It’s very important to distinguish between facts, opinions, and beliefs. I will try very hard to be crystal-clear when I am presenting facts, stating opinion, or communicating my beliefs.
So let me be right upfront about this. I hold three beliefs, which I’m going to share with you and then spend the rest of our time showing you how I got to these beliefs.
The first is that the next twenty years are going to be completely unlike the last twenty years. Why is this important? Because we tend to base our view of the future on our most recent experience. That’s just part of being a human. It is also a gigantic liability at key turning points. So I say that massive change is already upon us. When I first gave this material as a talk three years ago, I used to say, “Massive change is coming.” Well, it’s here now, and the belief I hold is that it’s really just getting underway, and I’ll show you why I believe that.
Next I believe that its possible – possible – that the pace and/or scope of change could overwhelm the ability of our key social and support institutions to adapt. Katrina taught us that a major US city could be wiped out and pretty much remain that way for years. That is an example of major change occurring faster than our ability to respond. The types of changes I foresee in our economic landscape are larger than Katrina. Much larger.
My third belief is that we do not lack any technology or understanding necessary to build ourselves a better future. Rather, we only lack the political will, which really is a reflection of the fact that “We the People” have not yet raised our voices in unison for real, substantive change. So the good news is that we already have everything we need; the bad news is that we might not deploy it fast enough.
Remember, these are simply my beliefs right now, and I reserve the right to change them if new information suggests that they are wrong.