Creativity and your future
Is there a place for you in the 4th Industrial Revolution?
There is so much creativity in this video. So many ideas for an even better future. This excited me because I have a two year old who is going to be part of it.
Hearing teenagers struggling with what they wanted to do, prompted this post.
I typed into Google “I am 16 and I don’t know what I want to do with my life“, actually I didn’t even have to finish typing that sentence, Google finished it for me. The search resulted in 31.6million articles. Many of these were forums where kids were feeling a little lost, anxious and overwhelmed.
So I started looking into what the future holds for us – for them. What are people saying about the future of work, the future of society and the future of the planet? From what I have read so far, I think there is enough deep thinking, risk taking and progress to be optimistic.
Here are three things I took away from this World Economic Forum video
1. Our past is not our future
At 40 I turned from accountant to creative. I was a commercial accountant/manager for nearly 20 years. I was ok at it, but I didn’t love it, so I wasn’t going to invest the time and deep thinking into it that is required to be at the top of the profession. So I think we can have many hats during our lives. I do feel that there should be some common thread though, where the previous experience builds on the last. This way we are not aimlessly jumping from one thing to another without reflecting on why.
This is not to say that we should discard our past, we should always reflect upon where we have been, and use that to inform where we move to next. I, for example, will always draw on my skills in the accounting field, and they are very beneficial in my governing roles on school boards. I have a strong interest in the strategic direction of education. By drawing on my experience, skills and leveraging my character strengths I think I have something of value to contribute.
So what about your future? The next industrial revolution, which has come about in a shorter time frame than the previous three, combines the physical, biological and technological for the first time. By combining these things, for the first time I see how the decoupling of growth and natural resources may be achievable. I think this is an exciting prospect and you have an opportunity to be part of it in your own special way.
So far we have not found anything like Earth in the universe so it is upon us to protect it. It is precious.
Answers to how we preserve the Earth, quench our apparent never-ending desire for growth and be the recipient of that growth may exist in the conversations that are flowing through the activity of 4th Industrial Revolution. This video shows ingenuity that can impact our planet, coming from eight year olds to 80 year olds. Some of these ideas are so simple. It has just taken imagination, creativity and innovation to bring these to life. This can be you too.
See the world as it could be, not as it appears.
2. Optimistic about the future
There is reason for teenagers to feel confident about their future. It will be different from our past, and therefore how you contribute meaningfully to society will also differ.
Knowing what things you are naturally good at (character strengths) and thinking creatively about how those strengths can be used for a greater purpose will be an important contributor to happiness. Not just for you as an individual but society as a whole. If you are interested in how you might go about this let me know in the comments below.
Many of the possibilities for your future are yet unimagined. Understandably, teenagers are feeling a little anxious and overwhelmed about their future and how they might support themselves. That may be because we are applying our current job market to the future of work. Imagine the possibilities, and from there the creative process can flow.
3. Creativity together with imagination and innovation will be critical
Fortunately creativity can be learned. The more it is practiced and nurtured, the greater the belief and the ultimate confidence to navigate any challenge life presents.
In a very small way, Dreaming Big for Little Girls is providing a safe space, for girls to think creatively. We use art and design to do that. We have a process that allows the girls to take risks, face their fears and get comfortable with their doubts, all while the stakes are still low. These girls go through the process of creating something of value to them; their confidence through self expression.
“Essential to free and open societies is freedom of thought. Up until now the conversation has been around freedom of speech,” says Nita Farahany, Duke University. She suggests that in order to make progress, people need to feel safe, to think creatively and freely, and to think divergent thoughts.
If you are anxious about how you might contribute to the world in the current environment, then watching this may give you comfort that what is current, is not your future. Everything is changing fast, and if we lay the right foundations, this world will certainly have a place for you if you go in search of it.