Lessons for the 21. Century
Supercomputers can simulate various outcomes of future crises. Future Design though takes a new approach to problem solving. Future Design will not simply extrapolate probabilities. Future Design will imagine and simulate a possible and desirable future as starting point and than regress from this point backwards in time to the present in order to find paths we can follow to arrive at that future.
Future Design will create new narratives of possible and desirable improbabilities and thus create the chance to make them realities. like the narrative of Postcapitalism and the age of abundance.
Prosumers will have little difficulty adapting to the new age. Governments and institutions however, may find it harder. Their instinct is to protect ideas, industries and companies, institutions and ways of thinking that already exist, not the upstarts that would destroy them.
None of this makes sense. Governments and institutions have always been lousy at picking winners, and they are likely to become more so, as legions of tinkerers swap designs online, turn them into products at home and market them globally from a garage. As the revolution rages, governments should stick to the basics: clear rules and a level playing field for experiments and enterprises of all kinds. Leave the rest to the revolutionaries.
With the nuclear treat, climate change, Inequality and the possibility of super intelligence and data-dictatorship, we can no longer afford to fly blind and on autopilot.
We have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy. Moving beyond capitalism is no longer a utopian dream. This is a time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape, rather than simply react to, seismic change.