Are You Ready for the 21st Century? | via @jonhusband #video #scenarios

January 13, 2010

in Scenarios & Futures, Strategy Formulation

Jon Husband has spoken with me about his work with Michael Cartier and the impression it has made on him. This is a thought provoking video. I’m not sure I’m ready to see any one of these scenarios come into being… although parts of all of them are already here. Still if you need a starting point for thinking about the economic and political / power backdrop looking out a few years… this is a quick way to start. I’d hope we will work for a better society. Although much is against us. I must say… I feel I’m part of the NET Generation although I don’t qualify on the age terms. Where should I run… are we really screwed?

Jon comments:

I have been translating (from French) and contributing to the work of Michel Cartier, whom in my opinion is the francophone world’s answer to Alvin Toffler nd Marshall McLuhan rolled into one.

In this video, at the end Michel offers a brief glimpse of four possible worlds in which we may want to live .. consumerist, (renewed) participative democracy, environmentally conscious, and oligarchic soft fascism (security state).

Are You Ready for the 21st Century ? from Michel Cartier on Vimeo and take in the detail at Constellation W

Another world IS possible … and indeed desirable !

A “desirable world” would operate based on an economy of responsible markets (markets which are more human and more local). To get (eventually) to that desirable state, humans will need to use a participative electronic public space (Internet 2) which, based on dynamics we are beginning to understand, should enable the types of consensus necessary to generate sustainable development policies and practices.

Essentially, we are not moving towards the centralization or unification of our societies. Instead, we are collectively moving towards cultural and economic possibilities and consequences based on the inventiveness and adaptability of citizens everywhere. These forces will develop into an “economy of proximity” wherein communities of interest will filter their activities based on the dominant cultural model of one continent or another.

What appeared to be only a “normal” financial crisis in 2008 has quickly become a major and global economic crisis in 2009. It’s increasingly likely that the crises we are now seeing will eventually become a social crisis with lasting repercussions. That probability also makes it likely that the impact will be even more severe for the world’s developing countries.

Because the growth of our societies are today quite dependent on the pace of consumer spending (which relies on peoples’ confidence), current growth rates waned at the same time as normal levels of confidence began to erode. The proposed short-term strategies (interest-rate cuts, recapitalization of the central banks and certain businesses, tax breaks, etc.) will not be enough to break the cycle of deflation and depression now appearing to settle in. While some suggest the crisis is nearing its end (minor levels of growth have resumed in some countries) as a result of massive stimuli, increasingly it seems clear that the solution to the current crisis cannot be Consume more !

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