Learning to love the Future: Overcoming “presentism” | Changes of Tomorrow

We’ve never been more capable of understanding our future, yet we’ve never been more stuck in the present. 

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We’ve never been more capable of understanding our future, yet we’ve never been more stuck in the present.

We live in a constant 24-hour news cycle where social media “sucks us into temporal myopia, Like hamsters running on a wheel, we live in an endless cycle of ephemeral content consumption”; keeping us from observing and reflecting on the impact of today into the future.

As William James observes, our life experience equals what we pay attention to. And in doing so, we ignore the interests of our future selves.

Given the fast pace of change, our lives seem more and more uncertain and complex by the week.

But as Alexandra Samuel remind us: “To be human is to ponder the future”. We must break away from our current presentism and expand further our reach in time. We need to plan well beyond the fiscal cycle and deep into the interests of our future self.

Remember, the future is unclaimed territory and is ours for the taking. But, only if we look at what’s happening around us today and project our questions into the future: what is happening, who is making it happen and why?

This week’s title is inspired by this amazing article by the BBC.

 

What’s changing: Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Why is Editor in chief, the job of the future? (2 min read)

Why is this convention center in China the future of urban parks? (2 min read)

Why is privacy everybody’s most precious right? And how you can understand it better in 2019. (6 min and 5 min read)

Why is 3D printing a human heart is such a big deal? (for the first time ever, as these scientists from Israel did last week) (4 min read)

Why are these 5 industries the future of Latin America? (4 min read)

Why are hearing aids the future of tech? (5 min read)

Why is John Maeda’s Design in Tech Report 2019 a must read? Because it speaks of design, technology, and business in a way that makes you understand clearly where we are going and where we are supposed to be going. (10 min read and many hours to process)

Why is this the new Adidas Futurecraft loop so important? Because it’s aiming high: 1:1 product circularity. (4 min read)

Why the future of money should include money? MA Digital Management students from our Singapore hub explore some possibles future to money and came up with unexpected ideas in Fintech.

Why should this exist? A podcast that explores the impact of technology on humanity. (20 min per episode)

 

Mental energizer

Sometimes (often, actually) in business, you do know where you’re going, and when you do, you can be efficient thanks to a nice rhythm of planning and execution. In contrast, wandering in business is not efficient … but it’s also not random. It’s guided – by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and powered by a deep conviction that the prize for customers is big enough that it’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there. Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency. You need to employ both. The outsized discoveries – the “non-linear” ones – are highly likely to require wandering.

– From “2018 Letter to shareholders” by Jeff Bezos

 

Food for thought

Future consciousness consists of all normal human abilities and experiences, including emotion, imagination, anticipation, thinking, and purposeful action, involved in our consciousness of the future. The good future involves the facilitation of purposeful evolution, which is maximized through wisdom or heightened future consciousness.

 

Tomorrow’s numbers

People who had weaker social ties had a 50% increased likelihood of dying early than those with stronger ones. Being disconnected posed danger comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and was more predictive of early death than the effects of air pollution or physical inactivity.
From “The only metric of success that really matters is the one we ignore” Quartz

Sweden’s young population is growing at an explosive rate–so much so that the country needs 77,000 new full-time teachers within the next five years.
From “Prepare to fall in love with the portable schools of Sweden” Fast Company

More than 75% of Gen Z members believe they should be promoted in their first year on the job.
From “The office rookies who ask for the world” The Wall Street Journal

 

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This week’s exploration of possible futures was curated with curiosity by Iñaki Escudero, Future Activist.

Ps. Hyper Island has a lot of job openings – make sure to check them out here!

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash.