As a Futurist, one of the things I've discovered over the years is that cycles -- life patterns where you pretty much do the same thing on the regular --- are fairly common. People embrace cycles because they are familiar and that they offer a sense of security in a world that often seems strange, uncomfortable and dangerous. Even if those cycles are dangerous, some people conclude that "better the devil you know than the devil you don't know." This kind of processing leads abused spouses to stay in abusive relationships. It leads corporation executives to bankrupt a company. It can even lead grown adults to say climate change is a hoax. While cycles are not necessarily bad in and of themselves, we are living in a time where we need to go above and beyond all that we know. There is a tool that can be used to break the power of habit and cycle and help us go above and beyond. It's a super power most of us have, but perhaps have under developed as a skill. That super power is vision.
Vision, the ability to imagine and see things that others cannot and the ability to turn it into a reality, is usually left to politicians, preachers or CEOs as a tool of the ambitious and well connected. The truth is, all human beings have been born with it as part of the human package. To what degree we develop it usually determines the quality of our lives. Here are some of the basic benefits of vision....
Vision can be a powerful unifier. I would submit that when a country, city or community is in discord, the lack of a common vision is usually at the center of the problem. Vision doesn't mean everyone agrees on an item. It means that the vision or a view of the road ahead is so big, inclusive, affirmative and compelling, people are willing to put aside their differences to make that one thing happen, first and foremost.
Vision is positive. There are people who unify their communities through fear. They tell you about all the things you should be afraid of. They tell you about the "others" and what those others will do to you. They tell you of the loss you will suffer from the others. That fear directly affects your quality of life. Vision is just the opposite. Vision leans on the benefits of a shared idea. It thrives when more people are able to participate in it. In quantum mechanics, vision is the vehicle for The Observer Effect --- the observed is affected by the observer. Fear begats more fear and affects the quality of our experience. While a positive vision has a direct affect on the quality of our lives. We are affecting that life through how we envision it.
Vision makes you put in work. Most people may not look at vision as a process, but it is. It requires you to flesh out a passing thought or idea. It demands that you think it through so that it's more than a wish or a dream, but an action plan. Vision requires you to make, at least, a mental commitment to something that used to be a fringe blip on your radar. Developing the vision means you are now committed to seeing the vision through. It will take a few changes along the way, but now it won't be left to chance.
Unfortunately, many people around us have reduced vision to personal gain, materialism and political gamesmanship. In the old world, this approach created a gain for a few, but led all of us to an existential crisis called climate catastrophe. The new world we are shifting into requires us to be magicians --- turning poison into medicine, conflict into companionship and profit into abundance. It is the super power that gives us the greatest chance to thrive and succeed in a time of climate crisis. Vision is the tool for this level of work.
Most of us know all the things you're against. Chances are you've posted it on social media at one time or another.
But what are you for? The essence of that is your vision.
Your definition of "winning" in the modern world is in need of an overhaul. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
What does "winning" mean to you? There is an intense debate going on across the globe as to what "winning" or victory is in a society. For the past few hundred years, it has been loosely defined as beating the competition, the gain of resources or materials over others and a superior quality of life as compared to our neighbors. But over the past year, there has been a serious "come to Jesus" re-thinking as to what winning is in the world as we collectively face the greatest "loss" modern humans have ever had to face, namely, an extinction level event called climate crisis. While climate crisis is not explicitly mentioned in these discussions, it has been a major catalyst as to why we're having these conversations now.
The Business Roundtable, a gathering of the biggest corporations in the US, made a declaration that corporations should serve their communities as well as their owners. This is a dramatic change of statement from the idea that the purpose of the corporation is to "maximize stockholder profits" -- to win.
Billionaires are now openly voicing ideas of re-imagining the very system that made them rich.
The term "re-imagining capitalism" is trending, and not just with college students, but with conservative think tanks and politicians.
Again, these conversations are suddenly trending, not necessarily because of climate crisis only, but, in my opinion, because of the narrow, unsustainable definition of winning we've embraced over the years. My anecdotal observation of our narrowly defined winning idea goes something like this...
