"Some things come with age or don't come at all."
The lifespan of organisms includes three main parts; birth and growth, reproduction, and death, typically shortly after the reproduction age.
However, humans are one of the few exceptions to the role. The human reproduction age is about 40 years (12 to 50), but it can live another 40 years and die at around 90.
Note that reproduction age depends on the female, so we measure their fertility.
WHY DO WE LIVE SO MANY YEARS
Evolution acts like an accountant who does not like to waste “expensive” years. Such a generous addition to human lives must have a substantial reason with an acute contribution to survival.
For most of the 200,000 years of modern humans’ evolution, livelihood was based on gathering, hunting, and agriculture, crafts that require high physical ability.
Older people weaken with age, then what evolutionary advantage comes from having older people in the community?
As we will see, evolution works like an accountant, and a long lifespan eventually translates into business, that is, improved livelihood.
GRANDPARENTS - THE FOUNDATION OF CIVILIZATION
In one of the previous columns, I spoke about the difference between the Neanderthals hominids, who had big brains, were extremely intelligent, and stronger than Homo sapiens.
If so, why did Neanderthals disappear and Homo sapiens didn’t?
The hypothesis is that Homo sapiens had better social skills.
Homo sapiens were less violent (a genetic trait) and could cooperate effectively in large groups (a social trait).
Note that genetic traits are passed through generations in genetic material, i.e., DNA, and are with us from birth. In contrast, social, cultural, and behavioral traits pass from one generation to the other through a long, laborious process, starting from birth to the day we die, and involve continuous learning, practicing, and improving.
Now let’s ask again, “Why do humans live long past reproductive age?”
There are three leading hypotheses explaining this phenomenon:
CHILD CARE: someone to take care of the children. But that doesn’t explain why the woman can’t do this while the man hunts or gathers.
Unlike the first hypothesis, older people do best the following -
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER: Older individuals possess a historical and personal wealth of knowledge and experience. The older they get, the more they gather of those. They are also more relaxed about passing it on to younger generations. This knowledge transfer is advantageous and vital for the individuals and community's survival, continuous development, and well-being.
In short, elders were the community “Google,” accumulating and passing on information. Unlike Google, when an elder passed away, the wealth of knowledge and experience, which wasn’t passed, was erased. Think what would happen if Google collapsed and everything on it erased.
SOCIAL NETWORKING: Our survival depends on cooperation and mutual support within family and social networks.
In short, until the invention of social networks, e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn, the elders did the networking and connecting plus cooperation within their families, community, and between communities.
Note that the second and third hypotheses involve the brain, not the muscles, with a built-in advantage for adults over young people.
THE ELDERS’ RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Today, more than ever, knowledge and networking are critical to individuals’ and communities’ success.
In human history, those traits gave such an advantage to those who possess them that from biological and social aspects, “it paid off” to keep people alive for decades passed their reproductive age.
Here we learn the critical importance of knowledge and experience transfer, broad-spectrum networking with many contacts and relations, and cooperation among different groups and people for the prosperity and survival of communities since the beginning of civilization.
Do you remember the three pillars of a thriving agricultural Package?
· Business models.
It is easy to see the critical importance and contribution of the elders (e.g., knowledge, network, cooperation) in enabling the smooth operation of an effective and advanced Agricultural Package.
For millennia elders were critical to the well-being and survival of their communities, and communities thrived where elders lived longer and were impactful.
Even in the 21st century, with all the technology surrounding us, the principles of what the elders brought into their communities remain critical in creating thriving communities and businesses.
But what would happen if we dismantle the social-business ecosystem maintained by the elders and, with it, the agreed ways of conducting trading (business models)?
In history, it happened often; whenever one nation conquered another.
The first thing the conqueror did was to dismantle the "old order" and subject the conquered to an ecosystem and business models that suited the conqueror.
This almost always resulted in poverty, though the conqueror did not change the technologies used by the conquered.
