Everyone wants to be free.

The liberty to do whatever, free of constraints, enslavement or imprisonment.

Not being told what to do, say or think.

Freedom is not related to any specific economic system, social group, culture or religion.

Nobody owns freedom.

There are, however, steps towards freedom allowing people to fulfill their potential yet a necessity for this state of happiness to occur is when expectations meet reality.

The reality is that a free world must be underpinned by norms, diversity and inclusivity.

This kind of ‘free-for-all’ framework requires norms to foster a meritocracy where people with talent, dedication and commitment can aspire to reach their highest level.

People must be motivated to strive for excellence.    

Diversity celebrates the fact that every person in this world is unique, different and valuable whilst inclusivity ensures that people are at a minimum valued, seen and heard.

Nobody wants to feel ignored, humiliated or rejected.  

Although norms, diversity and inclusivity are equally important, Freedom House recently produced its ‘Freedom in the World 2019’ report incorporating 195 countries to highlight a rapid 13 years of decline in global freedom with significant concerns around the erosion of norms.    

Self-determination represents an integral part of freedom which means that governments must take the responsibility to enable people to self-govern.

The 3 vital needs representing steps towards self-governance are autonomy, relatedness and competence.

Autonomy refers to the degree to which people can run, self-regulate or control their own actions, situations and experiences. Besides human rights, enough financial resource is key.   

The need for relatedness supports the right to feel socially connected including the ability to associate with various other groups, being taken seriously and not suffer any form of discrimination.

A simple day-to-day mantra to follow here is ‘give respect to get respect’.       

The third vital need is to create an environment where people can signal their competence by encouraging people to demonstrate their effectiveness, mastery and achievements.

Education and employment are important building blocks but expertise must be rewarded too.

For various reasons including legacy, countries are at different stages right now to set their people free. Enforcement of international law plays a vital role to help facilitate a timely transition.

A different practical opportunity to help accelerate the human enterprise, endeavour and experience is to grant people with freedom of the internet to not only scale the availability, accessibility and completeness of information for education purposes but also to stimulate creativity, productivity and connectivity.

The good news here is that 726 million people came online in the past three years alone with much of the rise coming from countries such as India and Africa.

To address security concerns, it is imperative for governments to gain access to multiple Internet Service Providers to better channel confidential information of national interest.

People should have the ability to swiftly change providers at a switch of a button in case of malicious intent, service defects or other connectivity concerns (eg Wi-Fi type concept). 

A GLOBAL Data Protection Regulation secures a consistent ‘ask before you take’ type policy across international borders to ensure that people always know the (re-) purpose of any data collection exercise.

Isolationist policies to separate the ‘Old World’ from the ‘New world’ no longer work in an era of hyper connectivity only made possible by the introduction of new technologies at ever increasing speeds.

Instead of such policies, strategic partnerships between existing trade pacts to collaborate, innovate and transform quickens the pace of progress to a free world right at our doorstep.

People want to see progress in their standard of living.

The 3 pillars of ‘corporatocracy’ including international finance, big corporations and governments must clearly show leadership in this space to serve the public interest.

Good governance is driven by a clear purpose, set of principles and values.

A sustainable future is part of a free world.

The primary duty of any board governing an organisation of people is to realise a sustainable future which implies thinking beyond the doorstep to fix issues at the doorstep and vice versa.

Self-interest is easily matched; reciprocity returns like a boomerang to break out of a seemingly impossible stalemate.

The ability to operate, think and act consistently irrespective of boundaries must represent the norm.

A free world means every person can live comfortably, safely and freely in their own desired world yet be part of a bigger whole. We owe pursuing this aspiration to ourselves if not the next generation.

Let’s move beyond the battle of the narrative to put this dream into action.

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