The general idea with this question is to think primarily of children largely as products of their environment with any genetic traits from their parents being a secondary aspect.
To the question of where should the investment come from, private or public funds? I view it as a distraction to the core question as it feeds into the polarising of the topic. In my view both private and public entities are part of society and so should both invest and participate, which is what happens in Sweden.
PLEASE NOTE: This Thursday the 3rd of November at 19:00 CET, I will introduce this question as a topic of conversation at our Rotary Club on ClubHouse Rotary.Click.
If this is a question of interest to you please join here.
Unlike the primary aim of an investor investing in a new business venture, instead of looking primarily for a financial pay off we are also look for a wider long term societal pay off.
Even though there are numerous stories of successful entrepreneurs coming from very poor backgrounds, usually in geographical locations that have little to no opportunities for young persons wishing to pursue self development. So many of the problems of the world can often be attributed to a “perceived” class devision, and lack of opportunity.
Growing up in Jersey in Channel Islands and now living in Sweden for some years I often look back at the opportunities (or lack there of) that we had as young people living in Jersey, young people with grand ideas for the betterment of our society and ourselves.
There were no clear paths open to explore the wider possibilities without leaving the island. The one path that was open to all was the path towards working in finance, a path that would consume thousands of young people with the primary role of pushing other peoples money around the world, and getting paid handsomely for doing so.
I still monitor the situation at home and it seems they are making some progress but at a snails pace; and almost solely focused on launching digital financial products to compliment the islands bread and butter industry: wealth management.
Now in Sweden I now and again think back to this as a wider question, recently I decided to write something down; a question: What if we funded families like we fund startups?
In contrast to Jersey, Sweden has a number of paths for young people to pursue for participating in the development of their society. Not to mention their generous social welfare system that sees all children funded to a certain degree, given their parents are well behaved.
I’d like to take these social welfare systems a step further and although a little crude perhaps, I’d like to ask what if we viewed parents like we view a startup? Families like Startups are a group of people that have a “thing” that they brought or are bringing into this world. This “thing” will impact numerous other people in society, some “things” will impact negatively, some positively.
Either way they both have the potential to change society, the primary difference is that a human developed and launched by humans has much greater potential to empathise with other humans in society when it itself is human, and more importantly human facing.
The majority of Products and service tend to hide behind glossy branding, overly hyped professional credibility and do not stand the test of time; especially in the digital realm.
In contrast parents that produce and launch top notch humans into society have the potential to improve society for generations to come. To be crystal clear my vision of a “Top Notch Human” is not one that is superiorly intellectual or employs 10 000 people, quite simply a TNH is a person that is engaged, well balanced and capable of absorbing (and challenging) alternative view points in a way that helps other humans develop themselves.
I’d like to highlight some of the positive and negative potential responses of this question in an effort to flesh out the reasons for and against. To be clear I am not saying we should not fund startups, instead what if we viewed the potential for investing in families in the same light.
Through a feeling of being empowered a potential increase in engaged citizenry.
Through a sense of equality an increase in trust of one another from citizenry.
Increase in confidence to participate in social projects and speak up.
Creates a new breed of investor, like so called “climate conscious investors” we could have a group of “social conscious investors”
Too complex to regulate. What happens to “failed families”
Money would be removed from other important parts of society.
Social welfare already takes care of this.
How would investors realise their gains? How would they exit satisfied?
It reduces children down to products, allowing for nefarious actors to create brain washed armies.
JOIN US: This Thursday the 3rd of November at 19:00 CET, I will introduce this question as a topic of conversation at Rotary.Click.
If this is a question of interest to you please join here.
UPDATE POST Rotary.Click Discussion
After a healthy debate on Thursday night I’d like to add here a little bit around how my thinking has evolved on this topic. My take away of the core argument for this idea not working is that some parents are bad and will launch bad humans into the world. Giving them financing is not going to change that, in addition on the investor side why would private enterprise fund something with no economic incentives?
As the discussion evolved I started to think about Chinas social credit score system where they monitor the behaviours of their citizen via a points based system. Each citizen is assigned 100 points and can lose or gain points depending on their societal behaviours which appear to be very closely monitored.
Thats a rather dystopian notion for most westerners to consider, but what if we applied it in a similar way that Carbon Credits are being used to move industry away from fossil fuels. Carbon credits are a way for government to put a price on pollution, making an entire new market in the process.
What about a Social Credits system?
Large power corporations are now being placed on the chopping block for all kinds of questionable behaviour they have been getting away with for hundreds of years, only now are we attempting to deal with them. What if we got out ahead of the current creators of toxic waste harmful to society? Namely those companies building or have built apps that “move fast and break things” changing society for better and for worst.
It is not so far fetched to think that those that have the biggest negative impacts on society should contribute to fixing or undoing the harm they have done. This is a vision of course, unsure if or how it could be applied it is an evolution of the previous question and so i wanted to add it into this post for posterity.
I could go on and on with the hypothetical nature of this idea but honestly it might just be better if next time we think about funding a new gaming or social app, we have a way to gauge the potential harm it might do to society should the app become a global phenomenon.