Thus the presence of respect can help transform conflicts, by providing opportunities that did not exist before. At the same time, the absence of respect can lead to conflict. What makes men like Bill Richardson and John Kamm succeed in negotiations and dialogue where many other fail, especially in their dealings with cultures other than our own? What makes them different from others? Both cite respect to be their main secret. Recognize respect to be a basic human right , treat individuals and states with dignity, and you will receive a more sustainable response. The relationships so established will be based on mutual trust and respect, and hence is likely to last. In contrast, if you browbeat your enemies (or both sides if you are the mediator) then even though the goal may be attained, the relationship will be resentful, and backlash , more than stable peace is the more likely outcome.
While there is no clear road map for what lies ahead, in previous industrial revolutions we’ve seen society transition, not always smoothly, through a series of phases. First, we invent and design the technologies of transformation, which is where we are today. Second, we retrofit for the future. For example, drone pilots need training; old cars’ steering wheel might need to be removed as they are converted to autonomous vehicles. Third, we navigate distortion, dissonance, and dislocation. What is a radiologist’s job when the machines can read the X-ray better? What is the function of a lawyer when computers can detect patterns in millions of documents that no human can spot? But if we’ve incorporated the right values and design principles, and if we’ve prepared ourselves for the skills we as humans will need, humans and society can flourish.