“Maybe the very first thing you should understand about the future is that it will probably happen sooner than you think!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
On this day in 2018, I spoke to a few thousand dentists about their future.
I have pictures. Lots of them! And video! I might as well use it, and so in the months to come, you’ll find my Daily Inspiration will make use of stories from my past, providing some context on looking forward by looking back!
The quote is a critical one I would often use on stage as I set up my talk – by referencing the time that NASA invited me in to talk about ‘the future of space.’ It was a wonderful scene – I had a room full of astronauts, launch directors, rocket engineers, mission controllers, and others. It had to be the highlight (so far!) of my speaking career. (My launch was successful; they invited me back in for a second voyage….)
The context was typical of many of my talks through the years. NASA at the time was in the midst of an agonizing and complex future – do they do it on their own, or might the path to space be found in new forms of disruptive, collaborative thinking? I set the stage for my mission by outlining the reality of the era of acceleration – and the fact that what we think is far away is actually closer than we think.
We need to time travel when it comes to the future.
From this point on, that storyline became a critical part of how I would open many of my keynotes around the world – to understand the future, our very first step is to appreciate it is going to be here faster than we think.
After all, look at NASA today – in the context of SpaceX.
What was the context of the storyline within my keynote for these dentists on this day 3 years ago? The acceleration of healthcare, faster medical science, the arrival of bio-engineered body parts, and much, much more. Here’s a highlight clip.
And check this shorter clip – it’s all about the attitude that you carry towards what comes next. Food for thought!
Before I hit the stage, I gave a bit of a brief overview of my context for the talk that would happen soon. I usually did this during ‘stage check’.
And so when it comes to the future, sometimes – we can look forward by looking back!