Over the past couple of decades, it became increasingly clear that in addition to known complexities of our existence (nationalities, cultures, world problems, etc.) we need to now count with one more pressing element – the environment. For the first time in its history, humanity has the adequate technology and sufficient awareness to take a big picture view of our activities and their effect on the environment. For the first time we have become conscious that unless we change the way we do things on Earth and enlarge our horizons to take-in nature and rest of life on Earth, we will find it impossible to sustain our way of living. This challenge affects all of us, no matter where you live, the change will affect you sooner or later over the next years.
Recently, I took a part in a sustainability conference and in one of the sessions we have asked ourselves a question. What will our future look like? What are the key choices/possibilities we will need to address within the shifting environmental landscapes that remain to be a big unknown? I would like to share with you few key questions that we will have to find answers to…
- Economic system – heavily tested through the events of last couple of years, the current monetary system is fighting for its survival. Will we revive the system and continue with minor modifications or we will use this opportunity (or potential collapse that is predicted by some) to design a new economic system that better serves humanity? Economy of care, resource based economy, systems based on abundance, contribution to society or diverse community based systems, these are just some of the possibilities. Which way will we go? And if we choose to evolve, how to best transition from the old to the new?
- Population – how do we address the growing number of people in the world? Will we all make it and keep growing or will we experience a global catastrophe that will significantly reduce our numbers? How do we mobilize varying spectrum of people with completely different world-views and corresponding values and beliefs systems?
- Environment changes – will we choose to act? Will we manage to act globally as humanity or keep playing nationalistic games? If we choose to act to reduce future damage, how do we deal with the immediate changes that are bound to happen due to accumulated damage from our recent past? Will the changes be gradual and allow the environment and us to adapt or will we face drastic changes that will leave us fighting for immediate survival?
- Technology – Are we going to be able to keep our steep evolution of technology and adapt quickly enough to necessary shift from fossil fuels towards renewable resources? Will some of us go back in time and all of us remain living in a low-tech, primarily agricultural society or will we maintain and expand our technology and use it as main tools to create sustainable evolution?
- Scarcity – will we be able to move from current scarcity mindset and corresponding effects (dramatically unequal distribution of wealth, masses of people living in constant fear of having sufficient monetary resources, few benefiting from our evolutionary advances, etc.) towards an abundance-based economy and way of seeing the world where common resources are adequately distributed around the world to secure basic needs for everyone?
- Being integral – are we able to mobilize all people with very different life priorities? Will we be able to explain, communicate and understand what is happening and where we are all going despite seeing the world in radically different ways? Will we all be willing to use our strenghts when it counts?
- Evolution – will we progress in our evolution or stall and begin our descent as a civilization? Will we continue to grow or develop or will further evolution require an intentional and conscious support from us in alignment with all what was, is and will be created?
I wrote this as questions to have you think about your own answers before reading my thoughts. As of now, I would choose a technological route that allows us to further evolve our awareness and to design a civilization that is in harmony with the rest of the natural environment. New science streams such as bio-mimicry could allow us to learn from nature and create our future in symbiosis with what is around us. The rapid development of technology fueled by sutainable sources of energy will enable us to solve some of the most pressing problems of today forever. We will find a more suitable economical and social model that is geared towards long-term sustainability and enables us to move beyond the era of gaps and divisions between have and have-nots.
With the evolution of exploitative monetary system, many of our current jobs and professions (aimed at producing more wealth for few and reinforcing scarcity) will become unnecessary and obsolete and people will be left to voluntarily choose if and how they plan to contribute to further evolution of humanity. I see new leadership emerging that is based on authenticity, consistency, integrity , sense of the whole and ability to find solutions that work. I see a deep spiritual awakening that will change the way we make choices, live our lives and relate to each other and that will serve as a prerequisite to all the changes described above…
This is one of many possibilities for our future. As everything is connected, organic and co-created by all of us as well as forces beyond our cognition, it is impossible to predict where we will end up at the end. However, I believe it is crucial for each of us to be informed, to research, to envision, to aspire. I find that many people do not have their answer to a question; “What future would you like to have?”
It is important that we start talking to each other and look for sollutions together. It is necessary that we each take responsibility in our own sphere of influence to seek and act upon the world we see possible. If we don’t, the future will still happen, though it might not be the one you seek. I believe that people reading this blog have a holistic, big picture view of the world beyond only themselves. When people like you choose not to dream and not to act, you leave the future to those who do. And trust me, not all of these people think of you in their versions of the future…
Are you willing to take a chance and not act on the future you see possible? How does it look like? And what will you do tomorrow?