Archive for January, 2013

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Blog No. 17. Destination 2050: Destinies, Destinations and Derivations for creating 21st Century success.

January 8, 2013

By Peter Ellyard

 

Most of the job categories present in a generation’s time have yet to be invented. For most people the lifetime job has gone forever. In future we will have many career shifts in a working life. The processes we used in the 20th century to make us work ready will no longer work in the 21st century.  From now on we will need to be life-long, learner-driven and just-in-time learners. We will also need more wisdom in our foresight as we look forward to shape our life and career paths. And to gain wisdom in foresight we must first use insight before foresight: we need to use insight to understand ourselves better so we can become more effective in our use of foresight to shape our life and career paths.  

         Henry Ford said the secret to a successful life is to understand what is one’s destiny to do and to do it.

We all have destinies, but most of have not sought to deliberately set out to understand what our destiny might be. This is something we should all do. In the 20th century, except for a few entrepreneurs, destiny was irrelevant to the world of work. In the 21st century these should inform each other. In a world of increasingly possibilities in terms of life and career paths, knowledge of one’s destiny will assist us to make more informed choices about future possibilities and options. Destiny is made up of two components; what one is good at (aptitude) and what one loves to do (passion). Destiny = aptitude + passion. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could all match our job with our destiny. Well in the 21st century it this is the pathway we should all follow if we want to have both a fulfilled life and best secure our economic future.  

         When I work with people who are at a point of exploring what they might do in the future I introduce them to my 3 Sights process : insight ( to examine one’s destiny) + foresight (to examine future possible destinations)+ hindsight (to examine one’s derivation)

         Following your destiny defines your work – that which you do to give meaning to your life.  Then each of us should seek to turn our work into our employment– thereby generating income from doing one’s work.

         Since the industrial revolution we have sought jobs-what we do to earn income. There were a few job makers and many job takers. In the 21st century we all can become our own job-makers and our own career path-makers as well.  In the job-taking past we often held jobs we neither liked nor which gave much meaning to our lives. We worked because we had to not because we wanted to. Professional people often enjoyed their work. The rest of us did whatever we could earn income so we could enjoy our life outside of work.  In the 21st century we can all make jobs for ourselves that we love to do.  Our whole education system is still largely trapped into this old job-taking paradigm. But this culture could be disastrous in the unfolding 21st century when the capability to be a job-maker will be much more important than being a job-taker. This is a huge cultural shift and each of us should develop our own toolkits for shaping our work future, and not just rely on occupying into a job niche created by another.

Here are the 3 Sights :

1.Destiny dialogue.

This process requires insight. When young people consult me about what course they should take at university, or what kinds of jobs will be available when they are mid-career, I reply that it doesn’t matter what they study. For most people it will bear little relationship to what they will be doing when they are mid-career, for jobs will have changed unrecognizably. So the most effective way to develop your career path is first to look inside yourself and discover your destiny, and then seek to build your career around it.

We can use insight and destiny dialogues to:

1. Understand what one’s special gifts are and one’s calling is

2. Facilitate career-path and life-path planning.

         List those things you are good and bad at doing, and those things you love and hate doing. An examination of these four lists will assist you to decide on your destiny, something you can review on a regular basis over time. It is best to conduct this destiny dialogue in the company of those who love you and who know you well. They will often have insights about you that you yourself do not see. Then take the next step and try to define your destiny using just two words, an adjective plus a noun: for example: social entrepreneur, innovations broker, intercultural conciliator, security guardian, relationships facilitator, habitat designer, wellness practitioner. When you describe yourself to others in this way when they ask what do you do, you will stimulate curiosity and kindle energetic and often enlightening conversations. When you frame your destiny thus it is amazing how creative your mind can become as you imagine and create career path substance around this two-word descriptor of your career path future. Following your destiny defines your work, which is doing what gives meaning to your life. Success goes to those who turn their work into an activity they earn income from. This process can apply equally to charter the future of individuals, organizations, nations, communities and regions.

2. Destination dialogue.

This process requires foresight, in order to decide your next job destination and beyond that the career path you wish to build for yourself and walk down. The most critical issue we should explore is what are the already emerging career opportunities,  or even an imagined career future that does not yet exist, that best fits my destiny? The emerging global planetist marketplace will provide many new opportunities. From our understanding of planetist values, as described in Designing 2050 and Destination 2050, we can predict the emerging products, services and technologies that will be both sought and developed in the next two generations. We can then design career paths that could be built around the creation of these emerging products, services and technologies.

3. Derivation dialogue.

This process requires hindsight and involves treasuring and learning from your experiences. There are two elements you bring with you from your past that really matter and are relevant for creating future success:

Heritage: the priceless aspects of one’s past which should be kept, treasured and nurtured, to ensure that making changes doesn’t result in throwing out babies with bathwater; and

Baggage: bad habits and negative attitudes and perceptions accumulated from one’s past experiences which, if they are not recognized and eliminated, will undermine one’s capability to be successful in the future.

