I listened to a conversation last night about the future. It’s amazing how difficult it is to talk about something we know nothing about. It wasn’t that people had nothing to say – they had plenty of words – but since I was able to listen in from the side, I was struck by how much of what they were discussing focused on what they know about today. What they know will work, what places are like now, what we know to be. But the future is all about what we don’t know.
There, in the middle of the group, sat our visionary.
It’s not a comfortable seat. No plush upholstery, no cup-holders in the arm rests; it’s more like a park bench with a view over a lake swirling with maybe-could-be-might-changing-mist. And our visionary was trying to see the other side.
Communities need people like this. People who are looking out for the opposite shore, wondering what it’ll take to get us there, but unafraid of the misty journey.
And when they can paint the picture of what they imagine they’ll find on the other side, I believe those visionaries can convince the rest of us to become shipbuilders.