Just last week, I had the privilege of being a part of an informal dinner ceremony hosted by a dear patron. The guest was a British professor who worked with ‘Future Agenda’, advising multinational organisations on how the future (10-20 years) might unfold.
Case of Faster Horses?
One cannot predict what the future holds. However, one can certainly study what a huge section of the population believes in, analyse trends and chart out a hazy path with risks built in. Thanks to the Information Age and abundant clash of perspectives, we are capable of having open minds and refreshing debate on the things to come.
Cynicism v/s Hope
We were a small bunch of entrepreneurs, lawyers and media people. Our backgrounds were varied, but experiences were similar. Yet, thanks to the gift of perception, opinions differed. While some felt that India has bigger problems to deal with than to focus on an efficient 911, other fellow participants expressed cynicism on the scope of change India might undergo – thanks to the attitude of the society on the whole. While I strongly feel the self aware population might soon lead to disappearing lobbies (which support products which harm health and environment) and a happier Earth, some of my fellow participants did feel that human nature has little intention to change for the good – and the powerful 3% might still hold sway. We discussed alternate forms of currency, the possibility of unregulated currency being popular, machines replacing accountants and how hiring people to clean would be an absent need. We hoped that the world would now focus on healing the planet. Ah well, hope is good :)
Where do we go from here?
Back to our jobs, correct? Back to build our future. Our ‘today’ is the future we built yesterday. The key aspect of ‘Future Agenda’ is to practice foresight with an open mind. To avoid ‘faster horses’ and instead desire flying carpets. Foresight can be acquired by merging disciplines, being more accepting of alternate wisdom and knowing that there are multiple paths which lead to the peak.
It helps us in our individual lives, because we end up being proactive instead of reactive. Unpleasant surprises are minimal because we end up calling the shots. And it simply starts with meeting people, listening to what they have to say and absorbing what the world throws at you.