The tsunami of change currently sweeping Europe is nothing but a good thing. Old models of society, work and ownership are out of date and so is our way of thinking about them. We're so blinkered by our old economy mentality we're in danger of missing out on a golden age, a new renaissance.
So says Marc Luyckx Ghisi, former Catholic priest and Professor of Theology turned EU advisor. With a cheeky twinkle in his eye he lays out a new vision of the world, one based on the knowledge economy. The new knowledge society is already here he reckons, destroying old ideas about property, relationships and production. Plus he says it's women who are leading the charge and we should make sure many more women are in visible positions of influence if we want to grow as a society.
He smiles a lot and is so passionate and articulate it's difficult not to be drawn into his vision. What he says sounds so right. Just as Europe moved from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers so we're now in the process of moving to a society of 'knowers'. The good news is acquiring knowledge has never been easier. Ghisi gives Google and Wikipedia as examples of the power of networked, freely accessible knowledge.
Down with the material world of goods, markets, banks and machines and up with the world of digital books, file sharing and collective wealth. We already have all the tools we need to achieve permanent and effective change, Ghisi says. Political, financial and governmental institutions are well placed to deliver the future, we just haven't yet worked out how or got the word out far enough. We're still trying to solve post industrial problems with pre industrial tools, Ghisi shrugs. 'It's to be expected, we just need to catch up, it won't be easy, it'll be hard work but we'll get there'
One of his big things is to ask the question, what can you offer your local community? Top down power structures are dying, local is where it's at so it could turn out to be the most pertinent question of the millennium.
There is certainly something messianic about Ghisi's message. 'Knowledge is like love, the more you put in the more you get out' he smiles. I guess it takes a former Catholic priest who left to get married to come up with a statement so disarming. Add in his broad grin and I'd say the new society is upon us.
Marc Luyckx Ghisi will be at TEDx Brussels December 6