October 4th, 2012
In my last column, I wrote about attending Burning Man for the first time here in 2012. I included lots of links that I highly recommend you click on if you have not yet done so as they will provide a basic understanding of and the beauty of Burning Man. At the end of that last column I wrote
“Next I will look at Burning Man 2012 through the eyes of a futurist as for me that was unavoidable. There is much that Burning Man has to help humanity face the transformational changes we face here as we enter the Shift Age.”
As a futurist approaching Burning Man for the first time my thoughts were that this annual event might well provide some metaphorical directions for the future of humanity. Having now become a “burner” and experienced it for nine days, those thoughts were accurate.
The ten principles of Burning Man are not for all humanity but many represent aspects of what humanity must embrace as we fully enter the Shift Age and are at the beginning of the Earth Century. Here are just some of the ones that have clear suggestions for how all of us must live.
Leaving No Trace
Think about the fact that some 62,000 people attended Burning Man this year and that the trash or garbage was minimal. The goal is to have no more than one cubic meter of matter left. Now I was not there at the very end but it was clear that …
September 27th, 2007
Recently, I have been struck by the number of anniversaries of significant events that have been acknowledged this year. This past summer was the 40th anniversary of the â€œSummer of Loveâ€. August was the 60th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan. This week marked the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public schools in Little Rock Arkansas. This year is also the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain. Next week is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. All of these events were very significant events.
Why is a column with the tag line â€œA Future Look at Todayâ€ taking a look back on significant events? The accelerating speed of change is the reason. It is clear that, in the past 200 years, the speed of change has been accelerating. During the 1800s, the first full century of the industrial revolution, the rate of change was noticeably faster than the 1700s. The amount of change that occurred in the 1900s dwarfed that of the prior century. The speed of change coming into the current century is much faster than it was coming into the last century, perhaps ten times faster. In the Shift Age we are now in, the speed of change has literally become part of our environment.
What all this means is that the next 10, 40, 50 and 60 years will all encompass more change, more innovation, more acceleration than in the same amounts of time looking back to the …
June 21st, 2007
We have all heard the phrase â€œLife Imitates Artâ€. It points to the fact that artists are often in that space between imagination and the current society in which they live. While most members of society are busy doing, working, acquiring and toeing the line of social norms, artists are often detached from such behavior. In this space of detachment they take a look around and ahead and, through their creative process, come up with art works that challenge society to look at things differently.
This challenge often provokes a negative response, as society often does not want to face itself, particularly if the image is less than flattering. At other times, the artistâ€™s vision is embraced because it is a thematic call to action that resonates with a leading part of society. When this occurs, the artist is providing a valuable gift, as it can both show us a view of the future and deliver a powerful emotional message that shifts the consciousness of the person experiencing the art. This thinking was prompted by two separate experiences this past week.
There is a new, massive public art exhibit currently on display along Chicagoâ€™s lake front. The name of the exhibit is â€œCool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planetâ€. It is comprised of 124 globes, all five feet in diameter, that each present a way to fight global warming. In addition to these globes, there will be 200 mini-globes placed around the city during the summer, all with this same theme …