Bringing Our Planet and Humanity Back into Balance
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle
How a Network of Networks is a Force Multiplier for Social Good, Ethical Governance, Market Security, Sustainable Futures, and Helping to Make Our World a Better Place
Everyone can become an ambassador of goodwill and a positive agent of change for social good and sustainable futures with a little will, commitment, and compassion to help others.
A shared responsibility and doing social good helps all communities.
In many of the global causes and initiatives with which I have been involved in recent years on addressing geo-security threats and risks, I have learned that when various societies, sectors, and communities can come together with converged energies on commonly-shared challenges, they are more likely than not to bring about positive change over time.
Collective Action and Net-Centric Partnerships: We Can Do More Together
From combating corruption and poverty to fighting trafficking of humans, wildlife, and counterfeit and pirated goods, when strategic alliances are forged and resources leveraged, greater awareness is brought to the forefront not only of the harms and impacts that corrupt actors, criminal networks, and terrorist groups can have to communities globally, but also of how public-private partnerships can help to build market resiliency, sustainable futures, and make a difference in people’s lives around the world.
Let’s face it – the international community is confronting so many threats and challenges that no one country, no single organization, nor any wealthy philanthropist can solve alone today’s pressing issues.
When rapacious kleptocrats pillage their country’s national assets and hide them in offshore banks or as “dirty” investments in capital markets;
when women and children are violently taken from communities by criminals, exploited, trafficked, and forced into labor and slavery, or indoctrinated as child soldiers or ruthless gangsters;
when criminal entrepreneurs threatened the health and safety of communities with deadly narcotics; or when consumers are harmed with substandard products and counterfeits such as fake medicines, food, illicit cigarettes and alcohol products, and defective automotive and aircraft parts;
when criminal syndicates bring wildlife such as elephants, rhinos, and other iconic animals closer to the brink of extinction; or endangering our rainforests and planet through illegal logging, illicit fishing, the illegal dumping of hazardous and toxic materials, and other environmental crimes; or
when webs of corruption and criminality corrupt and taint the integrity of sport through an array of illicit activities and infiltration across the sport industry,
OUR COMMON SECURITY, HUMANITY, AND PLANET ARE THREATENED.
It is also clear that no single entity can have a complete understanding of how vast many of these problems are in many parts of the world or how in many cases, they are linked by an interconnected global illegal economy that is financed by drug cartels, corrupt autocrats, criminal syndicates, and terrorist organizations that are determined to profit, undermine free markets, and subvert international law, finance greater insecurity and instability around the world.
Thus, when illicit trade, blood money, and corruption converge to create rogue states, permissive sanctuaries, safe havens, and illicit financial hubs, insecurity and destabilization in some parts of the world can have a devastating ripple effect that threatens a shared agenda for enduring peace, prosperity, and market stability.
Coupled with ongoing geopolitical crises, conflicts, and humanitarian disasters, a global illegal economy complicates our ability to improve the state of the world.
The international community is increasingly recognizing that no single government, company, or non-governmental organization (NGO) can design and implement by themselves an effective solution to these complex problems in a given jurisdiction, much less globally.
Ethical Governance and Social Good: Good Business and Global Citizenship
We are also at a critical point where we have no choice but to work together.
By combining forces in response to the relentless convergence of transnational threats, risks, and challenges, we can strive to shut down the global illegal economy, safeguard our national assets, human capital, and natural resources, and help societies to nurture growth markets, and transformative and sustainable communities.
Instead of harmful counterfeits and illicit drugs that pose health and security hazards to people, communities can work together to build more open, dynamic economies focused on innovation and competitiveness.
Instead of over 20 million people being enslaved and trafficked, communities can safeguard their human capital and harness their potential to build tomorrow’s investment frontiers and, above all, a brighter future.
Instead of bad actors and illicit networks pillaging a country’s natural resources, destroying rainforests, and slaughtering endangered wildlife, communities can develop more vibrant and inclusive green eco-tourism hubs, preserving world heritage sites and mankind’s cultural heritage.
Below are 7 actions in which a network of networks can be leveraged as a force multiplier to make a genuine difference in people’s lives and build sustainable futures, especially when key stakeholders and communities talk to each other, leverage resources and/or co-finance projects, share good practices and innovations, and synergize net-centric partnerships and convergence strategies across disciplines and sectors in developing smarter, more integrated and holistic strategies that include:
1. Combating corruption, organized crime, and terrorism through whole of government, whole of societies approaches that make it harder, costlier, and riskier for bad actors to do business; and promoting the rule of law and human rights.
2. Confronting food and water insecurity, and related sustainability security harms caused by climate change including rises in temperatures and sea levels; increased violence and conflicts; diseases, epidemics, and pandemics; and other global shocks.
3. Addressing marginalized, unemployed, and disenfranchised youth and peoples by alleviating poverty, income inequality, and through economic development and economic freedoms including investing in human capital and responsibly making investments in education, healthcare, housing, and physical infrastructure that augment market growth and investment strategies.
4. Protecting vital ecosystems, habitats, rainforests, oceans, and endangered wildlife; fighting inaction, lack of enforcement, and corrupt and criminal actors contaminating the environment with deadly toxic chemicals and/or polluting our planet’s fresh air and water supplies.
5. Promoting holistic and cross-border, inter-regional approaches and greater socially-responsible public-private partnerships.
6. Applying innovative, leap-ahead, and “game changing” transformative technologies, social media, and crowd sourcing for raising awareness on the costs of illicit trade and global illegal economy to communities, and their greater harms to people’s lives.
7. Enhancing coordination among responsible governmental and market stakeholders across disciplines including smarter diplomatic engagement and targeted assistance; integrating social entrepreneurs, crowd-funding campaigns, impact investors, and responsible leadership in business and other sectors to do good.
Collective Leadership: A Better World
We must march forward together to confront today’s global harms and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges recognizing that the real threat centers in their convergence.
When people work together across borders and sectors as partners, humanitarians, and philanthropic agents of positive change, catalyzing and collective action can advance our humanity, protect our earth, save our children, and improve the state of the world.
David M. Luna is a globally-recognized strategic leader. A disruptive innovator for social impact, he is a visionary, thought leader, and a leading voice internationally on the full spectrum application of convergence strategies and net-centric approaches across today’s global threat landscapes and markets. Mr. Luna, CEO & President, Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC, is the Departing Chair of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade. He is the former Senior Director for National Security and Diplomacy, Anti-Crime Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Affairs, U.S. Department of State. He actively partners with inter-governmental, international organizations, and civil society groups on combating transnational threats and security risks. Follow Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC at: https://lunaglobalnetworks.com/ .
Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC shares a commitment to social responsibility and ethical governance approaches across diverse communities that have a positive, enduring impact in the world by doing business with the highest level of integrity, promoting sustainable development strategies that benefit our global community, protect our people and planet, and for all future generations.
[Republished August 3, 2017]