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A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business by Adam Morgan, Mark Barden

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9 SCARCITY AND ABUNDANCE

Why this capability is so important to all of us today

THIS CHAPTER FOCUSES ON:

  1. Will the future be characterized more by scarcity or abundance?
  2. Why will constraint-driven problem solving be an inevitable part of the future?
  3. Why is it so important to develop this capability more broadly and not just leave it in the hands of a chosen few?

These are, to echo Dickens, the best of times and the worst of times.

On the one hand, scarcity is, for good reason, at the top of many political and business agendas. The pressures of an increasing population and developing economies on finite or diminishing resources have led some to dub this the Age of Scarcity.1 While the field of economics has long been said to be, at its heart, the science of scarcity, the very real constraints the world needs to address give this a new emphasis. Indeed, they are largely constraints to which we are already too slow to respond (if they can be solved at all). As such, they threaten to become the definers of individual, national, and global progress—or regression—for the next twenty years.

Abundance, on the other hand, is a post-scarcity mindset that some suggest is now within reach. Abundance is about multiplying opportunity and ambition with new capabilities emerging today, such as the immense power of technology, and the global networks increasingly connecting people and ideas. You may have experienced this yourself, in ways big and small—faster transactions enabled by massive ...

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