“A futurist is someone who studies the past and the best practices in the present, identifies trends and possible futures, chooses the one that is most beneficial, then uses their skillset (gifts, experiences, qualifications) and agrees with others to bring about the desired future.”
For many years I have been imagineering a better world, whether it be for my own life, my city, my state, my nation of Australia, or even the world. Sometimes I get pictures.
Recently I had the unexpected experience of returning to teaching. One of the interesting things was that I got to teach in areas more unfamiliar to me, or at least that had been so for a while. Although I have never studied Geography I have worked in Economic and Community Development and International Aid in a fledgling nation, so fortunately for the units I was teaching I had had previous work experience and so felt quite at home. What I found so interesting was that although the textbooks in one way were helpful, I did not find them inspiring nor did I find them accurate to the curriculum. For example, whether teaching English or Humanities or Arts (those were the three areas I was teaching at high school level) we are supposed to offer an alternate point of view. So, whether it be in teaching politics, art, or English, what are some of the different perspectives?0 Western education used to be famous for teaching students how to think, not what to think.
My own personality says that if we are going to study something then why not study the best practice or those most impacting from around the world. What is working, where is there hope? If not now, when had there been hope and best practice? As teachers I believe our greatest responsibility should be to be good examples, to demonstrate these traits with as little bias as we can. Such as when teaching Civics and the election process I did ‘blinds’ where I pulled off the top 5 or so policies from each party and had students vote. They all came out for one party then when they knew what the party was they were shocked and wanted to change their vote! Obviously there was a bias they were receiving subconsciously possibly from online, their parents and others’ in their lives – causing them to go against what they each saw as important or rather the most important. That is not to say that one party is more moral than another, however I do firmly believe that we need to be informed and also look after the majority whilst also caring for the minority. When we discriminate for the minority, we discriminate against the majority which leads to silencing the majority which is what has happened in this crazy, politically correct modern world.
Politics aside, I believe we can all agree on a better world. Where people are loved and loving, communities work together for the common good, where there are sufficient funds and resources to undertake change to restore the land, where we live lives of purpose and creativity, where there is order and peace. Where people do the right thing because it is the right thing to do not because we are forced to conform to society’s current agenda.
So, we need a vision – a specific vision at both the micro and macro levels. A vision that has multiple solutions or pathways to get there. The solution must be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Demonstrating commitment to develop a plan then undertake and review that plan to completion. And finally, partner, who can help us achieve our vision? Then we need the character and integrity to walk it out as well as the stewardship capabilities for responsible management of that vision. All of this must start with authenticity. What is our starting point? Being vulnerable about who and where are we – what are our strengths and weaknesses?
By being solutions focused we stop the blame game where we blame politicians, farmers, big business, or even God. Being authentic and vulnerable stops us living in denial and allows us to take ownership of the problem which is the first step toward the solution. Of course, to do this in a more beneficial and inspiring way, we must first turn the problem into the desired vision. For example, no one desires a dysfunctional family, so the goal or vision is a fully functioning family with a mum, dad and children where they love each other, prioritise each other and work together as a team. [This is not to denigrate the various other forms of families but it’s time to be real we ALL desire healthy families.] The simplest solution would be to be around healthy families so you can see it is possible. Then the next step would be to learn strategies of how to relate in a healthy family. How to agree to disagree respectfully, how to honour and respect each other as individuals, whilst at the same time working as a team and protecting the family unit which must start with a healthy marriage.
This series will offer a futurist’s vision for the future compartmentalised into the various sectors of society for the purpose of this blog series. It will first offer a new vision and some strategies as part of a solution. The first in the series will look at farming and land management.
I invite you to come along the journey of imagineering a better world through these mountains of influence…