Where are we standing?
Much of our current societal challenges can confidently be called wicked problems. For example, designers call problems that can no longer be reduced to simple and linear solution strategies, and that seem almost insoluble due to their complex interaction. The foreseeable collapse of social security systems and our health care system, a growing gap between rich and poor, the growing poverty of old age, the massive transformation of our working world, the rise of data-based control technologies and narrow-minded world views are just as challenging as climate change and the depletion of scarce resources. that oppose simple solutions. The demise of conventional organizational forms and business models, the erosion of leadership in politics and business - all these are well-known keywords that signal that our societal problem-solving capacities have been largely exhausted. "More of the same" is no longer an option here.“
This starting point is exacerbated by the disintegration of our society into individual sectors and subareas, each of which follows its own logic and is therefore hardly able to take each other into consideration. While our business enterprises seek only to increase their own profits, the decision-making horizon of political institutions more and more submits to the short-term calculus of maintaining power in existing legislatures. Universities either retire to the ivory tower of theoretical advancement or are engaged in pure contract research. It seems as if we got lost in the routines of self-optimization, are trapped in our own path dependence and thus blind to the consequences of our own actions.
Last but not least, this also affects the changes in our working environment, which are described with the keyword "digitization" rather inadequate and trivializing. If one follows the current prognoses for the transformation of jobs by robots, AI and self-learning algorithms, then in the western world in the next years no stone will remain on the other one. The massive overburdening of large sections of the population, coupled with the feeling of being victims of the ghosts that were once called, will not be without consequences. The question of "above or below the algorithm" is becoming more and more a decisive way marking for a disintegrating society. Dissatisfaction and radicalization are then the bitter two sides of coins, with which autocrats, populists and national ideologues buy their way into the middle of society. Her simple and short-sighted recipes are the opposite of a sustainable future. The pleasure they have nurtured in the allotment gardens of the past once again illustrates that whoever has the solution has a problem.
We are in the process of degenerating our society into a "runaway system“. Along the way, the work on sustainable, cross-generational problem solutions remains. And with it our own sustainability.
What are we doing?
We are convinced that the "Next Society" (Peter Drucker) is not a utopian space, but can and must be designed here today. To enable a future that is attractive and worth living not only for a few of us. This is not possible without friction with the existing conditions.
The Next Society Foundation sees itself as a pioneer for these arguments. Wherever possible, it initiates appropriate initiatives or strengths existing activities. It brings together entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and executives who see themselves as socio-political activists: people who are interested in the active shaping and renewal of social contexts. Design and renewal of social connections. For this target group, the foundation wants to be a source of inspiration and home port at the same time. It sees itself not only as a child of "third place", where ideas are further developed beyond existing particular interests and questions are deepened. Her concern is thus a concrete exploration of design spaces through work-formats, which are understood as being laboratories of the next society. She is networked with accomplices who work on effective strategies of change.
The underlying principle of their work is "connection" - it is about the art of creating connections: between people with their different motivations, between institutions and companies with their respective specific logics and interests, between individual silos and subsystems of our society. A clever design of these surprising neighborhoods is the linchpin in working on sustainable solutions to the problems of our time.