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Create your own future

There is a bright future for humanity possible if we create it together. We can create our own future. To do so, we need a good sustainable future scenario.

What the future really has in store for us is unclear. People have considerable influence on future development. More influence than many of us are aware of. Perhaps you remember the phrase from the song by Leonard Cohen “Get ready for the future, it is murder” [1]. It may indeed be wild, or even murderous. There are many scenarios describing the end of humanity, or even the end of the earth or our universe. An interesting collection and an excellent overview of these is given by Daniel Berleant, in his book “The human race to the future” [2]. Even in the near future, numerous wild things are possible. Mighty robots may conquer the world. A shortage of drinking water and increasing poverty may destroy civilization. Biotechnological changes to the DNA structure in living cells may result in new diseases and famine. But I believe there is a bright future for humanity possible if we create it together. And that is precisely what we have to do. If we know and understand what is possible, then we can create the best future for mankind.

You may think the notion of creating the future a crazy one. But that is exactly what entrepreneurs, managers, politicians and scientists do all the time. They make strategies and plans, scenarios and models to structure the future [3]. If you know what the possibilities are; if you make the right decisions; then you can create your own future. In companies, this is mostly done for a relatively short period of 1 to 3 years. But in government and in science, we see a much larger time period. If you’re planning infrastructure, then you should have an outline for up to 20 or 50 years. It can be done! We can build highways for cars; railways for high-speed trains; dikes to protect land below sea level. We can design new vegetables, and medicines to combat deadly diseases. We only have to know where we want to go to. And we need to understand what we can do with all of the possibilities available today and tomorrow.

When designing your optimal future, you need to be aware of all the things that can go wrong! As Cohen said, the future can, after all, be murder. There are so many things that can happen that could destroy your ideal future. Generally, this will be because other people interfere and will change your future. To counter this, try to create your future world together with lots of other people. Make it beautiful and desirable. But nature can also influence your ideals. Major disasters and small spontaneous changes in nature can have a huge impact on your plans. The future remains uncertain to a certain extent, but you can steer it in the right direction for a long time. And in the end, it is likely that your future will unfold as the only real future.

Literature and sources

[1] Leonard Cohen, The Future”, 1992

[2] Daniel Berleant, “The Human Race to the Future”, Lifeboat Foundation, 2013

[3] Frank Kwakman, Ruud Smeulders, “Big Innovation Models Book”, Van Duuren Management, 2013