Reimagine the Shape of Progress

For years I understood that it is only with boundaries that we can build sustainably. In this entertaining and passionate TED talk, Kate Raworth, confirms a lot of my believes about the world economy, and she challenges me to think further.

I love her donut model.

I am touched by her challenge that we at the beginning of the 21 century are the one that has the responsibility to create a future in which everybody can thrive. And she created a beautiful new design category for me: Regenerative and distributive. I am going to play with this category in my next design.

Let me know what you think.

Creating the future.

Creating the future sounds like a good idea. We are in good company if we think in this direction. Abraham Lincoln said it succinctly when he said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” 

All the good business experts agree. You have to have a vision,  a why you do what you do, a defined outcome.

Even though this sage advice is available freely, I am often surprised by the absence of it in the lives of my clients.

As I reflect on this observation, I realize that distinguishing between the plethora of nuances around creating the future, vision, mission, purpose, outcomes, goals, destiny, etc. It all boils down to imagining a different future.

We could even add a specific accent. It believes in a different future.


Be aware of pitfalls while creating the future

This future-mindedness is not without pitfalls. Just dreaming about what can be, without taking responsibility to do something about it, either result in resentment or cynicism. It can also be escapism.  All of which results in no change.

Another pitfall I find people have to deal with is FOMO. Fear of missing out. Too many options lead to not doing anything. I am well aware of this in my own life. Seeing opportunities and not knowing which one is the best, often lets me tread water.

The biggest challenge I find is the ability to take people with you. If the new future you see stays inside your head, it is of no value but to yourself. And although this is good when it has a personal focus, the drawback of this approach is that it limits the future only to yourself.

An actual game-changing vision goes beyond ourselves.  Those who see a future that improves not only their own lives but those around them as well makes history.

This seeing beyond yourself includes big visions like the one Dr Martin Luther King had as well as a sales team understand that they are closing sales, not only for their commision but also to put the Personal Assistant’s child through college.

The latter, I find are the most relevant. Make the changed future relevant and personal to the people you want to take with you. Share it with them and invite them to join you in creating a better future.