Welcome to News from the Future, IFTF’s biweekly update.
It’s a tense time: COVID is spiking again worldwide and, in the U.S., we’re two weeks away from a contentious Presidential election. It’s a good time to remember the best way to predict the future is to create it.
In this issue, IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis and Jane McGonigal invites us to think longer—in years, not months or weeks. Our popular IFTF Foresight Essentials trainings continue to empower participants with useful foresight skills. A pair of Foresight Talks—one with an Afrofuturism scholar, the other with an expert on the highly adaptive LGBTQ community—offer fresh perspectives, while IFTF Research Director Jake Dunagan explores media, design, and immersive experiences in a new Ask A Futurist chat. Finally, we share some great news about Ethical OS, IFTF’s ethical-future toolkit.
Hang on. We’ll get through this.Signals from the Future 🥢 Chinese government: please use “serving chopsticks” For centuries, Chinese families who eat together have used their own utensils to serve themselves and each other from shared food dishes. Then came COVID—and something “new” became the new normal.
Caterpillar doubles down on self-driving vehicles Sales of the company’s bright-yellow bulldozers, excavators, and other construction equipment have plummeted since February. Its solution? Eliminate the drivers. Welcome to the Centaur Revolution.
Go outside and play! A Finnish researcher has proven what Mom always suspected: that kids who play in natural outdoor areas such as forests or fields develop a more robust immune systems. And they do it in less than a month. Future Factors is IFTF’s proprietary, easy-to-use platform for sharing and synthesizing signals from today that are likely to affect the transformation of tomorrow.Build the American Future You Want to See IFTF FORESIGHT ESSENTIALS IFTF’s flagship training equips you with the basics of foresight. Learn to filter information to determine its usefulness; transform urgent foresight into actionable insights; disrupt short-termism; and develop and test your own experiments in future-making.Dec 1–15, 2020 | 2 weeks, in PST | Live-Online >>Feb 9–23, 2021 | 2 weeks, in EST | Live-Online>> IFTF CUSTOM FORESIGHT ESSENTIALS Are you and your team equipped to navigate the current global crises? IFTF Custom Foresight Essentials is designed for business leaders and organizations who want a customized session to teach their enterprise teams the tools, frameworks, and language of strategic foresight.
IFTF Research Affiliate Jason Tester discusses “queering the future,” which celebrates the untapped power of looking ahead through the perspective of the LGBTQ community—historically marginalized yet constantly adaptive and resilient. Join us to learn the art and science of seeing hidden resources, alternative systems, and transformative solutions by adopting a more expansive, transgressive, and liberating view of the future.
Join us Wednesday, November 11 for a conversation with IFTF Research Director Jake Dunagan, who’ll explore how media, design, and immersive experiences help people “feel” futures. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your questions addressed in real time by an expert design futurist.
Sponsored by IFTF Vantage, Ask A Futurist is a public Q&A series that provides a forum for futurists who draw on insights from years of research and experience. Learn more at iftf.org/vantage.
Register here. >>Spotlight on Innovation for the Better Don’t get blindsided by a future you helped create.
With the Ethical OS Toolkit, IFTF encourages technology innovators and designers to ask themselves if what they’re building now might someday be used in unexpected ways. How do you prepare? What risk categories should you pay attention to? Which design team or business model can actively safeguard users, communities, society, and your company from future risk?
Sarita Sharma interviews IFTF Distinguished Research Fellow Jamais Cascio online. (10/15/2020) Transdisciplinary Agora for Future Discussions.
About Institute for the FutureInstitute for the Future is the world’s leading futures organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies. IFTF methodologies and toolsets yield coherent views of transformative possibilities across all sectors that together support a more sustainable future. Institute for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.
Meet the Startups in 500’s First Fully Virtual Accelerator
We’re excited to welcome our newest round of companies into the 500 family! These startups are making history not only by joining 500’s first entirely virtual accelerator experience, but they’re also the first companies in our new rolling-recruitment model.
READ: Accelerating ESG Adoption in Early Stage Venture Capital Adopting ESG measures at an early stage can take many forms, from data privacy compliance to establishing policies around non-discrimination and gender equity. It’s never too early to start thinking about these important issues.
READ: Hello Alice’s LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Report Data has the power to educate thought leaders on the barriers and opportunities for small business owners. That is why we are proud to share this report by Hello Alice and The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce on the impact COVID-19 has had on over 5,000 LGBTQ+ businesses.
READ: 2020 Future of Female Founders Report One of our female founder resources,FLIK, gathered insights from over 280 founders and 500’s very own Investment Associate, Jessica Tan on why 72% of pre-seed and seed stage female founders found themselves unsuccessful in fundraising this year, what they are now looking for, and how they think female founders will continue fundraising in 2021.
