Alain de Vulpian is the most influential political and organisational anthropologist that you've (probably) never heard of. His most recent piece on empathy, socioperception and anticipation is his clearest statement yet of what he thinks is happening in the world around us.
It focuses on socioperception (which he used to call intraception). It's a term he uses to sum up just about everything that's different about the way we approach the world now, compared to how people in the west did sixty years ago. It's a combination of reason, sensation and emotion that is based in relationship and interrelationship. It goes beyond empathy to suggest a sense of "being among" that is profoundly anti-hierarchical, relatively compassionate, well-attuned, intimate and innovative. It applies as a term to our relationships with others, with society as a whole, with the physical environment and with ourselves.
It applies in our families (where it has helped to overturn patriarchy), in advertising (where it has discredited almost anything other than the targeted and ironic), in religion, politics and travel (where people increasingly look for the individual and particular, hating to be part of the kind of mass movement which drew in their grandparents) and across society as a whole.
Its fullest expression is in Generation Y -- the young people that employers are seeking to hire now and whom they are so often signally failing to attract or retain.
Vulpian's idea of socioperception suggests that we are becoming more socially and emotionally literate, more willing to listen to our own experience (for example, our lived, bodily experience, our feelings and emotions) and a more empathic blend of the four solidarities or paradigms of Cultural Theory. He suggests that, because of it, we just might find a way through the religious, economic, social and ecological catastrophes that we are facing.
If you read French, look at his article for SoL France.
If you don't read French or haven't got time, he suggests five things that should most concern organisations in all this. The 21st century organisation, if it's to survive and be effective, he says, should:
Alain de Vulpian - summary
Alain de Vulpian - book
Virtual Inquiry Center