What We Are Reading

Avoiding the lobster claw

What it is?

In his essay, VR Ferose, Senior Vice President and Head of Globalization Services at SAP, argues the need to leverage technological advancement and growth through partnerships that seek benefit for all instead of just economic and personal gains. He cites Gandhi’s trusteeship and the caring economy as guiding thinking for a future that reimagines the metrics of societal success to include gains in political, social, technical AND economic systems.


Why is it important?

The essay serves as an important reminder to think about the negative implications of technological growth driven only by profit maximization. He shares the metaphor of the lobster claw, a pattern of cause-and effect where “optimizing a short-term goal leads to a long-term net negative impact”. Scenario planning provides a space for individuals to think about long-term impacts in hopes of avoiding a “lobster claw” scenario. In addition, the article provides another perspective to challenges assumptions on society’s measure of progress and asks us to think about the future with the benefit of “everyone” in mind. –RU