The future is up for grabs. In a big way. The digital revolution was really just the trailer. If you thought it was a big deal you haven’t seen anything yet.
Mark Stevenson is a futurologist who is mapping 'The Big Shift'. Humanity is about to participate in a change as fundamental as the Industrial Revolution that at the same time will make it seem trivial. This 'Big Shift’ will change everything for you, your family, your work – and for every institution, every nation. It will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and usher in a radically democratised world where biology and matter are programmable. When it’s done, society will be completely re-organised, our institutions necessarily remade, our sense of our selves radically altered – and the change will come faster than you think.
“The future is already here,” said William Gibson, “it's just not very evenly distributed”. That was 1993. Since then the rate of distribution has been speeding up. And as The Big Shift gathers pace it will hit everyone in quick succession – from urbanite New Yorkers to rural sub-Saharan Africans. This isn’t a first world revolution, it’s a planet-wide upheaval.
We can’t stop it happening. We can hardly ignore it. Which means there is really only one game in town: trying to influence it in a positive direction. But how? Tonight Stevenson will show us how we can do that by learning from successful optimists who are already shaping the future. He will also help us develop personal plans to help us make the shift work for ourselves, our families and the planet.
The future is up for grabs. Grab hold.
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Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better.
Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject. Groups are limited to 35 people.