What if we could project into the future?
By: Yoram Yahav
Charles Darwin once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives or the most intelligent, but rather the ones most responsive to change.”
If the word “change” has been crucial over the last hundred years, then today in my mind, it is probably the hottest term to describe anything, anywhere and anyone who lives, experiences and breathes on this planet.
What if people could project into the future and make more intelligent predictions? What if leaders could visualize and successfully enact transformation? What if we could tell when earthquakes occurred and predict their capacity? Or know the time and places of economic collapse and devastations? If this was realistic, would we act differently? Will we prepare ourselves better?
I argue strongly that our whole demeanor and our natural internal defenses prevent most of us from preparing for future changes, even if we know that they will happen sooner or later.We tend to act and react based on our “past conversations.” We are either afraid of, do not want to, or avoid addressing possible future changes, if they don’t synchronize with our hopes and normal path of least resistance.
I travel and work with people of many religions, cultures and preferences. Regardless of our biases and previously acquired judgment values, I find (“surprisingly…”) that people are people are people… Fear of the unknown move across boundaries of countries, race and experience. Change troubles us, scares us, threatens us, alarms us. You can probably come up with several more adjectives.
Last week I was privy to a discussion involving some of the European Airlines. For them, managing change and addressing possible futuristic directions is about survival or death. Who would have predicted the volcanic eruption in Iceland, who would have believed Europe would be on the verge of financial bankruptcy in the spring of 2010? When individuals discuss their own maps of the future, they don’t even realize they have a mental map until they hear about future mental maps of others. During discussions of this nature, I find people open up more.
It is so wise and so called for to engage in activities which help understand tomorrow’s outcome. These should be based on futuristic approaches as opposed to our collective past experiences. I am amazed to see in my work that not every country, leader and global corporation is actually establishing daily routines and methodologies to educate others to think this way.
Today’s airlines should sincerely consider tomorrow’s worst and best scenarios and address them with real possible action plans as though they have already happened. This can lead for example to construction and acquisition of travel companies in other relatively safe areas such as light trains or green-tech energy related companies. I can clearly keep writing and flood you with data and information we collected over the years, but I want to leave you with a few thoughts of possible scenarios.
I want to take the risk that you may criticize my thinking, adopting the excuse that the present is the most important aspect of our existence and when tomorrow comes, we will address it then.
So, with this risk in mind, here are a few scenarios:
- Iran shoots a nuclear war head at Israel and it kills fifty thousand people… The world is in shock, Israel reacts…
- The technology for replacement of eyes, noses, legs, arms and faces is readily available
- Security measures and recognition measuring devices become obsolete
- The president of France died and his son actually took his face five years ago. The people are shocked… New blood recognition icons are required by law for every citizen of the world…
- People easily live to 150 years and retirement age is established at 130
- Conventional medicine has virtually disappeared
- Canada is now the “Empire” of the world. It is the only country left with enough oil reserves and it is considered the “greenest and cleanest” country in the world.
- The Canadian dollar is the new global currency and the U.S (or what’s left of it) is now “the Mexico of the 20th Century”
- Al Gore was right. 28% of the world’s land as was known in 2010 is under water
- Space settlement is not a dream but a factual program. The new “space” country is recruiting future citizens based on their UVP (Unique Value Proposition)…
I could go on and on but I will end with one practical suggestion. Look into yourself, visualize the best and worst that you can imagine about yourself twenty years from now. Now go back to “your past” and confront what you could have done to change or prepare better. I know it is difficult and uncomfortable, but having seen the process in action, all I CAN SAY THAT IT HELPS.