         Imagine the following people undertaking

Destiny Dialogues:

• Prisoners as they prepare themselves for a post-prison

life-paths and careers-paths..

• Refugees when they are planning a new start in a new homeland.

• Retirees seeking new post-work life-pathways.

• People who are contemplating a career change or who are facing retrenchment.

• Young people when they are planning their careers and their personal development pathways.

• All people facing new circumstances when old pathways have closed off because of accident, trauma, or severe or

chronic illness.

         This is my toolkit for job-making and successful career-path planning in 21st century society. It is also the toolkit for fulfilled life-path making. 

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Blog No.16. 350.org and Destination 2050: 350 by 2050

January 6, 2013

By Peter Ellyard

6 January 2013

 

Yesterday I joined 350.org, founded by author Bill McKibben in Vermont USA. This organisation is promoting the goal of reducing the carbon concentration in the planet’s atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm) and then stabilize it there. This is the pre-industrial level, the level needed to create a climate-safe planet. It is just below 400ppm now and it is still growing. However I want suggest an addition to this goal. We should give this aspiration a time line.             In May 1961 John Kennedy set the USA for Americans to go to the Moon and return by the end of that decade. At the time nobody had a clue about how this might be achieved. The Apollo program became a heroic journey that inspired Americans to accomplish what had previously seemed impossible. History has many similar examples where a grand vision is realized because it inspires people to stretch themselves. The extraordinary success of the Apollo program was largely due to the fact that Kennedy transformed this static vision into a dynamic narrative by giving it a designated time frame, thereby generating a near complete buy-in by an excited American people. This would not have been the case without such a time line. This is the essence of ‘utopian realism’ – defining stretching almost utopian destinations, but also establishing totally realistic processes and timelines to accomplish these destinations. Getting a similar buy-in by the world’s peoples could be generated by nominating the year 2050 for the year for realization of the 350 goal. It would also assist creating a buy-in by the world’s diverse peoples irrespective of what their governments might think. This global 350 goal might seem more daunting that the Apollo Program. However the tools we have to realize this aspiration are also much greater. And these include building global consensus and a movement for its realization through the Internet, such as via 350.org. It is now possible to have Internet global equivalents of mass demonstrations. And creating a goal with a time line will stimulate innovation everywhere to realize this goal particularly when we have universal price on carbon. Imagine that, in the year 2025, after years of Internet driven pressure, the world finally agrees to a binding treaty to work together to create such an outcome by the year 2050.

          If we define the mission in terms of reducing emissions rather than reducing global atmospheric concentrations we set ourselves a more difficult task to accomplish. It is important that we define the goal in a way that best empowers our collective endeavor. Imagine a bath with a running tap and an open plughole. The level of water in the bath will depend in the relative water flow entering from the tap and leaving via the plughole respectively. In terms of atmosphere carbon reduction too many people concentrate on turning carbon emissions the tap off.  This is important but we can also make the carbon removal plughole much bigger.

            If we concentrate on turning off the tap – lowering emissions – we run full frontal  into the vested interests of big coal and big oil.  It is noteworthy that many climate change sceptic think tanks are funded by big oil. However we can also work on enlarging the plughole – removing carbon from the sky or ‘mining the sky’. And there are no vested interests opposing this endeavour. The technical challenge might be larger but the political challenge is a lot easier. And I think we can invent technology much faster than we can shift political environments particularly when we are fighting powerful self-interested opponents. When we put a price on carbon-which in Australia is currently $23.00 per tonne- we can earn income by directly removing carbon from the sky by both natural and industrial methods, many of these yet to be invented. In my own work I am working on new approaches in both of these, utilising both natural systems based on photosynthesis or by artificial industrial technologies  that include artificial photosynthesis. This is ‘mining the sky’ and even mining companies might be interested in gaining income from removing carbon from the sky. I am already working with several groups who are seeking to develop new innovations and businesses to remove atmospheric carbon. In my view ‘mining the sky’ while promoting  renewable energy by placing a price on carbon will do the trick, and this will make this aspiration a very realizable  goal for 2050.

         Achieving a 350 ppm atmospheric carbon level is a worthy ambition- worthy of our best selves, but it should also be a part of an even larger and more holistic aspiration –Destination 2050 as I describe it in my books, Designing 2050 and Destination 2050. Destination 2050 is a global society that is universally prosperous, sustainable, secure, just and harmonious (just five key words) by the year 2050. We cannot create a future we do not first imagine. But to realize any future  we also need a realistic strategy that includes a timeline. A lot of my work focuses on the year 2050. Achieving 350 by 2050 would add to this aspirational mix for the year 2050, which is already developing into a year of both focus and of reckoning.

         So congratulations to 350.org for articulating a goal of realizing a 350 ppm carbon concentration in the atmosphere. However let us turn this static vision into a dynamic narrative by giving it a time lime. Let us seek to realize this by the year 2050.