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  • 1. Panorama Making a Future
  • 2. Thoughts
    • Today, if I proclaim that I have the answer to the meaning of life, that’s good for about five minutes of entertaining discussion and then the subject will change. Nobody expects to have an answer and “what difference would it make anyway?”
    • Thinking outside the box means questioning assumptions. One only gets really creative when conventional solutions don’t work. Then you have to question your assumptions. “What am I overlooking?”
  • 3. Contents
    • Thoughts
    • Reflections
    • Time for Change
    • Systems Paradigm
    • A Systems Primer
    • Defining Humanity
    • Human Diversity
    • Natural Morality
    • War and Peace
    • Information Overlord
    • Synthetic Biology
    • Cultural viruses
    • The bleeding edge
    • Sustainable vitality
    • The business system
    • The community system
    • Evolution, development and learning
    • Globalization
    • Human migration in the age of the knowledge economy
    • 2020 foresight
    • Dark age ahead
  • 4. Reflections
    • When looking for solutions to new economic problems, one must question assumptions about the way an economic system works.
    • At the same time, there may be many ways to solve a problem, but some solutions are better than others. Some solutions are quicker or last longer and some may solve a number of problems at once.
    • When a solution solves more problems than its competing solutions, we say it has high leverage .
    • What this really means is that we have questioned and challenged a more significant assumption.
  • 5. The Human Condition
    • We live in unprecedented times
    • The complexity of our human network and value systems makes it impossible to predict and control our future
    • Human diversity has never been greater
    • Human cultures are merging, emerging, diverging and submerging
  • 6. Conventional Science
    • Conventional science breaks things down into their component parts creating ever more narrow specialized disciplines with languages of their own
    • We no longer accept that disciplinary thinking corresponds to reality
    • Linear disciplinary thinking is breaking down under the burden of real whole systems
  • 7. Complexity
    • Complexity is a measure of the number of relationships and types of relationships among a set of components
    • Among three components there are three relationships
    • Among four components, there are six bilateral relationships
    • Among five, there are ten
  • 8. Complexity
    • Not only are there more things to think about, but there is a greater variety of things:
    • More disciplines
    • More technologies
    • More communications media
    • More ethnic integration
    • More intercontinental travel
  • 9. Time for Change
    • Complexity cannot be so easily reduced without loss of critical information
    • When a conventional solution fails its time for a change
  • 10. Time for Change
    • When conventional science fails to explain emergent properties, or chaos, or synergy, then it is time to change scientific approach
  • 11. Acclimatization
    • People pay attention to their immediate needs first
    • The number of immediate needs is increasing dramatically
    • Who has time to notice the long term needs and long term changes in our personal environments?
    • We adapt to change until we can adapt no further.
  • 12. The Systems Paradigm
    • We are on the threshold of a major paradigm shift from logical positivism of conventional science to systems approach
    • In the 1940’s the systems approach began as operations research, general systems theory and as cybernetics
  • 13. A Systems Primer
    • Operations research began during World War II as the Allies found that they needed a new set of mathematical tools to manage the complexity of military operations
    • Management science grew out of operations research, taking advantage of the new mathematics to solve complex business problems that were amenable to quantification
  • 14. A Systems Primer
    • The science of communication and control in animals and robots began in the late 1940s as scientists worked on electronic computing machines
    • They called it ‘cybernetics’
    • They thought of early computing machines as artificial intelligence that should follow the same rules of logic
    • Feedback control and hierarchies of control
  • 15. A Systems Primer
    • A third branch of the systems approach began with mathematical analysis of biological organisms
    • Thermostats and homeostasis control growth, development, behaviour and learning
    • Systems fill us and surround us with networks of feedback and hierarchies of control
    • The secret of life – how can order exist in a universe of growing disorder and randomness?
    • This approach was called general systems theory
  • 16. Defining Humanity
    • Many dimensions
    • Love and hate
    • Hope and doubt
    • Fear and courage
    • Defense and offence
    • Rich and poor
    • Creatures of habit
    • Inquiring minds want to know
    • We define who we are as we express inner potentials.
    • Collectively we all contribute to a common and evolving definition of humanity.
  • 17. Defining Humanity
    • Emergent contexts
    • The genetic individual
    • The family surroundings
    • The work group
    • The organization
    • The community
    • The nation state
    • The global village
  • 18. Defining Humanity
    • System dimensions
    • Social systems
    • Cultural systems
    • Economic systems
    • Political systems
    • Environmental systems
  • 19. Human Diversity
    • Convergence, divergence, emergence, submergence
    • All thinking things sort out their worlds by identifying similarities and differences.
