‘The End of Ownership’ is the theme, but first let me wind back the clock to just before Christmas.
Arriving at Schiphol, I went outside to catch a taxi to THNK, to find that maybe half of the taxis were now Teslas. The odds worked out, I didn’t get a Mercedes, and my driver was a tall, distinguished man with a bow tie. As we sped into the city, and with no clues from me as to my interests, apart from my compliments on his Tesla, he began to give me an enthusiastic run-down on the sustainability agenda.
In full flow, he mentioned that he had recently seen an astonishing TV documentary featuring the architect Thomas Rau. After the THNK session, I sent an email to Thomas’s wife, Sabine Oberhuber, saying that Thomas seemed to be ubiquitous – and complimenting him on his popular impact.
But I hadn’t yet seen the documentary
Then, yesterday, Sabine came to lunch in Barnes, and this morning, back in Holland, sent a link to the documentary, The End of Ownership.
We sat down this evening to watch it – and, with no exaggeration, I think it’s one of the most powerful pieces of film I have ever watched on our agenda and on how Homo sustainabilis can rise to the eternal challenges of life on Earth.
As part of our new program of work with the United Nations Global Compact, we plan to develop a portfolio of key resources for business leaders – and for tomorrow’s sustainability champions – and The End of Ownership will be in pride of place.
There are many reasons to watch the documentary, including the 100th birthday party for a light-bulb that still burns brightly.
But other key takeaways include how we need to apply the deep principles of the funfair to tomorrow’s economy, how companies like Phillips and Bosch have responded to the provocations of this extraordinary market revolutionary, and how future materials will not only have passports but also their version of human rights.
And then there is the woman in the red dress, about 35 minutes in. That’s the sequence where the irreducibly human dimensions of the coming transformation literally well up as old realities give way to the new.