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In Transforming Systems: Why The World Needs A New Ethical Toolkit, Arun Maira argues that while economies have been growing, systemic problems of social inequality and environmental unsustainability are becoming intolerable. This realization led to the Sustainable Development Goals, which all countries signed up to achieve. To attain these goals, Maira, a former member of the Planning Commission, former chair of the Indian arm of the Boston Consulting Group and the chairperson of HelpAge International, says a new toolkit is needed. The toolkit, which goes beyond the precepts of good business management and prevalent best practices in government as well as civil society organizations, should be founded on disciplines of systems thinking, ethical reasoning and deep listening. He insists it should focus more on concepts of governance of networks, rather than the management of organizations.

Diverse points of view must be heard and valued, not smothered beneath technology-driven quantitative data analysis, explains Maira, who has earlier written Listening For Well-Being; Redesigning The Aeroplane While Flying, Reforming Institutions and An Upstart In Government: Journeys Of Change And Learning. The most useful life skill for young people, Maira insists, is to learn how to be lifelong learners, sensitive to their own evolution within an evolving system.

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