It’s Not Working: A Wake Up Call For Baby Boomers

I was lucky enough to hear TEDx Vancouver when it was livestreamed in October. I knew then that I wanted to post Dr. John Izzo’s talk as soon as it was available on the internet; so here it is, The Defining Moment For A Generation-in-Waiting:

A provocative and passionate public speaker and thought leader, Dr. John Izzo consults and advises some of the most admired companies in the world. With a Masters degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in organizational communication, he has devoted his life and career to showing leaders how to create workplaces that bring out the best in people, and people who create the best workplaces. A best-selling author, he has taught at numerous prominent North American universities, and continues to conduct leading edge research on workplace values. Dr. Izzo believes our society is at a pivotal moment in history where a surprise group of people might be poised to lead us towards meaningful change… if they answer the call.


12 thoughts on “It’s Not Working: A Wake Up Call For Baby Boomers”

    • Yes, that’s an amazing number. I always feel that it’s so inspiring and encouraging to know that the best way to stabilize the world’s population is to education and empower women. If we are going to change the way we live on this world, women all over the world will need to become valued members of society. And that’s good news!

  1. Certainly inspirational, Christine, but he underestimates the fight and overestimates our ability to mobilize against the corporatism that has already “captured” (to use their term) our political institutions. In Canada, there is nothing in the Conservative ranks and only the smallest ember within the Liberal ranks of progressivism. Only progressives could ever hope to win this and that would require a degree of action that was genuinely revolutionary.

    Some say the 21st will be the Century of Revolution and it’s a very plausible scenario. But those who have studied the history of centuries of revolution know these uprisings rarely achieve utopian outcomes and certainly not at the start.

    We are still in bondage to 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geopolitics. These have been the engine that propelled the world’s population from an all time record of about 2.6 billion when I was born to 7+ billion today, heading for 10-billion in my children’s lifetime. These institutions have not just lost their utility, they have turned malignant on mankind and our civilization. Yet these same institutions and the powers that wield their levers are not done with us yet and that is the purpose for which they have captured our politics. Unfortunately for mankind itself, continuing down this path is a dead end road that leads to war.

    I have read the British Ministry of Defence assessments and the Pentagon’s Quadrenniel Defense Review and underlying research. They know climate change will spark wars. Local wars, wars of subsistence or survival. The U.N. already keeps a dandy roster of these. Next will come regional wars. Climate change is a powerful destabilizing force and, as it happens, the countries with the worst stability problems, the failed states, are also those most vulnerable to early onset climate change impacts.

    We move from local wars to regional wars. Rarely is the influence of climate change on the Arab Spring uprisings recognized. Yet, because it hasn’t been factored in the solutions, it continues to destabilize the entire North African region. Chronic food insecurity and water insecurity and peace just don’t go together.

    Perhaps not in my lifetime but quite possibly within my children’s we may return to world war only, if we do, there might be more than one. Yet no one wants to recognize the role climate change is playing in the furious arms races underway, especially in south and east Asia. It’s a huge factor and it’s worsening steadily and in large part because of it, everyone is going for their guns.

    I am encouraged that global markets are waking up to the presence of this enormous Carbon Bubble that truly imperils the global economy. The issue has only achieved traction over the past couple of years but it is taking hold. The idea that 80% of known fossil fuel reserves will have to be left in the ground is becoming an accepted fact. As reported in Britain’s Financial Times a few weeks back, market analysts are beginning to steer major investors out of high-carbon fossil fuels. That’s the back story behind Harper’s blessing of Beijing’s Nexen takeover. The major energy companies are poised to have 60% of their value simply erased from their books. As for Athabasca bitumen, the highest-carbon petroleum and the most expensive to extract, upgrade, transport and refine, the writing is on the wall.

    Izzo is right in that we grey hairs do need to mobilize and fight this but we need to identify realistic goals and avoid Quixotic quests. We have to pick our fights very carefully. In my area this is already underway. I am delighted at the number of Boomers mobilizing to fight the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan to defend our coast. Might we actually win? I think so because, as just mentioned, the markets are turning against high-carbon fossil fuels and, as he tosses us in his jails en masse, Harper won’t be able to conceal he’s doing Beijing’s bidding.

  2. Thank you for your well-considered and thoughtful response, MoS. You are absolutely right that climate change is a national security issue and increasingly the U.S Pentagon (and the Brits, as you point out) are becoming more outspoken on this. As for Izzo underestimating the effort required, I’m not sure about that – isn’t the fight always David vs Goliath? Consider WW II, or Ghandi’s fight against the British in India – the odds weren’t good in either case.
    Yes, the fight against the Harper govt is certainly focusing in on the West Coast – I hope you’re right in your prediction (except for being jailed en masse!).

    Hopefully all the “grey hairs” and others out there will remember that taking action is an antidote to despair!

  3. Never fear, Christine. It will probably be a lark for old farts like me. lifetime law-abiding codgers, to be banged up with other old farts. Most of us are pretty good euchre players and don’t tend to get into circulation enough as it is. Hell’s Bells, they might have a hard time getting us to leave.


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