How does a society learn? And most importantly, why do we so often learn the wrong things? What blinds us? These are questions that are asked surprisingly little. It seems as if we always need a catastrophe such as a world war, a coronavirus crisis or a Dutroux criminal case before we can make progress.
In the book ‘De Verblinde Samenleving’, organisational expert and emeritus professor at Vlerick Business School Marc Buelens presents a razor-sharp analysis of how societies shoot themselves in the foot all too often. He explains how the three draught horses of our society – science, economics and politics – always seem to keep trotting on no matter what… and how they threaten to trample our ‘sheltered’ systems, such as culture, purpose and solidarity, completely as a result.
Instead of streamlining political decision-making, managing health crises or tackling the immense challenges of inequality, climate and the environment, we continue to spin around in circles. So what can we learn to ensure that the coronavirus debacle does not become a dress rehearsal for the climate crisis? Can we pull ourselves out of the quagmire or will we remain blind to our catastrophic learning processes?
After serving as a member of the Celeval advisory board seventy times, Marc Buelens also speaks freely in his book about the real state of affairs of these advisory bodies.
Marc Buelens is an honorary professor at Ghent University, professor emeritus at Vlerick Business School and doctor of organisational psychology. He has written several popular books about people and organisations. During the coronavirus crisis, he advised the government as a member of the CELEVAL committee of experts.
The blinded society
Published in Dutch by Lannoo