Yuval Harari’s Sapiens is a fabulous account of mankind’s journey to now, coloured with his insights on how that journey and the decisions we have made might illuminate the path ahead.
He presents three stories that we have made up to help us scale.
- Religion to not only make sense of the prescience world but also to provide some order, sense of safety and control
- Empires to increase the size of the battles and challenges we were able to take on
- Money to allow us to exchange value across borders, commodities and industries
None of stories these are real. They are understood posteriori. Rather they have been made up, using extraordinary leaps of logic, to allow us to operate better in the world, according to some other made up view of “better”
Today, all of these stories are under pressure. Religion is ceding to science as we learn more about how the world works and rely less on stories to make us feel more important or safe.
Religion’s abdication has been accelerated by the separation of church and state and the weaponising of science by empires, nation states and corporations to build economies on innovation, engage in warfare, explore and colonise new territories.
Yet it is money that gives the empires and the individuals within them a common language with which to engage, define power and ascend.
Money is a complete fabrication of the human mind, rarely existing in a physical form anymore yet has become the most powerful structure upon which Home Sapiens go about existing.
Because it is a story, a fabrication, the narrative remains within our control. We get to define the key components of the story: the characters, the journey, the rules and the outcomes. At a macro level, much of this story is again rightly being questioned with quantitative easing, money printing, interest rates, demand for growth and equity and other components of money full of uncertainty as to their efficacy. To that we present our politicians and economists a great task to get it right or at least better. The story is in their hands.
At a micro level, there seems very little individuals can do to control the story. Yet what we tell ourselves about what’s important and what we are going to do about that, determine our actions, habits and outcomes. But its tough. Whilst Jocko Willink might be right, that discipline equals freedom, not everyone is made of such stern stuff.
Between the micro and the macro exists however a continuum of organisational structures, empires, where much opportunity exists to control the narrative. Banks of various sizes have a strong role to play. What banks tell customers about how to use money can enormous influence given the complexity of money and the authority that banks have in the minds of people when it comes to money.
Beyond all the buzz of AI and ChatGPT lies real power in data and systems to scale a money story to consumers and businesses all over the world. These magic powers can be abused or used for good.
Moroku Odyssey is an attempt to provide banks, fintechs and wealth providers around the world with the digital fabric to weave a strong money story for good. Come by and have a look at it some time. We think you’ll like it.