The Emerging Future / Strategy / Discovery

Dear <subscriber>,

This issue of CI News includes material on:

  • the emerging world future
  • CI’s long-term strategy and the next 5 years
  • ways to find out what Bright Future Now is really like

The future belongs to …

One of my favorite quotes comes from Eric Hoffer:

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

I have a parallel to that:

In times of change it’s easier to see what’s breaking down – and causing damage as it does – than to see what’s emerging; yet the future belongs to what’s emerging.

The news media aren’t much help in identifying what’s emerging. You have to look at slower, deeper trends to see cultural evolution. Here’s an example:

For thousands of years, most people spent their lives embedded in the all-encompassing social hierarchies of agrarian empires. Then, starting a few hundred years ago in Europe, interpersonal networks, connecting people in non-hierarchical ways, began playing a bigger role in people’s lives. That role has steadily grown, slowly diminishing the relative power of hierarchies in the process. We’ve likely already reached a tipping point in practice – and may soon reach a tipping point in perception – where networks rather than hierarchies provide the primary social fabric, with transformed hierarchies embedded in and dependent on that fabric.

One consequence of this shift is that the dominator way-of-being will no longer lead to success. Instead, success will flow to skilled collaborators. That shift is accelerating. The mystique and deference that used to go to dominators is crumbling as people use networks to say “There’s a better way!”

We still live in a world where many of our cultural patterns, especially our institutions, were built by and for dominators. Even in this increasingly obsolete cultural environment, skilled collaborators are growing in numbers and influence. Imagine what could happen if we had new cultural patterns – what I like to call cultural DNA – built by and for a network-based world and the skilled collaborators who will thrive in that world!

CI’s long-term strategy and the next 5-years

Supporting the building of this cultural DNA is what Context Institute is all about. I’d like to share two videos that illuminate this.

The first video comes from the last meeting of the Oct/Nov 2017 Bright Future Now course, where Monica asked me how I saw the Bright Future Network developing over the next 5 years. Here’s my response and the ensuing conversation.

The second video, produced in mid-2014 yet still timely, lays out the long-term vision.

Since 2014 we’ve made lots of progress on implementing that vision.

  • The Bright Future Now course is going strong since its start in April 2016, with a new cohort every three months.
  • The Bright Future Network, which started in May 2106, continues to grow with currently 110 members from 18 countries on 6 continents.
  • There are over a half-dozen “strategic innovation” projects associated with the network, including two being developed by Context Institute.

I invite you to watch the following and know that it’s already happening.

What’s Bright Future Now really like?

If you’re intrigued by all of this but still not sure the course is a good fit for you, we have some ways you can explore:

Talk with a network member
Would you like to talk with someone who’s been through the course? Then please go to Find Out More from Bright Future Network Members, where you can sign up for a conversation. This is a wonderfully direct and enjoyable way to get your particular questions and concerns addressed.

The BFNow Orientation Guide
We recently put together this guide primarily for people who have already registered for the course, although you may well find that it’s a great resource for answering your specific questions. It includes sections on Content Overview, Process Overview and Online Forum. You’re welcome to take a look.

Financial Flexibility and Assistance
If your financial situation feels like the primary thing holding you back from taking the course, we may be able to work something out. We’re happy to do payment plans plus we do have some limited funds for financial assistance. If this is something you’d like to explore, just reply to this email.

The next course runs Jan 13 to Feb 26, 2018. It’s filling well, so far with people from Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore and the US. It may well fill before the close of registration on Dec 30. If you’re interested in joining the Jan/Feb group, I recommend that you act now. You can register here or get in touch in one of the ways described above.

May you find your life increasingly aligned with the bright future that is emerging.

With appreciation,
Robert Gilman
December 13, 2017

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