What the World Cup 2022 can teach us about facilitating growth and stimulating systems change

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Why do individuals, countries and economies remain stuck and when does a paradigm shift take place?

Dec. 4, 2022, 6:22 p.m.

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Very interesting analysis.

Dec. 4, 2022, 6:31 a.m.

Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar

Hello Everyone,
I believe you are all enjoying the FIFA World Cup 2022. As the game moved to the round of 16, it left me with a lot of questions about why individuals, countries and economies remain stuck and when a paradigm shift takes place.
For example, From all the predictions that I have observed circulating on this world cup, it is clear that we all are biased to gravitational believes- big team, history, number of trophies won, number of star players. Despite the fact that this has been proven wrong repeatedly since the start of this world cup, we still cant make ourself predict that Japan, Morocco, Senegal, USA, Australia can push it through to the quarter final or even the semis and the final. This has a very strong relevance to what I observe in social science when I try to figure obstructions to economic growth for individuals, institutions and countries.
That we can't believe as a collective on the winning chances of the underdogs further works against the chances of the underdogs in several implicit means-(i) the belief of the teams get affected-they themselves don't believe (ii) the system silently works against them, for example, poor refereeing decisions against the small teams. On the otherhand it has the opposite reaction to the big names- the believe they can win from anywhere and the system too favors them on the process
This is the same phenomena I observed among the poor and the SMEs. They don't believe, they forget to believe, even when they fight, the system brings them down, their interest to fight further diminishes, the system wins. The poor remains poor until and unless we have a paradigm shift, an impact that happens collectively at scale with a brut force to breakthrough the systems that keep their growth stunted. History tells us that it is indeed this paradigm shift that caused the poor economies to rise.
To make this happen, the system that works against the weaker teams need to be neutralized. The VAR system in this world did exactly the same. The sudden win of Saudi Arabia gave a moral boost to the other small teams and they capitalized on their belief. And we started to see the glass ceiling being broken. However, as the round of 16 starts, we might observe a different ball game as the big teams will believe they have everything to lose while small teams feel like they have done enough. I have encountered this so many times in so many sectors and countries. When I thought a paradigm shift is about to begin it stopped as the beneficiaries did not think they need to move further. Here, a big question is whether or not to intervene to push further as it depends on their agency!
Food for thought?
Happy to discuss over a group chat!
Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar

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