    • We converge things that are similar into single simple ideas.
  • 20.
    • We diverge things conceptually that appear to be different.
    • New ideas emerge out of the sorting of similarities and differences.
    • Sex, age, intelligence, temperament, race, language, ethnicity, religion, occupation, urban/rural
    Human Diversity
  • 21. Natural Morality
    • Moral behaviour is not defined strictly by actions but it is meaningful behaviour.
    • Moral behaviour has symbolic significance.
    • Intentions are an important part.
  • 22. Natural Morality
    • Behaviour carried out because of fear of reprisal or hope for personal reward is not moral.
    • Moral behaviour must be appreciated for its own sake.
    • What guides human social behaviour?
    • Learning about relationships from ecology
  • 23. War and Peace
    • Conflict is inevitable. There will always be competition for scarce resources.
    • We humans have a choice. We can choose to collaborate, negotiate, or annihilate.
    • Some people enjoy a good fight. Others, perhaps more timid types, are naturally inclined to collaborate.
  • 24. Information Overload
    • Never in history has there been such a wide variety of means of communication
    • People around the world are connecting in powerful ways and have open channels to change public awareness
  • 25. Information Overload
    • The amount of published information is growing at an exponential rate. The time it takes to double the amount of published information is shortening dramatically.
    • Our personal capacities to manage information are not growing at the same rate.
    • Therefore, as individuals, we see a diminishing portion of what is known in the world.
    • What does this really mean?
  • 26. Information Overload
    • What does this really mean?
    • Road rage, obsessive compulsive social disorder
    • The great leap forward – from data compression to idea compression – patterns of similarity and difference can be codified and simplified
  • 27. Progress
    • Often overlooked as progressive, psychology has made a major change in our world over the past century
    • Children are now viewed in a new way
    • People work on relationships with more attention to each other’s needs
    • We have come to respect individual differences
  • 28. The Bleeding Edge
    • With the introduction of each new foundational technology, especially, communications technology, there is an industrial boom
    • Cultural lag theory
    • Technology is leading our lives.
    • Commercial interests dominate our personal agendas.
    • Who is our guardian?
  • 29. The Bleeding Edge
    • Synthetic biology
    • Genetic engineering
    • A push-button world
    • Happy pills
    • OCD gaming
    • TV junkies and video warriors
    • The 21 st century disease – allergies, asthma,
    • The nature of network numbers
    • CO 2 and global climate change
  • 30. Synthetic Biology
    • It is now possible to create new forms of life that have never before existed and would never exist if not for the intervention of human science
    • Synthetic biology goes beyond genetic engineering by synthesizing wholly new organisms
  • 31. Cultural Viruses
    • All people are born with an inherent drive to adopt and adapt their surrounding culture.
    • A culture is a set of ideas, values, beliefs, behaviours and technologies that work together in a coherent and meaningful way to produce satisfying outcomes.
    • Culture has a life of its own, independent of individuals.
    • Ideas only come to consciousness when they are threatened or fail.
  • 32. Cultural Viruses
    • Systems of ideas that provide emotional comfort, and seem to answer difficult questions, can be deceiving.
    • These systems of ideas have a life of their own that is self-perpetuating and self-regulating.
    • They get embodied in your mind and mutate in ways so that they survive normal scrutiny.
    • Ideas only come to consciousness when they are threatened or fail.
  • 33. Cultural Viruses
    • The longer ideas persist, the more difficult they are to detect. They become assumed. They will have you convinced that you are those ideas – the ideas are a critical part of your identity.
    • Ideas have a way of convincing us that they are reality itself and not just a hypothetical model of reality.
    • If you have traveled to a different country where people speak a different language and have different customs, you will have begun to be aware of the many ideas you have taken for granted.
  • 34. Cultural Viruses
    • Socratic and Cartesian methods – questioning to a void
    • Viruses can short-circuit our thinking patterns, preventing feedback loops from relaying critical information and preventing learning.
  • 35. Evolution, Learning and Development
    • Underlying evolution, learning and development is a single set of common ideas and principles.
    • Creating order and organization out of chaos
    • Communities of practice
    • Sharing best practices
  • 36. Evolution, Learning and Development
    • The new economic world order will be dominated by competitors who have figured out the viral formulae for success – technology
    • Innovation
    • Commercialization
    • Adoption
    • Continuous improvement
    • Economies of scale
    • Intellectual capital
    • Human talent
  • 37. Evolution, Learning and Development
    • The average education level is going up, driven by automation that replaces unskilled labour
    • People take longer to complete their education and enter the work force
  • 38. Human Migration in the Knowledge Economy
    • Human capital is primarily intellectual capital.
