To be(a)ware Means Shaping the Future

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According to John Naisbitt, author of  the book Megatrends and inventor of the term ‘globalisation’, the best way to predict the future is to understand the present.

However, Frederic Vester, biochemist, cyberneticist and author of a best-seller about learning, thinking and forgetting, believes that the answer to our problems will come from the future instead of the past. So which one is it supposed to be? What will help us predict what is coming next? The past, present or future? It won’t be just one of them, that's for sure. The fact that we cannot carry on with business as usual or rely either on conventional technology or even on as-of-yet non-existent technical solutions seems just as obvious. In light of cyclical economic and fiscal crises, increasing climate change, unlimited exploitation of natural resources, and an ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor, we lack an alternative. An alternative that will make an ecologically, economically, and socially just utopia become reality; which will protect our natural environment instead of destroying it.
Sustainable development is just such an alternative. However, it needs to become more politically charged and more attractive on an emotional level, said futurologist Karlheinz Steinmüller during an interview with factory. Klaus Dosch, Scientific Director of the Kathy Beys-Foundation based in Aachen, explains that scenarios can help people envision several options for development and thus help them to choose one over the other. Ecological innovations alone will not suffice to save the planet, as one can see by consulting statistics: The increasing number of patent applications correlates with the increasing consumption of natural resources. The philosopher Bernd Draser sees social innovations as the key to doing more with less, by which he is referring to the recollection of social traditions. Those could be an option to counter demographic change, as is explained in Growing Older 101 by psychologist Manfred Nedler. The sociologist Ortwin Renn argues in favour of creating new strategies for developing a new society while discussing new technologies and their possible effects. The example of aqua cultures in the article by Bert Beyers also shows that it is possible to work with diminishing resources. Instead of being just reactive, we need to become more proactive and actively shape our future the way we envision it. In order to succeed, we have to ask the right questions. Instead of asking ourselves how we WILL live in the future, we should think about how we WANT to live.

Thus, I hope you will enjoy our be(a)ware edition, which carefully combines our topic range of future-vision-utopia and sustainability.

Ralf Bindel

PS: Our PDF-Issue Be(a)ware filled with helpfully numbers and quotes is more nicely illustrated and better readable on tablet computers and screens.

More articles to the topic range prediction, future, trends, visions and utopias you will find not only online but in our magazine Be(a)ware. This PDF-magazine includes additional numbers and quotes is finely illustrated and best readable on tablet computers and screens.

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