Peter Senge in his foreword to Sudhakar Ram’s The Connected Age writes, “In a sense, you could call this the era of profound confusion. We all know that more material possessions do not lead to happiness, yet en masse we pursue unending growth in consumption.
We all know that our well-being is inextricably tied to the health of the larger natural systems within which we live, yet to date our response to the accelerating decline in key ecosystems around the world is woefully inadequate. We all know that relationships define our lives and sense of well-being, yet we study and work in institutions like schools and businesses driven by competition among individuals.
As a student recently expressed poignantly: We are more and more ‘connected’ and yet more and more separate.” Reconciling this strain of thought with practical applications on how to change the way we view the world and live in it, is Sudhakar Ram’s debut book, The Connected Age.
CEO of Mastek, an IT solutions firm based in Mumbai, Sudhakar Ram, is an IIM Calcutta graduate, who quit a job in advertising to join Mastek and later on became Chairman and finally CEO of the company. An avid blogger, Sudhakar soon realised that a book could probably help him reach more people and spread his message further. “We’ve all been brought up in a certain way, conditioned to chase success and nothing less. And our notion of success is often quite materialistic. But people are more than just material beings. Through my book I want to help people question their way of life, the way they work within organisations, and the way they treat the world they’re living in,” explains Sudhakar.
Sudhakar does this through talking about the current education systems, materialistic values of humans, the drastic changes in our ecosystems and the urgency of the need to address all of this immediately.
“We have an almost assembly line approach to education. We crush the genius out of children and dumb them down. People within organisations are forced to take orders without questioning them. There is absolutely no importance given to wellness, the ability to consume without harming oneself and the environment. It’s not too late to look at these issues and that’s what I want to do through this book. The questions are mine and the answers are also mine, but if I can help people just question themselves, I would have done my job,” says Sudhakar.
There’s also the issue of overall governance. In a world that’s becoming increasingly power hungry, how does one attempt to balance it all? “I kept looking for examples in daily lives of other people and how certain individuals as well as companies are trying to work around things differently and I’ve incorporated these as well as my own experiments with alternate living and governance, in the book. Every time I come across a new idea, I try to experiment with it in my own personal and corporate life,” he explains.
Sudhakar hopes that once people read the book every person will have their own vision for the world and that they’ll work towards it.
“I want them to understand how they can lead a more powerful life and lead a more impactful and more engaged life, in turn making the world a better place to live in, for themselves and for future generations,” he signs off.
The Connected Age, published by Collins Business, is available for ` 350 .