We’re excited to be kicking-off the second batch for the 500Georgia Accelerator, the country of Georgia’s first international acceleration program aimed at supporting top talent in a region that’s fast emerging as a hub for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We’ll be selecting 15 technology-focused or technology-enabled startups that are Pre-Series A and VC fundable. Apply by October 20, 2020
“I wish that all nations may recover and retain their independence; that those which are overgrown may not advance beyond safe measures of power, that a salutary balance may be ever maintained among nations, and that our peace, commerce, and friendship, may be sought and cultivated by all. It is our business to manufacture for ourselves whatever we can, to keep our markets open for what we can spare or want; and the less we have to do with the amities or enmities of Europe, the better. Not in our day, but at no distant one, we may shake a rod over the heads of all, which may make the stoutest of them tremble. .” – Thomas Jefferson, Writings: Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters
1-Sentence-Summary:Happier will improve your mental state and level of success by identifying what you get wrong about joy and how to discover what’s most important to you and how to make those things a more significant part of your life.
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These days, most of us seem to have it all. A computer in our hand that can make calls, good food, and technological advancements that make our life expectancy longer than ever before.
And yet, a large portion of the world is lacking one vital aspect: happiness.
When we take a closer look at how we grew up, however, this makes a little more sense. We always had to accomplish the next big achievement, to be happy.
Whether it was a good grade, degree, new job, or promotion, none of these objectives actually made us happier. And it only gets worse when we consider the plague of consumerism.
Lesson 1: All goals in life point to the ultimate aim of happiness, which leads to success.
It’s obvious that we all want to be happy. But have you ever think about why we think of it with such high regard?
Consider the fact that people acknowledge the goal of wanting to be happier as valid without question.
If you’re playing a game and someone asks you why you’re doing it, for example, you’d likely say because you find it enjoyable. That’s a valid answer that the person asking will always accept regardless of whatever you’re doing.
Any other response to the question “why are you doing that?” is just a step toward your ultimate goal to be happy. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing something for money, power, respect, or fame. Someone could ask you why you want those things and the answer will always be happiness.
Consider every other answer to the “why” question as simply a step on the way to having more joy. Each of those action steps is just a tool to get to the ultimate goal.
In the mind of the 18th-century British philosopher David Hume, happiness was the sole purpose of everything humans do, from the arts to science and even law.
When we do things we enjoy and are generally happy, we’re also more likely to be successful at them and in life. Research from Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener shows that happier people have better relationships, health, and finances.
Lesson 2: To have more joy, learn how to balance your view of the present and future.
There’s a famous quote by Lao Tzu that proclaims that depression is living in the past, anxiety is living in the future, and peace comes in the present. While I mostly agree with this, I’ve learned it’s vital to learn from the past and prepare for the future.
We all look at the importance of the future and present in different ways. There are four outlooks we can have:
Next comes nihilists, who exhibit no interest in life at all, whether now or later.
Third, there are those that get stuck in the rat race of living for the future. They work hard and suffer now and seek the pleasure that will come at a later date.
Last, and best, is those who choose to find joy in the present and identify ways their actions now will benefit their future.
Most often you’re a mixture of all four of these types, but you should work toward being like the last to have the most happiness.
Society teaches you to be in the third group. From a young age you were taught to get good grades, then you’ll get into college and be happy. But once in college there was just another rung to climb to “become happy.” This constant postponement of pleasure just makes you miserable.
If you set goals and stay focused on being happier in the present, however, you can beat this destructive mentality.
Lesson 3: You will be happier if you nurture meaningful relationships.
Have you ever come home from work exhausted only to have a friend or family member invite you to dinner? Although you’re tired, you go and by the end of the outing, you’re filled with energy again.
Although it seems like this night out might contribute to your exhaustion, the social component of it actually boosts your happiness in the long-run.
Martin Seligman and Ed Diener showed this to be true in a study back in 2002. They wanted to know what made “very happy people” different from those with less joy in life.
The only major difference was that the happier people had deep connections with the family, friends, and significant others around them.
In other words, if you want to become the happiest, you need to focus on social connections.
When you share your life with people, you’re letting them in to share their lives with you as well. This helps improve the meaning you find in life as you share their joys and sorrows too.
Romantic companions are another important source of happiness. Research by David Myers identified that one of the greatest predictors of happiness is an intimate life-long relationship.
This makes sense when you consider how much you can be your true self whenever someone around you loves you unconditionally. But find a balance between pleasure now and long-lasting connection for your relationship to positively impact your happiness.
What I love most about Happier is how extensively it dives into the many facets of happiness in life. It excellently teaches the path to happiness in relationships, finances, and health, and also explains what goals have to do with joy. I’ve read and summarized a lot of books on this subject and this is one of my favorites.
The 21-year-old college student that is trying to choose their major, the 46-year-old parent that wants to help their children see the truth about chasing success, and anyone that’s feeling trapped by life and wants to find more purpose and joy.
We all die, but not all of us will truly live. Every man dies. Not every man really lives. (William Wallace) ========== Nobody is born with wisdom, but only those who seek it will find it. We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. (Benjamin Franklin
Most esteemed spirit, infinite light of the world, I need you now in my time of need. Sustain me so I may be strong once more. I ask this of you in your eternal light, o divine shepherd. Honor me with your glorious light.
You shall ask god for forgiveness for your sins. You shall not take any life. You shall not cause the destruction of that which isn’t yours. You shall hold faith. You shall treat strangers with kindness. You shall show compassion and mercy. You shall repay kindness with kindness. You shall take responsibility for your mistakes. You shall live life with joy and wonder, for the world is a wonderful place. You shall not seek to be superior over another, for all are equal below god.