Our world is getting polarized
We live in a world that is slipping from crisis to crisis. After the collapse of the financial markets in 2008, other crises followed, from the refugee crisis to the Corona crisis to the energy crisis sparked by the Ukraine war. In addition, climate change, with its unforeseeable consequences, is a major sword of Damocles hanging paralyzingly over the future of mankind. Scientists agree it’s now or never to stop climate change.
Our data reveals clearly that all these crises have one phenomenon in common. Each crisis revealed a deepening divide in society. And this divide is no longer primarily between rich and poor, but rather a socio-cultural one between value sets.
If this rift widens in the coming years, it will be impossible for us as a society to tackle the urgently needed transformation processes that could still make liveable existence on this planet possible in the future. With an increasingly divided society, we will not be able to build the momentum necessary to face this important challenge together.
How did we get into this situation in the first place?
In the course of the consumer society created by the transformation from the industrial to the service age, there has been an extreme individualization within westernized societies accompanied by an extreme fragmentation of the connected markets.
In addition, the individualized society became more and more sensitive in the course of the development of prosperity. In this hyper-fragmented and hyper-sensitized society, the greatest possible technical paradigm shift – digitalization and the advent of digital media – led to an enormous change in communication behaviour.
The explosion of information exchange speed, information density and information radius fuelled fragmentation tendencies. On the other hand, people’s newly acquired sensitivity was put to the test by the perceptual communicative overload.
In short, cultural and social change could not keep up with the enormous transformation speed of digital technologies, which led to people being permanently overwhelmed.
The hyper-fragmented cultural niches were unable to achieve much in isolation as interest groups. Therefore in many societies camp structures developed. And this was combined with a growing hypersensitivity of individuals, which was a consequence of permanent communicative overload.
Extreme verbal outbursts between different camps in social media and ultimately a hardening between the fronts was further fuelled by new digital media algorithms, which promoted filter bubbles, rabbit holes – and thus fostered agitation in the system. Ultimately, social networks benefited from the agitation at least in the short term, because it formed the basis of their business model.
But social forecasts paint an increasingly bleak picture for the future as a result: society is becoming more and more divided, and the truly imminent problems of humanity, such as climate change, can not be solved in the foreseeable future.
What can we do about it?
At Uranos, we believe that the foundation of this problem is a comprehensive understanding of the various stakeholders. Understanding people’s concerns, their values, their hopes and fears, is the foundation for bringing them back together.
With Uranos technologies, e.g. our cultural typology clåss micromilieus,
we can provide deep insights and thus help decode societal change.
Enlightening the different socio-cultural classes
Our data clearly shows there are not only growing divides in society, but also universal values that people share, even globally. We profoundly believe that similarities like these should become a larger part of the global public discourse in order to develop empathy for diverging opinions.
At Uranos, we aim to create impact through our cultural decoding technology, which helps to enlighten people about their common values and beliefs. In addition, we are building an international multidisciplinary network of thought leaders, who want to contribute to building a global common sense, Uranos Intelligentia.
Developing a common sense
The digital media and its algorithms are fuelling the widening gap in society. Therefore, we need to bring about a change in mentality, especially in social media, aiming for more discourse and less exclusion.
In the process, people might discover that they are not as different as the media suggests and realize that they share common values, over and above the hurdles of political opinions.
This shared value basis should be the foundation stone for the common denominator, the common sense of a more united society. This way, different stakeholders can develop a concept for a common future and realize it together.
It is our innermost claim at Uranos to support the concept of a united society with all our activities and to contribute to a world:
where humans live in harmony with nature,
in which our children can live safely, develop and flourish freely,
regardless of their social background,
in which all people, regardless of their sexuality, gender, faith, ethnicity and beliefs,
can express themselves freely, provided they do not harm others,
in which entrepreneurial activity is measured not only in terms of shareholder value,
but also in terms of shared value.
So, in short, our master plan is:
1. Decode the cultures of the world
2. Enlighten the different socio-cultural classes
3. Help to develop a common sense for the future of humanity
4. Help to build a new united society