from knowledge to understanding 1. navigations and returns 2. the future - why are we where we are? - where have we arrived? - where do we go from here? - welcome to extremistan! - top trends that will reshape the world Traveling through time
Life is an unending sequence of bifurcations*. The decision I take, implies all the decisions I did not take. The route I choose, is part of all the routes I did not choose. Our life is inevitably a permanent choice of one among infinity of ontological possibilities. *Bifurcate - to divide into a two parts or branches.
Sometime during the XII century a young man named Giovanni Bernardone, while still very young and very rich, dedicated to radically change his life. As a result of his transformation, we remember him today as Francis of Assisi who spoke of brother Sun and sister Moon, of brother wolf, and of water, fire and trees, and people as brothers and sisters as well. The world he had described and felt was a world where love was not only possible but made sense and had a universal meaning.
Brilliant and astute Machiavelli warned us that: “It is much safer to be feared than to be loved”. By describing the world, in addition, he has created one. World we live today is not that of Francis. It is the world of Machiavelli. Francis was the route not navigated.
“ Through my window, what I see, are hats and coats covering automatic machines”. We did not navigate the world of Giordano Bruno. Instead, we chose that of Descartes and we have witnessed the triumph of mechanism and reductionism.
FOR NEWTON, THE LANGUAGE OF NATURE IS MATHEMATICS. NOTHING IS IMPORTANT IN SCIENCE THAT CANNOT BE MEASURED. SCIENCE IS THE SUPREME MANIFESTATION OF REASON, AND REASON IS THE SUPREME ATTRIBUTE OF HUMAN BEING.
“ SCIENCE IS AS MUCH AN INNER PATH OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AS IT IS A DISCIPLINE AIMED AT ACCUMULATING KNOWLEDGE OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD. IT INVOLVES NOT ONLY A RIGOROUS TRAINING OF OUR FACULTIES OF OBSERVATION AND THINKING, BUT ALSO OF OTHER HUMAN FACULTIES WHICH CAN ATTUNE US TO THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION THAT UNDERLINES AND INTERPENETRATES THE PHYSICAL: FACULTIES SUCH AS FEELING, IMAGINATION AND INTUITION. SCIENCE, AS GOETHE CONCEIVED AND PRACTICED IT, HAS AS ITS HIGHEST GOAL THE AROUSAL OF THE FEELING OF WONDER THROUGH CONTEMPLATIVE LOOKING ( Anschauung ), IN WHICH THE SCIENTIST WOULD COME TO SEE GOD IN NATURE AND NATURE IN GOD.”
Jeremy Naydler, Goethe on Science, pg. 23, Floris Books, England, 2000
Don’t invest in innovation, science or technology.
Don’t develop, acquire, or protect intellectual property.
Don’t fix the education system.
Hold back on immigration.
Stop training workers to invent innovation.
Limit personal privacy.
Allow terrorism and crime to persist.
Don’t protect individual freedoms; no free press, no free trade.
Create barriers to free enterprise.
Why education must change to prepare the future workforce
The current education system has failed to complete its most vital and strategic mandate: preparing the workforce for the future.
Education does not have the leadership, guts, or vision to reinvent itself.
Most schools, kindergarten through college, are not in sync with changes in the marketplace - more competitive, more complex, more global, more innovation-driven.
Teachers are not the problem. Pay teachers double and retain them for the Innovation Economy. Measure this performance, hire the best, and fire the slackers.
Political leaders have lacked the courage to create Future-Ready national innovation curriculum: more science, more soul, more innovation, more high-tech, a more global outlook, more entrepreneurial skills.
We are teaching kids about the past. We need to teach kids about the future. How to survive in the Extreme Future.
“ The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876
“ Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” Lord Kelvin, Royal Society president, 1895
“ Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Charles H. Duell, US Office of Patents, 1899
“ Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” Harry M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927
“ I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
Global Disruptive Opportunities 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 Low Medium High Post Genomic Society On-Demand Wireless Broadband Terrorism Human Enhancement Pervasive Intelligence Peer to Peer Real-Time Knowledge Cyber-Human Smart Spaces Grid I-Marketplace Workforce Shortage Droids Hydrogen Colonize Space Designed Evolution Nano Economy Quantum
Extreme competition. Complex technology. Dynamic global trade. Increased population. Disruptive act of terrorism. Sophisticated crime. Climate risks. Expensive energy. This is the world of 2015. The world in 2015 will be an extreme future in which the overlapping of the above scenarios will demand insight, skills, collaboration, and leadership. The level of accelerated change and the complexity of challenges will be like snowboarding an avalanche from the top of Mt. Everest - intense, demanding, and fast. Maybe even lethal. And that’s the good news.