POLARIZATION AND ACCELERATION - THEME OF WEEK 22-2020
I have often asked myself "where does the future come from"? Is the future something I can sit still and wait for? Is the future something I can see and is coming towards me? Is the future the same for all people or does the future come in different editions at different times? These questions here and similar questions form the basis of my desire to understand how people can prepare for change.
In my work, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with future researchers. From them I learned what mega trends mean. I learned that mega trends are drivers of social development. Mega means big and trend means development. A megatrend is thus a major development that is either going on or will take place in time. So the future is created by mega trends and these mega trends we can measure, describe and understand, we can also tell about mega trends that are most likely to come. Everything is based on quantitative data from statistics and other research, but also based on notions and assumptions that may seem probable.
Thus, the future is more of a phenomenon that arises than an actual event that is to come, at the agreed or unscheduled time. Future researchers I have worked with say that "the future appears, it will not come”. Therefore, the future is something we can rarely prepare for. The researchers also say that the future works disruptively, that is, it rips past old notions and leaves new ones.
Thus, the future is something we can rarely prepare for, it tears away my "world" as I have come to know it and leaves a new "world" that I do not know and which I am not prepared for. Thus, from one day to the next, my world may have been replaced by another world and the new world I do not know, nor have I had time to prepare for it. Such an insight presents me with some fundamental challenges. Maybe I have to ask the question "who was I and who am I"? Such a question leads me to a new blog that has to be about self-construction and awareness. I should rather come back to that blog. Now it's all about mega trends.
The future researchers I worked with operated on several mega trends such as ecology, health, population development, etc. I was curious if technology was a mega trend? It is a fact that technology drives development going forward. I was explained that technology was not seen as a mega trend in itself, as it was more of a side to the evolution of life itself and not a timed trend. For me, this view of technology made good sense.
Of the mega trends that the researchers were concerned with, I attached three and two of them I write about in this blog.
The first mega trend I'm concerned about is POLARIZATION. This mega trend is about, among other things, people's conceptions of each other, their values, methods and practical actions, about how these conceptions slide farther and farther apart. The trend is towards "them and us". Polarization sharpens phenomena by making them easier. You have probably felt the pleasure of wearing a pair of good polarized sunglasses in front of the sun light. The polarization removes reflex and lets the light through without interference. When other people are exposed to polarization, we lose their diversity. You must understand the power of polarization and be able to compensate for what you lose if you want to face the future prepared.
The second megatrend is acceleration and complexity. This sounds like two mega trends, but it's actually one. All social development goes fast, in the future the speed will increase - it will accelerate. At the same time that the speed of all development will increase, it will become more and more complex. It's almost as if you're driving a roller coaster and the curves get steeper, sharper and wilder, while at the same time the speed of the car you're sitting in increases. Acceleration and complexity affect all areas of social development. You will increasingly need to intuitively understand what is happening around you and position yourself for the future.
The challenge of humans in a picture of these two mega trends - Polarization and Acceleration-complexity is what I call "future positioning". How you position yourself for the future is a topic I must be allowed to come back to. In order to face the future from a position that is known and which allows you to constructively collaborate with what is to come, you must firstly choose the preferred future and in addition you must know yourself from different perspectives. Besides, you should be curious about the technological development, it is a side of the evolution of all life.
Let me round off this text by pointing to the situation the world is currently experiencing with the Corona virus. In a very short time, the virus triggered a situation that stopped international air traffic, shut down cities and necessitated physical distance between people. Almost overnight, people had to organize their relationships in a different way, creating new notions of travel, commerce and other things. In a way, I can say that with the Corona virus, a new future came to us and overthrew the notions we had about life and the world. Now new performances need to be established.
Polarization is both painful and necessary. Painful that I have to make an effort to be active in interpreting simple stories about other people in a new and more complete form. Necessary as I do not come to a desired future by holding on to "them and us". Acceleration and complexity are also both painful and necessary. Painful that situations I have known as loved ones should change and they should change at an increasing pace. Necessary as I do not come to a desired future by clinging to old ideas to be put away.