The theme of this blog is dreams, large and small, of a positive future. The beat, in the newspaper sense of the word, is the future of business, the economy, civilization, and living systems of our planet.
I am interested in plausible positive visions of the future because they are much needed and in short supply. By plausible positive visions I mean visions of a future worth living that take into account the evidence that civilization is on a path to disaster. To steer our way to a decent future we must embrace challenges such as climate change, the growing distance between rich and poor, future natural resource shortages, racism, toxic build up and loss of genetic diversity. How can we find the courage to do so?
We are called upon to do something new, to confront a no man’s land, to push into a forest where there are no well worn paths and from which no one has returned to guide us… this requires a degree of courage for which there is no immediate precedent…
This courage will not be the opposite of despair. We shall often be faced with despair, as indeed every sensitive person has been during the last several decades in this country. Hence Kierkegaard and Nietszche and Camus and Sartre have proclaimed that courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.
I live with the knowledge that the path our civilization is on threatens the life support systems on which we rely for our existence. And yet I have hope that there is much we can do both to reduce the climate changes and to mitigate their effects. Let us imagine a plausible future worth living. Then we will find the energy to work aggressively towards its realization.
The human race is failing to act boldly to address critical challenges that we must address to guarantee the continued existence of a peaceful orderly society. It is time to act, otherwise, as we run out of resources and habitable lands, humanity will descend into barbarism, widespread starvation and continual war punctuated by frequent terror attacks. In the future, even more than now, social justice and the environment are part of a single system.
Why, for example, do we not act to stop catastrophic climate change? It is not for lack of information pointing to the problem. Is it because most people, short of giving up most of what they believe makes them happy, do not see a alternative to going on more or less as we are.
I will be seeking a future that spreads the benefits of society more broadly to all members. We need this not only because it is fair but because the power of the disenfranchised through terror is increasing. We can’t afford to steal from others to the same degree that we have done in the past.
This blog is a creative exploration of more positive ways to face the future. I hope the conversations this blog participates in will contribute to what I believe is one of society’s major creative challenges: the creation and sharing of new visions that attract people in their lifesyles, politics and businesses to move joyfully toward a future that can work for future generations.
This blog will contain:
- Designs for small parts of a future worth living
- Product and service designs that point to a happy future
- Social and cultural patterns and institutions
- Larger system visions
- Economic system ideas
- Geopolitical dreams
- System conditions for long term viability, ecosystem health and human happiness
- Design principles for a happy future
- Discovery of leverage points for large system interventions to get us moving toward positive futures. See my blog post Where to Intervene in a System.