Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Wise Man's Call For Action

Social responsibility is not just a decorative layer over a deteriorated surface. It is not a marketing gimmick for short-term increases in sales. It is not the catch phrase of a political group, or lobby, scoring points for the interests of a chosen few. Social responsibility is possibly the most important key part of the ethical core of civilisation. The level of manifestation is an accurate indicator of the maturity, awarenessand connectedness of an entire generation. It reflects upon the ability of citizens to understand interdependence and interconnectedness, and proves that we truly understand our responsibility for, not only our own our posterity, but also that of future generations. And it stands for how much we appreciateand value ourselves.

Simultaneously, dynamic social responsibility also inspires and encourages innovation in all fields, particularly technology, business and organisation, but most of all in social innovation. A man who is living his creative life among us in Slovenia has dedicated his life to social responsibility and innovation. A cosmopolitan man, capable of of vision and radical choices. We are very proud to present an interview with Matjaž Mulej, PhD. We spoke with him just before his departure for Vienna where we will all participate in a conference about cognitive science. This is his story.

Who is Matjaž Mulej?
Matjaž Mulej, PhD: Born 1941, he is a Professor Emeritus of Systems Theory and Innovation at the University of Maribor and who is still active at the University and elsewhere. Having published over 1,600 articles in nearly 50 countries; he is the Chairman of the International Academy of Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (Vienna) and member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg and Paris, a double PhD in economics and management; he has been a visiting professor at foreign universities for 15 semesters; he is a co-founder of the IRDO - Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility, etc.

Where do you usually find inspiration? What is the muse of your academic vision?
Matjaž Mulej, PhD: My greatest inspiration comes from knowing how many unnecessary problems of humanity are caused by the practices of decision makers. By people who, due to their incompleteness are incapable of considering all that is absolutely fundamental. My muse of academic vision is in the efforts aimed at replacing the economic theory which is concealing its fundamental error by using the ‘neo-liberalism’ label to vilify Adam Smith's liberalism, and block the market operation in the name of the ‘free market’. The current economic status quo supports monopoly, instead of a systemic or appropriate comprehensive thinking and approach, and non-technologic innovation related thereto. We need to find a way out of the ‘crisis of abundance’, as pointed out by professor Porter more than 20 years ago. And this cannot be achieved with the same neo-liberal approaches that have caused it.