"Dizzying Change But Little Real Progress"

Posted on: 19/01/2013

It is always good to have at least one person agree with you. With 7 billion people on our planet, one supporter shouldn't be too much to expect!

Imagine my joy, therefore, when I read the quote that provides the title of this blog in the Times today.

The person who agrees with me (even if he doesn't know it) is Peter Thiel.

Peter (my new best buddy because we share views) should know what he is talking about, having founded Pay Pal in 1998 and then helped fund Facebook in 2004. His creative investments have made him a billionaire.

It is Thiel’s view that mankind no longer believes in its ability to shape the future. There has been little progress in creating jobs, solving the energy crisis or making an impact in areas such as health and transport. This in turn has led to economic stagnation. "If the pie isn't growing you can no longer craft solutions where everyone ends up ahead" notes Peter.

Where I would diverge from Peter Thiel is that he seems to believe that technological innovation is the answer to the problems he has pinpointed.

Here's the harsh reality. We have had massive technological innovation in the last century. However, we have more people living in poverty than ever before. Not surprising when so many of our fellow human beings are out of work or, at best, underemployed.

5 Billion of us live on less than $5 a day. Yes, it is that bad.

So here is how I judge progress - REAL progress.


Technological innovation can help but it is only part of the answer. Pay Pal, Facebook and even Apple have only scratched the surface. We need to dig deep to help the whole of mankind.

If you don't believe me, ask Peter Thiel.

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