to deprive teenagers of gadgets that are in some way dependent on electricity. One by one,
we remove the television, the CD players, the computer, the videodisc, the radio, tape
player, record player, electronic games, aeroplanes, air conditioning and automatic
heating, shopping in large malls, and the opportunity to acquire large numbers of
possessions. How well do you think our teenagers would cope? How would their lives be
different? And what about our own?
"One of the only places that would reflect
scarcely any difference in the scenario we've painted - and that would be operating
largely as it did more than 50 years ago - would be the local school."
Obviously that criticism does not apply to those schools that are rapidly
changing, and encouraging students to take control of their own world. But does it not
apply to most?
Our own view is that more and more learning will become
self-learning: self-directed and self-fulfilling.
15. Cooperative enterprise
The 1990s started with the
collapse of Soviet-style communism, and we hope that the new decade has also heralded the
decline of gambling-casino capitalism. Our own view is that both are rapidly being
superseded by new concepts of cooperative enterprise.
In The 100 Best Companies To Work For in America,
nearly every company listed has pioneered new forms of staff involvement: partnerships,
stockholding, profit-sharing, continuing education, job-sharing, flextime, project teams
and many more.
"If you want to see what the new company looks
like," says John Naisbitt, "you look at the young companies, not the old
household word companies that are shrinking and are often slow to change. And in the new
companies you find a high degree of participative management and decision-making. You find
everyone being involved in sharing the profits, including the people in the mailroom and
the receptionist. You can't work for many of these new model companies unless you own
stock. If you don't have the money, they lend you the money interest-free to buy stock,
because you have to have literal ownership. And the company's daycare is often built-in
right from the very beginning. They pay for any kind of education courses the people take
in order for them to grow personally. And they create environments where people can
nourish personal growth and educational growth."
Contents Page Preface