29.01.19 / Designing Desirable Futures, The Manifesto: Would You Rather Predict Or Create The Future?

When speaking of future and innovation, there will always be one person that will quote Alan Kay: “The best way to predict the future is by inventing it” – and they would be right. There is only one thing: inventing the future is an arduous task, and it is also a big responsibility. The paradox is in the fact that we are constantly creating our future in our everyday decisions, but that we hardly stop to think of the consequences of our daily choices.

At Echos, we have been thinking about innovation and the future for a while: Why is innovation so important nowadays? Why, all of a sudden, everyone seems to be so worried about the future when there are still so many things we need to resolve here in the present?

To us, innovation is the desirable future happening now. Innovation generates value, changes the status quo, dares to be different to the norm.

Why should we “build” our future?

Humans are currently in a reactive mode to social and market technological changes. We tend to act as if the future was a compilation of predictions and mathematical trends. The truth is, we are scared senseless of what may happen to us.

– Will AI steal my job?

– Will my business remain relevant?

We’re also pretty scared of the present:

– Insecurity, instability, work-life balance, stress, so many things.

It feels like we are currently under a “change tsunami”. It is likely that your company is changing and it is even more likely that it will change a lot more. Media has changed, your job has changed, social interactions have changed, time has changed, the world has changed. In the current scenario, we are left with two options: accept what others propose to us as transformation or roll up our sleeves and become part of the positive change we want to see in this future that is currently under construction. Remember that the future will affect not only your company but also your life, your surroundings, your species.

We know that many people have been talking to you about the future, but we want to tell you that we’re not like them. To us, the future may be unpredictable, but we know for a fact that any possible future is built by people – audacious people that dare to think in alternatives that go against the template; people that don’t only imagine a better, different future, but have the courage to collaborate and strategise with others in order to create versions of the future that are collective and inclusive.

Alan Key was right in his affirmation that we can only predict the future if we invent it, but “inventing futures” is no simple task. This is why Echos is pleased to announce that we are, from today, offering a new course called Designing Desirable Futures.

The course premises are:

  • To understand that designing a future is a political act and, therefore, comes with consequences. Designing futures should be done in an ethical, collaborative and inclusive way.
  • Understanding that the future is a possibility and put intent behind it. We can intervene and change what the future.

So now, what?

If you, like me – and like us at Echos -, wouldn’t like to be a spectator in your future building process, we invite you to join us to become an articulator and interventionist of “futures” – or, as we call it, a designer of desirable futures.

The first group starts on May 8th in Sydney, and I hope to see you there.

Sign Up: Designing Desirable Futures course.

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