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Dreamers are looking for the world's most important job

How Soon Is Now. From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation
Forfatter: Daniel Pinchbeck
Forlag: Watkins (UK)
The world community needs a great vision for the future of humanity. The ability to reflect and dream can be our most important resource.


Absence of life opinion combined with the surrounding community's demands for skills to become a "soldier" for the competitive state – these are the conditions with which young people today live. In such a world, the ability to reflect, dream and create a space for independent activity becomes vital if man is not to "slip in with the loss", if democracy is to survive, yes, basically if civilization is to meet the challenge of today. us from the future.

The imperative of sustained economic growth that dominates our communities as a religion means that categories must be thought of as right / left, public / private, local / global if civilization is to avoid a huge environmental disaster. The challenge today is to develop a systemic response and a coherent strategy.

From illness to cure. For 10 years, Daniel Pinchbeck has been researching how to announce the ecological collapse that we are currently controlling in such a way that the world understands how alarming the situation is. The results are presented in the book How Soon Is Now. From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation. Here Pinchbeck continues the reflections on Earth as the beautiful little planet that Neil Armstrong's images from the moon in 1969 have given rise to – but now seen in a developmental perspective where human activity and activity on the planet has caused a kind of cancer, virus or rust. Such an abstraction level may, according to Pinchbeck, be necessary if an identity such as one planetary creature must be developed and established – and thus a responsibility for technologies and their influence on the planet is acknowledged. From this will further grow the responsibility of the human family as part of an integrated whole. Instead of continuing as Earth's cancer cells, we must, on the level of consciousness, submit to a kind of mutation so that we can become its immune system instead. That realization can be considered a kind of initiation.

Risk. Private companies date back to the shipyards from Venice and Lisbon in the 1500th century known for risk analysis when assessing and insuring the cargo. Today the area is developed as business continuity with advanced analytical methods and techniques as a basis for mapping future market movements and the need for labor.

In line with developments in the world market, the authorities' risk and vulnerability analyzes have also undergone changes. Community-critical infrastructure, including municipal and regional authorities, is now also subject to continuity requirements when securing community-critical infrastructure. Fortunately, municipalities have a responsibility for risk and vulnerability analyzes in, for example, their own buildings, as well as having response preparedness with ambulances and fire trucks. But dealing generally with the future threats, such as private companies seeking to relate to market developments and thus maintaining / expanding security with new market shares, is of no concern to the public enterprise which only exposes the commons.

Instead of continuing as Earth's cancer cells, man must submit to a kind of mutation and instead become his immune system.

Through public pressure, private enterprise can be politically regulated through the state. But the effects of private enterprise on the (work) environment are obvious: they are still left to citizens and communities. In fact, the precautionary principle, or simply that the "polluter pays", has never passed beyond the bowl speakers.

In addition, isolated and fragmented reforms are not enough, as our current societies have the ability to absorb, neutralize or assimilate almost anything that threatens it. For example, the rhetoric of sustainability pretends that it is possible to achieve this without a system change. And by the way, it can be difficult to understand how we can implement such a rapid systemic transition without experiencing a mass awakening or a consciousness revolution.

For the art. Therefore, the ability to dream and reflect becomes vital. Art continues to play an important role in the 21st century. It can – in Joseph Beuy's words – offset the repressive effects of a senile system. But where art has long been expressed in contemporary art and had to accept and submit to the speed of everything's development, it must instead take its point of departure in the great lines – the big picture.

Pinchbeck can identify three areas of focus in the transition: the technical infrastructure (energy, agriculture and industry), the social system (management and economics) and awareness (beliefs, values ​​and ideology that we get imprinted via media and media).

The author briefly states that the paradigm we are now in is a process towards a degradation of the ecosystem. Over the course of two decades, we must move to renewable energy and a regenerative agriculture that maintains CO2 in the soil.

Preparedness. The authorities' risk analyzes have developed in particular in connection with the military and civilian preparedness during the Cold War. Where the business of the world was proactive risk analyzes related to the future prospects in the market were the authorities' ditto reactive in the form of response readiness and expanded civilian preparedness in the event of war and occupation.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the contingency was reduced almost immediately to include only the rescue contingency (fire and ambulance), to which was added the nuclear contingency. Only slowly was it mapped out how vulnerable our societies really are. In the shadow of the Cold War and its enemy images, new risks and vulnerabilities had developed, supported by institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This manifested itself in a wide range of areas, including stress, increased dehumanization, fragmentation / dissolution of communities, and tivolisation / marketing of public space (fake news).

Future Vision. As 9/11 was a blow that presented new contingency challenges, the Fukushima tragedy in 2011 became an event that challenged all preparedness thinking to date. The thoughts of the authorities and the business world on security had failed. An isolated environmental sector entrance with the traditional sectoral fixation with state regulation, which was the environmental movement's best answer, also did not provide a solution.

In general, dealing with the threats of the future is not a matter for public enterprise. 

So if there are still citizens left who can dream and reflect, then a systemic approach with a coherent strategy in the field, where one has to deal with technical infrastructure, the social system and the issue of consciousness. With an ecological readiness – understood as a system – which involves designing a regenerative culture.

Creating a positive movement with a vision of the future is important. For the world, a movement that offers a spacious and sustainable vision for our common future needs, not least for the sake of future generations.

Until a radical change of society orientering can be compared to the US conversion in 1941 of the factories to war production (a very relevant comparison with the need for a conversion today), then it is important that there is further development locally on initiatives that partly express a vision of life within the planet's borders and partly express a vision of a new and sustainable society.

Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

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