On July 30, 2012 the world got a glimpse of just how sick its planet really is. On that blistering summer day, nearly 10% of the world’s population, or 670 million people lost electricity along the northern corridor of India. This was the largest power outage in recorded history, and over the course of a few days, it exposed all of us to just how vulnerable planet earth is to possible collapse.
Prior to that horrific week, I was a confident and conscious citizens doing my part to support our local farmers, to make recycling a top priority and to relentlessly monitor my family’s energy consumption; yet I hardly considered the possibility of a world without electricity. This was an epic failure, and while we may never know the precise causes, it’s clear that infrastructure inadequacy and underinvestment were the big contributors. Luckily life was back to normal within a few days, but for the rest of us it’s time to imagine living without power for even a single day.
In his book, The Collaboration Economy, Eric Lowitt clearly demonstrates that the only way forward is for business, political and societal leaders to re-imagine how to add value together – it starts with defining the problem.