This is a first… this video is short, yet I decided to write a first little series of posts about it. And this is the first (post). The video is Ari Wallach’s petition against short-termism and an invitation to “future”. To think and create what we want the futures (yes, plural!) to be. He offers more lenses than just the technological lens to think the future: how about beliefs, culture, art, … ?
He offers three steps to plan for the very long term. Each one of them seems to be reflected in smaller scale in the work I do with my clients. That’s why I want to share my ideas here on each one of those steps and how they could be practiced to serve you every day and not only in the long term.
First step: transgenerational thinking.
Ari opposes transgenerational approaches and sandbag strategies. Sandbag strategies are those quick fixes we make to save, let’s say our house from flooding by building a wall of sandbags around. That’s it, house saved – and at the next flood, we start again. His other example is hilariously real – how to have dinner with three little kids quietly? Sandbag (i.e. iPhone) them or be present with them and role model something that they in turn might pass on as a family behavior to their children.
Second thought about sandbags… and I discover them in every corner of my life and how convenient they are. For example food when emotions or stress get intense, did you ever snack? Is chocolate an emotional sandbag? And how about those hectic meetings, last-minute calls or purchases?
OK, we don’t always have time to build a multi-generational dam. And how would it look like to take a longer term approach? How about leaning into emotions rather than sandbagging them? How about being present, I mean really present and listening to a friend rather than buying flowers? In those little moments, we maybe don’t get transgenerational, but certainly a bit more long-term and healthier.
As a practice, notice the sandbags you seem to revert to in your life and reflect how a more long-term approach would look like and what this would support or create in your life.
I wish you fun with your “futuring”.