What If There Were A World President?

Imagine a world where one person represents a unifying world view, the singular interest of the world not that of one country at best, or a conglomerate or company, or a self-interest.

Facebook Post on The Jury, with Marie-Ann Leonard and Melanie Gow about a world president

As part of a local newspaper ‘jury’ of opinion, my colleague and friend, Marie-Ann Leonard, and I were asked this week, “If an election had been held for ‘World President’ before his death, Nelson Mandela would probably have been the overwhelming choice. Who would you pick now?”

I love her for her pithy bon-mots, and her answer is funny, however, for a moment I would like to ask; “What if there were one world vision? A President of The World.”

Imagine a world where one person represents a unifying world view, the singular interest of the world not the interest of one country at best, or a conglomerate or company, or a self-interest.

Imagine a person able to dispense with borders and unconditionally seek the ‘win win’, able to hold a global vision for the protection of other species and the environment, and autonomy, mastery and purpose for all people.

Imagine that leader represents underlying human values;  tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, social connectivity, honesty, fairness, mindfulness.

Someone of vision, with courage, wit, wisdom, altruism and tenderness. Imagine if that person were to put the planet before profit, people before bottom-lines, the intelligence of our public debate before winning, the integrity of our public officials before getting a vote. Who valued shared knowledge above protecting patents, the well-being of the community before the dominance of a market.

A person who could be hell bent on sustainability and quality of life, on establishing real equal opportunities, able to dispense with the need or desire for military action and focus on social welfare and the support of life-long education. Who could put social and environmental values at the heart of the financial system, serving the well-being of the globe rather than economic growth.

I realise Marie would put in a throwaway line here to lighten the mood, but I have climbed to the top of the mountain and seen the possibility.

Imagine one world view that measured success by how much we brought to the table, how we developed solutions. Imagine a world that endorsed random acts of kindness, and creating societal benefits through generosity and creativity.

That measured the quality of our experiences before counting how much ‘stuff’ we have, what difference we make and who we matter to. A World President who ensured that was our legacy.

It’s just a question, what if there were such a World President…

It seems appropriate to quote Nelson Mandela here: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”


PS Here is Bill Strickland at TED