Remember, ecosystems and business models were always more critical to business and economic success than technologies.
Much of the poverty in developing economies today results from Western colonialism.
Colonialism systematically dismantled the customary ecosystem and business models and instead imposed in their place a system that allowed easy management for tax collection of communities (mostly rural).
By doing so, colonialists dismantled the most critical parts of The Agricultural Package, the Ecosystems, and traditional Business Models, which worked well through generations.
Without a coherent Agricultural Package, no matter how much money, technologies, and services are injected, those communities cannot effectively utilize those.
The result is an ongoing catastrophe, causing the Head of State and Ministers across Developing Economies to be puzzled and frustrated by the seemingly minor advancement.
Lacking an understanding of the reasons for the continued failure and what to do differently to change this, they often give up or find someone to blame.
FORWARD AND FIXING
Well, blaming is a solution for nothing, and to fix the current situation, we must start by understanding what went wrong.
We finally understand that colonialism imposed poverty on rural communities by dismantling the unique ecosystems and business models.
It explains why rural communities became impoverished long before the “technological age” and unrelated to it.
Colonialists imposed unfit, broken ecosystems and business models, leaving the indigenous rural communities no chance to prosper, even with "advanced technologies.”
But not all is lost. Hope is here and growing.
What colonialism destroyed, we can fix by doing the opposite.
By applying dedicated tailor-made Agricultural Packages designed to fix the broken parts to create prosperity.
Those Agro-Packages must be suitable for modern times and designed to suit best the local community’s culture, requirements, needs, and abilities.
In short, we must have a novel model that will enable impoverished communities to thrive by addressing the fundamental issues.
Such a model is the Holy Grail of those fighting poverty, particularly that of smallholders.
The solution for poverty was never and will never be in the form of more technologies.
The solution is in a holistic approach where we start by reconstructing healthy Ecosystems with novel Business Models and support those with suitable Technologies and Services.
The Israeli Kibbutz and Moshav models are perfect examples of creating a well-performing, successful “miracle” against all odds.
This "miracle" was possible thanks to a sophisticated system enabling Kibbutz members to act effectively;
* Access knowledge,
* Create a network in the community and between communities, and
* Broad cooperation.
Once those models were finalized and in place, it was a matter of time before there were hundreds of Kibbutz and Moshavs around Israel.
Times, titles, and functions have changed, but the principles for rural communities’ prosperity remain as they were thousands of years ago.
Evolution gave us many years past the reproduction age to build solid and advanced ecosystems and business models and maintain those.
Advanced technologies help us do things more efficiently but don’t redundant the need for dedicated ecosystems and business models to enable us to create thriving communities.
Don’t say “tomorrow”; now is the time to create the world we dream to live in.
If you agree and if you don't, let me know what you think.
Want to change the rural community's development trajectory in your country or elsewhere? Unsatisfied with a running rural project or want to plan a new one? Message me +972-54-2523425
Ø HUMAN LIFESPAN lasts beyond childbearing age.
Ø THE ELDERS’ JOB was to pass on knowledge and social skills to the younger generation.
Ø COLONIALISM DISRUPTED ancient ecosystems and business models, leading to persistent poverty regardless of access to improved technologies.
Ø PROSPERITY OF IMPOVERISHED rural communities is possible, starting with ecosystems and business models.
If you enjoyed the article, please share it with friends and colleagues.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE WEEKEND COLUMN.
*** Mental and Economic Freedom Are Interconnected. ***
See you soon,
If you missed it, here is a link to last week's blog, Will AI Solve Small-Hold Farmers’ Persistent Poverty and Hunger?
Dream Valley is a field-proven disruptive business model based on the successful Israeli model. Contact me if you view yourself as a potential investor, business partner, or client. Email, +972-542523425 (WhatsApp/Text)
If you like it, please share it with those who need to see it and Subscribe.
Change Begins With A Decision
That The Existing RealityIs A Choice
and Not A Decree of Fate