Srinivas Venkatram

Founder & Lead Researcher, Illumine

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Transcending Power & Knowledge – The DNA of Enlightened Citizenship

I

Power & Knowledge are two dimensions of existence that enable the organization of human endeavor.

Without power, there is no structure. Without knowledge, there is no discovery.

This situation is made more complex because power creates preferential access to information (and knowledge flowing from that information), and knowledge creates new forms of power based on competence, expertise, and special access to some contexts.

Swami Vivekananda proposes a new dynamic for society that transcends power and knowledge, and yet accounts for both.

This new dynamic is the dimension of “Enlightened Citizenship”.

Enlightened Citizenship

II

Citizenship is a new mode of engagement and living in society.

Citizenship means that power transmutes from self-centeredness to collective-centeredness (from power to control to power to contribute).

Citizenship also means that knowledge transmutes from knowledge as asset to knowledge as enablement (from knowing to enabling).

The new dynamic is like two strands of the DNA.

The new dynamic is like two strands of the DNA

“Power to contribute” creates the spaces where individuals are enabled to manifest their full potential.

“Knowledge as enablement” provides the tools that effect the enablement needed by individuals.

This double stranded DNA is the seed of a new dynamic of institutional regeneration that will, in its final form, provide society with “engines of evolution & collective contribution” and not “structures of acquisition and self-maximization”.