World 2.0

Do we stand at a tipping point in the world? Will World 1.0 as we know it, change into World 2.0, or is it already World x.o without us having noticed? Are we migrating to a world where we, as human beings, wrote the story and now the story is being written for us? Everyone in the world has been touched by the Corona pandemic. Our reactions, though, are divergent. Some say it is the end of the world as we knew it – there will be a new normal. Others say we will return to our old habits, once the infections subside and the fear has been assimilated. A microscopic organism with no brain or central nervous system has managed to stop the world in its tracks, something that was feared of artificial intelligence gone rampant. We were projected into the complexity realm where understanding makes place for sense making. We can only figure things out in hindsight. We have to make decisions based on a reaction to emergent trends and not on facts. There are no facts, the waters that we navigate are unchartered. How do we prepare for this uncertain, unknown future? We are challenged by conspiracy theories, chaos in politics and the worst, we seem to be in denial about crashing economies of the like we have not seen before. The balance between restarting national economies and protecting life is a fine one that politicians have to play. We have seen too many post-apocalyptic movies from Hollywood, with the world a destroyed place and only a few outliers that survived and now have to build up a new society and culture. We are not there yet, not by a far cry. Hyperconnectivity and instantaneous news have led to a credibility crisis. Fake news is rife, factions position themselves, based on credulous people. The choice of what to believe is not something the human race is ready for. It was a choice between good and bad in different norms in the past. Who can be trusted and who not? Who are allies and foes? This is a time that may become more disruptive than any global scale war, based on doubt, uncertainty and the inability to make decisions that are not substantiated with facts. In the short period of three months we have learned that physical travel to work is not necessary in most cases, that less mobility results in major savings and that we can in fact expect a quick reaction from the planet to recover if we stop to pollute and destroy it. We learnt that hunger may be a larger threat than a disease and that loyalties can change overnight. This is where our ability to do future thinking becomes crucial. We should be able to look through a lens where technology (to support work and to protect and cure), behaviour (at the workplace and at home) and events (geo-political, biological and financial) will tell us of possible consequences of our decisions that feel so unsubstantiated now. We should think beyond the present and over the horizon of unintended consequences of our decision making in the present. We should be able to select a preferred future that will be different and shaped by these forces on a landscape that will remain fast changing, unpredictable and disruptive. We are beyond the cause-and-effect world into the world that will lead to chaos if we do not approach it correctly. World 2.0 is not about social distance, hygiene and the hope of a vaccine, it is about the acceptance that what we are experiencing now will remain. If not the virus today, some other challenges tomorrow. Future readiness is based on future knowledge, future knowledge comes with the ability to do future thinking. Let us transition from World 1.0 to World 2.0 that is only the precursor of many different worlds where the future will be made for us and not by us.

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