Leaning Into the Future

We find ourselves in a time of historical contradition in which the need to speed up the capability to change and transform runs into the barrier of human capacity to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. This is true whether as individuals, organizations or communities.

Until we develop the capacities to “jump” into the future, we will need to learn how to “lean” into the future. This is more than sticking one’s toe into a new way of seeing the future. It is the idea of connecting with others to build “futures projects,” interlocking networks and meta-communities as a part of reseach and development so that new ways of transformational thinking and action can emerge that are aligned with the needs and challenges of a future in constant change.

An example of this type of “collaborative leaning” is found in a new COTF International ¬†Network that includes Chestermere, Canada; Fayette County, GA; Livermore, CA; Manhattan, KS; and New Haven, CT.

Colleagues and organizations from these community have establsihed a connective network to seed, evolve and spread the idea of a “21st century network academy.” This first phase of developing a Mobile Collaborative Governance system emphasizes the need to create a culture in local areas that are “futures sensitive”….creating the ability in citizens to be able to identify weak signals and think about the impact of emerging issues within a “futures context.”

Jumping into the future may be too challenging. ¬†Putting one’s toe into the future is too slow in a constantly changing world. Leaning into the future is a middle ground that will help local communities prepare more effectively for a society and economy that will be increasingly fast-paced, interconnected and complex.