What do you think is the government’s role in planning for the future in light of the preponderance of older adults, as Boomers are aging and Gen Xers are already in their 50s?
– Karinna V.
The pandemic is a clear example of the importance of futurists and foresight across all sectors and in all domains. Starting back in the 1960’s, I have been among several who cautioned that manmade greenhouse gases would lead us to catastrophic climate change; that at some point SARS would morph again into a pandemic like Covid-19 has, decimating the globe; that the glaciers were melting; that our industrial age education system was insufficient to keep us competitive; that our political system was broken, thus corrupting our democracy; and on… and few listened.
Had we valued the importance of preparing for the future, we would have been in a much better position to respond more effectively to Climate Change Migration, cybercrime, new forms of higher education, and even to the preparedness for fighting/containing Covid-19.
The government should have a Department of the Future that collaborates with all other agencies as we plan for this country’s tomorrows.
Government officials who are well educated about trends, including the graying of the globe and the longevity economy, will be better prepared to make the decisions that impact security, health, education, enterprises, and welfare. In the same way, a futurist-centered agency would adapt to the disastrous lower birth rates that are predicted for China and the USA, which will have serious consequences for labor shortages. Expect to see this even greater shift to having the shrinking few unable to support the exponentially greater number of older population, globally.
Futurists are becoming increasingly important as the stakes get higher and our lives become more complex, as the world’s countries – and even other parts of the cosmos, like planets and galaxies – are becoming more interconnected. We do, indeed, need a unified agency that brings together representatives of the different governmental agencies to create a shared vision based on strategic foresight, including scenario planning of all the possibilities and risks we face in the years and decades ahead.
A Department of the Future would have had several plans of action ready for us when discontinuous change creates even more tumultuous VUCA times. A little foresight and more futurists will make a huge difference.