The speakers at Future Horizon faced a unique challenge: how to preach the urgency of solving the climate crisis to a choir of leaders who are already working on their own solutions, without treading over the trodden ground. Despite the challenge, the speakers crafted their messages in a way that hit home, delivering fresh perspectives for already open-minded people.
In this article, I’ll share some of the perspectives that made everyone at the event stop and think.
To stop for a moment and reflect was the ground goal of the event, as described by Angela Bermudo during the Opening Talk:
connecting our minds, bodies, and spirits and deepening our trust and connection with one another to build a community that is conscious and action-driven towards confusing to discover and explore our connection to the planet in order to create a better future.
Matt Cyrankiewicz, who was opening the event with Angela, accurately pointed out the matter of urgency:
Now is the decade that the change has to happen. We only have time until 2030. It’s already been two years but how much has really changed?
However, there are reasons for optimism. Matt drew attention to the extremely rapid adoption of smartphones from 2% to 80%+ over 5 years which is proof that radical change adoption is absolutely possible and doable over a short period of time.
Another encouraging example he presented was the mending of the hole in the ozone layer back in the 80s and 90s. The danger of using ozone-depleting CFCs was unanimously recognized, followed by global action resulting in swift resolution of the problem within a decade.
Yet it’s clear that today not nearly enough is being done to solve the climate crisis. The unity of purpose of yesteryear feels like a distant memory. We’ve slept through several milestones, allowing “the high time to act” to pass us by. Now we must awaken for real, as the founding thought of this year’s Future Horizon conveys:
Sadly, we’ve all become desensitized to the doom and gloom of climate crisis headlines. We’ve been assailed with distressing visuals, and metrics pointing in the wrong direction. The ensuing crisis fatigue means that our brains are no longer alarmed, so it’s becoming harder to effectively communicate the Urgency of Now.
We all know that the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is hazardous — so what? What does hazardous really mean? How many of you imagine it as a Mount-Everest-sized diamond? According to Sebastian Graf, one of the Future Horizon’s speakers — that’s how much carbon we’d need to take out of our atmosphere to stop climate change. Think about it for a moment.
Amit Pradhan, another expert speaker, put an emphasis on the importance of effective communications saying:
No one should leave [this event; or the article if you’d like] thinking “oh my goodness the world is ending / or it’s already the path of no return”. No, you as investors, entrepreneurs, artists, coworkers, writers, marketers, best huggers — no matter who you are, you have the power to make the change and you need to use the 35000 decisions that you make every day to improve every day and wake up to start fighting for our common future.
The truth is, we already know everything we need to know to start acting to save our Planet. Yet how many of us are really acting? Each of us has all the resources necessary to start acting right here, right now. So what’s the excuse?
A tension that has come to the fore recently is Mainstream capital vs. Impact capital. At Future Horizon, we were encouraged to reverse this perspective by Amit Pradhan:
It’s not that impact has to go mainstream, it’s that mainstream needs to be impactful.
To rephrase it again — it’s not that the crisis has to go mainstream, it’s that the mainstream needs to realize the crisis.
Daniel Pinchbeck, another Future Horizon speaker, explained the three core areas that a system change (drawn from the mainstream — us) has to address:
technical infrastructure (agriculture, energy, transport, communications)
social systems (government, economic systems, relationship models
consciousness (the “production of subjectivity”; shaped by mass media, education, culture, social tools)
Now, all we need to do is to find our slot in this list (starting from where we are already standing) and make a decision for ourselves that we will start acting — small or big, doesn’t matter, there’s always time to grow, but we no longer have time to wait.
I’ve put together a list of book recommendations that I fished out from the talks and personal conversations with guests during the Future Horizon 2021. I know that we all have extensive reading lists that we will probably never finish, but many suggested giving these books a priority :).
Thinking Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman
How Soon is Now? A Futurists Guide to Surviving Our Global Megacrisis — Daniel Pinchbeck
Ministry for the Future — Kim Stanley Robinson
Human personality and its survival of bodily death — F.W.H. Myers
Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity — R. Buckminster Fuller
Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (And a Way to Get There from Here) — Bruce Lipton, Steve Bhaerman
Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution— Lynn Margulis
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming — David Wallace Wells
Dark Ecology — Paul Kingsnorth
The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy — Murray Bookchin
Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire — Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt
The Future of Money — Bernard A. Lietaer
Coming into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness — William Irwin Thompson
The Archaic Revival — Terence McKenna
Justyna Cyrankiewicz, Creative Content Curator and Writer at HOO KOO E KOO.
With love, HKEK 💚