OLD WINNING CONCEPTS
Some get. Most don't.
Scarcity over abundance.
There's not enough for everyone.
My winning means you have to lose.
One guy at the top with everyone else at the bottom.
NEW WINNING CONCEPTS
We can design systems where there is enough for everyone.
Abundance over scarcity.
Instead of winners, there is winning.
Lateral management models of participation.
I would submit that we've gotten so used to the repeated messages of the old winning model, we believe its a truth of life. The real truth is that it is a choice we've made that we haven't provided a reasonable challenge to.
I don't believe in dropping this argument into 18th , 19th and 20th century political philosophy boxes because, I believe our best ideas are still in front of us. We are no longer tied to concepts created in an entirely different word. We are free to explore new, more enlightened possibilities.
If this sounds like pie in the sky utopia to you, it may be because your brain can't process that we really can re-imagine how things work when we develop a different concept of winning. My data shows the current definition has crushed imagination, hampered large scale innovation, elevated the scarcity economic model over the abundance model, demonized visionary thinking and reduced human value. The evidence is all around us.
It's time to unleash the full power of human potential to think of better ways forward. If this becomes a political issue, it will be subject to the games politicians play in utilizing fear instead of courage, doubt instead of assuredness and loss instead of gain.
Perhaps your current definition of winning needs to catch up with the massive self-examination that's going on now of how to push the reset button in the face of crises we've never seen before. Calling all creative thinkers....
Population bust, and our badly managed, poorly understood immigration challenge. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
I recently heard Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders say something that was …..well, lacking. He said:
"The planet cannot sustain this (human population) growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it's crucial to face,"
A more accurate answer is that just the opposite is happening. And the challenge isn't necessarily about the number of people we have. It's about how we've organized things.
There is a population bust happening in the world that’s gaining speed. Most if not all Western states, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and now in many parts of Asia, are no longer having enough children to replace the number of people dying. This is called a population bust. On the surface, this would seem like a good thing to those folks who believed our world was on the brink of disaster due to overpopulation. But that's not the case. Fewer people being born means fewer people to help fund a society’s tax base.
The world is aging rapidly. There are fewer young workers in the world to support a society, particularly in the West. That's being quickened with the rise of automation and the need for fewer workers. A diminishing tax base means fewer people to help support rapidly aging communities. The growth of the elderly with a shrinking tax base could lead to a collapse of how a society works, as it is organized right now.
The economic strain on caregivers for the elderly. With fewer services, more of the economic burden of caring for the elderly will fall on the shoulders of caregivers, namely, the children of the elderly. With ongoing economic inequity, that strain will only increase over the years.
Immigration can help provide economic stability to a country following the path of population bust…., Leaders that demonize "cultural others" for the sake of gaining political advantage are basically taking their country on a path to ruin. A more sophisticated approach to immigration is not that hard. In fact, it will be needed in the face of migrating populations seeking to escape the devastations caused by climate crisis. The US will experience it this year as Bahamians seek refuge from the crisis of hurricane Dorian and Central Americans seek to escape the hardships of drought caused by climate crisis. This is just the begining. A grown up, robust immigration approach that addresses the bust and deals with climate change migration is needed from visionary and empowered leadership. Unfortunately, no one seems to be in a hurry to develop that kind of leadership yet. Watch South Korea. They will become the poster child for what to do or what not to do when it comes to immigration reform.
And for those of you still deeply married to the idea that too many people are causing climate crisis.....
Climate crisis isn't about too many people. It's about how we've organized resources. We grow enough food right now to feed everyone 10 times over. The real challenge is how we've organized resources. We could have a fourth of the people we have in the world right now and still be in climate crisis because of how we exploit land, minerals, the environment in general as well as other people. Comprehensive immigration reform can be the lead in for re-thinking how things work.
Creative thought, new values, advanced technology and an entirely new way of looking at immigration could set us up for a more efficient and effective way to manage societies and expectations. Watching from the sidelines using a 20th century lens for viewing is not a recipe for success. Let's do better!
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org