When more than a thousand futurists came together in Washington, DC, last summer to "See the Future Through New Eyes," they discovered that they needed only to look around them to obtain insightful new views of the world and the future. People need each other so they can see through each other's eyes, said Nat Irvin II, chairman of WorldFuture 2008, held July 26-July 28 in the Hilton Washington Hotel. Baby-boomer women are at the forefront of an emerging "cyclist life plan" movement, breaking the linear mind-set that dictated life planning for the past century, said Maddy Dychtwald, EVP and co-founder of Age Wave. Starting with the universe, Medard Gabel (founder and CEO of Big Picture Consulting and co-founder of the World Game Institute) and Curt McNamara (professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design) discussed Buckminster Fuller's concept of problem solving via recognizing that the problem is a part of a system, and that system is part of a larger system.
Seeing the Future through New Eyes AARON M. COHEN Opening plenary speaker Bill Drayton (left) and conference chairman Nat Irvin II. W hen more than a thousand futur- ists came together in Washing- ton, D.C., last summer to “See the come a key skill to be mastered in a world where everyone can By Cynthia G. Wagner, Future Through New Eyes,” they be a changemaker. discovered that they needed only to look around them — to their fellow “Every child needs to learn sophisticated Aaron M. Cohen, attendees and nearly two hundred outstanding presenters, as well as to empathy,” Drayton said. “It’s like learning language skills. You can’t and Rick Docksai their own colleagues and communi- succeed without it.” Most schools to- ties — to obtain insightful new views day do not provide an environment of the world and the future. that promotes the development of “We need each other so we can see sophisticated empathy, but if you took her approach, and bullying through each other’s eyes,” said Nat give kids a chance, they will learn rates went down. Irvin II, chairman of WorldFuture these skills. Organizations, too, must shift their 2008, held July 26–28 in the Hilton Drayton described the work of so- emphasis from competition to coop- Washington Hotel. cial entrepreneur Mary Gordon, a eration, Drayton suggested. “The Another term for this mutually teacher in Canada who gave her competitive advantage that really interdependent visioning is “empa- class full of aggressive, bullying chil- matters is the proportion of people thy,” according to Bill Drayton, CEO, dren more responsibility to master in the organization who are change- founder, and chairman of Ashoka, a empathy. She showed them that, if makers.” The first organization that global association promoting social they don’t learn how to help others, masters social entrepreneurship will entrepreneurship. Drayton believes they will get thrown out of the game. run away competitively, he con- “sophisticated empathy” will be- Some 2,000 schools across Canada cluded. 54 THE FUTURIST November-December 2008 www.wfs.org AARON M. COHEN They came, they saw, they learned something new. Futurists attending the World Future Society’s 2008 conference took full advantage of Marilyn Johnson (left), representing con- the opportunity to see the future through each ference sponsor IBM, and opening plenary speaker Edie Weiner. other’s eyes. AARON M. COHEN Maddy Dychtwald, co-founder of Age Wave. C.G. WAGNER economic worldview (emphasizing infrastructure, transportation, and Seeing through other people’s eyes would be no barriers to a more equi- information). “Both views are right. (empathy) is one way to start seeing table world, Weiner argued. But They support each other,” said the future in new ways; another is to barriers exist, including political cor- Weiner. question the ways we now look at ruption, narrow-focused “uni- the future, suggested Edie Weiner, disciplinary” academic institutions, Society and Culture president of Weiner, Edrich, Brown, and religious beliefs that perpetuate Inc. For instance, Weiner disagreed conflicts with others. Baby-boomer women are at the with the view of today’s globalized Weiner offered several alternative forefront of an emerging “cyclist life world as “flat,” made
Pages to are hidden for
"Seeing the Future through New Eyes"Please download to view full document