Where tomorrow comes from
The impact of Boundaryless People-Power is set to spread. The sophistication of its coordinated actions is set to grow. Its shared wisdom is set to increase. This is not primarily a social phenomenon; it is at its core a High-Tech phenomenon. And that means that it is set to balloon in power, just like the other four components of the High-Tech engine. By 2040, its reach will not be the equivalent of an arm’s length. It will be further than the orbit of Mars.
That is why Boundaryless People-Power will add a fifth-stage to the launch engine that is propelling global progress. And it is why this emerging fifth-stage has the power to determine whether, despite all the turbulence we are causing, the world economy can nevertheless maintain a sufficient trajectory to escape the pull of the past. By participating in the emergent phenomenon of Boundaryless People-Power, informal leaders throughout society, many of them apparently just ‘ordinary’ members of the general public, will increasingly make a difference. And if enough people break the right legacy-rules but leave society’s more productive rules intact, then the fifth-stage Booster will indeed prove sufficient to break free from the worst Legacy Effects that are causing such escalating friction.
Sometimes, at the individual level, it will not feel easy. It is always daunting to take a decision to act on something that is so fundamental and so complicated that it seems like an impossibly-overwhelming challenge. But in the Theatre of Civilization, numerous heroes and heroines across history have risen to the challenge of playing a starring role. Our generation will be no different. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger on a public bus, when the drag queens stood up to police-intimidation at the Stonewall gay club, when Emmeline Pankhurst fought for women’s rights, when Gandhi began his Salt March for independence, when that first unnamed person hit the first sledgehammer against the first slab of the Berlin Wall – those individuals each claimed their birthright to improve the future. The next Act is ours.
Tomorrows mainly come from yesterdays. And the legacies of previous generations can unknowingly trap us on a dangerous course. It is easy then to rant against the unfairness of what we have inherited. That is how many of our predecessors lived and died – unable in practice to escape the dangers created by those who came before them, any more than they could avoid passing onto their children the buried seeds of crises yet to develop. For two-hundred generations that has been the pattern of the future. But our tomorrow must be different because it is our generation that must leave the most important legacy of all. For the first time, humanity has the power either to destroy itself or fundamentally to transform itself into something extraordinary. By the sum of our actions and inactions we will either be submerged into a global chaos distilled from short-termism and insularity, or we will triumphantly break through into Global Renaissance.
The next few decades are when many of the repeating patterns of five-thousand years of human civilization need to adapt. And it is we alone who can achieve that. Ultimately this is our time, our choice, our future because, thanks to the emergence of Boundaryless People-Power, it is each of us that is now contributing to our fate. Global Renaissance or Global Chaos? It is all of us who will make that collective choice. Together we elect our own destiny. Our tomorrow does not only come from yesterday. The reality of our global future is that an important part of tomorrow comes from You.