career goals, but some go beyond. For many who struggle with everyday needs and expectations, going beyond the norm is the stuff of dreams. To nurture and support such dreams in the coming generations, technology is the key.

Intrinsic skills are individual specific. Business requires the creation of value to every customer. Inability to connect individual skill to a business model in society is termed as job and/or career stagnation. We all have become great consumers, thanks to infinite customization possibilities of every service and product. To change that paradigm, we have our work cut out for us. Imagine the possibilities if we can ignite that internal purpose by allowing individuals to discover, connect, nurture, strengthen, and engage their intrinsic skills and inherent value systems to community business and social needs locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Here is an opportunity to replicate the post-industrial successes but with a 21st century twist. The twist is making technology work by the people and for the people.

To get started on this journey, we have the “Avatar” family and their perspectives and priorities in life. I will be sharing their everyday challenges and aspirations. Let us get started on this journey, validating the true purpose of technology i.e. unlocking the inherent capabilities that allow one to go beyond themselves and on to the community.

I would now like to introduce the Avatar family: Lynette (40) and John Avatar (41) have been married for 20 years. They met in college where John was in the Mechanical Engineering program and Lynette was majoring in Biology. Their daughter Jessica (18) is a freshman in college (Undecided) and their son Joe (13) is in the 8th grade. John’s father, George (65), and his mother, Diana (63), live a few blocks away. Living with George is his mother, Adriana Avatar (95). From Adriana’s migration from Europe, to the baby boomers who made the U.S.A. into a global superpower, to generation Y who focused on professional careers and finally to the Millennials in school, we will share their stories on how they have made the Avatar Platform technology work for them.

The virtue of self: A real value in the 21st Century!

The “Great Connector” Divide! Figuring out a way to narrow it down!

Technology has been the 21 Century ‘great connector’ for people and business across the world. We are all increasingly connected to every device and every place, giving access and a voice to every individual to be heard around the world.

The puzzle lies in the dichotomy of the technology role in connecting and dividing. The world is increasingly divided into areas where technology is connecting and enhancing the life experience of individuals and businesses, and working against traditional career and business opportunities around the world, creating a new generation of haves and have-nots.

From people perspective, literally everyone can connect to anyone globally and a community of global citizenship has placed the world at our fingertips. Technology has not only connected us, but also enabled the use of financial services, social connections, professional networking and purchasing opportunities worldwide.

From a business perspective, geographical boundaries disappeared leading to global opportunities regardless of the size of the market. In a typical pyramid model, with the entry level workforce being the largest base supporting business enterprises, technology has enabled business services eliminate entry level jobs, consolidated mid-level positions and demand increasingly higher level of education to qualify for jobs and maintain career growth in order to stay competitive.

Relentless penetration of niche markets by large businesses enabled by technology is resulting in a shorter life span for small and medium scale businesses. This is requiring small businesses to grow market share or close shop due to the fading profit models in traditional brick and mortar models.

Dichotomy in the economy continues to be more evident with an increasingly small percentage of the population having a disproportionately higher level of incomes, while growth of middle class families has not only stalled but is demonstrating a very evident decrease in earning capabilities. Lack of wage growth can be attributed to factors such as pressure on profit margins in traditional brick & mortar industries and businesses.

End result: Earning power gap has been widening over the past two decades. Normal upward trajectory of earnings for low and middle income families hit a wall of stagnation. This connected world is now resonating this discontent and negativism at the local, regional, national and global level triggering events that continue to spiral perception negatively.

It is time to make technology work for the people. It is time for an intelligent design that promotes a building block model of economic self reliance at the individual and small business level locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Please join in our discussions to find a meaningful pathway of self reliance to reinforce and celebrate the essence of the human spirit in the words of William Ernest Henley: I am the master of my fate, I am the master of my soul.

The “Great Connector” Divide! Figuring out a way to narrow it down!