A different perspective on sustainability and education

I’ve recently been listening to one Podcast from Future Thinkers with their special guest Daniel Schmachtenberger. Daniel is a philosopher and a social engineer, he focuses on complex systems, evolution of humanity, and global resource allocation planning and strategy.

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

In this podcast he made some interesting statements about the future of humanity and how we can move forward in this complex globalised world.
I summed up some of the key takeaways in my simple words and combined it with some personal learnings from the last years.

Thinking in closed-loops

According to Daniel, the world is currently in a self-terminating process. This is just a logical consequence of capitalism, because our wealth and our well-being is built on growth. But we only have limited resources on this planet, so it’s basically just a matter of time when we run out. Capitalism served a good purpose the last centuries, we had lot of inventions, the life-expectancy rose, people got more educated, life overall got almost everywhere better. But since the start of the industrialization the growth of human kind was pretty fast from 1 Billion to over 7 Billion in just twohundred years, which means we need more resources everyday. That’s insane. We need a new kind of thinking for the future. And the key is to think in closed loops. E.g. a new product needs to be fully recycable, so that no resource on this planet gets wasted. From cradle to cradle is the motto here. Supporting trends like upcycling or second hand-use is from immense importance. We also need to develop the technology to really recycle everything we build. So the ultimate goal is to reuse every atom we have on this planet. We can only add resources to the system if we mine an asteroid or another planet. The only infinte resource we have is energy, cause everyday photons are hitting the earth which we can convert to energy.

To sum it up really quick it comes down to this:

closed-loop, post-growth, and upcycling


We also need to really rethink the education we give to our children. The problem here is, that kids these days learn things that they don’t need in a world full of automatization and robotics. Also this trend won’t redo itself. Automatization will continue with in an increased speed and you can already see how many jobs vanish in this fast paced world. Kids in the early age are very curious, they can ask philosophical questions, they are interested in stuff. Most of those kids after school got totally numb and aren’t interested in shit. So something happens in this period of time. The schools teach all the kids the same, the smart ones get neglected and the ones with a learning disability got pushed to get through the class. In the end you have mediocre educated kids and no one is really good in anything. We don’t know what the problems of the future will be, so we need everyone with a different unique skill set, but this won’t happen if everyone thinks the same after finishing school or university. (The average Trap by Markus Hengstschläger) The key for the future is really to focus on soft skills and raising curious young adults who have self-confidence and a unique skill set to take on the worlds problems.

“The world didn’t have to stay dark in the time of Edison, and yet for all of human history before Edison it did. And taking on something that seemed impossible literally delivered the world from darkness.”

There are already schools out there who transform the education experience of kids in a new way like the Lumiar school in Brazil.

Decentralized decision making

He also brought up some interesting new take on elections. He is in favor of developing more direct democratic systems where voting via digital platforms is possible. Having so many elected officials is an outdated strategy. It once served a useful purpose when there was no internet and people only had horses, so it made sense to have an elected official of an area who represented these people in the cabinet. Let the people decide what they want.

He talked about more topics, like jobs, complex systems and many more.. so it’s hard to remember everything. But I hope this gave you a short glimpse of what we can focus on in the near future.

What do you think we should focus on towards a better world?

CVO @ Skyline Medien GmbH, Filmmaker, photographer, communication studies & cycling // www.chrisperkles.at

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Chris Perkles

Chris Perkles

CVO @ Skyline Medien GmbH, Filmmaker, photographer, communication studies & cycling // www.chrisperkles.at

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