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What's Your Focus? Reality and Human Nature: Gregory Dahl at TEDxInnsbruck

TEDxInnsbruck - Gregory Dahl - What's Your Focus? Reality and Human NatureEconomist and Author, BulgariaGregory Dahl is the author of ?One World. One People. How Globalization is shaping our Future".After studying economics at Harvard, he pursued a 27-year career as an economist and senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).The world is facing many problems, such as economic crises, political instability, environmental degradation, climate change, terrorism, growing inequality, and a breakdown in the fabric of society. People see little progress in addressing these problems. Pessimism and cynicism are widespread.But these problems are all man-made, and they could all be addressed if people could work together effectively. The real problem, then, is obstacles within us -- obstacles that prevent cooperation.What are these obstacles? Most people would say it is human nature to be competitive and selfish, and therefore discussion of the need for cooperation is simply unrealistic. But there is strong evidence that this is a misperception of human nature and thus a false assumption. We live in a world in which 90 million people watch a YouTube video about human rights abuses in Uganda, and a world in which many millions contribute their hard-earned knowledge for free to build Wikipedia. It is a world in which people are deeply interested in each other's stories and sufferings, are compassionate, generous, curious, and often selfless. This is a different, more positive and important reality in the world around us -- one that is generally overlooked.Our social and political structures, laws, economic systems, and cultures are premised on a negative view of human nature that assumes and encourages competitive behavior. By learning to see the positive reality around us, and encouraging others to see and build upon it, we can help people to learn from the crises our present society is creating and contribute to building a new society based on cooperation and mutual help.In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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