Problem: Resources not directed to solutions needed by the of masses of people.
Solution: Raise awareness, show private companies successfully initiating social and economic transformation.
Effect Spiritual Principles may have on Product Quality and Economies
of Scale for Industries in the 21st Century"
Summary: The discovery, on a global scale, that promoting spiritual principles in the general population is a essential part of the establishment of a governable world, opens new avenues for progress in industry, industrial relations and marketing. The trend in developed countries is towards the valuing of hand-crafted products as essentially superior, for aesthetic and moral reasons, occasionally for technical reasons. In developing countries the opposite is true: mass produced consumer goods are deemed inherently superior.
The combined pressures of competition for resources, scarcity of investment capital, rising transport and distribution costs and high unemployment are encouraging family heads and entrepreneurs generally to engage in new economic activities that are, in many senses, part of a craft economy. These enterprises are vertically integrated, small in scale, frequently use human power, sell into the local market, are product-flexible and have very high returns on capital investment.
One finds that such ventures are routinely dismissed as the "informal sector" and "under-employment". They are frequetly deemed a way-station to the development of "real" industries. In spite of their high profitability, almost nothing from the pool of R&D money available for industrial development is expended on systematically seeking ways to promote the productivity of these small-scale manufacturers.The amount spent on finding modern ways to produce on a small scale is so tiny that it is not even a reportable statistic. In spite of this, it is small industries that provide most new employment and it is the small enterprises that provide most employment per investment dollar.
Why, then, is so little being done to find technologies that assist these small businesses? Why are the commercial laws stacked against small investors? Why is the developmental framework so rigidly in favour of establishing huge manufacturing companies? Many modern inventions are well suited for adaption and use by small businesses - the Internet, for one, as well as global positioning satelites and small electronic devices.
Speaking from my own 19 years of experience in the development of new and productive technologies, I will endeavour to show that well though-out business plans, together with well-made production equipment scaled to the local market, can effectively compete in the long term with centralized, capital intensive,well managed modern industries. I will describe why the introduction of small-scale equipment manufactured to the same standard as high-volume equipment is a good economic investment.
This deliberate choice of technology for the masses springs from an number of moral decisions that are based on spiritual principles. The obligation to work, the need to support one's family, the re-birth of craftsmanship, the principle of service to one's community, the satisfaction of a job well done - all these are spiritual principles that can promote energy-saving and job creating technologies. There is no reason why these industries should not have access to the best minds, facilities and materials the planet has to offer. In spite of being given virtually no resources at all, a number of significant inventions aimed at small producers have made it to market and competed successfully for years. This points to new and interesting directions for the engineering and economics professions.
Resume: Crispin Pemberton-Pigott, Managing Director of New Dawn Engineering, a Swaziland-based, Baha'i family business, dedicated to the creation of wealth in the hands of the masses by developing and commercializating modern, small scale production methods and equipment. Work and visits in more than a dozen African countries over 20 years has resulted in a set of innovative approaches to social and economic problems. These are centered on the use of modern design methods and materials to produce reliable tools that are more productive per unit investment than those utilized in the capital-intensive "modern" economy.