A little while ago, I saw an article about Sweden’s Minister of the Future. It triggered something in me, because it is precisely the approach I wish more governments would adopt.
Now, more than ever, it is becoming really important that governments adopt long-term thinking. Looking at governments and major organisations around the world, the overwhelming majority have little understanding of the future. They fundamentally don’t recognise the challenges and opportunities we face.
If I have one wish for 2016, it is for governments to appreciate and understand the impact technology will have, in the years ahead.
Some examples of technology from 2015 breaking through include cheaper, widespread internet access and smartphones in developing countries; incredible medical breakthroughs; increased use of drones, and cleaner energy solutions. All of these have strong implications for society. 2016 will see even more major breakthroughs than 2015. 2017 will see far more breakthroughs than 2016. This is exponential change.
To capitalise on this, we need a new approach to government and community. Governments are set up to slowly evolve or maintain the status quo – and yet the innovation happening globally is speeding up every day. There are huge threats to things like security and employment coming, as a result of this change. There are also massive opportunities to significantly improve the quality of life for everyone.
In 2016, the majority of my time, energy and resources will go on improving quality of life in the world by helping my small island nation home of Guernsey (via The Dandelion Project) to transition to long-term thinking in these times of radical change driven by technological innovation.
The Dandelion Project was always about developing the right environment to create the global equivalent to breaking the 4-minute mile barrier, in a place where legislation happens fast and bureaucracy is relatively small. This project is at the forefront of a new kind of social movement to empower communities to take leadership, developing their own solutions to their own problems. The problems that can be solved for the world in that kind of environment will be very pleasantly surprising.
The Dandelion Project adopts the approach of asking moonshot questions and inspiring local people to find ways of solving huge problems with the help of innovators from all over the world. At first sight, the huge questions we ask might appear ridiculous, but in a climate of exponential change, they are not as silly as they seem.
On February 19th, we launch our 3rd iteration of TEDxStPeterPort that answers the bold question – ‘How do we make Guernsey the best place to live on earth?’
From the contributions of the speakers and solution-providers presenting at this event, we will see that many of the challenges we face start to move from impossible to almost possible, in a place like Guernsey. I can’t wait to see what happens as a result of this event.
My wishes for 2016 are bolder, though. My wish is to have the most forward-thinking job in the most forward-thinking country on earth. My wish is for The Dandelion Project to have a breakthrough year, to be on the world map for actioning a valid approach to help humanity to transition towards a better future. My wish is for governments and communities around the world to truly know what they can really deliver for people.
We live in an era where the magic can happen. It is time to start making it.
Are you interested in learning what is coming, further down the road? The fastest way to learn about all this is to get connected go to one of Singularity University’s upcoming events.