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									                                                                                                  much more powerful. In addition to a
By John L. Petersen                                                                               number of other organizations that

How “Wild Cards” May                                                                              embrace the same underlying prin-
                                                                                                  ciples, an organization in India, Oneness

Reshape Our Future
                                                                                                  University, is emblematic of this possi-
                                                                                                  bility. Oneness — as defined in this
                                                                                                  context — is the internalization of the
Good or bad, some wild cards may change not only the                                              perspective that all life is not only con-
                                                                                                  nected to, but an integral part of, the
way we live, but also the way we think about ourselves                                            whole of reality. Everything is part of
as human beings.                                                                                  everything else, and in particular, every
                                                                                                  person is part of everyone else.

A      few of the wild card scenarios I
       examined 10 years ago for my
       1999 book, Out of the Blue, no
longer appear so wild: a stock-market
crash, ice cap breaks up, virtual reality
                                              Here are a few wild cards that
                                            could be on our horizon.

                                            Spiritual Paradigm Shift
                                            Sweeps the World
moves information instead of people,
terrorism swamps government de-               Growing numbers of groups
fenses. Other scenarios have not been       dedicated to a fundamental shift
realized but remain highly plausible        in the ways humans perceive
possibilities: a major information sys-     themselves are popping up
tems disruption, a new Chernobyl,           around the planet. Most char-
achievement of room-temperature             acterize themselves around the
superconductivity, and the politico-        ideas of cooperation, interde-
economic unraveling of Africa.              pendency, and oneness. Indi-
  Now, a decade later, our society has      viduals and groups empowered pri-
grown even more complex and the             marily by the Internet are rapidly                    Science Is                           PHOTO

possible new scenarios are even a bit       developing networks, driving a move-                  Wrong — It’s Rapid Cooling
more profound. Because they are so          ment within the business, government,
                                                                                                    The conventional wisdom within
potentially big, the approaches for         and education sectors that reflects this
                                                                                                  the scientific community suggests that
dealing with surprises need to be ever      growing complexity of connections
                                                                                                  the earth is warming rapidly and that
more agile, yet often they are not. To      and dependency.
                                                                                                  humans are a major cause of the
accept the idea that surprises are sim-       The wild card is the possibility that
                                                                                                  warming. Climate models project only
ply surprises and cannot be dealt with      this changing perception could accel-
                                                                                                  warmer temperatures. But a look into
in advance, however, is to presume          erate forward, facilitated by a still-under-
                                                                                                  the basis for the underlying theory
that we can’t make a difference —           the-radar spiritual movement that mir-
                                                                                                  now suggests that, historically, warm-
which is not the truth. We, and the         rors the trends in other sectors but is
                                                                                                  ing did not follow increases in carbon
future, deserve better.                     growing much faster and is potentially
                                                                                                  dioxide; rather, it may well be that a
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