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The future emerges from the human being

I share some points of the conference of the Brazilian futurist Rosa Alegria in the InovaBra Habitat in São Paulo, Brazil with the theme of Personal Futurism.

The article arises from personal notes throughout the conference and workshop:

“While you are reading this article, the future is being formed, he is infinite, as well as his possibilities of life.

And the question is: Where do you want to be in your future?

In a corporate room, where you still use Excel?

Or collaborating with the Universe with all the possible tools to help build a new future for all?

To enter the future, we must have a guiding thought: “The Earth is our home” and “The macro future of the Earth is continuously built by our individual micro-futures”.

This leads to questions such as:

“How is the world in me?

How is my micro-future and how is it related and constructed with other micro-futures?

Self-knowledge is one of the foundations of the micro-future, and it already appeared in Ancient Greece with the oracle of Delphi that affirmed “Know yourself” and it can be said that Greece was one of the centers of Futurism in the past. My future is also your future. Futurism is a path of collective and individual knowledge, which is built intuitively, but also with science and methodologies, is being able to see, feel the weak and invisible signals of change.

The future is always by your side, he comes and goes, you can let him go or grab him by the arm and have a good conversation.

As affirmed by brazilian futurist Rosa Alegría, we live in today, which is only one, but in terms of the future, we have three futures: Possible, Probable, Preferable. But it is not a destination or a correct choice, the future is not to buy a ticket and disembark at the chosen station without major problems. The future is plural, mutant where the conjunction of that preferable future with the possible leads to innovation.

Futurism is that, understand all the changes and uncertainties and project with much analysis, science and foresight. On paper, all future versions fit, but how to say  which is most interesting for a company or person? For this, the future requires tools, methodologies that allow us to capture fragments, analyze within a context, a matrix and make the most interesting choice.

An important point of the conference, which can have a personal and immediate application is the construction of a positive image. Finally, the future is an image, but it must be positive. Studies indicate that societies with positive images of the future survived and societies with negative images of their future perished.

If so, what is your future image? Positive or negative?

This question is key, since we live in a historical moment of humanity, where we are beginning a new era with technologies such as IOT, Data, Robotics, Nanotechnology and others. How will that technology affect our vision of the individual (micro-future) and collective future (Earth – macro-future)?

Technology for my good or the planetary good?

Personally, I think we should be cautious with technology, it is just a tool to support and improve human activities. But in any case that technology impacts us deeply, transforming us; the transformation must be human with love and respect for life, that internal transformation will lead us to a coherent, loving and respectful exterior innovation. But if we let that transformation come from outside, by technology, we will have an innovation without respect for life, where the human being is a hardware-software overcome, obsolete in terms of the productive and cognitive capacity that must be changed by robotization and artificial intelligence.

The 200 years of industrial, capitalist humanity already destroyed hundreds of species, killed centuries-old trees, erased traces, and left a trail of pollution and destruction that even the worst future would not have foreseen. Thus technology shapes us, and one of the critical points of the future is that it is exponential, whether in speed, size, frequency scale and connectivity.

Will we have full control of these exponentialities?

We are at the zero point of humanity, in a 21st century of rupture, but it must be a positive, constructive break. And futurism is the guide for this Vuca World of high level of complexity, volatility, ambiguity and uncertainty. A time of massive transformations, but that must have a meaning.

Thus futurism has two fundamental components the “Hindsight” – Past and “Foresight” – Prospective. The “hindsight” would be the rearview mirror while the “foresight” would be the mile lighthouse (scenario modeling). As Rosa Alegría affirms, the past must always be a reference, but not a residence! The two together, “Hindsight” plus “Foresight” would lead to “Insight” which is what large companies are continually looking for to materialize that “insight” in new products, services, processes and business models.

One of the ways to have “insights” is to experience the Future, the so-called “Experiential Future” as a collective experience for companies and individuals (See Bruno Macedo – Rito). Through that experience, we speculate different futures and make that stronger weak signal materializing the future that makes the most sense for the player.

This is the beauty of futurism, it can be applied to large corporations, but also to people, since we have our own future asleep within us.

Through prospective skills for our personal and professional development we can: Anticipate, create and manage internal and external changes.

But above all, the futurist must be curious, always looking for the future and his information in a systematic way with search and analysis methods with a key question: What do I do with that?

The idea is to find the signs of the future in a systematic way, since the world gives signs of future 24 hours, the so-called “trends” could be weak signals of micro-collectivities around the world (see Allan Melo – Evoke). Trends that later die or enter the mainstream and become successes of global consumption. But those signals are off the radar, from traditional media and should be “miners” like a bitcoin.

The futurist Rosa Alegría mentions something interesting, very obvious, but we generally do not reflect on that:

“Only the human being has the gift of living in the future”

and reinvent constantly.

Despite all the frenzy surrounding technology and all its possibilities, always remember:

“The future emerges from the human being”


Article sites: 1) ARosa Alegría is a Brazilian futurist – Follow her on LinkedIn – SEE: In the framework of the World Conference on the management of the future with the Brazilian Futurists Jaqueline Weigel, Rosa Alegría and International Futurists invited in August 2018 at the InovaBra Habitat in SP.

2) Bruno Macedo is the founder of Rito (SP) – experiential future at: https://www.imaginerito.com/

3) Allan Melo is founder of Evoke Futures (RJ), follow at LinkedIn

4) Inovabra is the new innovation hub of Brazilian bank Bradesco in São Paulo, Brazil. Learn more at InovaBra Habitat.

Diseñador Industrial por la UAM-Azcapotzalco, México, Maestria en Diseño Sustentable por la Universidad de Bornemouth, Inglaterra. En Brasil actualmente como consultor de innovación de productos, servicios, modelos de negócios en los aspectos de sustentabilidad e inclusión.

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