Welcome to Collaborate, the Social Spaces community blog. Collaborate incorporates over 1,000 Thriving Too blog posts that we have written over the last 4 1/2 years, and continues to aim shamelessly to prove the case for optimism by revealing and promoting the explosion in positive actions from around the world. This blog is also used to question, think out loud, stimulate conversation, tentatively share early ideas ... and wrestle publicly together with the complex ideas and challenges that are shaping the future.
The Social Spaces project aims to transform society at community level through surfacing new emergent knowledge, using a transdisciplinary approach to analyse and understand that knowledge, and developing innovative approaches to spread these new ideas and methods.
What do you want from the future. A house? A car? A family? Some grandchildren? Maybe you want a better job or to see a bit more of the world. It isn’t that hard to think about what you want, but will you get it?
What kind of a world will your dreams meet? Global warming, a rapidly aging population, mass migration and transformations in science and communications cloak our futures in uncertainty.
A less predictable world leaves fewer people who can offer us conviction and confidence in the future - we don’t trust politicians, corporations are only in it for their shareholders and the world’s religions are fragmenting into different creeds and belief systems. Even if there was some all powerful, popular, trust worthy leader to haul us through, unpredictable events like 9/11 and the credit crunch would always end up wrong footing them.
The only thing we can know about the future is that it will be made by many people. People who have been educated differently, who have completely different outlooks and aspirations who speak different languages, wear different clothes and like different food. That’s where the Power of 8 came from. Bringing together an educator, a permaculturist, a technologist, a policy researcher, an urbanist, a retired civil servant, a scientist and an interaction designer the project has bought together people with radically different perspectives to imagine how we could live in the future.
Some of us see the future through technologies that will help us self-medicate, replicate and create. Some of us look at the future stymied by the weight of a thousand books that remind us that man is always his own undoing. Some of us would rather stare at saints, heroines, innovators and wish that one day we will all be like that. Some of us just close our eyes and dream, hoping that if we keep putting one foot in front of the other we will get there eventually.
We’re all looking for chipped shards of futures in our own ways, in our own places. The Power of 8 has gathered a few that we found to create one mosiac into which our hopes squeeze. The project has produced a vision of a future, but the way it came about is a reflection of how future will come.
Our hope is that somehow through the chaos of different ideas, inventions and organisations a more loving, just and humane future can prevail.