The Main Resource of Our Planet
One of the innovative proposals of the Planetary Project is to consider people as an integral and essential part the Earth’s resources. Space, atmospheric space, water, land, subsoil, the biosphere and, of course, the human mind ensure that our civilization continues to develop. At the end of the twentieth century, intellectual potential from an auxiliary factor of production turned into a leading productive force. Currently, all spheres of life in modern society are governed by it.
The thesis that intellect plays a leading role in the development of society has received fairly widespread recognition. Most theorists distinguish the following qualities:
- systematic thinking, reception, processing and use of information in different contexts to achieve different goals;
- ability to operate with abstract concepts and apply the theory in practice;
- desire for knowledge and self-development;
- solution of multi-level tasks under changing conditions and requirements.
Artificial intelligence developers also equip their creations with these faculties. The most powerful computer on the planet, modeled on the human brain, was installed at the University of Manchester. Now scientists will be able to do research that is impossible for traditional computers. With its billion cores, the machine is able to perform up to hundreds of millions of operations per second in thousands of directions working as a human brain.
From the point of view of economics, the implementation of the cycle “basic research - applied sciences - design development - introduction into production - wide use” primarily depends on intellectual investment. This approach today provides the most significant growth in labor productivity and quantitative and qualitative changes in its results. Thereby, it contributes to the growth of welfare and raising the standard of living of the entire population.
The development of intellectual potential itself is stimulated by education systems and depends on cultural, political and economic factors. Therefore, its asymmetry and different dynamics are characteristic of the modern global world. South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are rapidly catching up with the leading high technology economies such as the United States, China and the European Union countries. Their governments strive to ensure the knowledge-intensiveness of GDP at the level of 3-4%. While two thirds of the funding for research and development in these countries is provided by the private or partner sector.
The “battle for the minds” has a long history. There are various methods of calculating the intellectual wealth of individual states, companies and organizations, but in almost all of them a competition index is used. Switzerland’s World Economic Forum has developed what is commonly believed to be the most authoritative index system for assessing the quality of the country's macro- and micro- economic position, taking into account global innovation factors. According to the World Economic Forum, the economies of Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, Germany, USA, Japan, Great Britain, Norway and the United Arab Emirates have become the most competitive in the past decade. So far, the best conditions have been created in these states for preserving the high level of their citizens’ well-being, developing and supporting their intellectual potential. This includes the effectiveness of legislation on the protection of intellectual property, the level and prestige of education, wide access to new knowledge, and the quality of information and communication processes.
In the era of high technology, the “intellectual abyss” between nations is as dangerous as environmental and man-made disasters, epidemics or weapons of mass destruction. The Planetary Project proposes to adjust the policies of all influential international organizations towards a more active support for the development and realization of people's intellectual abilities. After all, intellectual resources are the main force behind fundamental transformations of the world economy and the only reliable guarantee of the preservation of our civilization. This topic is covered in more detail in my monograph “Planetary Project: From Sustainable Development to Managed Harmony”.