Meme 1: Separate Agency Budget Intelligence (SABI). The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) may be within a year of a huge management advance, understanding, with decision-support, the relative return on investment (ROI) of its investments in relation to the ten high-level threats, many of which it is uniquely positioned to address. Understanding that clean water and sanitation is the most important medical advancement since 1840, UNESCO is poised to call into question its excessive investments in vaccinations that yield little return and often create broader health issues, as opposed to focusing on micro-education (see meme 3) and micro-financiing of clean water initiatives.
Meme 2: integrated missions’ assessment and planning. This is the United Nations (UN) equivalent of Whole of Government planning, programming. and budgeting. While non-existent within most governments, the UN appears to be realizing that with its back to the fall and the fate of over 175 “failed states” on the table, it might be time to add intelligence (decision-support) to how it does business. This means understanding that all threats and all policies have to be evaluated together and in relation (the Eastern way), and that all budgets and behaviors must be planned–harmonized–so as to achieve integrated outcomes, not outcomes in isolation that undermine “rest of system” stability.
Meme 3: micro-education. This is a brand new meme but it defines practices that already exist and could be brought together. With the vast majority of subsistence farmers still using ancient methods such as furrow irrigation, and many not recognizing the value of rain harvesting, there is a route opening for UNESCO by which it can leverage Alvin Toffler’s insight and substitute information for capital, labor, time, and space. Put bluntly, some micro-education is vastly more important than a complete (albeit mediocre) elementary education. Micro-education on water and health appears to be the center of gravity for jump-starting the entrepreneurial possibilities among the extreme poor. What no one has done is create a stacked list of “Essential Elements of Information” (EEI) that should be taught to the poor in priority order as part of “any and all” encounters.