    • Competition today revolves around knowledge and, in particular, innovative knowledge.
    • Do you want the golden egg or the goose that lays golden eggs?
    • People with specialized knowledge have rare assets that are valuable.
    • People are mobile. They can pick up and move to another city, region, country or continent.
  • 39. Human Migration in the Knowledge Economy
    • Cities are competing against one another to attract talent with a higher quality of life.
    • Smart educated people want to go where they will find other smart educated people. They want to go where they are appreciated, and where they can continue to learn.
    • The brain drain from rural to urban to industrial cluster.
    • The impact of modern communications.
  • 40. Sustainable Vitality
    • Information overload, poor management, an imbalance between work and home life, these are some of the things that get people down.
    • One person in five in Canada will be treated for depression sometime in their lives.
    • What stresses you?
  • 41. Sustainable Vitality
    • What have you tried that works, or does not work, to control stress?
    • What can a person do to get control over his lifestyle and create and maintain a healthy balanced way of life?
  • 42. The Business System
    • A business is a system that you control within a business environment that you do not control.
    • You must be able to detect, identify, describe, predict and then control components of your business environment in order to grow, develop, maintain and replicate your business.
  • 43. The Business System
    • Corporate greed has raised a reaction throughout society
    • Corporate social responsibility is gaining more support
    • Demand for accountability, transparency and protection of the environment
  • 44. The Community System
    • Community is the largest naturally occurring social system.
    • It has a natural population between 100 and 200 people – enough genetic variety for a sustainable breeding population.
  • 45. The Global System
    • Patterns of globalization have been growing for the past few centuries.
    • The pace of globalization is quickening.
    • Systems that grow to monopolize
    • Systems that maintain the status quo
  • 46. The Global System
    • Mass communications, human migration, the internet, mass production and mass markets all contribute to the growth of a single global monoculture.
    • Nations are forming regional trading blocks, political pacts and common currencies.
  • 47. The Global System
    • Multi-national corporations dominate most consumer and industrial markets.
    • 800 billionaires control more than half of the world’s wealth.
    • Thousands of people die of starvation daily.
  • 48. 2020 Hindsight, Insight and Foresight
    • Based on human history and our current condition, where are we going as a species?
    • What are the trends that we need to pay attention to?
    • How do trends and events combine to create chaos?
    • Foreseeing and planning the future.
    • Creating the future.
  • 49. Prepare for the Worst
    • Global climate change
    • Viral pandemic
    • Nuclear terrorism
    • Corporate tyranny
  • 50. Prepare for the Worst
    • Nuclear terrorism
    • Unpredictable
    • No nation state on the map
    • Terrorist cells in isolation
    • No effective detection, prevention or solution
  • 51. Dark Age Ahead
    • All good things must come to an end. The only question is “ when ?”
    • There are trends that suggest a changing of the guard in world politics.
    • The decay of core social functions indicates more systemic problems that, taken in combination, could spell the end of the western world’s prowess.
  • 52. Dark Age Ahead
    • Family and community breakdown, substance abuse, obsession with material wealth, preoccupation with all things instant, including cars, TV, video games and surfing the web - all are indicators of a change of values.
    • Loss of cultural memory
  • 53. Dark Age Ahead
    • Will we be psychologically prepared to recover and find a new balance?
    • Will mass hysteria and chaos prevail?
  • 54. Dark Age Ahead
    • How are we linked to our past?
    • Are we destined to repeat the decline of past empires?
  • 55. Dark Age Ahead
    • What holds us back from creating a better world order?
    • What are our hidden assumptions?
  • 56. Childhood’s End
    • “ He who forgets the past is destined to repeat it” or,
    • “ He who repeats the past is destined to be forgotten”
    • We live in unprecedented times. We always have, really. Patterns repeat but never exactly. There are only ‘family resemblances’
    • One thing is clear, mankind is awakening as a single consciousness
  • 57. Childhood’s End
    • Childhood’s end is not the journey’s end
    • It is a new beginning for those who recognize it
    • We create our own humanity – our own definition - with every act
    • Where we tread, where we explore, our name remains
    • Just like our footprints…
    • A record of the human potential
  • 58. Random Karma
    • Energy and pattern – that’s all there is in space and time
    • Energy flows sometimes orderly, sometimes chaotically, sometimes in random patterns
    • Usually energy flows in a combination of patterns
  • 59. Random Karma
    • In order for humanity and the new world order to emerge successfully…
    • We need to match the variety of our collective environment
    • We need to organize and share information in fundamentally better ways
    • We need new eyes!