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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The world you know no longer exists

In his Ted Talk, Eddie Obeng argues that the world we live in, has changed completely. .  No one noticed it but some years ago ( at midnight ) the rules were changed.  ( Hence his website :  Because nobody told us the world has changed, we still play by the rules of the old world and we try to get our things organized, but these rules no longer apply to reality.    

How did this happen ?
At some point in time ‘Change’ and ‘Innovation’ became hot and sexy. Everybody wants change !  If you combine this desire for change with modern warp-speed communication via internet and social media, the result is an amazing density of interaction and information and an amount of change around us that increases exponentially !  
With 'interaction', 'change' and 'information' at such an amazing density, the world around us is just really turbulent.   

So what ?  It’s chaos, but it’s also fun ! 
The interesting thing is, that change is happening so fast, that we can no longer learn fast enough to understand the outcomes of change;   when something’s changed, we observe the new situation and learn how to deal with it. But by the time we understand it, multiple changes already happened and so we think we understand it, but in fact what we understand no longer exists because it has changed without us noticing.
We can no longer learn fast enough! And so we have come to live in a world we truly don’t understand.   Let’s face this !  Let’s accept it !  And let’s enjoy it ! 

I like this quote.  It comes from an apology of a group of outstanding  economists to the queen of England as a reaction to her question why they didn’t predict the crisis. 
So in summary, Your Majesty, the failure to foresee the timing, extent and severity of the crisis and to head it off, while it had many causes, was principally a failure of the collective imagination of many bright people, both in this country and internationally, to understand the risks to the system as a whole.
In fact, what they're saying is that the brightest people, even collectively, are no longer able to understand and oversee the system as a whole.  A failure of imagination …

If you don't understand the world you're living in, it's almost impossible to foresee  the challenges coming in the future.  Instead, we spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists. 
Eddie Obeng’s idea is that whenever you make a rational decision, please ask yourself “Hm... I wonder whether this decision still makes sense in our new world.".  And he invites us to ‘fail smart’; i.e. failing while doing something you ( and nobody) has ever done before.  

I love this guy ! 
Look around with an open mind ! 
Forget what you ‘know’ and be open for what you ‘see’.   
Forget everything you learned.  It’s no longer valid!    
Let’s be courageous and accept that we must learn to make a decision without understanding the context and its consequences. 

Open your eyes, your ears, your heart and your arms to embrace every situation as it presents itself to you without filtering it through so called 'knowledge', 'experience' or 'wisdom'. And then, when you really see what's to be seen, thén use all your knowledge and experience to come up with a solution that fits the real challenge at hand.
Let’s be creative, let’s try things we never tried, … and fail smart !

Here the TED talk that inspired me:

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