“Every generation has a chance to build a better future! – Futurist Jim Carroll
Elections provide societal milestones which lay bare the stark challenges in front of us but are also markers for opportunities.
They also help to clarify that things are certainly a mess out there.
Ignoring the anti-science climate people, I’m firmly in the camp that we need to do so much more to save our planet for our future. It seems pretty clear that the planet is at a tipping point, with the early results of a warming planet, wild extreme weather variations, and climate disasters marking so many of our challenges today. Add to that the crumbling infrastructure all around, a populace that continues to build and expand into regions that are sure to see an acceleration of risk, massive shortages of water, and so many other challenges. Yikes!
Healthcare? We’ve got massive problems within the denial-of-reality segment of the population which will have profound implications – it’s already happening with a massive acceleration of lifestyle disease. There is simply too much obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other avoidable diseases throughout the world. Add to that the fact that the same healthcare system is on the cusp of an explosion of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients as the baby boomers who don’t succumb early to lifestyle disease live longer with the currently inevitable result of age-related brain disease. Oh, and people who think that Covid came from spaceships or werewolf venom or Aunt Marge’s knitting or some such insanity. The mind boggles.
Beyond this, let’s see – all of this happening in the context of an absolutely toxic political environment, an increase in racism and hate, economic inequality and homelessness, an increase in mental illness, and a lot of guns around.
Oh, and a recession.
Yikes! It’s pretty depressing stuff when you think about it.
But it also spells opportunity!
Alzheimer’s? One of my favorite phrases that I use at a lot of healthcare conferences reads “what we did for heart disease in the 20th century we can do for brain disease in the 21st!” And so while the challenges are vast, so too is the scope of the opportunity.
Energy and climate? Oil is over, and renewables are dominant as a trend. Batteries are the future of just about everything.
The extreme political environment? I’m not sure if that one can be fixed.
As a long-term trend, it’s the most intractable and difficult challenge, and I can work myself into a state of gloom around that with posts like this: https://badthings.jimcarroll.com/
That’s why, with the news last night, I found this to be one of the more interesting articles to emerge early with US election results. A 22-year-old was elected! The first of what some are calling “Gen-Z.”
The next generation is clearly going to inherit a mess from the Boomers. (I’m one of them).
As an optimist, I’ve got to hope that they have the vision, fortitude, bold thinking, and attitude to take society into a better future than it might already have.
Because the future certainly needs them!
Oh, and I filmed a short on this post!